Over the past week, the children have enjoyed using the grocery store under the loft in the back of the classroom. They bought lots of groceries to bring along on their adventures to space. It has been interesting to see these two play themes come together and include so many children. We added a more obvious storefront to the grocery store to promote the idea of taking on the role of a grocer. We will add photos and books about space to enhance the children's abilities to build representationally with the blocks as they make their space ships. We will continue exploring the concept of symmetry this week. We added the Plexiglas easel, which we will use to encourage the children to use for creating cooperative symmetrical works of art.
-Materials: Playdough, scissors, rolling pins, muffin tins, letter cookie cutters, laminated letters for reference, laminated name tags, Plexiglas easel, paint, watercolor paint, watercolor paper, fine paint brushes, plastic birds.
-Rationale: The children have been creating letters as well as baked goods so we will add materials to support both forms expression. To promote literacy skills and name recognition we will add the children's nametags so they can work on spelling their names with playdoh. We will add a Plexiglas easel for the children to cooperate to create symmetrical paintings on opposite sides of the easel. At the art table, the children will continue to use watercolor paint. Colorful plastic birds will be added for inspiration and reference.
-Skills: fine motor, creative expression, symbolic representation, name recognition, and letter recognition.
-Materials: sensory table, water, snow, ice cubes, various ice shapes, plastic animals.
-Rationale: At the sensory table, the children have enjoyed experimenting with snow and ice. We will fill the sensory table with water and let the children experiment with adding snow and ice. Not only will they experiment with the physical properties of these substances, they will also be able to act out dramatic play scenarios with the polar animals.
-Skills: Sensory input, dramatic play, physical science, predicting, and observing.
-Materials: fake snow, ice, camouflage materials (white fur, pictures of animals, pictures of animal homes)
Rationale: The story "The Mitten" has interested the children in camouflage and how animals blend into the snow. We decided to extend this interest by letting the children touch and look at many different animals, furs, and photos of wintery homes at the light table. The children will have a chance to continue their mixing and experimenting at the other science table. This time we added a safe substance that can be mixed with water to create fake snow. The children will be able to compare this substance to real snow.
-Skills: scientific inquiry, observation, reasoning, conceptual knowledge-knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, and making comparisons.
Language and Literacy
-Materials: letter writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, tape, stickers and staplers. The classroom library is rich in storybooks as well as informational books with a winter theme as well as birds and winter animals.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed writing and sending letters to Ross' class and Barb. There will be stickers (stamps) as well as more envelopes for the children continue sending messages of friendship.
-Skills: fine motor, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, fine motor, and letter recognition.
Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: magnetic tiles, magnetic board with line of symmetry, duplos, shape puzzles, interlocking puzzles, word/letter puzzles, scissors, and folded paper.
-Rationale: Last week the children learned how to see symmetry by cutting folded paper. We will continue to promote this mathematical concept with the manipulatives provided as well as search for symmetry in the environment.
-Skills: symmetry, logical thinking, reasoning, construction skills, fine motor strength and dexterity.
-Materials: kitchen furniture, baked goods, muffin tins, mixing bowls, colorful scarves and fabrics, and teapot and cups, grocery store shelf, grocery bags, and baskets. In the cave, we added props for telling The Mitten by: Jan Brett.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed our grocery store so this week we are also adding a storefront to promote the role-play of grocer and customer.
-Skills: role-play, symbolic play, cooperation, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing.
-Materials: Unit blocks, hollow blocks, long wood planks, random "loose parts" materials.
-Rationale: The loose parts have extended the children's play and helped them think of creative ways to use familiar materials. The children have also enjoyed listening to the recording of Adventures in Space, which will continue to be available to inspire their play after building space ships and space stations using blocks.
-Skills: creative building, spatial skills, geometry, balance and design, social skills, large motor, creative thinking.