The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.


February 2017

Algebraic Relationships & Operations

Students have been exploring subtraction, addition, repeated addition through arrays, multiplication, and magic squares. Our classroom is filled with vocabulary word walls, artwork, and anchor charts depicting important conversations for these mathematicians as they explore these topics.



Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Unite!

A group of preschool students and elementary students explored sky, land, and ocean dinosaurs through books, drawings, writing, and building blocks. These pictures showcase their explorations, talk, collaboration, and learning of these different dinosaurs.

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Experimenting with Yeast

Throughout our fairy tale unit, students listened to The Little Red Hen and discussed how hard the Little Red Hen worked to make bread with no help from the other animals. Then, we began talking about yeast and how it helps bread rise. Students got to make predictions as to what might happen when we dissolve sugar and active dry yeast into a water bottle. The last step was to put a balloon on top of the bottle. We noticed the yeast began to rise to the top of the water bottle and the balloon grew in size.

The Enchanted Forest

Students went on an adventure through The Enchanted Forest. We made several stops along the way, collecting only the items our mother listed for us. We first stopped at The Gingerbread Man’s house, then we made our way to Jack’s Beanstalk collecting magic beans and golden goose eggs. Our next stop was to Rapunzel’s Tower to collect the longest spaghetti you could ever find and then it was on our way to the Troll Bridge to collect goat cheese. Our last stop before reaching Grandma’s house was The Three Bear’s home to collect porridge. We stayed on our path the entire way to avoid the Yucky Bog and The Witch’s Mountain. While arriving to Grandma’s House, we had a close encounter with The Big Bad Wolf who chased us all the way back home.

Exploring Non-Traditional Tools

Today when the students entered Roxaboxen for some studio art time, they found cups of paint and tables covered with paper…but no paintbrushes. Ms. Jenn brought out the objects they were going to paint with: big pom-poms, straws, yarn, and forks. After a little bit of modeling and discussion about the ways they could use the tools, the students took their time exploring different ways to make art with what they were given. 

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Last week, preschoolers listened to different versions of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Students then practiced working together as a team by building a bridge in our block area. Then, they reenacted the story. They practiced taking turns playing the troll and the goats, and had fun trip-tropping across our creation! You can see our group hard at work, making the bridge and pretending to be the different characters from the story.

Ezra tells Kalen his ideas for building the bridge.
Rose, Andy, and Kalen work together to build the bridge.
Jakob pretends to be the troll while Kalen, Rose, and Mila pretend to be the Billy Goats.

Elements of Poetry: Assonance and Rhythm

Today, some of our students worked with Ms. Jenn to explore poetry through theatre. After warming up their actors’ tools, they played a game of Zip-Zap-Zop to the rhythm of a metronome. This led to a conversation about poetic rhythm and tempo.

Next, the students listened to the poem “The Rowing Song” by Roald Dahl, and connected hands with a classmate whenever they heard a long “O” sound. They discovered that the long ‘o’ sound are even present in the title and the poet’s name. (Some of the students suggested that they read a poem by Poe next.) This repetition of vowel sounds is called assonance. 


We explored the poem physically next, creating high, medium, or low body shapes every time we heard a long “o.” When asked how they felt physically after that exercise, the students realized that they felt like the sailors on that crazy ship: a little dizzy and a bit confused.

We ended the session by putting all of those elements together: some students read the poem aloud, focusing on rhythm, tempo, and assonance, while other students created a high-medium-low stage picture.



RAWR! Dinosaurs!

Our new Inquiry topic for the next few weeks is Dinosaurs! Students explored through different stations to discover what our topic was going to be. Students were divided into three groups and rotated through the preschool classrooms.



In Wonderland, students looked at different tracks, teeth and habitats. Students also excavated fossils from an egg.

There was a scavenger hunt, read aloud, sand writing, drawing, and dinosaur sounds in Honalee.

Students sifted through dirt, play-doh and poop in Roxaboxen to discover our study of dinosaurs.

Once we finished our Inquiry exploration stations, students were divided into smaller inquiry groups. We discussed different things we observed in our stations and posed questions we have about dinosaurs. For the next few weeks, each group will inquire about dinosaurs and work together to create a school wide museum!

Friendship Party

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