Overview: It is hard to believe that the school year is almost over! However, when I think of all of the amazing learning and growing that have happened in our classroom, it is also hard to imagine that it all could happen over just a few months. This week, we will continue to offer new learning experiences to support and encourage the children's exploration. Bubbles as well as bubble-making tools (egg beaters, whisks) are added to the sensory table to provide a novel sensory experience as well as create a challenging extension of the children's "fish catching" play from last week. Additionally, the eagle's nest is removed from the nook area to provide extra room for the children's recent interest in castle building. Both collage materials as well as block-building sets are added to extend the imaginitve constructive play.
Sensory (water table)
• Materials: water, aquatic animal figurines, glass gems, aquarium nets, bubble solution, egg beaters, whisks
• Rationale: To extend symbolic play with plastic fish by creating a "hunt" in bubbles.
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, upper-body/hand strength, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation
Math and Manipulatives
•Materials: puzzles, alphabet puzzles, Extra large Geo-Boards (rubber band boards), Problem-Solving Triangle Brain Teaser, "Perfection" shape matching game.
•Rationale: To encourage children to begin exploring with different shapes, and allow them to create their own shapes using rubber bands on the geo-boards. To facilitate discussion of the properties of different shapes (including angles and sides). Extra large geo-boards are added this week to expand children's shape-making.
•Skills: letter recognition, shape identification, part-whole relationships, one-to-one correspondence, counting, fine motor development, problem solving, geometry vocabulary (sides, angles).
•Materials: Large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, Castle-related picture books, crowns, capes, dresses, tunics. Nook Area: Cardboard boxes, collage materials, "No-Ends" building set.
•Rationale: In addition to children's ongoing interest in creating vehicles and homes, items and books support the building of "Castle" structures. To support children's interest in fantasy castle play and encorporate dramatic play and construction activities.
•Skills: Large motor development, creative expression, symbolic representation, cooperative play, creative problem-solving, reflecting on and interpreting previous experiences, social problem-solving, and fine motor development
•Materials: Loose parts (to represent candy), paper, pencils, tickets (pretend money), aprons, chef hats, oven mits, various cooking utensils, chalkboard sign, chalk.
•Rationale: To encourage exploration with a variety of roles, to explore familiar experiences (i.e. going to the store), To explore jobs in the community and what it takes to perform them. To use creativity and imagination to transform loose parts into different objects.
•Skills: Gross- and fine-motor skills, creative role-play, peer interaction, imagination, social problem solving, and symbolic representation, creative story-telling, knowledge of jobs in the community, literacy and numeracy experience.
•Materials: Sand, trays, collage materials.
•Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers, to create artistic images using new materials, to bring together the children's interests in both 2-D art and collage using sand trays.
•Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, creative storytelling, hand-eye coordination, creative problem solving.
•Materials: cockroaches, beetles, mealworms, salamander, Rat, paper for recording.
•Rationale: to support children's curiosity of the natural world around us and to encourage the investigation of nature. To encourage deeper thought about living things and care-taking by interacting with our classroom rat through feeding, handling, and observing
•Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, outdoor/indoor connection, making comparisons, recording change over time, making predictions.
Language and Literacy
•Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, pictures of children in our classroom, alphabet chart, dictionary, samples of written words, a book of the children's names and pictures. Magnetic upper- and lower-case letters and magnet boards, Blank paper books, Rubber alphabet stamps and ink pads, computer and keyboard
•Rationale: To continue to support children as they engage in letter and note writing. To provide opportunities to become familiar with combining letters in different and novel ways. To encourage peer collaboration and communication through creating words together and writing the names of peers. To emphasize a variety of purposes for writing, including storytelling (fiction and nonfiction). To encorporate use of technology into the writing experience by offering word processing software.
•Skills: fine motor, pre-writing, and letter recognition, phonological awareness, using texts in a variety of ways, use of technology in a variety of ways
•Materials: The library continues to offer fiction and nonfiction texts, including those that support our continued discussion of feelings and emotions, plants, and creative storytelling.
•Rationale: to encourage reading time with friends and teachers, encourage exploration of fiction and nonfiction texts. To encourage the use of books as a source of information. To become familiar with a variety of stories and genres.
•Skills: receptive language, early literacy, predicting, listening, phonological awareness, and community building.
Large Motor Materials: stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope climb up the bumpy ramp, wall ladder, scooters Rationale: To support and develop upper body strength and core muscles. To provide challenging activities that foster their muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Skills: upper body strength, motor coordination, hand eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, turn taking, dynamic balance