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Lesson Plan Nov. 4 - Nov. 8, 2013

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Lesson Plan

Marie's Class

November 4th - 9th
Lauren Lead Teaching

Overview
As the weather continues to get colder, the children have been observing the continuing changes outside. The teachers have reflected this interest by adding materials within our classroom to provide children with the opportunity to explore hibernation and other ways animals adapt to the changing weather. These topics will spark discussion involving the changes that occur within nature before winter arrives. Additionally, story telling continues to be a popular activity for many of the children in our classroom. This week our lesson plan reflects the interest in story telling in a variety of ways. Children will have the opportunity to act out familiar characters at the puppet show "stage", create popsicle stick puppets in the loft, act out narratives in the dramatic play and block area, or even create books at the writing center. Our class is having a lot of fun engaging with these scenarios in a variety of ways!

Expressive Arts

-Materials: Construction paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, tape, staplers, and glue sticks. A variety of natural fall collage materials (leaves, acorns, pinecones, sticks, etc) with paste. Leaves, crayons, and tracing paper. Red, yellow and blue watercolors will be added to the light table to explore a new venue for painting.

-Rationale: Teachers want to encourage children to expand the use of materials in the art area. Leaves and other natural materials encourage leaf rubbing and unique nature collages. Introducing watercolors to the light table will provide opportunities to explore mixing primary colors, and also extend creative expression in a new form of painting.

-Skills: Knowledge of the natural world, cognitive flexibility, self-expression, creative risk-taking, symbolic representation, fine motor development, color awareness.

Science
-Materials: There will be a variety of different sized fall materials (pumkins, gourds, leaves, and sticks) to promote seriation skills and initial mathematical concepts. We are also adding antlers, feathers, acorns, and other natural materials involving animals. The computer will display observational videos of animals preparing for hibernation. This area is still home to Bart Starr the snake and Boxy the turtle, and contains magnifying glasses, paper, and colored pencils to support exploration.

-Rationale: This week at the science center, teachers will focus on helping children make comparisons of size with hands-on materials. Adding various sizes of the same objects will promote exploration of seriation and provoke use of new vocabulary words such as: length, height, short, shorter, shortest, etc. Drawing children's attention towards making simple comparisons is a way to engage their observations skills and create a foundation for the development of more complex thought patterns. As winter emerges, we will begin to explore the topic of hibernation, including how animals prepare for winter and how those preparations correspond to the changes that we begin to see outside.

-Skills: Inquiry, knowledge about the natural world, asking questions, observations, comparing, descriptive language, reasoning, measuring, concepts of number and size

Sensory

-Materials: Sand, sticks, rocks, small diggers and trucks.

-Rationale: This week, sand will be replacing Glurch at the sensory table. Teachers hope that introducing sand will provide an opportunity to explore new materials, and will spark new discussions and a deeper exploration around building and construction.

-Skills: Experimentation, sensory stimulation and pleasure, fine motor, sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, motor manipulation, symbolic representation.

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Interlocking puzzles, mirror, Montessori stacking blocks, unifix cubes with counters, duplos (square and rectangular builders), large wooden beads with shoelaces, and lacing cards with string.

-Rationale: Large wooden beads with shoelaces and lacing cards with string have been added to the math cave to support the development of one-to-one correspondence and fine motor skills.
Duplos will remain in the math cave in order to continue to provide the children with an opportunity to contrast and compare shapes in an engaging and hands-on manner. The manipulations of unifix cubes will promote further discussion of length, height, and making size comparisons to support materials at the science table.

-Skills: Shape identification and recognition, number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, counting, color and shape recognition, comparing, fine motor strength, and hand-eye coordination.

Language and Literacy

-Materials: A variety of writing implements, paper, notebooks, and alphabet letters made by the children. Simple booklets for the children to record their stories. Staplers, tape dispensers, scissors. A well-stocked library with books about fall, shapes, and re-imaginations of familiar stories. Red, yellow, orange and brown paper.

-Rationale: Teachers have added many new books to the book area this week. Many of the books were selected to inspire the children to retell familiar stories in new and creative ways. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, for example, allows children to hear the story from the wolf's perspective.

-Skills: Tool use, letter recognition, familiarity with letter sounds, prediction and hypothesis, reasoning, listening and receptive abilities, perspective taking.

Blocks

-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks with small wooden cars, and steering wheels. Open-ended fabrics.

-Rationale: The children continue to use the materials in the block area in new and creative ways. This week we will continue to have open-ended fabrics in the block area to support the fairy and super hero play that has captivated many children's interest.

-Skills: Peer negotiation, spatial reasoning, symbolic representation, creative risk taking, problem solving, storytelling

Dramatic Play

-Materials: Below the loft there is a puppet show "stage" made out of cardbaord, felt boards, felt story pieces, and puppets representing familiar story characters. In the loft we added popsicle sticks, glue, construction paper, and writing utensils to encourage puppet-creating. In the kitchen there are a variety of dishes, utensils, and play food. Open-ended fabrics, wood, and cardboard that coordinate with familiar stories (The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Billy Goats Gruff...etc.) are also available. There are two small dollhouses that contain wooden people and furniture.

-Rationale: Adding the puppet stage and new materials on the loft will provide opportunities to further explore storytelling and the elements of stories. Loose fabric and open-ended materials (wood, cardboard) will help extend and enrich children's dramatic play scenarios. Teachers expect that these materials will allow children the opportunity to extend their engagement with the stories and will encourage children to interact will all of the elements of the familiar stories in creative and unique ways.

