Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Edition 2012 #6 - Fun at Preschool(s)

by William K.

By popular demand, St. Ethelreda has grown from 2 to 3 preschool rooms. Each room has a great teacher helping our youngest kids to grow and learn: Ms. Clair, Ms. Holland, and Ms. Blakeley.

Preschool with Ms. Clair
Ms. Clair has been teaching preschool for the longest here at St. Ethelreda. She explained that in addition to the extra preschool room this year, each classroom is a mix of 3 and 4 year-old preschoolers. In the past, these age groups were taught separately.

We are fortunate to have two UIC students aiding Ms. Clair in preschool: Charlise Berkel and Kenneth Brown. I spoke with Ms. Berkel and she explained that the UIC graduate students were there as part of a Department of Education grant on creating preschools of excellence. The grant hopes to study and create a preschool curriculum with a strong literary focus. Excellent.

Preschool students are busy! Some of the activities going on this day included:
  • Dramatic play at the laundromat: sort clothes, wash, fold, put clothes away,
  • Computer time using the Starfall educational website for reading,
  • And work at the writing center
Of course, there's always painting!

Preschool with Ms. Holland
Ms. Holland runs our second preschool room, and she has a long history with St. Ethelreda. She is an alumni of our school and also is a member of the St. Ethelreda School Board.

Ms. Philpot is Ms. Holland's aide in the classroom. She is new this year and things are "going well so far." Ms. Philpot lives right in the St. Ethelreda neighborhood.

During our visit, Ms. Holland was playing a memory game with the preschoolers.

Preschool with Ms. Blakeley
This is Ms. Blakeley's second year teaching preschool at St Ethelreda. She enjoys the new combined 3 and 4 year-old arrangement as it provides "more balance" in the classroom.

The children had an elaborate ice cream parlor setup where they were playing and learning housekeeping tasks. A number of the other preschoolers were at the computer accessing the educational website.

Here, Ms. Blakeley is helping some inquisitive students with their wood block puzzles.

Thank you so much to our preschool teachers and students.
What a great group!

More preschool photos can be seen at our photo set: Fun at Preschool(s) photo set
Photos by William K and Chanel B.

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