St. James Episcopal Day School

Class Pages

Pre-Kindergarten

Teachers

Betsy Harper

Betsy Harper

Pre-K 4 Teacher

225-344-0805
bharper@stjameseds.org

Julie Modica

Julie Modica

Pre-K 4 Teacher

225-344-0805
jmodica@stjameseds.org

Toni Denova

Toni Denova

Pre-K 4 Assistant

225-344-0805
tdenova@stjameseds.org

Katherine Neil

Katherine Neil

Pre-K 4 Assistant

225-344-0805
kneil@stjameseds.org

Rachel Daigre

Rachel Daigre

Pre-K 4 Teacher

225-344-0805
rdaigre@stjameseds.org


Overview

Pre-K is a time to explore and inquire about the world around us. We use hands-on learning as a method for the children to develop their skills throughout the curriculum. Our goal is to give them the skills they will need in order to be successful in Kindergarten. 

Experiences To Look Forward To 

  • Eating the Alphabet
  • Gingerbread Houses
  • Spring Musical

Room Mom & Dad

Harper: TBD
Modica: TBD


Grade Level Rep

Katherine Robillard


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English and Language Arts:

  • The topics covered include letter recognition, letter sounds, rhyming skills, syllables, and reading comprehension.

Mathematics:

  • Math topics covered in pre-k include, patterning, sorting, number values, number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, counting orally, shapes, and measuring.

Social Science:

  • Science topics covered include problem solving skills, critical thinking, cause and effect, the five senses, and scientific experiments.
  • Social Studies topics include environmental explorations, while also recognizing their responsibilty as members of a classroom.

Art:

  • The art room is a hub of creativity. All lessons begin with an artist study or study of a technique or style. Then students create work in that style.  Students work in a variety of mediums including tempera paint, watercolor, acrylics, oil pastels, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, and clay.
  • In younger grades, students spend time practicing their fine motor skills in cutting, drawing, and painting with large brushes.  As students grow, they begin fine tuning their work by adding creative details and using more sophisticated tools to express their art.  Over time, students are able to begin focusing on the elements of art and learn specific techniques.
  • The goal of the art program is to instill life-long knowledge, skills, and techniques that can be built upon in developing a true sense of appreciation for art for years to come.

Christian Education:

  • Our Christian Education program meets with all students once per week. During class the children learn about the liturgy, Sacraments, prayer, bible verses, and much more! Our lessons follow the liturgical calendar of the church. Monthly we focus on a different virtue such as thankfulness, truthfulness, kindness, and patience. The Guidance Counselor and I collaborate on these virtues so that the students learn about them from a Christian perspective and a social perspective.
  • Our Christian Education program is designed so that the Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten students receive a basic introduction into the topics covered all the way through 5th Grade but every year we build upon what is previously learned. 
  • Our lessons follow the Liturgical Calendar and include prayers, Parables of Jesus, parts of the Bible/Bible navigation, Miracles of Jesus, and Old Testament study. We also focus on one virtue per month and the School Counselor and I collaborate so that she teaches it from a social perspective and I teach it from a Christian perspective. 

Guidance:

  • The school counseling program cultivates and encourages the academic, personal/social, and career development of each child, as well as supports every students’ unique gifts through classroom guidance lessons, individual counseling, and small group counseling.
  • The Guidance curriculum works in conjunction with the Christian Education curriculum to teach monthly virtues to the students. These virtues are part of the program “Creating Classrooms and Homes of Virtue”. The guidance aspect of these lessons focuses on the social aspect behind each virtue. Some of the virtues that are covered are goodness, tolerance, perseverance, and thankfulness, among many others.
  • In Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten students learn about kindness, acceptance, tolerance, and being proud of who they are. The lessons of self-esteem and self-respect are important to teach at this young age because forging this strong foundation early gives the students more confidence to face challenges that will arise as they move through elementary, middle, high school, and higher education.

Library:

  • The library is a dynamic, exciting place for exploration, reading, thinking, learning, creating, growing, showcasing student work, and coding on the iPad. The library strives to meet and exceed the expectations of the students, parents and faculty by ensuring a balanced, up-to-date collection of print and non-print resources are available for in-school and home use. Our library follows the professional standards of the American Library Association (ALA) for library instruction and collection development.