-Skills: Role-play, perspective taking, social problem solving, working memory, cognitive flexibility, cooperation, creative risk-taking, symbolic representation

Large Motor
-Materials: Gym-diving doughnut, bean bags, blue climber jumping station, monkey bars, A-frame balance beam, wall ladder. Playground- bikes, wagons, cones, shovels.

-Rationale: To provide opportunities to practice skills such as balance and muscular strength which have yet to be facilitated by the gym equipment. To promote more meaningful play through process skills facilitated by shoveling, hauling and unloading.

-Skills: Diving, forward jumping, spatial awareness, turn taking, stair climbing, jumping and landing, dynamic balance, sliding, upper body strength, grasping strength, reaching, risk taking, eye-hand/foot coordination, balance, lower body strength, climbing up and down, propulsion skills.

Lesson Plan Sept. 30 - Oct. 11

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Lesson Plan Marie's Class September 30 - October 11 Marie Lead Teaching

Overview
As we move into the school year, the teachers have been delighted to see the children becoming more comfortable and confident in the classroom. While we will continue to focus on fostering peer relationships and establishing a sense of community in our classroom, we are also beginning to focus more intentionally on our curriculum. Over the next few weeks we will be bringing fall into the classroom! As teachers support the children's awareness of the changing seasons we will provide a myriad of opportunities for them to observe, explore and investigate the changes occurring around them. Cooking projects, a fall walk, and new materials at the art and science areas will provide opportunities for children to explore the concept of "fall" both inside and outside of the classroom.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Construction paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, tape, chalk, staplers, and glue sticks. Table top easels with red, yellow, and blue paint. A variety of circular shaped collage materials.

-Rationale: Teachers want to continue to provide a variety of materials that will inspire expression of ideas and creative design. With that in mind we have added a variety of loose parts for the children to use as collage materials at the art center. Teachers hope that the new materials will provide a unique and engaging way for the children to explore the properties of circles and spheres.

-Skills: Self-expression, creative risk-taking, understanding of shape, fine motor development, symbolic representation.

Sensory
-Materials: Water, cups, pitchers, bottles, and funnels. Small containers with caps and spouts.

-Rationale: This has been a popular area of the classroom! We will continue to have the water table in the classroom to provide a soothing sensory experience that is familiar and promotes social interactions as children negotiate sharing ideas and materials.

-Skills: Experimentation, sensory stimulation and pleasure, fluency with objects, sensory input, knowledge of physical properties

Science
-Materials: A variety of natural materials associated with the new fall season; pumpkins, gourds, a variety of fall vegetables, beautiful leaves. Magnifying glasses, paper, and colored pencils. Bart Starr the snake is now living in the science area as well!

-Rationale: Fall is (mostly) here! The teachers have added new materials to the science area to provide an opportunity for the children to explore and investigate the changes that come with the new season. Teachers will guide the children's hands-on exploration of the materials provided in the classroom and will help the children think more deeply about the changes they are observing outside by asking them a variety of prompting questions. "What changes do you notice happening outside? Do the trees look different in the summer and fall? What can we do with a pumpkin? What happens to the animals that live outside when it gets colder?" are all questions we will explore with the children.

-Skills: Observation, inquiry, knowledge about the natural world, asking questions, hypothesizing, comparing, descriptive language, reasoning

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Interlocking puzzles, circle stackers, mirror, number pegs, Legos

-Rationale: We will continue to provide a variety of circular manipulatives in this area of the classroom to support the children's ongoing exploration of the shape. Teachers have added Legos and wheels to the area to provide an opportunity for the children to construct their own vehicles and experience the usefulness of circles (i.e. wheels) in an organic and engaging manner.

-Skills: Number recognition, one to one correspondence, counting, color and shape recognition, matching, whole/part relationships, fine motor strength

Language and Literacy
-Materials: A variety of writing implements, paper, notebooks, and a posting of the upper and lower case alphabet. Staplers, tape dispensers, scissors. A well-stocked library with books about fall, snakes, and shapes. Red, yellow, orange and brown paper.

-Rationale: The library continues to be a popular place in the classroom. The children enjoy spending time with teachers and one another looking at books and exploring the tools at the writing center. We have added new books that reflect the children's emerging interests and will continue to support the children's exploration of the materials and tools provided.

-Skills: Tool use, letter recognition, prediction and hypothesis, reasoning, listening and receptive abilities, fine motor control, familiarity with symbol systems

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks and unit blocks with small wooden cars. A variety of construction vehicles, paper, scissors and markers.

-Rationale: Several of the children in our classroom have been very interested in the construction project taking place across the street from our school. To reflect and support that interest, teachers have added construction vehicles to the block area. By adding paper, markers and scissors teachers are providing an opportunity for students to create their own street/traffic/construction signs to complement their large motor play.

-Skills: Symbolic representation, creative risk taking, construction skills, dramatic play, problem solving

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Kitchen with dishes, fruits and veggies, and open-ended fabrics that can be turned into all manner of dress up clothes. The loft pillows, stories, felt board and felt board pieces to use for storytelling. There is a dollhouse with furniture and small dolls representing family members. In the animal cave there are stuffed dogs and cats with pet homes and beds.

-Rationale: This has been a popular area of the classroom over the last few weeks. Teachers will continue to provide the materials listed above so that the children have a chance to explore this area and engage with the materials more deeply. The dramatic play area provides a rich context for social problem solving and peer negotiation.

-Skills: Role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, creating imaginary scenarios

Large Motor
-Materials: Baskets, slide, beanbags, monkey bars, donut hole, stacked mats, bolsters, climbing bars, small beanbags for throwing

-Rationale: To provide opportunities for social interaction during large motor play. TO support jumping and throwing skills.

