Weekly Plan for Nyna's 3PM Class
November 23 - November 25, 2009
Emily lead teaching
Overview and Goals
During the past week, the children experienced some exciting changes to the room! Jessica introduced clay at large group and discussed how it is used to create objects, such as mugs, bowls and sculptures. To build on this awareness, the children were given the opportunity to freely explore the clay and used tools such as rolling pins and hammers. This week, as the children continue to explore the properties of clay, teachers will model and encourage representational designs. Last week, the children explored the scientific concepts of sinking and floating at the water table, and formulated their own hypothesis as to whether objects such as ping pong balls, feathers and golf balls would sink or float. Last week, the children also planted seeds into individual cups with potting soil while reviewing what a seed needs to grow. This week, we will explore a new topic at our science table as we continue to check for growth in the seeds. The children are now able to use magnetic balls and rods in order to explore the properties of magnetism. Finally, the back of the room has been busy with construction workers designing and constructing buildings. This week, the interest in construction will be expanded by providing materials such as pipes, carpet squares, representational pictures from the environment, and real doors to enhance the level of creative play.
- The drawing and collage table continues to feature a variety of collage and sculpture objects, such as tissue paper, caps, pom-pom balls, small wooden shapes, and yarn. These items strengthen children's symbolic representation, creative, and fine motor skills. Small chalkboards, chalk and erasers are a new addition to this area. As a result, children can continue to explore the properties of chalk which was previously available at the easel. The art table remains a place where children's fine motor skills and creativity are fostered in addition to opportunities for social interaction as the children share materials and collaborate with one another.
-As chalk exploration moves over to the art table, sponge painting with brightly colored paints is available at the floor easel. Children continue to show an interest in experimenting with textures as well as discussing creations with one another. Hand-eye coordination and fine-motor control continue to be promoted in this area.
-New musical instruments have been added to the middle cave this week to provide the children with a wider variety of sounds to include in their ever growing musical creations. Clackers, ethnic drums, maracas, tambourines, and triangles are available alongside the keyboard. The children continue to explore the CD player featuring Ella Jenkins rhythm songs. A voice recorder is also available so children may create their own recordings. Musical instruments promote the development of psychomotor, perceptual and listening skills, as well as developing creativity!
-The water table takes an exciting direction this week as children have the opportunity to wash toys and objects in our classroom! Recently, children have shown an interest in cleaning and dish-washing in the housekeeping area. Furthermore, this activity promotes a discussion of the various ways in which we use water. Soap has been added to the water as well as scrub brushes, drying racks, and water pitchers for the children to use. This activity will be initiated by washing toy dishes and giving the children an opportunity to locate other items in need of washing. The water table continues to be a place where social interactions are fostered.
-Clay continues to be available at the sensory table this week. New tools such as textured hammers allow children to enhance their creations with elements of design. Clay knives and rolling pins continue to be available. As the children continue to gain familiarity with how this material is used, teachers will begin modeling and facilitating discussions at the table about how to mold, shape and create symbolic representations with the clay. Clay art will be featured in the center of the table as a way to promote these discussions.
-Over the past week, the block area has literally been under construction as children have built houses, cars, and various buildings. Screwdrivers, hammers, saws, and pliers continue to be available alongside the hard hats and caution tape. This week, the hollow blocks have been expanded to include wooden doors. These doors complete any home or building the children create. In addition, piping and carpet squares are available to enhance construction projects. Finally, there are representational photographs of items such as store fronts, clocks, and windows. These may provide children with ideas of what to build, or what other elements could be included within their structure. The block area encourages the development of spatial terminology and explorations into balance and stability. In addition, blocks encourage the development of representational thinking and socio-dramatic play.
-The first cave features a new dramatic play opportunity this week. The cave has been transformed into a spaceship! A control panel, head phones and walkie-talkies are available. Furthermore, children are surrounded by stars, moons, and pictures of the solar system. By creating this set-up, it is hoped that new children will be drawn into the cave and that cooperative play, communication, and discussions of outer-space will be fostered.
