Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Preschool News Week of August 29-Sept. 2

What we've been learning:

Whole Group: 

Incredible Flexible You:  We have read the story Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings.  We learned that each of us have different thoughts and feelings and how our actions can effect others.  

We have been reading literature about going to school to include: If You Bring a Mouse to School, Friends at School, Will I Have a Friend, The Kissing Hand and Dinofours, It's Time for School.  

We discussed things we will be doing at school and made comparisons between the books we have read and our own classroom.   

We continue to work on learning classroom routines, our PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System) Rules, and group time behavior expectations (ask your student's to tell you what "Give me Five" means at group time).  Next week we will introduce classroom jobs and begin Jolly Phonics, our letter and letter sound program.   

Small Groups:

We participated in activities to go along with Incredible Flexible You to reinforce the idea that we all have different thoughts and feelings and sometimes we can tell what someone is feeling or thinking by looking at their body language. 

We began journaling, introduced patterns using body movements, worked on positional words in a game called Where's the Bean Bag?, water painted and worked on forming the letters in our names with Bendaroos.  


Sensory: Green sand and sand toys
Art: Markers, glue, scissors, collage materials
Science: Magnets
Library: School books, alphabet and counting books
Writing Desk: Dry erase boards
Math Toys: Manipulatives for building, sorting, and counting
Dramatic Play: Kitchen
Blocks: wooden blocks, train set, cardboard blocks, farm set, doll house

We are working on every one doing their fair share with cleaning up after center time.  We are seeing some great helpers.  

Next Week:

We will begin our PBIS punch cards.  Students will earn punches for making positive choices in our classrooms.  These punches will earn them the opportunity to purchase items in our PBIS school store based upon the number of punches they receive.  We also will have a class puff ball jar.  Students will be able to add puff balls to our jar to earn class parties once the jar is full.  Students are very excited and motivated by this and love to pick what type of party we have.

We will also begin Jolly Phonics, our letter/letter sound program.  Jolly Phonics includes a song and action for each letter/letter sound.  We love Jolly Phonics in preschool!

Upcoming Dates:  

Sept. 5 No School-Labor Day
Sept. 12 No School-Teacher Professional Development

You may view our September Calendar by clicking on the Preschool Calendar Tab on our Blog Home Page.  

Please enjoy pictures of our learning!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Meet the Teachers!

Meet Your Teachers!  

Mrs. Benton

I graduated in 1996 from Iowa State University with a degree in early childhood education with a pk-k special education endorsement.  I began my teaching career in Belle Plaine in an early childhood special education classroom.  Over the 6 years I taught in Belle Plaine, I also taught preschool and Prep Kindergarten.  I then took off some time to raise my children; Cole (a senior this year), Gabe ( a freshman), and Rachel (6th grade).  When my youngest entered kindergarten, I served as a substitute teacher in grades preschool-8th grade to include Art, P.E., TAG and Music.  During this time, I obtained a K-8 Reading Endorsement through Morningside College.  In 2014-15, I taught Kindergarten on a half time basis at Dysart-Geneseo Elementary due to increased enrollment.  The past two school years, I have been here in Keystone, teaching preschool for Benton Community.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, walking, and attending my children's activities.  My husband, Tony and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in December.  I have a shih tzu named Lilly and a cat named Tiger.       

I love working with preschool aged students and am always in awe of things they say and do.  The growth our preschoolers make in a year's time is amazing and I am excited to be a part of it.  

Mrs. Mehlert

This is my 4th year working in the Preschool classroom for Benton Community. I grew up as a Bobcat and I am very happy to be back as a part of the school. I am originally from Atkins but recently moved to Keystone last August with my husband and two children. Katherine is 3 already and will be attending our 4 year old Preschool program next year. We added a new baby boy to the family in June (Noah). Big sister is adjusting pretty well to her new baby brother.

I'm excited to see some familiar faces from our 3 year old program and lots of new ones. Let's make it a great year!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Welcome Preschool Families!

Welcome to our preschool blog!

I would like to share with you a little about what types of things I share on our preschool blog.  On our blog, I will share classroom news, what we are learning, upcoming events and share pictures of our learning.  Parents in the past have found the blog to be a useful communication tool to aid in the conversation of what their child did at school each day.  You will be able to look at pictures of your child's learning and ask them to tell you about what is happening in each picture.  You will also know what goals we are working on each week to help you know what things you can focus on at home too.  Every time I post on our weekly blog, I will email a link to you.  If you have not yet signed a blog consent form, one will be sent home to you in your child's folder which I will explain next.

Daily Folders:

Your child will have a folder with their name and class section on it.  This folder is to be sent back and forth between home and school on a daily basis in your child's backpack.  Please remember to check your child's folder for important communications from school and please use it to send any milk money, notes, etc. you may have. 

Our Curriculum:

In Benton Community Preschools, we follow the Creative Curriculum.  In the Creative Curriculum, our learning is based off of 11 learning centers.  These centers include: Dramatic Play, Blocks, Sand and Water, Outside, Art, Writing, Discovery/Science, Toys and Games (Math), Puzzles, Library, and Computer/IPADS.  In your daily folders, I will be sending home information in regards to the learning that occurs in each center area.  

Our reading series is called Read it Again.  Read it Again includes whole group and small group learning experiences that include the areas of Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness, Print Knowledge and Narrative.  I will be explaining these areas further once we begin our reading series after Labor Day and I will include the concepts that we are working on so you may reinforce these concepts at home.  

Our social skills series is called Incredible Flexible You!  This series focuses on skills your child needs to be successful in learning to be a part of a group, working with others and becoming aware of their own feelings and the feelings of others.  We will be beginning this series the first full week of school.  You will be receiving newsletters to describe the skills we are working on in class.  


If you have not yet sent headphones with your child, please do so at your earliest convenience. Students need these headphones to be able to play learning games on our IPADS during center time.  


If at any time you have questions or simply would like to know how things are going, send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  If your child is to be absent, you may send me an email, email our building secretary or call the office.  We will also be sending home notepads that you may use to communicate planned absences with us by sending the completed note in your child's folder.  

I look forward to this school year and would like to thank you for sharing your child with us.  Thank you for taking the time to read this information!  

Mrs. Benton