-Skills: Throwing, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, spatial awareness, balance, jumping, upper and lower body strength, cooperative play, core strength


Snack

Monday: Rice Checks and dried apricots
Wednesday: Granola bars
Thursday: Homemade applesauce

Weekly Plan May 27 - June 6 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan

Marie's Class

May 27 - June 6

Overview
It's hard to believe that I am writing the last lesson plan of the school year! For the last two weeks of school we will concentrate on wrapping up many of our ongoing projects and explorations. The small groups will come to a close next week and the children will have a chance to share the information they have learned and games they have invented with their peers as a final culminating activity. We will measure our growing plants, continue our discussions about ways we can care for the earth, and look for bugs hiding in the nooks and crannies of our playground. These last few days of school we will also prepare for the transitions that the end of a school year inevitably brings. We will discuss kindergarten, new teachers, new schools and new friends and will discuss all that we have learned and experienced during our past year together.


Expressive Arts

-Materials: Wood pieces, wood glue, paint, clay, wire, construction paper, natural collage materials, markers, crayons, glue, paper, scissors, loose parts, cardboard squares

-Rationale: Many of the children continue to enjoy using the wood pieces at the art table to create imaginative machines, fairy houses, and other structures. This week we are adding natural materials to the art area to support the children's interest and to inspire them to add more detail tot heir creations. As the children use the loose parts and natural materials to represent mailboxes, doorknobs, windows and other details, they engage their cognitive flexibility skills and strengthen their executive function capabilities.
-Skills: Creative exploration, imagination, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor control, color recognition, creative risk-taking, and hand/finger strength.

Sensory 

-Materials: water table, tubes, cups, measuring cups, sieves, funnels, large containers
-Rationale: We have brought the water table back into our classroom for the last two weeks of school! The children will have a chance to incorporate a new element into the funnel and tube contraptions they have been constructing with the marble runs.
-Skills: Imaginative and cooperative play, scientific thinking, problem solving, measurement, beginning math concepts, fine motor skills, sensory exploration and stimulation, creative expression, and social interaction.

Light Table


-Materials: Colorform shapes, white board, erasable markers, prompting questions. 

-Rationale: The materials at the light table encourage the children to exercise their executive function skills in the context of our typical classroom environment. As children look closely at familiar shapes and explore the way these combine to create new figures they engage their working memory and exercise their cognitive flexibility. This week, the teachers have added a white board and erasable markers to the area. The teachers hope that the addition of these flexible and open-ended materials will encourage the children to expand their utilization of the shapes.
-Skills: Cognitive flexibility, shape recognition, fine motor skills, working memory, creative thinking

Science

-Materials: Labeled pictures of the sequence of planting a seed, clipboards, writing utensils, charts depicting the life cycle of a soybean plant, prompting questions, mealworms, magnifying glasses, a grow window, cups, sprouting seeds, rulers. 

-Rationale: Last week the children transplanted their sprouts to cups of soil and continued to discuss what plants need to grow and stay healthy. This week we will add rulers to the science area and will measure our growing plants, exploring numbers and math concepts within the context of our planting activity. 

-Skills: Observation skills, sequencing, critical thinking, mathematical and logical thinking, pre/early literacy, informative language, and descriptive language, scientific inquiry, drawing conclusions, reasoning, knowledge of the natural world, asking questions, hypothesizing, use of magnifying glasses

Math and Manipulatives


-Materials: Insect builders, insect puzzles, unifix cubes, manipulative puzzles, legos
-Rationale: Many of the children continue to enjoy exploring the math and insect materials in the caves. We will continue to have those materials available to support the children's interest and hands-on explorations of numeracy and insects. We will also bring the legos back for the last two weeks of school to support the interest in building and construction that we have seen manifest in the art area.
-Skills: Part to whole relationships, problem solving, early math concepts, number recognition, counting, number operations, symbolic representation, fine motor control

Language and Literacy


-Materials: Name cards, stamps, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, labels and stickers from the post office area, example of money.

-Rationale: The usual materials will continue to be available at the literacy table. In addition, teachers have added books about starting school, kindergarten, and summer transitions to the bookshelves to mirror the changes that are taking place in the children's lives as the school year comes to a close.
-Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)

Dramatic Play

-Materials: 

Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, ponchos, scarves, raincoats, boots, hats, and sunglasses.
Outside of the loft area: table, chairs, name tags, books about kindergarten, letter and number workbooks and worksheets, pencils, rulers
Dramatic play cave: stuffed animals, open-ended fabrics, a variety of stuffed animals

-Rationale: For the last two weeks of school we have transformed the dramatic play area into a "classroom." As the year draws to a close, the children will have an opportunity to play "school" and discuss the transitions that are coming up as some of our students start kindergarten, move to new classrooms, or simply take some time off for the summer!
-Skills: creative thinking, role-play, symbolic representation, social interactions, social problem solving, mathematical skills, self-help, listening, communication, negotiation

Blocks

-Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, pvp pipe, large loose parts
-Rationale: Several children in our class have really enjoyed using the wooden pieces and loose parts in the art area to create elaborate structures and "fairy houses." The teachers have observed the children using uniquely shaped objects to represent a variety of materials (mailboxes, stepping stones, roof tiles, etc.). We want to support the children's cognitive flexibility and burgeoning creativity by bringing similar materials to the block area, where children will be able to interact with their larger creations in new and exciting ways.
-Skills: large motor, peer negotiating skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem-solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry and geometry, cognitive flexibility, creativity

