Saturday, February 27, 2010

World of Color

This week students will continue to learn about colors. This unit explores a lot more than just naming and labeling colors. Students will learn about how to interact with colors, and explore topics such as color mixing, stains, fading, camouflage, and color patterns. Students will learn that color can be found in nature, that color can carry information, that paints and dyes are used to color things, that colors can be mixed to make new colors, and that sun and washing can make colors fade.

One of my favorite books on color mixing is "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stoll Walsh. In this book 3 mice dip themselves into three different paint jars: red, blue and yellow. They quickly learn that when they mix the colors they create whole new combinations. Children learn that if you mix red and blue together you will get purple, if you mix yellow and blue you make green, and if you mix red and yellow you will make orange.

Take a trip to the Burlington Public Library and take out a copy of "Mouse Paint." When you finish reading this story with your child be creative and play with colors. This can be done several ways. If you are up for mess you can certainly do it with paints. You can also recreate this activity by using water and food coloring. Put water in 3 cups and add a few drop of food coloring to the water. In cup one add red food coloring, in cup two add yellow food coloring and in cup three add blue food coloring. Using an eye dropper have the children mix the colors between cups and let them explore what happens when you mix the colors together. You might want to guide them at first and refer back to the book to see if they can recreate some of the colors. If left on their own they will most likely mix all of the colors together at once and make black.

Another great book on color mixing is "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Leoni.

This book also focuses on color mixing and can also be used to teach colors and what happens when you mix colors together.

It's All in the Name

Since we have started our program blog I have spent a lot of time looking at other early childhood blogs to see how they share information with families and other early childhood educators. This past weekend I saw several posts about beginning letter
identification by using the letters in a child's name. One of the things we know is that in order for children to make connections and retain information it has to
be meaningful. What better way to begin letter recognition then through beginning to identify the letters in their names? This is done several ways in the integrated preschool that are simple and can be recreated in any educational setting.

When the students arrive every day, they have to find their name tag on the door and check themselves in school by putting their name tag in a designated space. By engaging in this activity, children not only recognize their names, but also begin to practice one to one correspondence skills at circle time by placing their name tag on a number line. I'm always amazed at how quickly the children not only learn their name, but also the names of their peers. In one of the classrooms, when children move from center to center, they have to find their name and sign in. This idea not only works on name and letter recognition,
but it also works on development of fine motor skills. Notice how the names are posted on the wall. This works on several aspects of development, such as the development of shoulder and hand strength, refinement of small muscle control, as well as proper wrist extension Teachers place the children's names on their spots on the rug. Some name tags have the child's entire name, others have the first letter of the child's name. Of course, children are always provided with name tags to put their name on their work. Some students can do this independently, other need models and some students require their name to be dotted out for them to trace.

All of these activities are embedded into the daily routine of the program. They facilitate not only name recognition, but also a connection to alphabet awareness in a developmentally appropriate, meaningful and contextual way.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

School Pictures

On Wednesday March 3rd, O'Connor Studios will join us for school pictures. All students will be photographed individually and with their class. If you are interested in purchasing pictures fill out the envelope from the studio and return it to school on Wednesday. Please keep in mind that purchasing school pictures is optional.

If you have any questions please call the office, 781-270-1808

Max's Dragon Shirt

One of the stories that the children are enjoying this week is "Max's Dragon Shirt." Take a few minutes and ask your child about Max and Ruby's adventure. See if the are able to tell you what happens at the beginning, middle and end of this story. I was very impressed by how much the children were able to recall and share about this book.

Here is a review of the book: ( to help you ask questions)

Max wants nothing but a dragon shirt and Ruby is insisting on buying him a much-needed pair of pants, per

the instructions of their mother. Max does not give up on his beloved dragon shirt and reminds Ruby every chance he gets. Ruby gets sidetracked in the store trying on dresses and Max manages to wander in the store after dozing off and not finding Ruby in the dressing room. Max finds his coveted dragon shirt, puts it on and is "found" by two policemen in the store. Well, now the dragon shirt is covered with yummy ice cream and Ruby has no choice but to purchase the shirt for Max!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Unit 4 "World of Color"

Dear Preschool Families,
When the students return from February vacation we will being unit 4 the "World of Color." Students will be exposed to the following books:
Max's Dragon Shirt by Rosemary Wells
Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
The Lion and the Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven
dear juno by Soyung Pak
Cat's Colors by Jane Cabrera
See How They Grow: Chick by Jane Burton
Chicken's Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller
The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen

