We have had some wonderful weather lately that has allowed us to dig into our topics of spring, insects, and taking care of our habitat. One way that the children are representing their learning and ideas about these topics is by creating a classroom mural. It incorporates a vast array of insects, flowers, and even a trashcan! We look forward to future explorations outside as spring continues to come alive.
-Materials: clay, wire, wooden tools, construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, paper, scissors, found objects, natural materials (twigs, leaves, rocks, flowers, greenery), and cardboard squares.
-Rationale: This week we will continue to use clay as a sculpting medium. To support and enhance the children's interest in the creation of three-dimensional sculptures wooden tools are added to the clay table. At the collage table we will add various natural materials such as twigs, leaves, rocks, and flowers for the children to experiment with and explore. These natural materials will encourage children to use them in a variety of ways and explore their creativity. Also available for expressive arts this week is a mural that we are working on as a whole class. The children have been incorporating their knowledge of insects, flowers, fairies, and taking care of our habitat.
- Skills: Creative exploration, imagination, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor control, color recognition, creative risk-taking, and hand/finger strength.
-Materials: sand table, sand, water, gems, sifter, various insects (plastic), scoops, shovels, molds, foliage, sticks, and plant stems.
-Rationale: Building on the children's experiences with wet sand and creating homes for the plastic insects in the table; we have added more natural materials to the table. The children were making homes out of flower stems, so we have added sticks and foliage in order for them to add more detail to their homes.
-Skills: Imaginative and cooperative play, scientific thinking, problem solving, construction skills, fine motor skills, sensory exploration and stimulation, creative expression, and social interaction.
-Materials: A variety of shapes along with photographs of familiar objects
-Rationale: In order for the children to practice their cognitive flexibility, we added an activity that encourages them to arrange simple shapes to recreate images from photographs.
-Skills: Cognitive flexibility, matching, comparing, symbolic representation
-Materials: Labeled pictures of the sequence of planting a seed, soybean seeds, clipboards, a marker, charts depicting the life cycle of a soybean plant, prompting questions, soil, planted seeds, worms, magnifying glasses, rulers, and plant growth charts.
-Rationale: To continue fostering children's interest in how the plant life cycle works we continue planting and observing the soy beans planted in cups. This will allow children to hypothesize what their plants will look like and how tall they will grow, observe the physical changes in their plants by measuring them and documenting the growth in their charts. In addition to the mealworms that are rapidly changing into beetles, earthworms that the children collected from the playground are also on the science table for observation.
-Skills: Sensory exploration, observation skills, sequencing, critical thinking, mathematical and logical thinking, pre/early literacy, informative language, and descriptive language, scientific inquiry, drawing conclusions, reasoning, knowledge of the natural world, asking questions, hypothesizing, use of magnifying glasses
Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Insect builders, marble runs, unifix cubes, manipulative puzzles, lacing cards
-Rationale: The children continue to enjoy the insect builders that can be put together to create unique and exciting bugs. The unifix cubes will allow the children to continue building, practice counting, using one to one correspondence, and do simple number operations using a new material. The lacing cards have been a highly enjoyed item that will still be available to enhance fine motor skills.
-Skills: Problem solving, cause and effect relationship, early math concepts, number recognition, counting, number operations, symbolic representation, peer negotiation, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, imagination, creative exploration.
Language and Literacy
-Materials: Name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, simple mazes, spring bingo, labels and stickers from the post office area, example of money, stamps.
-Rationale: The literacy table has materials available to encourage the children to write letters to classmates, writing down stories, etc. The children have also been very interested in making money for their flower shop. We have provided some examples of what bills look like in order for the children to have something to reference as they make money to add to the classroom flower shop.
-Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)
Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, ponchos, scarves, raincoats, boots, hats, and sunglasses.
Flower Shop: flowers, cash register, order forms, baskets, ribbons, vases, aprons, wallet, and purses.
Dramatic play cave: stuffed animals, open-ended fabrics, picnic basket, picnic blanket, food, flowers, flower box, watering cans, bees, seeds, hoes/rakes, and gloves.
-Rationale: Our flower shop is going to continue to be present in the classroom. The children will continue to have opportunities to buy, sell, and arrange flowers and bouquets. They will also be able to use the money they have made at the literacy table to buy the flowers that they order. In the dramatic play cave we will continue to have the flower box, picnic materials, and animal friends. The children will be able to continue to have picnics and gather flowers to use in the flower shop.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic representation, social interactions, social problem solving, discussions and conversations related to the spring season, self-help, listening, communication, negotiation, and indoor-outdoor connection.
-Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces, steering wheels, pvc pipe, maps, large scale manipulative builder.
-Rationale: The children will continue to have access to the block materials to encourage their ongoing interest in building. They have been building houses for different animals (jaguars, cheetahs, sea otters, etc.). To further their building interest and encourage the children to expand the possibilities of what can be created with the hollow blocks, a large manipulative builder will be added to the block area.
-Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem- solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry and geometry
-Materials: Climbing wall, monkey bars to slide through the donut (the elephant), ladder bridge, mountain climber
-Rationale: In the gym we have created a set-up to challenge the children's body awareness and spatial skills. The ladder bridge is a series of metal rungs leading up to a heightened area over a set of mats and then descends again. The mountain climber is a set of stairs going up and down, as well as an area to climb over a bar and down to the mats below. The monkey bars to slide through the donut (aka elephant) challenges the children to be aware of their body as they go through without bumping their bodies on the donut. The climbing wall has two sets of ladders for the children to climb up. The mat below allows them to jump down safely.
-Skills: grasping strength, risk-taking, climbing up and down, arm and leg strength, jumping, stepping up/down, balance, spatial awareness, body awareness, coordinating movements, propulsive skills (swinging bar to bar).
Monday - Cucumbers & crackers
Tuesday - Pretzels & dried apples
Wednesday - Rice chex & carrot sticks
Thursday - Rice cakes & orange juice
Friday - Oven fries