Weekly Plan for Nyna's 3PM Class
October 26 - October 29, 2009
Jessica lead teaching
Overview and goals
This last week the children experienced a number of changes not just to the environment, but also the daily schedule. Small groups started last week with Emily, Jessica, and Lisa each leading a group of six children. The children were very engaged while exploring their small group topics of music, food, and animals. The addition of the water table was another exciting change in our room. The water table continues to expand children's background knowledge of aquatic habitats and animals while strengthening social skills such as sharing and collaborative planning. The writing center, mailbox, and post office props continue to be central areas for children to explore ideas of the post office, mail, and concepts of print. In addition, small animal toys were an important part of children's activities in many areas of the room. Children built habitats in the caves, block areas, and play dough table, while exploring ideas of hibernation and the onset of winter. This coming week, the children's interest in the post office and autumn/habitats will be expanded in several ways. The back of the room will be transformed into a post office with a variety of props, including boxes, envelopes, mailbags and stamps. The class will also write a letter to themselves or their families during large group, then the class will take a field trip to our local post office where children will mail the letters to their home address. This will build children's knowledge of the purpose of mail.
-The collage table will have a variety of leaves and natural materials for children to experiment with in their creation of art. Last week, several children explored the properties of tracing paper with colored pencils, markers, and collage. To build on this interest, tracing paper, transparent colored paper, and tissue paper will be provided at the art table. In addition, to extend children's experience with the musical instruments they encounter in the music cave, materials such as paper towel rolls, boxes, and rubber bands will be provided for children to construct their own musical instruments. These items strengthen children's symbolic representation, creative, and fine motor skills.
-Tempera paint in fall colors will continue to be available at the easel area. Painting implements such as large and small brushes, pinecones, and flowers will be provided. In addition, this week, sponges will be added for children to experiment with. Small branches with leaves will be placed in the easel area to encourage observational painting. These items develop children's fine motor, eye-hand coordination and visual discrimination skills.
-The middle cave will now house a variety of musical instruments such as hand drums, chimes, xylophones, and sleigh bells. These musical instruments develop children's psychomotor, affective, and perceptual skills. In addition, they promote aesthetic appreciation, the development of rhythm and beat, and listening skills.
-The water table will continue to be available for free exploration, along with large rocks, plastic aquatic plants, foam lily pads, and small plastic aquatic animals. The water table encourages scientific inquiry: for example, children's cognitive skills are developed when they conduct floating and sinking experiments, observe how rocks displace water, and compare the behavior of different objects above and beneath water. In addition, the water table promotes social growth by encouraging children to share and collaborate.
-The play dough table will continue to build on children's interests in animal habitat construction. Wood discs, moss, twigs, rocks, dried wood, pinecones, and other natural materials will be available along with play dough for animal habitat construction. This area builds on our classroom discussions of tree parts and animal homes while providing a way for children to exercise creative and imaginative skills. In addition, this center promotes collaborative planning and scientific identification of natural materials.
- The back of the room will be transformed into a post office. A small table and shelf will create a small, room-like space to extend children's dramatic play with post office props. Mail carrier shirts, pants, hats, and bags will continue to encourage children to role-play at the post office. In addition, the postage stamps, envelopes, office stamps, staplers, tape, and paper will be moved into this area to provide more room for mail construction at the post office. An "address book" with children's pictures will also promote the delivery of mail within the classroom. We will add to this area based on children's suggestions and interests after our trip to the local post office.
- The first cave will continue to house the peg people with children's pictures, small wooden cars, and wooden houses. This area promotes children's fine motor skills, perspective taking, divergent thinking, and communication skills. In addition, the pictorial representation on the pegs encourages children to learn each others' names and faces.
-Babies, stuffed pets, and pet-related props such as leashes, bowls, and play food will continue to be available in the third cave. These toys remain a great way for children to initiate cooperative play throughout the room, and expand imaginative play in the housekeeping area. In addition, children learn to compromise and negotiate with one another when sharing the toys in this area.
Math and Manipulative Center
- Square stackers will be added to this center to promote color identification, height and length comparisons, counting skills, eye-hand coordination, motor planning, and visual discrimination skills.
-Wooden Montessori stacking puzzles will be added to promote counting skills, numeric identification, motor planning, and eye-hand coordination.
- Large pegboards with plastic pegs continue to foster 1-1 correspondence, counting/patterning, and the continued development of perceptual motor skills.
- Assorted animal and post office puzzles foster fine motor development, visual discrimination, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition and part-whole relations.
-The science center will continue to focus on natural items related to fall harvest and seasonal change. Children will have the opportunity to cut into several more gourds and pumpkins, wash, dissect and germinate different seeds. A large scale is available for weight comparison of pumpkins and gourds. Leaves in various states of color change and decay encourage children to consider the process of seasonal change and decomposition. Children will be encouraged to sketch observations in their journals. These activities promote the development of logical thinking, the scientific process, and the application of observational knowledge to hypothesis construction.
Language and Literacy
-The book center continues to house books related to animal habitats and fall, as well as some classic children's stories that build children's awareness of narrative structure, rhyme, and repetition. Books related to the post office and mail delivery will also be added to the book area to expand our post office explorations.
- The writing center contains a variety of paper, pencils, markers, as well as some animal stamps. In order to promote alphabetic identification, ABC stamps and small ABC books will be added to this area. This center remains an area in which children's awareness of print and fine motor skills are developed.
- The block center will become an area in which children and teachers will construct a large, three-dimensional tree out of cardboard and paper. This activity will extend connections between our school-wide curriculum on trees, exploration of animal habitats, and classroom interest in construction and painting. Children will have the opportunity to guide the construction of the tree and paint it, which will develop their spatial planning, problem-solving, compromise and communication skills. Tree-house and tree-dwelling animal books will be placed in this area to foster dramatic play with the tree.
-The small block area will continue to house a collection of small plastic animals. Children will be encouraged to use the small blocks and the animals together to promote spatial skills and cooperative play.
-This past week, several dance students came outside and to the gym to lead children in movement activities. Children performed actions to the song "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" and sang the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." Children also balanced bean bags on different body parts while singing along to "The Beanie Bag Dance." Children also had the opportunity to explore the many areas of the smaller toddler playground. These activities developed children's coordination, body part identification, spatial awareness, and balance skills.
-The gym has a new set-up this week! The monkey bars have rope hanging from them to foster dramatic play and develop children's upper body strength. The large blue "doughnut" mat has been placed on its side so that children can crawl through it into the small play structure. This also fosters dramatic play inside the play structure while developing upper body strength, coordination, and muscular endurance. In addition, the back of the gym includes a target for kicking/throwing soft balls and bean bags. This fosters children's dynamic balance and propulsion skills. The mats have been set up in a pyramid/stair-step shape to foster children's dynamic balance, flexibility, and agility. Finally, the A-frame ladder is set up in a triangle shape. Children are able to work on their locomotion and balance skills with this familiar structure.
-Children will continue to have the familiar shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, and tricycles available on the playground. Binoculars will also be provided for children in order to encourage observation of our schoolyard trees, birds, and squirrels in an attempt to bridge our classroom discussion of animal habitat and seasonal change with its real-life manifestations.
Mon. Pineapple & Graham Crackers
Wed. Cheddar Bunnies
- If you have any envelope sealers that look like postage stamps and are not using them, we would love have them. They usually begin coming in the mail from different charities this time of year.