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Little Saints

The St. Paul’s Little Saints Two and Three Year-Old programs bring together parents, children, and teachers as one, working to create a community of learners. Our supportive and nurturing environment encourages open conversation, verbal and non-verbal communication, positive and respectful relationships, and innovative learning and teaching.

Our goal is to foster a true love of learning through words, movement, dramatic play, building, drawing, painting, and discovery. Our teachers provide children with rich, meaningful experiences by integrating a wealth of materials into the curriculum and environment. Children are taught to celebrate their differences and value their unique abilities.

Curriculum

The Core Knowledge Sequence is woven within our curriculum. This sequence is a set of model guidelines describing fundamental competencies and specific knowledge that can provide for children a solid, coherent foundation for later learning. Along with this sequence, the Reggio Emilia approach and an education for sustainability influence our curriculum.

Communication

The Little Saints teachers and staff strive to incorporate parents into all aspects of our program. This is accomplished primarily through communication. Our team of teachers have therefore developed a variety of tools designed to provide open and ongoing communication with families throughout the school year.

  • Journals are posted daily for families which include pictures of the children as well as explanations of the children’s experiences.
  •  Weekly newsletters are provided for families which describe the children’s activities and remind families of upcoming events.
  • Each child has a Memory Book which documents the process of  learning through his or her work during Studio experiences.
  • Parent teacher conferences are held twice a year during which families and teachers engage in open conversation. Parents receive both written and verbal feedback on their child’s development and progress.
  • Documentation Panels are posted in the classrooms which communicate to families the process of learning that has occurred during an investigation. Panels include children’s work, children’s words, explanations of activities and experiences, and pictures of the process.
  • Our Parent Boards and Parent Mailboxes provide families with information about special events as well as class announcements and reminders. Parents also receive class “mail” from both their children and the teachers.

Baby & Toddler Saints

St. Paul's is a loving and nurturing place for children of all ages. For more information about the Baby & Toddler Saints, please contact our Baby and Toddler Saints Coordinator at babytoddler@stpauls-lakeview.org.

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Little Saints News:

 

Our Little Saint two-year-old class has loved their food investigation!!

The investigation began after the teachers observed excitement in the house area. The children loved cooking and serving food to their friends! The teachers developed a series of projects around the idea of food. They also incorporated classic storybooks.

The first book they read was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The teachers added props to go along with the story. Following, the class played fun math games. They first counted all of the food the caterpillar ate. They then fed the very hungry caterpillar a certain number of a particular food item. They also voted on their favorite food from the story using their name symbols. Oranges were the class favorite! In the studio the Little Saints created their very own caterpillars and also printed with real fruit!

Next, they read the book Lunch by Denise Flemming. The class loved watching as the little mouse found a lot of fruit to eat for his lunch. The book sparked great play and conversation among the class!

A favorite song during the investigation was “Going on a Picnic.” They children had fun identifying all of the items to bring as they sang along!

In the studio the little saints made pizza to serve their friends. First, they painted “sauce” on their pizza. They then added “cheese,” “pepperoni,” or “sausage” to create their favorite.

Although our food investigation has come to a close, you can always count on a good meal served by one of our own Little Saints!

 

 

Dinosaurs have taken over the Little Saints two-year old classroom!

After the holiday break, the teachers spread dinosaurs around different areas of the room. They placed dinosaur tails and paleontologist hats in the house area, fossils and flashlights in the discovery area, BIG dinosaurs and pretend grass in the block area, and a dinosaur set of Legos at the Lego table. When the children spotted all the dinosaurs around the room, their excitement soared!

They all gravitated toward the new materials.  As a result, the dinosaur investigation began!  The teachers introduced the class to some familiar dinosaurs and their names, and the children voted for their favorite. The children made shape dinosaurs in the studio using painted paper, shaving cream, and even mulch from the playground. They counted and sorted dinosaurs during meeting. They sang “We are the Dinosaurs,” and they washed dinosaurs in the sensory table. Another favorite activity was a fossil and dinosaur dig in the sand table.

