Week of May 29, 2013
It is hard to imagine that only two weeks remain of our school year! We will be wrapping up all of our rich investigations throughout the final 5 days of school, as we continue to support the children's interests and bring closure to the learning experiences we have shared over the past weeks. For example, as our shape-related curriculum comes to a close, a focus is brought to 3-D shapes (cones, spheres, cubes, cylinders, etc). This will be highlighted by our shape snack- ice cream CONES with SPHERES of coconut ice cream on top! In other areas of the classroom, games with rules continue to be a strong area of interest, as the children practice turn-taking, following directions, counting, cooperation, memory, and a variety of other useful skills. Memory games, Candyland, and other cooperative games are added to support this interest. Finally, as the year draws to a close, there will be a focus on saying goodbye to our classmates and teachers. As teacher Sam says goodbye on May 30, and we all say goodbye during our final class party on Thursday, June 6, it will be a time to talk about what is next (summer, kindergarten, a new classroom) and reflect on the feelings the children express about the coming changes. It has been a wonderful year, and the teachers are sad to see it come to an end. However, we all take pride and joy in the wonderful learning and growing that has taken place this school year!
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, examples of different insects and their homes, bug containers with magnifying glasses, "Bug Bones" construction toys.
*Rationale: To allow for continued exploration of insects' homes/habitats- an area of great interest to many children. To support the children's ongoing interest in the different parts of insects, what makes insects different, and insect identification- "bug bones" are added to help children create their own bugs and practice identifying and labeling bug body parts in an open-ended and creative manner.
•Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, topic-specific vocabulary, symbolic representation, creativity, fine motor.
•Materials: Doctor's office materials (syringes, "medicine" bottles, stethoscopes, bandages, hospital gowns, scrubs•
Rationale: To support the children's strong interest in doctor's office play, community helpers, and caring for others. To encourage back and forth dramatic play interactions, symbolic reasoning, and awareness of health and wellness issues. To highlight a topic important in the lives of the class.
•Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking, perspective taking, body awareness and identification.
Language and Literacy
•Materials: paper, pencils, markers, alphabet stamps, computer with varity of games.
•Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. The computer continues to be offered to foster cooperation, teamwork, and computer skills. The doctor's office combines easily with the writing center, as children practice writing out signs for the office, "bills" and "prescriptions" for the patients.
•Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication.
•Materials: Books on CD, Rhyming books, fiction and non-fiction books, books related to shapes.
•Rationale: The classroom library continues to offer a variety of books that highlight a number of topics, foster the children's ongoing interests, and build awareness of new topics.
•Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, awareness of technology.
•Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, ropes, pulleys,
•Rationale: to support children's ongoing interest in creating "inventions" and "machines" pulleys, ropes, and ramp materials are available in the block area.
•Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), perseverance, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, applying previously acquired knowledge.
Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
•Materials: various "loose parts," string, tape, scissors- clay, rubber insects
•Rationale: To support the children's interest in simple machines, various collage materials, loose parts, and fasteners are added to the art table. To highlight creativity, planning, and cause and effect. Rubber insects are reintroduced to the clay table to support children's recent interest in creating mealworms, snails, and other creatures out of clay.
•Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sequencing actions, planning, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools, hand-eye coordination, creative problem solving, mathematic reasoning, spatial awareness, upper body strength.
Sensory (Soil Table)
• Materials: water, tubing, syringes, water wheels
• Rationale: This week we will return to our favorite sensory experience, water. To highlight the movement of water and the ways moving water interacts with other objects.
• Skills: cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, sensory exploration, observational skills, indoor-outdoor connections.
Math and Manipulatives
•Materials:Puzzles, Shape puzzles, Games with rules (Memory, Candyland, cooperative games), various 3-D shapes.
•Rationale: To further support our understanding of geometric shapes, to emphasize the children's interest in games with rules, to allow time for turn-taking, following directions, simple math, and the social challenges associated with games.
•Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, divergent thinking, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting, combining, turn-taking, cooperation, memory.
~Materials: Rolling slide and stairs, mini-trampoline, rope ladder, mini-peddallo, Bean Bag/Ring Toss, Beach-Ball Toss/Lava pit
~Rationale: To emphasize a variety of upper body strength challenges, including hand-eye coordination, catching, throwing, climbing and endurance. Lower body strength is also highlighted, including balance, pedaling, and jumping. All activities continue to focus on the important social skills of turn-taking, cooperation, and peer negotiation.
~Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, directional awareness, spatial awareness, catching/trapping, reaching, grasping, batting, static & dynamic balance, throwing, jumping, muscular strength and endurance, pedaling.