Large Motor

-Materials: Gym: monkey bars with connected A-frame ladder and triangle slide, climber with donut slide and regular slide connected, river jump made with mats and bean bags, bean bag toss, and the climbing wall Playground: wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, tricycles, soccer balls, Frisbee, and child built catapult for paper or soft balls
-Rationale: The gym has changed once again! The children will get the opportunity to practice their broad jumping and leaping skills over "the river (bean bags)", increase the "body-in-motion" (proprioceptive) skills as they slide down the donut slide and try to land on two feet, as well as foster their targeting skills as they throw beanbags into smaller cardboard targets. Our teacher's and Jaime's teachers collaborated to create the new gym setup and are excited to introduce the new areas to the children! Last week children were asking about building a catapult, so the teachers will look into a construction activity to throw some soft materials on our playground. We have also seen an explosion of dramatic play taking place outside now that the playground has fully awakened. Princess, fairies, super heroes, cat, dogs, tigers...the playground is filled with imagination every day!
-Skills: jumping/landing skills (dynamic balance), upper/lower body muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, hopping, propulsion skills, static balance (with bending, stretching, and throwing), creativity (catapult construction...including safety provisions!)

Snack
Wednesday: Apples slices and crackers
Thursday: Pasta and red sauce

Weekly Plan May 20 - May 24 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan

Marie's Class

May 20 - May 24

Overview
The weeks are flying by and it is hard to believe that the year is almost over! The children are deeply involved in small groups right now and are often eager to share what they are learning and doing in those small groups with the class at large. Those focused investigations have sparked larger classroom explorations of insects, games, and numbers and teachers have been delighted to see the sense of community fostered by that give and take sharing of information. In the science area, our seeds have sprouted and this week the children have eagerly begun to play their seedlings. Transferring the seedlings out of their plastic bags and into cups of soil has prompted several rich conversations regarding what plants need to grown and what we can do to facilitate that growth.

Expressive Arts

-Materials: Wood pieces, wood glue, paint, clay, wire, construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, paper, scissors, loose parts, cardboard squares

-Rationale: The art area has been a busy spot for several weeks as the children have eagerly explored the wire, clay, and loose parts. Teachers decided to add small wood pieces to the art area after observing the children's interest in three-dimensional design using the loose parts. 
We hope that the addition of a new medium will keep the children deeply engaged in the exploratory process.
-Skills: Creative exploration, imagination, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor control, color recognition, creative risk-taking, and hand/finger strength.

Sensory 

-Materials: sand table, sand, water, various insects (plastic), scoops, shovels, molds, foliage, sticks, and plant stems. 
-
Rationale: The children continue to enjoy exploring the materials in the sensory table. Last week's addition of sticks, foliage and natural materials encouraged the children to add more detail to the homes they have been creating for the insects. 

-Skills: Imaginative and cooperative play, scientific thinking, problem solving, construction skills, fine motor skills, sensory exploration and stimulation, creative expression, and social interaction.

Light Table

-Materials: Colorform shapes, photographs of recognizable shapes, prompting questions. 

-Rationale: For the past several weeks the Lab School teachers have been working to embed executive function skills in their classroom and curriculum instruction as part of an ongoing research project with the Institute of Child Development. The new materials at the light table support that goal in that they provide an engaging and developmentally appropriate way for the children to exercise their executive function skills in the context of our typical classroom environment. As children look closely at familiar shapes and explore the way familiar shapes combine to create new figures they engage their working memory and exercise their cognitive flexibility.
-Skills: Cognitive flexibility, shape recognition, fine motor skills, working memory

Science

-Materials: Labeled pictures of the sequence of planting a seed, clipboards, writing utensils, charts depicting the life cycle of a soybean plant, prompting questions, mealworms, magnifying glasses, a grow window, cups, sprouting seeds, rulers. 

-Rationale: Last week the children "planted" their bean sees in plastic bags, adding only water and cotton balls before hanging them in a sunny spot in the classroom. Our seeds have sprouted and are ready to be transplanted! This week we will move our sprouts to cups of soil and continue our discussion about what plants need to grow and how we all can work together to help them along! 

-Skills: Sensory exploration, observation skills, sequencing, critical thinking, mathematical and logical thinking, pre/early literacy, informative language, and descriptive language, scientific inquiry, drawing conclusions, reasoning, knowledge of the natural world, asking questions, hypothesizing, use of magnifying glasses

Math and Manipulatives

-Materials: Insect builders, insect puzzles, unifix cubes, manipulative puzzles
-Rationale: The bug builders have become a popular choice for many of the students in our classroom. Manipulating the different parts of the builders allow children to explore the different parts of an insect's body in new and creative ways. As the children assemble different bugs, teachers encourage them to draw on their previous knowledge about insects' bodies to inform their creations. 

-Skills: Part to whole relationships, problem solving, early math concepts, number recognition, counting, number operations, symbolic representation, fine motor control

Language and Literacy

-Materials: Name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, labels and stickers from the post office area, example of money.

-Rationale: The children continue to enjoy using the writing table in a variety of ways. This week they have been interested in making "money" to use in the flower shop! Teachers continue to support children as they use their literacy skills throughout the day in our classroom by reading books, researching important information on the internet, label their artistic creations, etc.
-Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)

Dramatic Play

-Materials: 
Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, ponchos, scarves, raincoats, boots, hats, and sunglasses.
Flower Shop: flowers, cash register, order forms, baskets, ribbons, vases, aprons, cash register
Dramatic play cave: stuffed animals, open-ended fabrics, picnic basket, picnic blanket, food, flowers, flower box, watering cans, bees, seeds, hoes/rakes, gloves

-Rationale: The children continue to enjoy using the materials in the flower shop in a variety of ways, so we are leaving it intact for one more week! They have made magic potions form flowers, practiced selling flowers, and have built elaborate castles out of the hollow blocks and decorated them with flowers.
-Skills: creative thinking, role-play, symbolic representation, social interactions, social problem solving, mathematical skills, self-help, listening, communication, negotiation, and indoor-outdoor connection.