As the teachers continued to guide the investigation, they noted the children’s enthusiasm over the block area. Everyone loved playing with the BIG dinosaurs. Therefore, they decided to create a dinosaur cave. They moved a piece of furniture and added pretend trees, volcanoes, and other materials to help enhance their children’s play. It was a big hit, and all the children LOVED playing in the cave.

The teachers also read a story called “The Mine-o-saur.” In the story a dinosaur learns how to share with his friends at school. The children could relate to the story and had fun using props to re-tell it over and over.

As our dinosaur investigation comes to a close, the teachers reflect on how fun and exciting it has been to share in the children’s learning and enthusiasm about dinosaurs!

Camping

Our Little Saints threes have loved “CAMPING” out in their classroom!

The camping investigation began after the teachers noticed many of the children using binoculars that were added to the discovery center. The children began talking about using binoculars to look for stars as they camped out. They were also drawn to a book that had a page about camping in a backyard. Because of this interest, the teachers led a group discussion with the class about the idea of camping. They quickly realized that camping was a shared interest among the children.

As a result, the camping investigation began. In the studio the children used a variety of materials to create pretend camp fires. They used rocks, feathers, sticks, pompoms, and more! They also created camping scenes using water-color paint, construction paper, oil pastels, ice cream salt, and tissue paper.

In the sensory table, the children made a pretend pond using blue pebbles, frogs, and logs. They also “went fishing” with magnetic fishing poles and pretend fish!

In the message center, the children loved conducting surveys. They interviewed their friends to determine if they would rather go hiking or fishing while on a camping trip. They also voted on whether they would prefer to roast a hot dog or a marshmallow over an open campfire.

During meeting times, the class played a variety of camping games. They used a camping flashlight to identify shapes. They counted frogs on a log, and they “toasted marshmallows” on top of a certain letter bucket.

Their final project included an actual classroom campout! The class made firefly lanterns which included battery operated candles. One day, they each turned their lantern on during rest time for the class campout!

As the camping investigation came to a close, many families noted that their children had hopes of “camping” during our fall break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each One Teach One

The Little Saints three-year-old class is so excited that it is time for Each One, Teach One! During Each One, Teach One, every student has an opportunity to give a short presentation on their favorite topic. They are encouraged to bring in props, posters, or even use our Aquos Board to show pictures or videos to enhance their lesson! 

After the lesson, the rest of the class is encouraged to ask questions about what they just learned. We have had some wonderful lessons so far with topics varying from: electric guitars, making gumbo, sign language, dogs, robots, and Disney World! 

Each One, Teach One is an important part of the three-year-old curriculum. It creates important, meaningful conversation and play between the children in the class.

If you would like to learn more about our Each One, Teach One lessons, please feel free to drop by the three-year-old classroom. We have a big board documenting all the amazing things our Little Saints have taught us this year!

The Classroom Zoo

The Little Saints two-year old class has LOVED their classroom zoo!

The zoo investigation began as a result of the children’s excitement over zoo animals that were added to the block area. The children loved playing with the animals! The animals also sparked conversation among the children about trips they have taken to the zoo.

The teachers spread the idea of zoo animals around the room. They added zookeeper costumes to the dramatic play area, zoo books to the language space, and sponges and zoo animals to the sensory table to create an animal bath tub.

The children loved all the new materials! They also loved our meeting time zoo games. Some of their favorites were counting zoo animals using a tapper, sorting zoo animals by family, paying for tickets to ride on the zoo train, and feeding zoo animals.

In the studio the children helped paint all the pieces and parts to create a classroom zoo. The teachers added a few animal exhibits as well as a variety of signs to help locate the various animals.

 Our “little zookeepers” have been very busy keeping their zoo up and running!!

Music

The Little Saints attended the Christmas tree assembly in early December. As part of the assembly, the St. Paul’s Studio Band performed. The children were enamored with every aspect of this performance! They were amazed by the sounds of each different instrument and returned to the classroom eager to talk about what they had experienced! We had a group discussion to figure out what prior knowledge the class had and what they were interested in learning about music, instruments, and more. With excitement high, the teachers decided to integrate a music investigation throughout our curriculum. 