The following activities are home carry over ideas that go along with unit 4, spend some time to notice and observe colors. Please keep in mind that all of these activities do not need to be completed within a certain time frame. They are fun activities to do for the month as we explore the "World of Color"
Read a book. Talk about your child's favorite part of the story
Tell each other what you dreamed about last night. Talk about feelings that dreams bring up.
Listen to music. March, bounce, sway, stomp and clap. Name each action.
As you drive talk about uphill, downhill, under, over near and beside.
At the store, talk about the different departments and what is sold in them. Let your child predict where to find things. (a grocery store is perfect for this)
Let your child tear up lettuce for a salad and name the colors of all the ingredients.
Cut many small circles, rectangles and triangles from colorful magazine pages. Use the shapes and a glue stick to make a collage.
Turn the tables and let your child "read" a familiar book to your. Talk about it and help if asked, but don't contradict your child's version.
Draw a simple map to show where you live and where school is. Talk about how to get from on place to the other.
Let your child help open the mail. Talk about what each piece is and show a few words as you read them.
Talk about clothes family member are wearing. find different colors and patterns, like stripes or dots.
Make up easy rhyming riddles for your child to guess: "I'm little and I can crawl or fly. I'm not a rug a hug or a mug. I'm a _______(bug)!"
At the grocery store give color clues for items you plan to buy. Your child can find the rice in the red box or the fruit that's long and yellow.
Pretend to be birds and fly around. Ask your child what he or she can see in the neighborhood from up in the air.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Just a reminder that the Burlington Integrated Preschool will be closed next week for February vacation.

We wish everyone a happy and safe February vacation and we will see you on Monday February 22nd.

I Touch

The Cub Cadet's had a lot of fun today using the I Pod Touch to work on preschool concepts. We have several I pod's that we use to help reinforce basic concepts. The children enjoy using them and they are a fun and motivating way to work on mastery of preschool readiness concepts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Policy

I just wanted to take a minute to remind everyone of the policy when school is closed due to hazardous weather.

The Burlington Integrated Preschool follows the Burlington Public Schools policy for school closings and delayed openings.

Delayed opening:
The AM session will be canceled.
The PM session of preschool will run on the regular schedule.

Please watch your local news channels for updates on school closings and delays.

If you filled out your connect-ed form and didn't receive a phone call about school closing please call the office and let us know, 781-272-1808. We will update the forms and lists over vacation to ensure all of our families are notified of delayed opening and school cancellations.


Due to the predicted snowfall this afternoon, there will be no afternoon session of preschool. The morning session will run as usual from 8:30 to 11:30, and transportation will be provided. If you have any questions or concerns please call the office at 781-270-1808,

Monday, February 8, 2010

Print Awareness and Reading.

This is a nice video that outlines simple things parents can do that help support print awareness an beginning reading skills.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Parent Workshop

The following workshop will be given by Sally Grimes a reading and learning disabilities specialist who consults and provides professional development nationally. Sally has consulted to the Burlington Integrated Preschool and has asked that we invite our parents to this workshop as well. It should be an interesting and informative evening.

Early Childhood Workshop
Monday, March 1st 7:00-9:00 PM
Swampscott Middle School Library

Predicting and Preventing Reading Success

The Swampscott Public Schools is pleased to offer an opportunity for parents to learn more about what parents and other caregivers can do to promote vocabulary and other Pre-Reading skills. Sally Grimes, a reading and learning disabilities specialist who consults and provides professional development nationally, will be in Swampscott on Monday night, March 1.

Sally will discuss the major findings of the National Early Literacy Panel and describe exemplary pre-literacy practices that provide a strong foundation for K-3 reading instruction. She will describe the Panel’s findings that outline what we now know about predicting reading success and failure and suggest activities that parents and others can do to promote oral language, phonological processing and print knowledge. Sally will describe the “red flags” that can alert parents to reading and pre-reading difficulties. Handouts and resource information will be distributed.

Sally’s work is based on scientifically proven material and 35 years of exhaustive and sophisticated studies, including brain and eye movement studies and her decades of experience in a wide variety of settings, ranging from pre-school to graduate school and from the classroom to the clinic.

The material in the presentation will be woven into an overview of the state-of-the-art of Reading instruction K-3 and explain how the five components of Reading (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension) work together and are linked with oral language development.

We welcome all parents, teachers, librarians, teacher assistants, community workers, school board members, social workers, and others. We hope that you will participate in this great opportunity with Sally Grimes.

** Please note that this workshop is intended for adults only. Please make alternative arrangements for children.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

This week in the preschool we will be reading Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. Take a few minutes to watch this video with your son/daughter and then ask them simple questions about what is happening in the story. Enjoy!

Helpful Hints For Conversing With Preschoolers

Here are a few suggestions to help promote understanding and language development when talking with your preschooler:

1. Go slowly and pause often
2. Get down at their level - sit on the floor and physically crouch down to encourage appropriate eye contact and ensure that your child is attending to you
3. Be positive and unhurried
4. Choose words carefully
5. Demonstrate and model new words
6. Ask for your preschooler to repeat or comment on what you have said
7. Reward small gains
8. Extend even the smallest comment made - ask questions or provide a return comment
9. Rephrase and respond to your child's comments or questions
10. Wait - provide your child with enough time to respond
11. Listen, listen listen!

Author unknown.