This week we will continue to enjoy our spring weather by exploring our topics of spring, insects and caring for our environment. The soybean plants are growing faster than ever and the students have kept watering them and watching their progress. We have added worms to our insect table and we are interested in seeing what sort of composting they can do. We will also start looking into how to repurpose our scrap paper into new, usable paper.
-Materials: construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, paper, scissors, collage materials, cardboard squares, oil pastels, watercolor paint, magazines.
-Rationale: We have decided to change up the art table and introduce a new medium. The table will include oil pastels for a few days and as the week progresses the teachers will add watercolor paint for the children to experiment with the effects of combining the two. At the collage table, we will be expanding the children's interest in gluing different collage materials to cardboard bases. The children will have access to magazines and will be able to cut different pictures out of them to make their own collage.
-Skills: Creative exploration, imagination, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor control, color recognition, creative risk-taking, and hand/finger strength, manual dexterity.
-Materials: water table, water, funnels, measuring cups, strainers, and buckets.
-Rationale: The teachers are replacing the sand table with the water table in the sensory area. This will lead into using water to explore the paper making process. The children have been talking about recycling, and that led to having a paper scrap basket in the class to reuse paper. Now we will take reusing paper a step further and actually make our own paper out of the paper we have collected. This will happen at the end of the week and potentially will lead into the week after.
-Skills: Imaginative and cooperative play, scientific thinking, problem solving, fine motor skills, sensory exploration and stimulation, creative expression, and social interaction.
-Materials: Light table, plastic cut out shapes, white board, dry erase markers, and an eraser.
-Rationale: The teachers have changed the light table to include plastic cut out shapes that stick to the white board. The children have been encouraged to create different drawings using a combination of the cut outs and the dry erase markers. The teachers want the children to explore what they can make out of the different shapes and make up stories to go along with their creations.
Skills: Exploration, inquiry, observation, comparing, informative language, descriptive language, fine motor skills, and social interaction, and fine motor skills.
-Materials: Labeled visual pictures of planting a seed, soybean seeds, squirt bottles (with water), clipboards, writing utensils, charts depicting the life cycle of a soybean plant, prompting questions, mealworm beetles, worms, magnifying glasses, and a bug game.
-Rationale: To continue to support the children's interest of growing plants, the teachers have continued the planting station at one of the science tables. The children will continue to watch their soybean plant grow and water it to take care of it. This will continue to foster their interest in how the plant life cycle works. The mealworm beetles have been joined by worms, found on the playground by the children. The children have continued to explore the insect's different roles in our habitat, including the composting jobs of worms to fertilize our soil.
-Skills: Sensory exploration, observation skills, 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: Bug-oids, unit cubes, 3-D puzzles, animals and flower puzzles.
-Rationale: This week we will continue to use the math manipulative unit cubes and the bug-oids in the cave. The children have had continued interest in counting the unit cubes and making different number of cubes stacked together. The children have also still been very interested in creating their own bug out of the different parts. They name their own bugs and create detailed descriptions of their bug's behavior based on the type of physical attributes it has.
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: Paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, stamps (animals and alphabet letters), and ink pads of various colors.
-Rationale: The literacy table has materials available to encourage the children to write letters to classmates, writing down stories, etc. The children have been busy exploring the new stamps on the table, both making pictures and spelling out words on paper.
-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.
School Area: Black board, chalk, notebooks, folders, pencils, and other assorted school supplies.
Dramatic play cave: stuffed animals from different habitats including the jungle, Arctic Ocean and the African Savannah, open-ended fabrics, globe, materials to create habitats (vines, leaves, wood).
-Rationale: Since our year at the lab school is coming to a close, the teachers have decided to change the dramatic play area to a "kindergarten/school" area. It is an area to familiarize the students who are going to kindergarten to some of the things they may see. It is also a place for the younger students to experience what they may see in a year or two. They will be able to practice doing worksheets, draw on the chalkboard, and do other school related activities. In the dramatic play cave, the animals have changed according to the children's interest in different habitats. The cave includes animals found in the African Savannah, Amazon jungle, and the Arctic Ocean. The children will have the opportunity to use the open ended and materials to create habitats for the animals.
-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, PCV pipe, maps, plastic building sticks.
-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.). The large plastic builders have provided opportunities for the children to pursue their passion for creating new structures they can fit inside.
-Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem- solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry and geometry
Materials: monkey bars with connected A-frame ladder and triangle slide, climber with donut slide and regular slide connected, river jump made with mats and bean bags, bean bag toss, and the climbing wall
Rationale: The gym has changed once again! The children will get the opportunity to practice their broad jumping and leaping skills over "the river (bean bags)", increase the "body-in-motion" (proprioceptive) skills as they slide down the donut slide and try to land on two feet, as well as foster their targeting skills as they throw beanbags into smaller cardboard targets. ·
Skills: jumping/landing skills (dynamic balance), upper/lower body muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, hopping, propulsion skills, static balance (with bending, stretching, and throwing)
Monday - No School
Tuesday - Crackers & apples
Wednesday - Rice cakes & raisins
Thursday - Pretzels & applesauce
Friday - Popcorn & milk