Elizabeth Lead Teaching
Overview: As the children return to the classroom after the break, several familiar items remain available. These items, including the dramatic play "kitchen" as well as the Lego cave, and familiar art materials encourage children to revisit the rich play that they began last session. Additionally, some new items have been included in the classroom to encourage new exploration and creative thinking. The children can explore marbles and ramps in the nook area and experiment with building different structures to move the marbles. Additionally, the science area contains magnifier, prisms, mirrors, and kaleidoscopes to encourage exploration with the sense of sight. In addition to continuing to build community in the classroom, we will also begin introducing a variety of academic concepts throughout the classroom and during large group activities throughout the session.
•Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food), dress-up fabric and shoes; the caves are set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items such as diapers and baby powder, stuffed animals and animal care items (leashes, food dishes, brushes, etc)
•Rationale: to allow for the expression of family life and to encourage social interaction while playing with familiar props. To support the extended, cooperative play as children work together to sustain a pretend play session. Extend complex "care-taking" play into the care of familiar pets.
•Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, and symbolic representation
•Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, wooden doll houses, furniture, peg people, wooden cars, and different colored fabrics, Legos in the cave.
•Rationale: to support children's creativity and problem solving skills, to develop mathematical skills/awareness of geometry, and to allow for opportunities for social interaction as children collaborate and build together. To continue the already rich social and creative play surrounding building with hollow blocks, by allowing children to reflect and build upon previous block experiences. Legos provide a different building experience on a smaller scale with different materials, such as wheels.
•Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, creative problem solving, social problem solving, mathematical thinking, and counting (one-to-one correspondence), fine motor development
•Materials: water, various containers, materials for sinking and floating
•Rationale: to cooperatively work together while exploring a familiar sensory experience, to emphasize concepts of volume and conservation. To further the children's understanding of water by exploring with what materials will sink and float. Encourage prediction making and active experimentation.
•Skills: large and fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, knowledge of conservation, scientific exploration, cooperative play, social relationships building, sharing materials, observation and recording, predicting-making, comparing and contrasting.
Math and Manipulatives
•Materials: puzzles, memory games, mosaic tiles and grids, rectangular "problem-solving" puzzle
•Rationale: to encourage children to work with open-ended materials where they can develop more complex skills and collaborate to support each other's learning, to encourage beginning mathematical concepts, such as counting, sorting, and patterning. To support complex problem-solving skills. To encourage cooperation and communication between peers while highlighting new mathematic concepts such as patterning and numeral recognition.
•Skills: number/numeral recognition, patterning skills, matching, one-to-one correspondence, counting, fine motor development, problem solving.
•Materials: primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) mixing at the easel and at the table, natural materials for collage, clay, markers, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, beads laces, bottle caps, glue, and tape.
•Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers, and engage in an in-depth investigation of a basic elements of art.
•Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, identification of texture.
•Materials: cockroaches, beetles, mealworms, salamander, decomposed pumpkin, mirrors, magnifying glasses, prisms, kaleidoscopes, flower bulb.
•Rationale: to support children's curiosity of the natural world around us and to encourage the investigation of nature. To encourage children to begin using different tools to observe, investigate and record, while focusing on the sense of sight. To encourage deeper investigation into growth and change by watching and caring for a plant in our classroom as it grows from bulb to flowering plant. To continue the long-term investigation of a decomposing pumpkin, and to record the changes it has undergone over the break.
•Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, outdoor/indoor connection, making comparisons, recording change over time.
Language and Literacy
•Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, pictures of children in our classroom, alphabet chart, dictionary.
•Rationale: to involve children in writing and the social activity of note and letter writing. To give children the opportunity to create their own stories and writings. New resource texts are available to encourage familiarity with print and to show the many uses of the written word.
•Skills: fine motor, pre-writing, and letter recognition, using texts in a variety of ways.
•Materials: The library has been updated with texts to focus on the changes experience in winter, as well as books that highlight the alphabet and numerals.
•Rationale: to encourage reading time with friends and teachers, encourage exploration of fiction and nonfiction texts. In addition, the children are also encouraged to regard books as a source of information.
•Skills: receptive language, early literacy, listening, and community building.
Elizabeth will be lead teaching as our two new student teachers, April and Tali, become familiar with the children and the daily routine.
Please continue to send your children dressed for outdoor play!
Save the Date: Gym Jam will be held on January 20th.
Monday - Cucumber slices & saltines
Wednesday - Animal crackers & milk
Thursday - Cereal & milk