Music:

  • Music at St. James Episcopal Day School is to provide our students with an opportunity to create and respond to music expressively. They will experience a variety of musical styles and genres through performance, technology, imitation and movement in the classroom. Children are taught the basics of music theory along with the works of great composers. It is our hope that they will discover the value and enjoyment of music.
  • Pre-K 4 students will: 
    • Learn that music is fast/slow, high/low 
    • Respond to the beat
    • Sing simple songs
    • Be introduced to select composers & recognizes his work aurally
    • Use rhythm instruments with the beat

Physical Education:

  • Physical Education is more than recess and a time to play. It is a time for learning. One of my primary goals as a physical educator at St. James is to teach every child how and why they should keep themselves healthy and fit throughout their lifetime.  Our physical education program provides developmentally appropriate learning experiences that teach children how to be physically active in ways that foster creativity and self-expression, increase physical competence and self-esteem, and promote joy through lifelong physical activity.   
  • Our physical education curriculum includes a balance of body management, locomotor movement, manipulative skills, and rhythms/dance experiences. These units are designed to enhance the cognitive, motor, affective, and physical fitness development of every child in a safe learning environment.  
  • We provide experiences that encourage children to question, integrate, analyze, communicate, and apply cognitive concepts.  
  • Activities are taught throughout the year that allow children the opportunity to work together to improve their emerging social and cooperation skills, thereby fostering an understanding of themselves and the acceptance of others.  
  • On-going fitness assessments are used to help children understand, enjoy, improve, and/or maintain their physical health and well-being.  
  • Class activities designed for maximum student participation, success, and fun.

Spanish:

  • The Spanish program exposes our students to a world language, providing them with basic receptive and expressive language skills needed to communicate in Spanish as well as respect for other cultures. Physical response activities are used for the students to listen to and carry out spoken commands in a safe and fun environment, where the students feel free to take risks and participate.
  • Students learn songs, basic numbers, colors, shapes, opposites, animals, food, clothes, and transportation. 

STEM:

  • STEM Education at St. James Episcopal Day School is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content of skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM behaviors include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. St. James students will participate in STEM activities that are inquiry-based, that involve teamwork, and that involve collaboration. 

Quarter 1

Art:

Pre-K 4 students discussed types of lines. Students also discussed shape and created concentric circles in the style of Wassily Kandinsky on small canvases, which will be auctioned off at this year’s Spring Soiree: Gala & Silent Auction. Finally, students created a self portrait using sharpie and paint. 

Christian Education:

We have been learning about animals of the Bible. The children have heard the story of Creation, Adam & Eve and Noah but all from the perspective of the animals or how the stories relate to the animals.

Guidance:

In Pre-K 4 the students read books about different tools that are used in jobs and careers. After the story, they drew pictures of what they want to be when they grow up. Students wanted to be firefighters, doctors, ballerinas, moms, and dads. The students used puppets to share their pictures with the class.

Library:

The first nine weeks in the library was filled with learning and fun. Our Pre-K 4 students learned about the parts of a book including the front cover, back cover, spine, and call number. Ask your child to tell you about the author and illustrator of the book. All of our students were wowed by the wonderful library update! We are so blessed to have such a fresh and renewed facility. If you haven’t stopped by to check out the remodeled library please do so soon!  

Please mark your calendars for the book fair November 12-17, 2017. 

Music:

Pre-K 4 learned that sometimes music is loud and sometimes music is soft. The music word for loud is forte and the music word for soft is piano. We listened to Vivaldi’s Fall and could identify when it was soft and when it was loud. We loved moving our bodies to the beat.

Physical Education:

Pre-K 4 has been busy learning and reviewing basic locomotor skills, such as galloping, skipping, jumping and hopping.  We have played lots of tag games and have even had an obstacle course as we explored different levels and pathways. During Dot Week, we practiced bouncing balls on different colored spots, and played a fun game called Frogger, counting jumps from lily pad to lily pad. 