Blocks

-Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, pvp pipe, large loose parts
-Rationale: Several children in our class have really enjoyed using the wooden pieces and loose parts in the art area to create elaborate structures and "fairy houses." The teachers have observed the children using uniquely shaped objects to represent a variety of materials (mailboxes, stepping stones, roof tiles, etc.). We want to support the children's cognitive flexibility and burgeoning creativity by bringing similar materials to the block area, where children will be able to interact with their larger creations in new and exciting ways.
-Skills: large motor, peer negotiating skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem-solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry and geometry, cognitive flexibility, creativity

Large Motor

-Materials: Climbing wall, monkey bars to slide through the donut (the elephant), ladder bridge, mountain climber


-Rationale: In the gym we have created a set-up to challenge the children's body awareness and spatial skills. The ladder bridge is a series of metal rungs leading up to a heightened area over a set of mats and then descends again. The mountain climber is a set of stairs going up and down, as well as an area to climb over a bar and down to the mats below. The monkey bars to slide through the donut (aka elephant) challenges the children to be aware of their body as they go through without bumping their bodies on the donut. The climbing wall has two sets of ladders for the children to climb up. The mat below allows them to jump down safely.


-Skills: grasping strength, risk-taking, climbing up and down, arm and leg strength, jumping, stepping up/down, balance, spatial awareness, body awareness, coordinating movements, propulsive skills (swinging bar to bar).

Snack

Monday: Pretzels and dried apples
Wednesday: Oven fries
Thursday: Apple oatmeal cookies

Weekly Documentation May 6 - May 10, 2013

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Weekly Lesson PLan
Marie's Class
May 6 - May 10

Expressive Arts
-Materials: clay, wire, construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, paper, scissors, loose parts, cardboard squares
-Rationale: We have been using paint for a few weeks now and wanted to introduce a new material to the expressive arts area. We chose clay as a sculpting medium after noticing the children's interest in three-dimensional design using the loose parts. Teachers also expect the addition of the clay to inspire the children to explore the wire in new and unique ways.
-Skills: Creative exploration, imagination, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor control, color recognition, creative risk-taking, and hand/finger strength.

Sensory
-Materials: sand table, sand, water, various insects (plastic), scoops, shovels, molds, foliage, sticks, and plant stems.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed exploring the new materials in the sensory table. This week we have added sticks, foliage and natural materials to the table to encourage the children to add more detail to the homes they have been craeting for the insects.
-Skills: Imaginative and cooperative play, scientific thinking, problem solving, construction skills, fine motor skills, sensory exploration and stimulation, creative expression, and social interaction.

Light Table
-Materials: Real flowers, labeled pictures of flower parts, magnifying glasses, tweezers, and clipboards.
-Rationale: The flowers have been moved from the science table over to the light table. The children have been interested in dissecting the flowers and examining the different parts that the flower is composed of. On the light table the children will be able to see through the petals and leaves and have a closer look at the structure of a flower.
-Skills: Sensory stimulation, exploration, inquiry, observation, asking questions, hypothesizing, comparing, informative language, descriptive language, fine motor skills, and social interaction.

Science
-Materials: Labeled pictures of the sequence of planting a seed, soybean seeds, cotton balls, plastic bags, clipboards, writing utensils, charts depicting the life cycle of a soybean plant, prompting questions, mealworms, magnifying glasses, and a bug game.
-Rationale: To continue to support the children's interest of flowers and plants, the teachers have started a planting station at one of the science tables. The children will be able to have their own soybean seed, plant it in a plastic bag and attach it to the window to wait for the bean to sprout..
-Skills: Sensory exploration, observation skills, sequencing, critical thinking, mathematical and logical thinking, pre/early literacy, informative language, and descriptive language, scientific inquiry, drawing conclusions, reasoning, knowledge of the natural world, asking questions, hypothesizing, use of magnifying glasses

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Insect builders, marble runs, unifix cubes, manipulative puzzles, sewing needles, embroidery hoops, yarn, fabric, torn clothing items, lacing cards
-Rationale: We will continue to foster the children's exploration of numbers and counting by providing materials that foster the engagement of these developing skills. Counters and unifix cubes provide the children with an opportunity to explore the meaning if numbers in a tangible and engaging way.
-Skills: Problem solving, cause and effect relationship, early math concepts, number recognition, counting, number operations, symbolic representation, peer negotiation, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, imagination, creative exploration.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, simple mazes, spring bingo, labels and stickers from the post office area, example of money.
-Rationale: The literacy table has materials available to encourage the children to write letters to classmates, writing down stories, etc. The children have also been very interested in making money for their flower shop. We have provided some examples of what bills look like in order for the children to have something to reference as they make money to add to the classroom flower shop.
-Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)

Dramatic Play
-Materials:
Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, ponchos, scarves, raincoats, boots, hats, and sunglasses.
Flower Shop: flowers, cash register, order forms, baskets, ribbons, vases, aprons, cash register
Dramatic play cave: stuffed animals, open-ended fabrics, picnic basket, picnic blanket, food, flowers, flower box, watering cans, bees, seeds, hoes/rakes, gloves
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed using the materials in the flower shop in a variety of ways. They have made magic pitions form flowers, practiced selling flowers, and have built elaborate castles out of the hollow blocks and decorated them with flowers. We will continue to have these popular materials available this week.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic representation, social interactions, social problem solving, discussions and conversations related to the spring season, self-help, listening, communication, negotiation, and indoor-outdoor connection.