- The housekeeping area continues to be a central area of play for many children. To build on the restaurant-themed play of some of the children, restaurant props such as menus and chef hats are available, along with the usual dolls, dishes, and plastic food. The housekeeping area strengthens children's perspective-taking, sharing, symbolic representation, problem solving, and communication skills.
Math and Manipulative Center
-The computers continue to be available offering Millie's Math House and Sammy's Science House. These games build sequencing, 1-1 correspondence, and letter recognition skills. In addition, children are learning how to operate a computer, use a mouse, take turns and interact with each other while using computers.
-Thick parquetry blocks, also known as tangram shapes, continue to be available. These foster the development of shape, color, patterning, 1-1 correspondence, part-to-whole recognition, and matching skills. Counting games, and the abacus, also remain available. These activities foster 1-1 correspondence and counting skills.
-A beginning memory game is available this week. Children turn over picture cards, until they find a matching pair. In addition to memory, this activity supports concepts of recognizing similarities and differences as well as turn-taking.
-Assorted collection of puzzles fostering fine motor development, visual discrimination, shape recognition, and part-whole relations continue to be available.
-The third cave features the small Legos. Many children continue to show an interest in constructing with these miniature sets. Lego construction builds children's fine motor skills, representational skills, and social skills such as turn-taking and cooperative play. Dramatic play is also seen as many children are creating structures for the Lego people and interacting with one another.
-This past week, children followed written pictorial directions in order to plant their own seeds. We also discussed how seeds have roots that grow out of the seed. This week, we will continue to water and observe any changes to these seeds.
- Magnets are now being explored at the science center. We feel the children are ready for a new topic and magnets allow vast opportunities for critical thinking and question asking. Magnetic balls and rods serve many purposes as children can manipulate and play with them, while also observing magnetic properties and interactions. Furthermore, bar magnets and magnetic balls are available. As the children explore, it is anticipated that they will discover that not all objects stick to the magnet. This hypothesis will be tested as children experiment with applying the magnet to various objects. With this new topic we have attempted to provide a variety of activities to allow the children to investigate and enquire about the properties of magnets. Also, because the force of magnetism is a more abstract topic, we will introduce the idea now and may revisit similar experiments later in the school year to expand on prior knowledge. The science table continues to foster social interactions by allowing children to make discoveries and share ideas together.
Language and Literacy
-For the first time this year, the back room adjacent to the art table is available as a space for children to gather. This area was created with the intent of giving children a place to relax from the noisy activity of the classroom. Children are invited into this cozy area to listen to books on tape. Fabric and strings of lights drape overhead while a rug, couch and over-sized pillows provide comfortable areas for lounging.
-The book area continues to be another quiet space for children to relax. Books relating to building and construction are available as a way to tie into the activity in the block area. Classic stories that focus on familiar songs, rhyme and repetition are also available, building phonemic awareness and phonological skills. By reading a book and looking at illustrations, children are expanding their print awareness, while continuing to increase their vocabulary.
-The writing center continues to be a place where children write letters, and seal special projects into envelopes. Alphabet stickers and alphabet paper letters continue to be available in order to foster alphabetic identification.
-In the gym, there continues to be the rolling hill to promote balance and vestibular awareness. The A-frame allows children to jump and hit a hanging ball from the light supporting hand-eye coordination, depth perception, as well as jumping and landing skills. The monkey bars "attached" to the climbing wall create a raised climbing structure that challenges the children's eye-hand/eye-foot coordination and creates opportunities to safely take risks in the gym. Throughout the week, teachers will lead various relay games in a running lane to promote endurance, cooperation, and muscular strength.
-The playground continues to feature the climbing equipment, boat, and swings. Balls, tricycles, rakes, wheelbarrows, shovels, and wagons continue to be available. The playground is a place where children continue to develop gross motor skills and meaningful social interactions, while engaging in the natural world.
Monday: String Cheese & Apples
Wednesday: Open Snack-Letter Cheese-Its
Thursday: Special party snack