Recently we have been exploring non-locomotor skills, such as balancing, twisting, and bending as students take turns rolling a die and we try to balance our bodies on the floor using different body parts. We are also learning how to underhand toss. By keeping our bodies still, we can move our throwing arm like the pendulum of a grandfather clock. We are practicing our colors by tossing bean bags into matching hula hoop targets. "Bring Your Parent to P.E. Week" was a lot of fun too!

Spanish:

Pre-K 4 is learning greetings, numbers, and colors. They love to sing “La Canción de los Números” (The Numbers song) and “Buenos Dias” (Good Morning).

STEM:

During the first nine weeks the Pre-K 4 classes had a great deal of fun learning about the planets. They were very excited to go into the Star Lab. We have been discussing the life cycle of a butterfly, and we learned that the Monarchs are preparing for their journey to Mexico. 

 

Quarter 2

Art:

Pre-K artists worked on their special mixed media piece for the upcoming art show. The theme is "St. James on Broadway" and their work is inspired by The Lion King! Prepare to be impressed! They also had fun mixing primary colors to make secondary colors for their pumpkins and their green monsters.

Christian Education:

We have been busy! We learned about the virtues: Perseverance, Thankfulness, and Faith. The children have also learned about All Saint’s Day, Baptism, the Liturgical Calendar, St. Nicholas, and the season of Advent. We discussed Advent wreaths and the Nativity.

Guidance:

In Pre-K 4 the students read the story "Angel Pig and the Hidden Christmas." The lesson of the story is about the true meaning of Christmas. The students were asked what they thought the true meaning of Christmas was, and discussed that it is not about money and gifts, but so much more. It was a great discussion about family and Jesus!

Library:

The Wild Wild West book fair was a huge success! The book fair allows all students to shop for books and learn how to calculate tax when shopping. They had to be smart with their money! The 4th grade students helped make wish lists with Pre-K 4 little buddies.  

Music:

Pre-K 4 students have been busy learning their songs for church. They did a wonderful job singing in front of everyone. We have also been learning that music can be high and low. Each student had a xylophone and we played high notes and low notes together. 

Physical Education:

Pre-K 4 has been busy exploring how to balance and move their bodies on scooters! We have learned how to sit, kneel, and lie down on the scooter. We have practiced going forward, backwards and around, and around, and around!
We have also been working on tracking and catching objects in their air.  First we tried catching scarves or “leaves”. Next we learned how to use launch boards by stepping on the end so that a bean bag came up in the air! 

Spanish:

Pre-K 4 learned to identify five basic shapes and to name some parts of the body in Spanish. They are learning some opposites like “rápido/lento” (fast/slow) and “grande/pequeño” (big/small).

STEM:

During the second nine weeks the Pre-K 4 classes enjoyed learning about potential and kinetic energy. Tennis balls were used to demonstrate these concepts. The Pre-K 4 classes love to design and build roller coasters. At the end of every month we have STEM mentor buddy day and they look forward to this. They get to work on math using their iPads. The colorful Christmas

bows have been a hit in Pre-K 4. It has been amazing to watch them build a cross or a candy cane out of the bows. 

 

Quarter 3

Art:

Pre-K Artists  learned about negative and positive space by watercoloring on top of tape in the shape of their first initial.  Students also learned about warm and cool colors and used warm colors to thumbprint paint around the letters spelling LOVE.  Finally students drew and painted a beautiful butterfly to get ready for spring!

Christian Education:

Pre-K 4: We have been busy! The children have learned about the seasons of Epiphany and Lent on the Liturgical Calendar. They have learned that during these times we hear stories of when Jesus’ identity as the son of God was revealed to the world. How people realized that Jesus was not just an ordinary person but that he was extraordinary. We discussed the story of Jesus lost at the Temple and the miracles of His baptism, His time in the wilderness and the temptation of Satan, Jesus feeding the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water.

Guidance:

In Pre-K 4 we read books about feelings. The students had so much fun listening to the different stories about Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear (from the movie Inside Out). When we were finished reading the stories, the students picked their favorite characters and we talked about why they were a favorite. Interestingly, many of the students liked anger and disgust the most, probably because they were the funniest in the books! We all had fun discussing feelings and understanding that all feelings work together. The students learned that it is ok to feel all of those feelings sometimes, but we all agreed feeling joyful makes us the happiest!