Blocks
-Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, pvc pipe, marbles, marble mazes
-Rationale: Many children have enjoyed creating elaborate marble mazes out of the builders that were in the math and manipulatives cave. E have moved these materials to the back of the classroom and added larger balls and hollow pvc pipe so that the children can extend the structures they have been making using tubes and the hollow blocks. Teachers hope to encourage the children to use the concepts they have learned through working with the marble mazes (gravity, cause and effect, etc) and apply them to different materials.
-Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem- solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry and geometry

Large Motor
-Materials: Climbing wall, monkey bars to slide through the donut (the elephant), ladder bridge, mountain climber

-Rationale: In the gym we have created a set-up to challenge the children's body awareness and spatial skills. The ladder bridge is a series of metal rungs leading up to a heightened area over a set of mats and then descends again. The mountain climber is a set of stairs going up and down, as well as an area to climb over a bar and down to the mats below. The monkey bars to slide through the donut (aka elephant) challenges the children to be aware of their body as they go through without bumping their bodies on the donut. The climbing wall has two sets of ladders for the children to climb up. The mat below allows them to jump down safely.


-Skills: grasping strength, risk-taking, climbing up and down, arm and leg strength, jumping, stepping up/down, balance, spatial awareness, body awareness, coordinating movements, propulsive skills (swinging bar to bar).

Snack
Monday: Cucumber slices and crackers
Wednesday: Granola bars
Thursday: Frozen peas and pretzels

Weekly Plan April 22 - May 3, 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan

April 22 - May 3

Marie's Class

Marie Lead Teaching

Overview

We had a busy and wonderful week in our classroom! The children enjoyed exploring the snow on the playground, in fact they have a much more positive outlook on the weather than many of the adults that I have spoken to ☺ We enjoyed making snow sculptures and snowballs on the playground throughout the week! Inside the classroom, focus groups have started up! We are beginning to explore the curricular themes for this last session; Spring, Insects, and How to Care for the Earth. This week we began discussing recycling and composting, and as a class we decided that one way we can help the Earth is by using fewer paper towels when we wash our hands! It is a deep and interesting topic that we will dig into more deeply over the next several weeks. In other parts of the classroom the children have been busily exploring bugs and mazes and mud and wire ... all manner of interesting things! We are looking forward to another week of exploration and delight!

Expressive Arts

~Materials: construction paper, paint, paint trays, jars for paint, paintbrushes, assorted types of wire, loose parts
~Rationale: The children really enjoyed using the wire and beads to create bracelets, necklaces, and various sculptures in the art area. This week we want to expand that interest by introducing various gauges of wire for the children to experiment with and explore. Introducing a unique material like wire and encouraging the children to interact with it in a variety of ways allows them to explore their creativity through novel experiences. It also is a way for children who are not typically interested in exploring the art area to engage with this part of our classroom; introducing a new medium to the center engages a wider range of interests.
~ Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, creative exploration, problem solving, scientific thinking (cause and effect), self-expression, and creative risk-taking

Sensory

~Materials: sand table, scoops, cups for scooping and pouring, insects
~Rationale: We have the sand table in our classroom again! We have added plastic insects to the sand table to begin building the children's awareness of bugs and insects and their habitats. This is a curriculum theme that we will dig more deeply into in a number of ways throughout this session. The other materials at the table (scoops, buckets, molds, etc.) will allow the children to explore the sensory properties of the sand in a constructive way.
~Skills: sensory exploration, scientific thinking and reasoning, measuring, problem solving, cooperative play

Light Table

~Materials: Transparent gel baggies, letters of the alphabet
~Rationale: The children in our class are always excited to explore new sensory materials! They were excited to use the gel bags this week and their interaction with the bags sparked a renewed interest in literacy and the alphabet. The children will still be able to explore the properties of the bags and practice tracing letters onto the unique materials this week.
~Skills: fine motor skills, pre-literacy skills, symbolic representation, alphabetic principal, sensory exploration

Science

~Materials: meal worms, books, pencils, magnifying glasses, flowers (both real and fake), prompting questions
~Rationale: Last week we introduced a focus on insects at the science area that will extend into spring. We will continue to build our awareness of insects and the changes that accompany spring by observing mealworms and discussing they cycle of life that they enjoy (larva to pupa to beetle). This week we will also introduce flowers and flower bulbs to the science area in an effort to begin to build the children's awareness of and interest in spring! We will begin by dissecting flowers and learning about the different parts of flowers. This will lead nicely into the exploration of planting, seeds, and growth that we plan to implement once the weather cooperates.
~Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, grouping, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, problem solving

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: magnet blocks, number duplos, marble mazes
~Rationale: The children have loved building marble mazes! Creating their own marble mazes allows the children to explore cause and affect relationships and explore the process of problem solving through trial and error in a unique way. We will support the children's interest by continuing to provide these materials throughout the week!
~Skills: fine motor strength, early math concepts, peer negotiation, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect relationships, problem solving

Language and Literacy

~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, simple mazes
~Rationale: Once again, problem solving rears its' developmentally appropriate head! Mazes are a fun and interesting way for children to explore problem-solving skills and develop the executive function skills necessary for long term planning. We hope to build the children's awareness of and interest in mazes by including them in several areas of the classroom. If the interest takes off, we can dig into creating our own mazes out of three-dimensional materials (blocks, legos, etc.)!
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)

Dramatic Play

~Materials: 

Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, open-ended fabrics, paper, markers, clipboards, calculator, mailbox, stamps, envelopes, paper, pencils, postal worker bags, hats and shirts
Dramatic play cave: sticks, open-ended fabrics, small woodland animals



~Rationale: The children continue to enjoy playing "post office" and building accompanying props with the large hollow blocks. This week the children will continue to have the opportunity to explore ideas about community helpers, literacy, communication, and the use and purpose of print as they "play post office."
~Skills: symbolic representation, role-playing, problem solving, writing, alphabetic principal, pre-/early literacy skills, decision making.

