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A Closer Look at Pre-K

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Take a Closer Look at GUS Pre-K

Learn more about preschool at GUS as we wonder, explore, and discover! 

May 2018:  Nature Trail Adventures!

We were delighted to welcome families back to the GUS campus this May, to hike out on the GUS Nature Trail and explore the woods. We let our imagination and sense of wonder lead us as we used open-ended materials to play and express ourselves creatively, and also learned a bit about birds nests and beaver lodges along the way.  It was wonderful to welcome so many children + families to the GUS campus again, and we now look forward to September when we will launch our GUS Pre-K program and take to the trails for a full school year!

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In our first week, we were inspired by the many real + imagined animals that make their home in the woods, including birds, beavers, and (we suspect!) fairies, gnomes, and elves. Working among the trees, we used play-dough and a variety of recycled + natural materials to build our own homes, schools, and playgrounds.

  

In our second and third weeks of the program, we learned about how birds and beavers build their homes and we looked for signs of nests and beaver lodges out on the nature trail. Though we did not spot any nests in the wild, we were able to hold and examine some nests from the GUS collection, and see how birds had so carefully woven them together. After looking at the nests and gathering natural materials for nest-making from the woods, we returned to the lower school art studio to construct our own nests using play dough and the materials we’d collected.

   

In our third week we read about how beavers build dams and lodges, and then we examined our own wetlands for signs of lodges. We also investigated the surrounding area for evidence of beaver activity, and were fascinated to see many gnawed tree stumps peeking out from the tall grasses - a clear sign that beavers had been busy cutting down trees! We were excited to see beaver lodges in our wetlands, and tried to imagine the underwater tunnels beavers dug to lead them into their homes. After our time on the trail we attempted to construct our own beaver lodges, using moss, sticks, and play-dough (in place of mud).

   

May 5, 2018:  Fairy + Gnome House Fun for Little Ones!

On a beautifully clear, sunny, and warm Saturday, we were delighted to welcome families to campus for a magical, fun-filled morning exploring the GUS Nature Trail and creating fairy + gnome houses in our lower school courtyard. As preparations continue for our new full-day Pre-K program launching this September, we are thrilled to have so many families of young children on campus, getting a glimpse of what’s in store for GUS preschoolers this fall.

April 25, 2018:  The World Around Us Vacation Camp + Earth Day

During the week of April 16, we were delighted to welcome 11 preschoolers to the GUS campus for four full-days of Pre-K vacation camp! This week provided a fun and exciting preview of what’s to come in the fall, when GUS launches its full-time Pre-K program for children ages 3 - 5 years old.

April 16, 2018:  The World Around Us Drop-In Program, Weeks 2 + 3

The second two weeks of our ‘The World Around Us’ drop-in Pre-K classes flew by as we dug into our investigations on the GUS nature trail and in our greenhouse classroom.

April 7, 2018:  GUS Pre-K Concert with L.A. Musician Parker Bent

On a chilly and rainy Saturday morning, we were thrilled to welcome L.A. musician Parker Bent to Glen Urquhart School for a free, family-friendly rock concert.

March 27 +  March 28, 2018​: The World Around Us Drop-In Program

This week we kicked off our The World Around Us drop-in Pre-K classes, and were lucky to have two beautiful sunny days to begin our explorations of the Glen Urquhart School campus. At the start of each class, we gathered together in the greenhouse, and greeted each other by singing a welcome song called "Funga Alafia." Next, we shared our ideas about what it means to be a scientist. Children discussed parts of a scientist's job—observing and examining objects in their environment, and wondering and asking questions, in order to learn about the world. We decided to try being scientists by taking a walk on the GUS nature trail to explore our surroundings, ask questions, and find interesting items to share and examine back in the greenhouse. Magnifying lenses and bags for collecting specimens were chosen, and we let our curiosity, imagination, and sense of adventure be our guide! Finally, we discussed the five senses, and used our senses of sight, touch, scent, and hearing (there was nothing we could taste - yet!) to describe some of the properties of our carefully selected nature trail specimens.

Next week we will continue to examine the specimens we found, and will draw our own pictures of them to include in a nature trail scavenger hunt book. We will also discuss some of our big questions from this week, and figure out our next steps in learning about the world around us at Glen Urquhart School. Join us Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. or Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in our greenhouse.

Read below to see the questions we asked and some of the treasures we found on our nature walks. We were especially interested in the water we observed, the gigantic fallen trees we encountered, and the animal tracks we discovered. If you'd like to flex your scientist muscles, join us next week!