Weekly Plan for Jenn's 3pm class
May 24 - May 27th, 2010
Lead Teacher: Marie
Overview and Goals
~The seasonal arrival of the tent caterpillars has sparked in-depth inquiry and investigation out on the playground! Many of the children have excitedly collected the caterpillars and brought them back into the classroom for observation. This week we plan to develop and strengthen the children's scientific thinking and problem skills by asking thought provoking questions such as "How are these caterpillars different from the Painted Lady caterpillars?" and "Do all caterpillars become butterflies?" The children will have opportunities to extend and utilize their scientific reasoning and problem solving skills elsewhere in the classroom as they explore the pre-mathematical concepts of conservations and measurement at the sand table, investigate sequencing at the manipulatives center, and explore part-to-whole relationships as they create insects at the clay table. We will conclude our week with a field trip to the Como Park Conservatory! We hope that our trip will provide the children with an exciting opportunity to extend their knowledge regarding plants and the growth cycle.
~ The watercolor paints and oil pastels continue to be available at the art center. Many children have created detailed mixed-media art pieces by utilizing both mediums and adding collage materials. This week we will be adding arrangements of fresh cut flowers to the art table. By providing a still life in the art center we hope to inspire more symbolic representation in the children's art
~The small brushes and 12 colors of tempera paint are once again available in the art center. Having a wide array of colors provides ample opportunity for children to express themselves in unique and creative ways.
~The sand table has been a popular choice this week! We will be adding measuring cups to the array of tools available at the table. Children will have the opportunity to develop their mathematical and logical thinking skills as they explore the physical properties of sand and experiment with basic measurement concepts such as conservation and fractions.
~The clay will continue to be available this week. We will be adding collage materials and bug "models" to the center in an effort to encourage the children to express themselves through representational art. By encouraging children to sculpt specific parts of the insect models before recombining them into a whole, we hope to promote their understanding of part-to-whole relationships.
Math and Manipulatives
~The puzzles have been very popular this past week. To support this interest and promote children's understanding of part-to-whole relationships we will be adding a greater variety of puzzles and sequencing games to the manipulatives center. We hope to promote higher-level thinking and to support the inquiry and exploration taking place elsewhere in the room by providing children with the opportunity to explore simple sequencing games such as "Curious George; Beginning, Middle, and End."
Language and Literacy
~The children enjoyed our field trip to the library this past week! The books that they checked out at the library will be available in the literacy center for the rest of the school year. We hope to capitalize on the children's energy and interest in this area by providing opportunities for them to create their own stories. We plan to promote the development of children's emergent reading and writing skills by providing children with opportunities to dictate narratives and create their own storybooks at both the computer and writing centers.
~The writing center continues to be a popular choice for many children. We have noticed several students using the stamps and writing materials to create pictures and picture stories at the center. We hope to bring more of a focused narrative to the children's explorations and interest by providing them with the materials to create simple comic strips. We have posted models of comic strips and added paper and comic strip templates to foster the children's interest and awareness of this unique and accessible method of storytelling. Children will have the opportunity to explore sequencing and develop their pre-/early-literacy skills as they create their own picture narratives.
~The science center is crawling with activity! The grow window had provided children with an opportunity to observe the developing root systems of our bean plants. Children continue to hone their mathematical and scientific thinking skills as they observe and measure the differences between the roots and stems of the maturing plants. This week we will add tomato, watermelon, avocado, and apple seeds to the center. We hope to promote the development of children's inquiry and investigation skills by encouraging them to examine the similarities and differences between various types of seeds and food plants. A seed-matching game will be available to provide children with the opportunity to utilize their knowledge regarding plants and the growth cycle.
~ The children have taken and active interest in insects over the past few weeks as they have collected caterpillars from the playground and observed our growing ladybug larvae. To reflect this interest we will be adding caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, and other insect figurines to the science cave this week to provide children with the opportunity to extend their investigation of insects through symbolic play.
Dramatic and Symbolic Play
~The open-ended materials that we added to the bakery last week were very popular! The children explored part-to-whole relationships and utilized their knowledge regarding cooking and baking as they followed "recipes" combining polyfill, cotton balls, packing peanuts, and felt pieces. Many children have been "baking" cookies and cakes and inviting teachers and peers to purchase them. This week we will expand on their interest and exploration by adding restaurant props such as menus, cookbooks, and a wider variety of cooking ingredients. Many opportunities for social and emotional development arise as the children play cooperatively, work together to create various narratives, and listen and respond to each other's ideas.
~Activity in the block area exploded this week as children constructed boats, airplanes, and other transportation vehicles out of the large hollow blocks. The construction has fostered a lot of wonderful cooperative play as children invite others to join them by issuing tickets and passing out traveling props (suitcases, binoculars, etc.). We will expand on this interest and foster children's emerging print awareness by providing maps, travel brochures, and other props that have a literacy focus.
~Children have enjoyed exploring the musical instruments that were added to the block center last week. Several children formed a parade and used the microphones, tambourines, bells, and drums to create their own music. This week we will continue to promote the children's creative development by enriching the environment with a wider array of musical instruments.
~ The children were excited to be back out on the playground enjoying the beautiful weather last week! The children are increasing their large-muscle coordination as they run, jump, and climb amongst the equipment. The swings have been very popular and provide children with the opportunity to develop both their propulsion and social skills as they take turns pushing one another and wait in line for an opportunity to use the swings. We will continue to support the children's full-body coordination by inviting children to participate in teacher-directed games at the end of the day. Games such as "Red Light, Green Light," "Animal Action" and "Sleeping Children" promote cardiovascular endurance, spatial awareness, and locomotion skills.
~The gym set up remains the same this week. We haven't explored the new materials available in the gym since we were so eager to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! The current set up provides many opportunities for children to develop their large and perceptual motor skills as they climb the monkey bars, jump from the A-frame, utilize the running lane, and navigate the raised walkway. In addition the large open space in the center of the gym provides us with the opportunity to incorporate teacher-directed music and movement activities into the gym curriculum. Songs and activities such as parachute play, "Animal Action," and "Shake Your Sillies Out" promote creative development as the children explore the capabilities of their bodies in conjunction with music!
Monday: Pretzels and Apple
Wednesday: Sunflower Butter Sandwiches
Thursday: Rice Cakes & Banana
~Please return permission slips for our field trip to Como Park Conservatory.
~The All-School Pizza Party is this Tuesday, May 25th from 6-7:30pm.
~We will be closed for Memorial Day (Monday, May 31st).
~We will have a special event on Wednesday, June 2nd to celebrate the end of the school year.
~The last day of spring session is Thursday, June 3rd!