Blocks

~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces, steering wheels, pvc pipe, maps

~Rationale: The children's interest in building vehicles for travel continues! As they work together to build the planes, trains, and automobiles the children often discuss various potential destinations and take turns flying/driving/steering (and delivering the snacks!). The additional props placed in the block area such as maps, steering wheels, and open-ended materials that the children can use as "uniforms" will still be available.
~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem-solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions

Large Motor




~Materials: We have a new gym set up! 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.

Snack:
Monday: Pretzels and cucumbers
Wednesday: Rice cakes and carrots
Thursday: Cheddar biscuits

Weekly Plan April 15 - April 19, 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan

April 15 - April 19
Marie's Class

Marie Lead Teaching

Expressive Arts

~Materials: construction paper, paint, paint trays, jars for paint, paintbrushes, assorted types of wire, loose parts
~Rationale: The children have really enjoyed exploring and mixing paint to create new colors! They are attempting to create 100 new colors and we are charting their progress on a graph in our classroom. After focusing on color mixing with only a few colors, we are expanding our palette this week and mixing with a rainbow of colors. The teachers are looking forward to seeing what experiments the new colors will inspire!
~ Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, color recognition, creative exploration, problem solving, emerging math skills (patterning), self-expression, and creative risk-taking

Sensory

~Materials: flax seed, scoops, funnels, tubes, cups for scooping and pouring, pulleys, ropes, blocks, boards
~Rationale: The open-ended tubes, scoops and funnels present an opportunity for the children to practice their problem solving skills as they try to connect the materials to create a flow system for the flax seed.
~Skills: sensory exploration, scientific thinking and reasoning, measuring, problem solving, cooperative play

Light Table

~Materials: Transparent gel baggies, letters of the alphabet
~Rationale: The children in our class are always excited to explore new sensory materials! This week we want to support that interest and spark a renewed interest in literacy and the alphabet. With those goals in mind we are bringing gel bags to the light table. The children will be able to explore the properties of the bags and practice tracing letters onto the unique materials.
~Skills: fine motor skills, pre-literacy skills, symbolic representation, alphabetic principal, sensory exploration

Science

~Materials: meal worms, books, pencils, magnifying glasses, pictures of spring and winter clothing, problem solving station and materials in need of fixing
~Rationale: The "problem solving station" has been a big hit! Teachers want to continue to support the children's vested interest in problem solving, so we will continue to provide items for the children to fix, as well as guidance and prompting questions to focus their explorations. Additionally, we are introducing a focus on insects at the science area that will extend into spring (as soon as it gets here...). We will start building our awareness of insects and the changes that accompany spring by observing meal worms and discussing they cycle of life that they enjoy (larva to pupa to beetle).
~Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, grouping, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, problem solving

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: magnet blocks, number duplos, marble mazes
~Rationale: In order to expand on the children's interest in problem solving, we have introduced marble mazes to the manipulatives cave. Creating their own marble mazes will allow the children to explore cause and effect relationships and explore the process of problem solving through trial and error in a unique way.
~Skills: fine motor strength, early math concepts, peer negotiation, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect relationships, problem solving

Language and Literacy

~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, simple mazes
~Rationale: Once again, problem solving rears its' developmentally appropriate head! Mazes are a fun and interesting way for children to explore problem-solving skills and develop the executive function skills necessary for long term planning. We hope to build the children's awareness of and interest in mazes by including them in several areas of the classroom. If the interest takes off, we can dig into creating our own mazes out of three-dimensional materials (blocks, legos, etc.)!
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cause and effect, problem solving, executive function skills (inhibitory control)

Dramatic Play

~Materials: 

Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, open-ended fabrics, paper, markers, clipboards, calculator, mailbox, stamps, envelopes, paper, pencils, postal worker bags, hats and shirts
Dramatic play cave: sticks, open-ended fabrics, small woodland animals



~Rationale: The children continue to enjoy playing "post office" and building accompanying props with the large hollow blocks. This week the children will continue to have the opportunity to explore ideas about community helpers, literacy, communication, and the use and purpose of print as they "play post office."
~Skills: symbolic representation, role-playing, problem solving, writing, alphabetic principal, pre-/early literacy skills, decision making.

Blocks

~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces, steering wheels, pvc pipe, maps

~Rationale: The children's interest in building vehicles for travel continues! As they work together to build the planes, trains, and automobiles the children often discuss various potential destinations and take turns flying/driving/steering (and delivering the snacks!). The additional props placed in the block area such as maps, steering wheels, and open-ended materials that the children can use as "uniforms" will still be available.
~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem-solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions

Large Motor




~Materials: crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

~Rationale: The children continue to explore the provided equipment set up in the large motor room. Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bump slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow. 

~Skills: climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (crawling tunnel, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall), propulsion skills (basketball and basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basketball and basketball hoop), directional awareness (all)

Weekly Plan, April 1 - April 5, 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan
April 1 - April 5
Marie's Class
Marie Lead Teaching

Overview
Welcome back to school! I hope you all enjoyed your time off. It's hard to believe that spring is already here, but the muddy playground proves that it's true! The changing weather will provide us with plenty to explore as we move into the month of April- the teachers can't wait to start discussing all of the signs of spring with the children! This week we will be focused on getting back into our "school routine." The materials that we have out in the classroom represent extensions of activities that were taking place two weeks ago- flax seed instead of water to explore in the sensory table, the post office props moved to the back of the classroom to allow for more extensive dramatic play scenarios, beading materials moved to the art table to foster creative expression. We're looking forward to a busy and enjoyable spring session and we can't wait to see everyone on Monday!

