The children will use another medium to represent flowers this week, playdough. With each medium they use, we notice them adding new details to the flowers and expressing wonder about the parts they see. We will support this interest by adding diagrams to the art area and going deeper into the functions of each part. As you know, the children have been caring for their seedlings in the classroom and have a good grasp on how to keep their plants healthy. Now it is time to do some experimentation to see what other conditions will allow plants to grow, or not. The children helped design experiments as we test and make hypotheses about what will happen to a plant with light/no light, water/juice, sand/sun-butter/dirt! This week we will also introduce another dramatic play area, a kindergarten. The children who will be going to kindergarten next year helped make a list of things they thought a classroom should have and are looking forward to playing out this theme. Our hope is that this will help them process this transition by talking about it, asking questions and sharing mixed feelings that may accompany this big step in their lives.
-Materials: Natural-colored playdoh, rolling pins, molding utensils, and flower inspirations. Easel and paint.
-Rationale: To provide the children with an opportunity to explore another medium, playdough. Flowers will be set out to connect it to our lessons and inspire the children to show details of flower parts.
-Skills: Sensory input, fine motor, creative expression, manual dexterity, symbolic representation
-Materials: Legos, puzzles, rulers, unifix cubes, yard stick
-Rationale: The Legos encourage creative expression and provide an opportunity for the children to develop small motor skills. The rulers and yard stick will provide an opportunity to compare lengths of various objects around the room and track growth of our planting experiments. The unifix cubes provide a non-standard unit of measurement for comparison.
-Skills: Observation, constructing, measurement, creative expression.
-Materials: Plant experiments, chicken eggs, incubator, egg growth chart, rulers, magnifying glasses, lady bugs, insects.
-Rationale: We are tracking the growth of our chicks in the eggs as we prepare for some (hopeful) eggs to hatch in the coming weeks! As we wait for this to happen, we have planted seeds in a variety of ways to experiment what will happen to plants with light/without light, in dirt/sun-butter/sand, and watered with water/juice. The children will be making hypotheses and tracking the growth of these plants.
-Skills: Experimentation, observation, comparing, measuring, hypothesizing, and conceptual knowledge.
Language and Literacy
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, writing station, rhyming books, books on insects, chickens, egg growth, and spring, ABC magnets, notebooks, folders, worksheets, and a chalkboard.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed using rhyming words in both stories and songs, so we will continue to highlight rhyming books and provide rhyming activities. The books provide an opportunity for the children to learn about a wide variety of plants, bugs, and animal growth. These books will help the children understand how the baby chicks are growing and how the insects live. As the year comes to the end, many children will be advancing to kindergarten. We have provided a classroom set up under the loft that will has the ABC's, writing worksheets, and a chalkboard to encourage these skills.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, experience with formative and narrative text, phonological awareness.
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, fabric
-Rationale: The children have been busy making houses with the hollow blocks. The homes have been used in conjunction with the flower shop and many flower deliveries have been made.
-Skills: Creative expression, social skills, planning, spatial skills, large motor strength, and representational building
-Materials: Pretend flowers, gift shop window, order forms, aprons, baskets for delivery, vases, chalkboard, notebooks, worksheets, folders, highlighters, pencils, chalk
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed the flower shop and have continued to use their dramatic play in this area. As the end of the year approaches, many of the children will be continuing onto kindergarten! We have made a school area where the children will be provided with opportunities to use dramatic play to process this transition.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, and generalizing knowledge.
Materials: Balance beam, bikes, playground equipment, swings, shovels, rakes, buckets, scoops, hill, path, basketball hoop, basketballs, and swinging rope.
Rationale: To encourage children to move their bodies freely. Have room to run and exercise in the fresh air.
Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, balance, coordination, grasping, climbing, jumping, strength, flexibility, coordination, communication, large motor development, fine motor development, and cooperation.
Materials: Stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope and bumpy ramp, wall ladder, hanging tetherball, trampoline, bean bag toss.
Rationale: To support and develop upper body strength and core muscles, balance and cardiovascular endurance.
Skills: Upper body strength, motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, physical endurance, turn taking, dynamic balance, cooperation, large motor development, and communication.
Monday - Apples & Graham crackers
Tuesday - Yogurt & strawberries
Wednesday - Pretzels & oranges
Thursday - Cucumbers & crackers
Friday- Popcorn & popsicles