Overview: As we approach our final days of school before winter break, the classroom will support the closing exploration of a number of topics. In order to extend our ongoing investigation of faces and feelings, the children will have the opportunity to change the way they look as they engage in mask-making using paper mache. This will give them a chance to create new or different features and expressions based upon the face and emotions related vocabulary we have discussed over the previous 10 weeks. Additionally, additional memory games are added to our math center to provide ongoing experiences with matching, short-term memory, turn-taking, and other mathematical concepts the children have been practicing this year. Many other areas of the room remain unchanged to help support the self-initiated activities that the children continue to seek out. It will also be a time to talk about and prepare for change as we get ready to say goodbye to our wonderful student teachers and welcome new members to our classroom in January.
Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
•Materials: primary colors (blue, red, yellow) at the easel with extra cups for paint mixing, paper mache materials for mask-making and paint for decorating, clay (pizza cutters, spatulas), markers,
•Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, to increase fine motor skills, to experiment with a new material while reflecting on appearance and strange facial features.
•Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, self awareness and recognition of feelings
Sensory (water table)
•Materials: Water with soap for washing classroom materials.
•Rationale: to cooperatively work together while exploring a familiar sensory experience. To participate in the pro-social skill of caring for the classroom and classroom materials.
•Skills: sensory awareness, large and fine motor development, cooperative play, social relationship building, sharing materials, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect relationships.
•Materials: mirrors, magnifying glasses, a slideshow with the children showing different emotions with their faces, various pictures of animal or other "silly" faces.
•Rationale: to support children's curiosity about themselves and others. To identify personal characteristics related to appearance. To build awareness of similarities and differences between self and others while engaging in beginning concepts of comparing and contrasting. To reflect on the emotions of self and others and begin identifying facial expressions connected to certain emotions. To note facial characteristics of non-human faces and compare and contrast them with our own faces.
•Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, making comparisons, emotion identification, hypothesizing, developing curiosity and identity
•Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave with babies and baby clothes/bottles; doll house with furniture and dolls is also available near cave area, colored pencils.
•Rationale: to allow for the expression of family life and to encourage social interaction and creative role-play while playing with familiar props, to foster care-taking role-play and allow for the discussion of emotions and feelings. To help support reflection on life experiences (e.g. getting a shot at the doctors).
•Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, imaginative transformation, use of expressive and receptive language.
Math and Manipulatives
•Materials: puzzles, seriation stacker, stacking rings, balance scale, Mr. Potato heads and accessories, felt board with shapes suggestive of faces, boat match-up pictures, Memory Game
•Rationale: to encourage children to work with open-ended materials where they can develop understanding of size, shape, quantity, numerals, relative weight and facial features. To incorporate mathematical concepts of matching and spatial reasoning with the social skills involved in play a game with rules.
•Skills: color recognition, shape recognition, seriating (i.e. stacking largest to smallest), one-to-one correspondence, counting, sorting, fine motor development, geometrical awareness, comparison, weight, short term memory, spatial reasoning, turn-taking, persistence.
Language and Literacy
•Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and magazine clippings featuring facial features, up-close pictures of children's faces, letter puzzles
•Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle, and to give children the opportunity to create their own stories, writings, and correspondence. Children's pictures and magazine clippings are available to support interpersonal communication, the process of note and letter writing, and expression of feelings. To encourage familiarity with the shape and appearance of letters.
•Skills: fine motor, pre-writing, letter recognition, symbolic reasoning, expressive language, eye-hand coordination.
•Materials: the library continues to be stocked with new and familiar stories, both fiction and non-fiction, to support shared and independent literacy experiences.
•Rationale: to encourage cozy reading time with friends and teachers as we build relationships and rapport, while building awareness about curriculum topics such as faces, feelings, and boats. To build a personal connection to the children's interests and experiences with boats.
•Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building
•Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, translucent color blocks, peg people, wooden cars, wooden trains, carpet scraps for road/track building
•Rationale: to support children's creativity and problem solving skills, to develop mathematical skills/awareness of geometry, and to allow for opportunities for social interaction as children collaborate and build together, to support imaginative and creative exploration. Wooden vehicles continue to be available for extended exploration of transportation concepts.
•Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, spatial (3-D) reasoning, cooperative play, problem solving, mathematical reasoning (part-whole relationships, geometry, symmetry), reflection on everyday experiences, analysis and synthesis, imagination.
-Materials: Monkey bar swings, bumpy slide rope climb, A-frame with ladder bridge, uneven mat obstacle course, climbing wall, Pedalo. Outside there are shovels, buckets, bikes, and wagons.
-Rationale: Many changes have been made to the gym this week. The Pedalo was added to promote balance, coordination, lower body strength, and turn taking. The A frame obstacle course is set up as a ladder bridge suspended between the two A-frames, which are connected to a course of bolsters to walk across. A rope has been added to the rolling slide so children can climb up the slide. On the monkey bars we have added ropes for children to practice swinging. These new additions to the gym will provide opportunities to practice skills such as grasping, jumping, balancing, and even upper/lower body strengthening. The wall ladder will remain in the gym for children to practice climbing.
-Skills: Dynamic balance, lower body strength, spatial awareness, turn-taking, jumping and landing, sliding, upper body strength, grasping strength, risk taking, eye-hand/foot coordination, climbing, coordination, and climbing.
Monday: Popcorn and milk
Monday(11-23): Pasta and milk
Wednesday (11-25): Pretzels and apples