It is hard to believe there are only two more weeks left in our session. The children are as busy as ever and their creative energy is really flowing! Last week they created watercolor paintings and designed three-dimensional sculptures made from wood pieces. They wrote a play, The Princess and the Dinos, and then chose roles, put on costumes, and acted out the story. In addition, the children wrote and/or drew stories in their books and created music with instruments. They continue to enthusiastically observe the changes occurring with the tadpoles and the plants and flowers they planted. The goals for the upcoming week will be to help the children develop the pre-literacy skill of alliteration (the initial letter sounds of words), explore opposites, and record their musical compositions of music through symbolic representation.
- Easel: The children continue to enjoy representational painting with the watercolors. To encourage further growth of their representational abilities, we added Sharpie markers. These markers will allow children to add details and outlines to their watercolor masterpieces.
- Collage: We added paint along with the three-dimensional wood sculpture. In addition, we are excited to see how the children will use the miscellaneous items that they brought from home. These materials expand learning potential and creativity as they are open-ended. How will the children use the materials? Will the children sort them by color or into categories? Will the children use them as materials in their three-dimensional designs to extend their creativity? We will engage the children in conversations about how they could use the materials in order to encourage creative thought and the sharing of ideas.
- The children continue to mold and shape the snow into mountains and caves. We added animals from the North and South Poles to provide the children with opportunities to engage in dramatic play as well as social interactions with one another.
- We will begin to study another life cycle within our classroom this week as we learn about mealworms and their transformation into beetles. We will provide paper and drawing materials so the children can record their observations and make hypotheses about the process that is about to unfold in the upcoming weeks.
- The children continue to express interest and wonder as the tadpoles undergo their transformation into frogs. They especially enjoy close observation when we take the tadpoles out of the large tank. This inspires them to add more detail as they record their observations.
- Some of the bulbs and seeds are growing and the children are making predictions as to what the sprouts will become. They continue to watch the growth of the amaryllis plant, which is growing a second set of blossoms, and to tend to the plants and flowers by watering them. In doing so, the children are learning to take on responsibility for helping living things to grow as well as to enjoy the benefits of their labor.
- To spark the children's interest in using shadows to tell stories, we added shadow puppets to the light projector. This allows the children to further experiment with light and shadows as well as provides opportunities for small group interactions and dramatic play.
- We added father, mother, and baby animal sets to the winter animal habitat cave as a provocation for dramatic play.
Math and Manipulatives
- The Opposite Game provides learning opportunities which include discriminating similarities, differences, and matching the opposites that go together.
- The Popoids and Construx will continue to be offered so that the children may further build upon their constructive play skills.
- Large-floor puzzles and wooden puzzles are available for the children to put together as they use their knowledge of part-whole relationships. In addition, the large floor puzzles provide opportunities for collaboration and team building skills when the children work together to assemble the puzzle.
- The children have enjoyed exploring and playing the musical instruments in the cave. In addition to allowing expression of creativity, the children are learning to take care of and show respect for materials in their environment. We will be expanding the musical exploration to include "composing" music by providing the children with paper and pencils to visually represent the music that they create through symbolic representation. We will demonstrate to the children some possible ways to "compose" their music. For example, | | | | WWW | | | | could represent four single beats followed by both hands playing together for three beats, then followed by four single beats. As there is no "right" or "wrong" way to use symbolic representation to "compose" music, it will be interesting to see what the children draw to represent their musical compositions.
- Letter recognition and awareness of letter sounds are important pre-literacy skills for children. We are shifting our focus from rhyming to beginning letter sound, alliteration. We added an alliteration activity which allows the children to write in and/or circle the beginning letter sounds of common items and foods found within our classroom restaurant.
- Within our classroom restaurant, there will opportunities for the children to "take orders" by copying the words of the foods that the restaurant offers. We provided pictures paired with the names of the foods offered in the restaurant. By incorporating pre-literacy skills into dramatic play, the children's awareness of the importance of text and the children's fine motor skills are both further strengthened. This allows the children to expand their play potential as they add elements from real-life experiences into their dramatic play.
- The children have expanded their sociodramatic play within the classroom restaurant this past week to include taking on the roles of the patron, server, and cook. The children are taking what they know from their personal experiences and incorporating it into their play.
- The children continue to be excited about the play they have written! This week, they added costumes and music to their production of the play. We will continue to encourage the children to improve their play by adding details to their costumes, bringing in new props, and setting up a backstage area and dressing room.
The children continue to use the hollow blocks to build stages, buses, and houses. Also, the gutter ramps are available for the children to use to design ramps as they incorporate movement into their constructive play.
This past week, many of the children played on the climbing structure and slides on the playground individually and in small groups. Several of the children have also engaged in sociodramatic play in the boat located on the playground. The children continue to race down the hill in their sleds and are pairing up with one another across Amy's and Ross's classroom in this experience. It is wonderful to see new friendships develop across the classrooms!
The gym continues to provide many opportunities for the children to further develop their gross motor skills, coordination, and upper body strength. The donut slide provides the children with the opportunity to engage in risk-taking, motor planning, balance, and coordination skills. The Peadalo is one of the children's favorite activities! Two children pedal and ride on it together as they zoom across the gym. In addition to motor planning, propulsion, and balancing, they definitely are learning to share, patiently wait for one's turn, and to work together collaboratively to pedal!
It has been wonderful for Davida, Megan, and I to work, play, and learn with your wonderful children! They are each so unique and special in their own way! Thank you!
Monday: Graham Crackers made by class & Banana
Tuesday: Pretzels & Apples
Wednesday: Corn Cereal & Kiwi
Thursday: Rice Crackers (Trader Joes) & Oranges
Friday: Multigrain Cheerios & Pineapple