Pre-K Program at GUS: A Glimpse at September
Pre-K got off to a wonderful start this fall, as we welcomed our first class of 16 eager and enthusiastic preschoolers to the GUS campus! Over the first month of school we’ve watched them form friendships and explore their new home away from home, as we begin to establish our Pre-K community. As the children form deeper relationships with each other and the teachers, we see their unique personalities emerging with each passing day. The relationships we are building, in these earliest weeks of the school year, will provide a strong foundation for our learning throughout the year.
One of our first Pre-K investigations was tracking the growth of our five monarch caterpillars, collected as eggs from the GUS pollinator garden just outside the classroom. The preschoolers were excited each day to return to school and check to see if the caterpillars had grown bigger, or find out if they’d turned into chrysalids. Over the course of a few weeks, children documented the life cycle through drawings and stories. Last week we were able to see one of our butterflies in the very moment it emerged from its chrysalis, stretched its wings, and took its first steps. This week we released our butterflies and wished them luck on their journey to Mexico!
We have seen rich work happening in our classroom and outdoors, in the playground and on the GUS nature trail. Indoors, we have energetic and focused activity: lively, imaginative games in the dramatic play area; tall towers and intricate structures in the block area; observing, sketching, and writing in the science area; painting and drawing in the art area; and pouring, scooping, and hammering with materials from our practical life shelf. Outdoors we are playing games, discovering the animals and plants that live across our campus, digging in mud, crossing streams, and climbing trees. Whether indoors or out, the children are expressing new ideas, collaborating, and solving problems creatively. As the children become increasingly comfortable at school, and feel ownership over their learning process, they are also learning how to challenge themselves and take healthy risks.
It has been an exciting month of adventure and discovery to kick off our school year, and we are looking forward to seeing how our first class of GUS preschoolers continue to explore and investigate in the months ahead. With a campus that provides as many opportunities for exploration, challenge, creativity, risk-taking and open-ended learning in the classroom as on the playground and in the woods, we can’t imagine a better place to learn and grow!