Library:

The 3rd 9 weeks started off with themes of hibernation.  The kids explored the parts of a bear’s day in Old Bear by Kevin Henkes.  A Rainbow of my Own by Don Freeman allowed us to explore the different colors of the rainbow and discuss our favorite colors.  We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading My Many Colored Days. The children were excited to bring home library books and share their thoughts on the stories.

Music:

PreK4 students have spent a lot of time working on our song for the Broadway musical. They did a great job singing “Tomorrow” at Grandparent’s Day.  We have also been exploring Saint-Saens “Carnival of the Animals”  

Physical Education:

In PE, we have been learning how to ‘strike’ with our hands using balloons.  We have learned that it is important to use a soft touch because the balloon is light.  We have also learned to use our fingerpads on our hands and to keep our palms up while we hit.  Games have included independent practice by trying to keep our balloons in the air using different body parts, and partner practice playing a fun game called Categories. Coach Chandler calls out a category and we name things in that category each time we hit the balloon back and forth.
We have also been working on learning how to skip and hop.  Skipping is a difficult locomotor skill to master because it requires use of both sides of our brain.  It is an important locomotor skill to work on because it helps us become better readers!

Spanish:

Pre-K 4 learned to identify and name parts of the body and some animals like perro (dog), vaca (cow), pájaro (bird), oso (bear), gato (cat), pato (duck), and pollito (chicken).

STEM:

Our Pre-k4 classes really liked making snow paint. We mixed shaving cream and white glue together to create a mixture. They were so excited to see that their paintings were puffy. One of their favorite things to do this nine weeks was to use play dough to create numbers and shapes. Their engineering designs using toothpicks and marshmallows are always amazing!

 

Quarter 4

Art:

Students spent this nine weeks focusing on line, shape, color, texture, and form.  Students enjoyed using line and shape to draw a goose after reading Petunia.  They also created a self portrait collage.  Students created a colorful butterfly to welcome the butterfly migration back onto our campus.  We explored form by making necklaces out of clay.  Finally students explored all elements by creating a collage portrait of a fifth grader in a cap and gown as a parting gift for our “seniors.”

Christian Education:

The children have learned about the seasons of Lent and Easter on the Liturgical Calendar. The children learned about the events of Holy Week. We also learned about parables and how Jesus used parables to teach us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like and lessons about God. The students heard the parables of the Good Shepherd, The Sower and the Seeds, and The Wise and Foolish Builders. Students also learned about the Resurrection and Jesus’ breakfast with His disciples. We finished the Nine Weeks with a lesson on Pentecost.

Music:

The students in PreK4 are busy preparing their song for church.  We have been using various rhythm instruments to keep the beat.  We discussed how music is made from vibration and used the triangle as an example.

Physical Education:

In the 4th quarter, the Pre-K 3 and 4 year olds learned about pedestrian and bike safety for our Safety Town event in April.  As pedestrians, they learned basic safety rules, such as crossing the street with someone older, and stopping at the curb that separates a safe area from a dangerous area.
As drivers, on balance bikes, they learned basic road signs, and why it is important to wear a bike helmet.  Practicing their biking techniques on our Balance Bikes was fun but challenging.  It has been a lot of fun to watch as the children gained confidence in their balancing ability each day.  While not ready to be on their own quite yet, they will be soon!

Spanish:

Pre-K 4 continued practicing how to introduce themselves and express their likes and dislikes. Also, they learned to identify pieces of clothing like vestido (dress), pantalones (pants), camisa (shirt), gorro (cap), zapatos (shoes), and calcetines (socks).

STEM:

This nine weeks the Prek4 classes have been learning about mudbugs! They have Learned the parts of a crawfish and their favorite part was of course their claws. A few of them were very brave and even held a crawfish. Each one of them liked saying our new big vocabulary word: crustacean. Our Second annual STEM Day was held on April 27 and was enjoyed by each of our Pre-K 4 students.