Top 5 Books in our Classroom

Holes in your nose

We started our year with many books about ourselves and our bodies and this one – by far – the most favorite one of them all. Who wouldn’t be interested in holes in their nose? Did you know that some animals have just one? Did you know how boogers are made? And that no matter how neatly you line them up, they are still dirty? 🙂 Now you know. You are welcome.

The Paper Bag Princess

The boys in my classroom love this book! We have read it so many times, I cannot even count it anymore. They know most of it by heart and even started to dramatize it… we especially had to draw the burnt forest and horse bones!

Pout Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark

We have been talking about ocean, fish and beaches and this has been an absolute favorite this month. It’s about a fish that overcomes its fear of dark with a help of its new friend. Kids relate to the fish a lot and love reading the book along with me.

Make Van Gogh’s Bed

Touch the Art series are very popular in our creativity-based preschool but I think one is the most popular one. Kids love to talk about these famous paintings and learn a lot in a really fun way.

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes

Kids loved this so much, they decided to draw their own version of this book. They let Pete step in all sorts of different things, like chocolate, ice cream and bananas. We played a lot of games, learned a lot about colors and – more importantly – about a positive outlook on anything 🙂 Love the message of this classic.

What are some favorites in your classroom or in your home?

Earth Day Celebration

I would love to invite you all to a free Earth Day event at Artree Preschool this Saturday April 22nd (from 10 to 12).
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– Create Earth day with us by creating clay pendants and painting a giant upcycled cake. 
Plant sunflowers to take home. 
– Spin a wheel of fortune and win a crafty prize. 
– Explore our pirate ship!
– Visit our fish and a frog, say ho to the mason bees, bugs and the butterflies and walk Bob (the tortoise).
– Discover the fun behind upcycling and tinkering.
We will have a lot of games and activities for kids of ages + a small snack.
Come see what our little preschool is all about.
Also: if you register for our preschool by the end of April, we will waive the registration fee.
See you this Saturday and please, bring your friends and family! This is an event for kids of all ages!
Location: 21415 SE 19th St, Sammamish, WA

What is a Provocation?

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arTree preschool takes some of its inspiration from Emilia Reggio, including the provocation station.

What is provocation? It may sound unfriendly but it is quite the opposite: it provokes thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas. 

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How does it look like? 

In May we talk about flowers and Claude Monet. So, our provocation station may look like this: a small table filled with artwork by Monet, wooden and glass bowls filled with small green gems, flower buttons, artificial leaves and wooden ladybugs. There may also be empty picture frames to provoke kids to fill them in.

It does not come with any directions. It is up to the kids to create what they wish. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s about imagination, creativity and exposure to new materials.

We do not glue our creations down. We just take pictures and play again. That way the kids do not feel pressured and the materials can reused as many times as they wish. Plus, we have a visual record of our transient creations that we share with the families and friends.

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But these provocations go even further. They may encourage kids to learn more about dinosaurs: dig up dinosaurs our of plaster, explore real fossils or match dinosaurs with their skeletons. They may ‘ask’ kids to read words, do letter-based puzzles or spell with aplhabots. They may provoke them to practice their pre-algebra skills or to create an ocean scene with shells and beads. Possibilities are endless and we change them every day!

Do you want to try setting up these stations at home? An Everyday story has a wonderful guide you may find useful. Have fun!

Environment: Third Teacher

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In arTree preschool the environment is the third teacher.

What does that mean?

Teacher and kids are the first two teacher. But we also believe that the environment is an important aspect of any early childhood program. We are designing our space so that it enables children to develop relationships with the world around them, themselves and each other.

How? 

We provide a lot of natural elements in the classroom: wooden furniture and high-quality educational toys, including a large selection of blocks and building toys. We design our space so it changes along with interests of the children. We recreate our pretend play area every couple of weeks: our grocery store becomes a vet office, kitchen or a fire station. 

We bring nature into our classroom with a large science area filled with rocks, gems, fossils, live fish and many other treasures (including a huge wasp nest from soaring Eagle park).

We encourage kids’ creativity by providing a large supply of artist-quality paints, pastels and clay.

We have a large selection of age-appropriate books in our cozy reading nook. Kids engage all of their senses with our sensory tub, art provocations, light table and in our kitchen area.

We are very excited to get started! Stay tuned for more pictures from the remodel.