Bannockburn Christian Academy - Austin Texas Private School

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Archive for December, 2015

Science in Pre-K

In the classroom, students participate in a weekly science or STEM activity. Pre-K students bring so much curiosity and wonder to the classroom setting.  All a teacher needs is capitalize on these characteristics to make science learning come alive every day.  This time of the week is our absolute favorite.

A couple of weeks ago we went on a Fall Scavenger Hunt around the Academy campus.  We were looking for all sorts of nature items including acorns, trees, grass, squirrels, birds, ants, etc…  Each student had their own clipboard, pencil, and check off sheet.  The children felt so important and special. They felt like real scientists! This was such a great opportunity for meaningful conversations and observations to take place. They were engaged and wide-eyed exploring the world around them and searching for the items on their check lists.

After our scavenger hunt adventure we returned to the classroom to discuss and share what types of nature items we observed and what we could not find. For example, some saw butterflies but couldn’t find a bird.  All in all it was a great experience to explore, discover and analyze.

Laura Gail Ellis, Pre-Kindergarten

Reading Buddies

Anyone who has known me for more than about five minutes knows I love to read.  In fact, I have been known to sit in the same chair virtually all day reading a good book (especially if my husband is traveling).  I keep at least one book with me at all times.  You never know when you might have a few minutes waiting at the post office or that really long traffic light as you drive home.  That is always good for at least a paragraph.


When my children were little we probably had more books in our house than some libraries.  They were always read to – in the morning, before dinner, at bedtime – you name it.  We would read at the drop of a hat.  When each of them was in first grade, my husband and I took turns reading The Chronicles of Narnia to them at bedtime.  I know it was a special time with them because when one of my son’s friends had his first child, Matthew wanted to get the Narnia series as a gift to give them.

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Now I get the joy of reading to my little K-4 friends.  It doesn’t matter what we are reading – a brand new book or one we have read 5 times.  They get so excited!  The pictures – new words – guessing what comes next or remembering what comes next and being able to tell everyone else.  All these things are very exciting when you are 4 or 5 but are also very important components of reading (making connections, building vocabulary, making predictions, recall).  And they are catching that love of reading.

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At Bannockburn Christian Academy, Ms. Robbins (the 5th grade teacher) has teamed up with our class to be our Reading Buddies.  Every Friday we go upstairs for the last 10 minute of school and pair up with a special 5th grade partner.  The kiddos listen with rapt attention as their “buddies” read stories picked out just for them.  What a wonderful gift these older students are giving – the time and attention of a “big kid”.  Whenever we see them away from the class, you will hear the excited calls of “Our Reading Buddies!” and “Hi Reading Buddy!” shouted enthusiastically.  And you can be certain this will be a very special memory not only for the little ones but also for the 5th grade students.

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Barbara Hammel, 3-day Pre-K

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