During our whole group meeting times, we have been using different instruments to practice mathematical, language, and listening skills. We’ve practiced tapping patterns on a hand drum and with rhythm sticks. We also have compared different sounds by shaking and listening to eggs filled with rice, bells, Styrofoam, and more. We have voted on our favorite instruments and then tallied the votes to see which had the most and least. Some friends even went around the room conducting their own survey to find out which instruments were the class favorites. They recorded their answers by writing the first letter of each friend’s name under the corresponding instrument. In our sensory table, we added rice and plastic eggs. Our friends have been using these materials to make maracas and shake them to music! 

As a special treat, Mr. Thompson and the studio band invited the Little Saints to visit the media lab to learn more about the different instruments. Each band member introduced themselves and told us about the instrument they played. At the end of the show and tell, they played a song for us called “The St. Paul’s Blues.” We even got to meet the band members and take a picture with them!!! We are all so excited to continue to explore instruments and learn more about music!

Construction Investigation

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an attempt to initiate an investigation, the teachers changed materials in a few of the areas of the classroom. They added dinosaurs to the block area and construction trucks to the sensory table. The majority of the class flocked to the construction area. They loved playing with the trucks and BIG rocks! The teachers also noticed a lot of “building” around the room. Because of this interest and excitement, the construction investigation began! 

Included are a few of the ways the teachers enhanced the investigation. In the dramatic play area, they added construction hats and vests. They converted the block area into a “job site” complete with a variety of tools, safety hats, goggles, and “building” blocks. Construction books were added to the language space. The teachers also taught the class the songs, “Johnny Hammer,” “The Wheels on the Dump Truck,” and “Going to the Construction Site.” In the studio the children created shape dump trucks, painted with construction vehicles, and worked with play-doh, hammers, and pegs.


The “House Project” was another exciting part of the investigation. Each child “built” their own house in the studio. The first part of the process was to ask each family to send in a picture of their home. The teachers talked to each child about their home and asked questions like, “Who lives in your home?” and “What do you have in your home?” Each child then painted their home with a real painter’s paintbrush. The teachers then worked individually with each child to add the special features that makes their home unique.


As the investigation continues, our little construction workers remain hard at work! After talking with the children about things that they enjoy “building,” the class voted on what to “build” in our classroom. The vote was among a house, a castle, or a school. The majority voted on a castle. Please come by and see our Little Saints as they help to construct our Little Saints castle!

Our Little Saints are “Surfing Into Summer!”

Over the past few weeks, our two-year class has been engaged in a beach investigation. This investigation has included a variety of sand and fish filled projects along with many beach songs and games!


During our meeting times, the class has loved digging in the sand for letters, bowling for letters with a real beach ball, and feeding letters to a VERY hungry shark! They have also enjoyed counting and sorting a variety of sea creatures.


In the studio the Little Saints had fun making “real” surf boards. The teachers took a picture of each child pretending to surf and made a fun display for our families. The class also loved painting with shaving cream and sea creatures, making crab hand prints, and using colorful tissue paper to create rainbow fish.
Our sensory table has been filled with sand, sifters, and seashells, and our block area has turned into an OCEAN. It is filled with various types of sea life, boats, and buckets.


“Going on a Beach Trip” has been a favorite song in our classroom. The children love singing about different items to bring to the beach. The items include goggles, hats, sunscreen, beach towels, and, of course, a bathing suit.

 

 

 

Another favorite area of the classroom has been our “reading pool.” The reading pool is a real pool where two friends can “swim” quietly while reading a book.
As our beach investigation comes to a close, we reflect on what the children have said and loved as a result of all the beach activities. It is clear the beach is a time of excitement filled with family and friends! 

