The children continue to show curiosity and interest in building, light, shadows, patterns and measurement. To give direction to this curiosity, the teachers will ask the children questions as well as provide them with meaningful activities that will help stimulate the children's thinking about their experiences. Engaging in conversations with teachers and peers provides the children with the chance to listen to each other's views and thoughts. It also helps to keep the children focused so deeper learning can occur. The children have noticed that the amaryllis bulb in the science center is starting to grow, so this week we added a couple of measurement activities to the science center. To continue fostering feelings of community, the teachers have decided to turn the clay table into a collaborative work station where individual pieces can be added to a communal clay creation.
- Beading: After witnessing the popularity of the glass beading activity on Creativity Night, the teachers decided to bring these highly motivating materials to the class as a way to experiment further with patterns, light, and translucence. We will encourage the children to bring their bead creations to the overhead projector or light tables to see how they affect one another.
-Easel: The children love to paint; they especially love to watch the colors mix together as they cover the whole paper with paint. To help the children further explore patterns, we have added tape to the easels. The children can use the tape to create patterns on the paper. Once the children's paintings are dry, they can then remove the tape to see the pattern that the tape left behind.
-Earth Clay: The children have enjoyed working with the clay. We have noticed that they like to combine all of the earth clay together to create one large piece of work. Providing the children with one large clay board, rather than individual boards, presents them with the opportunity to collaborate, build community and develop new friendships as they create new designs.
- The children have started to notice our rapidly growing amaryllis plant and are curious about how much taller it will get. We have added a growth chart to introduce the tools used for measuring height and length. The children will also have an opportunity to predict how tall the plant will get. We have also added chart for predicting height. Both activities will reinforce the scientific recording of observations and data.
- New raptors have been added to the cozy animal cave. When the raptors are squeezed they let out their raptor calls, the children have enjoyed listening to, and imitating, the calls of the birds. The children also love to engage in dramatic play by making the birds fly throughout the room.
-During our field trip to the raptor center, the children were introduced to the topic of wingspan and even had a chance to compare their own arm span to that of the raptors. To further develop the children's interest in wingspan, we have decided to add a wing/arm span chart to the science center; the children will be able to mark their own wingspan on the chart by putting up their picture. This activity will provide another opportunity to practice measurement skills and make comparisons as they record the span of their arms to classmates and various raptors.
- The back of the classroom has been rearranged to provide more space to
experiment with light, transparencies, and shadows. The children now have the room to make whole body shadows. They have already begun to experiment by moving their bodies closer to, and farther back from, the light source. They noticed that these movements affect shadow size and clarity. In addition to making body shadows, the children formulate guesses as to which of the objects from the array provided, will let light through and which ones will not.
Math and Manipulatives
-The manipulative cave has now been transformed into a lego den. The addition of multiple types and sizes of wheels has inspired the children to create race cars, jets, and trucks. The children's interest in speed and movement has sparked the creation of race tracks and ramps. To further encourage the children to experiment with movement, we have added ramps and tunnels to the outside of the lego den.
- The children have enjoyed experimenting with the new manipulatives underneath the loft. They have been creating new patterns with the egg peg boards. The egg peg boards and have allowed the children to practice one to one correspondence and color recognition. The children have also enjoyed building with the translucent legos. Through this activity the children are practicing part-whole relationships and they are experimenting with height and balance of their structures.
- The writing center in the front of the room has been very busy. We have added a 16 drawer organizer labeled with the names and photos of each child. Each child's drawer holds small pieces of paper with their name. The children cut and sorted names all last week and have begun using them to address letters, make creative designs and books. Matching the letters and sorting out the names into the appropriate boxes is contributing to letter and letter sound recognition, which will enhance their beginning reading skills.
-The play kitchen has been moved to the very back right corner of the room. With this movement came the increased interest in restaurant play. The children have been enjoying mixing up lemonade and creating bird seed platters to serve to each other. The teachers will begin to encourage the children to create their own menus by providing the children with paper and pencils in the kitchen area.
- The children enjoy interacting and building in the block area. The popular creations this week included the building of long race tracks, houses, obstacle courses, and fast space ships. The hollow blocks enhance the growth of their construction skills and problem solving as they work to build sturdy structures that represent their ideas. The children have also started to use the colorful fabrics to create roofs and bedding for their large block structures. Dramatic play and social negotiation are also a large part of this activity as children use these structures to support cooperative play.
- Over the past couple of weeks the children have enjoyed building with snow chunks and shoveling big holes in the snow. To help further support the children's interest in snow we have decided to add pails of water to the playground, this will allow the children to observe how water transforms into ice. The children will also be able to use the water to help stick the snow onto their structures. The sledding hill continues to be an active area. In addition to the rigorous physical activity provided by sledding, sledding can also be used as a community and friendship builder between Ross' class and our own.
- This week the children will get to explore the new gym set up. The children will be able to strengthen their muscles, body coordination, and spatial awareness by swinging on the rope swing and balancing on the beam. To support the children's throwing/catching skills and eye-hand coordination we have turned the blue donut into a throwing station. In order to support team building and balance we have added a bumpy mat island and scooter boards.
Monday: Fruit & Oat Bars by Class
Tuesday: Rice Cakes & Banana
Wednesday: Rice Chex & Apple
Thursday: Animal Crackers & Oranges
Friday: Pretzels and Applesauce made by Class