Little Saints Open “The Cakery Bakery”

The Little Saints three-year class recently welcomed faculty and staff to the grand opening of their restaurant, “The Cakery Bakery.” After an exciting, fun-filled cooking investigation, the students worked hard to open a bakery of their very own! From naming the bakery, to making the food, to serving the customers and cashing them out, the children were in charge of everything!

The investigation began when the teachers noticed the children pretending to make birthday cakes and other goodies in our dramatic play area and out on the playground. Interest quickly spread, and the teachers helped expand the investigation into all areas of our classroom. From making dough in the sensory table, to conducting bakery themed surveys in the message center, to counting pretend money at our cash register in the dramatic play area, excitement continued to escalate!

After a group discussion, we decided we should take suggestions and vote on a name for our bakery! We practiced sound spelling and writing words when we created our menu and invitation in small groups. Then we walked all around the school passing out our hand-drawn, hand-written invitations! We voted on two items to serve at our bakery and then got to work making and baking these menu items! Each child learned to make ice cream in a bag. They chose between chocolate and vanilla and then helped measure and mix the ingredients. Lastly they used their whole bodies to shake the ingredients with ice and rock salt and watched as the liquid cream turned into a frozen solid ice cream! We also made mini rainbow cupcakes.  Each child visited the studio and iced a cupcake using each color of the rainbow.

On opening day, the children donned their hand-made chef hats and got to work. They greeted and served each of their customers with prideful smiles! After waiting on the customers, they brought them to the cash registers to check them out! Once the bakery cleared out, the Little Saints were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and taste their delicious treats! It was a fun day for all involved!

Little Saints as Garden Helpers

Every morning in our classroom Ms. Rachel calls our Little Saints garden helpers to the back door to tend to our garden needs. They begin by first selecting a watering can and then lining up to fill their cans with water. After watering our three beds, they return their cans and then begin assessing their crops. They love to discuss with one another if their plants have grown or if they are still “little bitty.” 

Our three garden beds contain tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce. The excitement over the gardens has continued to grow as our plants have continued to grow!

The Little Saints have patiently awaited harvesting their crops. Before the break, we began the process by harvesting our broccoli. Everyone had the opportunity to feel it and then taste it!  We will now harvest our cauliflower and tomatoes.

                                                   

The class will also vote on their favorite vegetable after tasting everything.

We are so proud of our Little Saints! They have worked so hard as our garden helpers!

Little Saints as Shoppers and Chefs

Since the start of school, the Little Saints two-year-old class has enjoyed cooking and serving food in the house area. They have even extended their play outside by cooking with bowls, scoops, and spoons in the mulch! The teachers felt it would be exciting to further explore food and cooking with the class and began by “building” a Little Saints grocery store in the block area! They wanted to help the children understand the concept that you have to   purchase food before you begin cooking.

The teachers asked families to bring in their child’s favorite food boxes and/or cartons to help stock the grocery shelves. They also added a grocery cart, cash registers, and money to help enhance their grocery shopping experience.

Before opening the grocery for business, the teachers looked at pictures of real grocery stores in our area with the class. Every child shared with the class where they do their shopping with their family. Their teachers also designed games to help teach the class how to use the materials in the store. For example, each child had a dollar. They used their money to “buy” an item and then check out with the cashier (the teacher). They also helped identify pictured items on a grocery list to add to their basket.

 Since the grocery store has opened, the Little Saints have not stopped shopping! They LOVE their grocery.

 

                        

Our next step in the investigation was bringing food from our grocery to the “kitchen” to start cooking. The class made REAL pizzas to eat for our snack! The children spread sauce on an English muffin and then sprinkled cheese all over their pizza. Some children added mini pepperonis. The teachers toasted the pizzas, and then everyone enjoyed their mini-pizza snack!

             

The children also made pretend pizzas to serve their friends. They painted a paper plate with dough colored paint. They then spread the “sauce” and added cheese (yarn) and pepperoni (construction paper).

As this investigation progresses, we will continue to document the children’s experiences. Come by and see our Food Investigation Documentation Board underway. Our grocery is also always open for business!