Expressive Arts
~Materials: construction paper, paint, paint trays, jars for paint, paintbrushes, wooden beads, plastic beads, twine, rope, string, markers, crayons, glue

~Rationale: Before the break, many of the children enjoyed exploring the beads and string that were available in the manipulatives cave. We want to support this interest and provide a unique and engaging way for the children to continue to work on their fine motor skills, so we have brought beads to the art area! Reestablishing the concept in the art area will also honor the children's desire to take their bead creations home with them; the beads that we had available in the manipulatives cave were a stay-at-school activity that we share with the rest of the school ☺ In addition to the beads, we will be reintroducing paint to the art tables this week. This week we will be working with the color "red" as we continue our exploration of shading and color matching.

~ Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, color recognition, creative exploration, problem solving, emerging math skills (patterning), self-expression, creative risk-taking

Sensory
~Materials: flax seed, scoops, funnels, tubes, cups for scooping and pouring

~Rationale: Before the break the children used many of the same tools to explore the properties of the water and ice that we had in our sensory table. By switching the raw material to flax seed, teachers hope to renew the children's interest in the area and foster comparisons between the properties of the two materials. Additionally, the open-ended tubes, scoops and funnels present an opportunity for the children to practice their problem solving skills as they try to connect the materials to create a flow system for the flax seed.

~Skills: sensory exploration, scientific thinking and reasoning, measuring, problem solving, cooperative play

Light Table
~Materials: transparencies depicting various familiar fairy tales (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, etc.)

~Rationale: The children have begun to explore literacy and storytelling in a variety of ways throughout the classroom. Allowing the children to tell and re-tell familiar stories in a variety of contexts is one way we engage them in the story telling process and foster pre-literacy skills. Including story-telling materials at the light table provides an opportunity for the children to explore these familiar stories in a unique and engaging way.

~Skills: fine motor skills, pre-literacy skills, symbolic representation, creative expression, self-confidence, peer negotiation and social interactions

Science
~Materials: magnets, prompting questions, a variety of objects that react to magnets and a variety of those that do not, flash light, broken drum, puzzle with missing pieces

~Rationale: We have added a new focus to one area of our science center this week; we have created a "Problem Solving Station" to provide children with the chance to dig deeply into the problem solving process and hone their inquiry and reasoning skills. Throughout the week different materials will be placed at the table along with the prompting questions "Can you fix it?" "What tools do you need?" and "What are you going to do first?" The teachers will use these questions to guide the children through the process of identifying and solving problems with hands-on materials. Our first order of business will be to fix the torn drum in our classroom. Can we fix it? What tools will we need? What do we need to do first? Only time will tell!

~Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, grouping, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, problem solving

Math and Manipulatives
~Materials: magnet blocks, beads, string, legos

~Rationale: In order to expand on the children's exploration of magnets, we are introducing a new builder, "magnet blocks" this week. The teachers hope that introducing this new type of magnet will spark the children 's interest regarding the various uses of magnets.

~Skills: fine motor strength, early math concepts, peer negotiation, symbolic representation, hand-eye coordination

Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts

~Rationale: Before break the writing area was a popular choice for many of the children in our classroom. As the children explore the new "post office" in the dramatic play area, teachers anticipate that the popularity of the center will continue to grow! While we have writing materials spread throughout the room, having a central location dedicated to writing and other pre-literacy skills serves as a familiar and secure spot for the children to practice their burgeoning skills independently or with a group of peers.

~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression

Dramatic Play
~Materials:
Loft Area: stove, refrigerator, sink and other assorted wooden kitchen furniture, dishes, different types of food, open-ended fabrics, paper, markers, clipboards, calculator, mailbox, stamps, envelopes, paper, pencils, postal worker bags, hats and shirts

Dramatic play cave: sticks, open-ended fabrics, small woodland animals

~Rationale: As a result of our focus on literacy and a small-group field trip to the post office, many of the children have been interested in writing letters and delivering them to classmates. In order to facilitate this interest and allow it to grow we have moved the "post office" dramatic play materials to the back of the classroom. There children will have the opportunity to explore ideas about community helpers, literacy, communication, and the use and purpose of print as they "play post office."

~Skills: symbolic representation, role-playing, problem solving, writing, alphabetic principal, pre-/early literacy skills, decision making.

Blocks
~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces, steering wheels, pvc pipe, maps


~Rationale: The block area continues to be a popular choice for many of the children. Before break many of the children spent several days using the hollow blocks to build an airplane large enough to hold the whole class! As they worked together to build the plane, the children discussed various potential destinations and took turns flying the plane (and delivering the snacks!). In order to support this emerging interest, we have placed additional props in the block area such as maps, steering wheels, and open-ended materials that the children can use as "uniforms."

~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions

Large Motor



~Materials: crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall


~Rationale: The children continue to explore the provided equipment set up in the large motor room. Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bump slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow. 


~Skills: climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (crawling tunnel, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall), propulsion skills (basketball and basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basketball and basketball hoop), directional awareness (all)

Snack
Monday: Applesauce and rice cakes
Wednesday: Banana smoothies and pretzels
Thursday: Crackers and milk

Weekly Plan March 4 - March 15, 2013

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Weekly Plan, March 4 - March 15, 2013
Julianne & Amy Team Teaching
Overview and Goals
We cannot believe that March is already here! Many great observations were made in the classroom this week as the children continue to grow in each of the domains of development. Some new concepts were introduced to support the children's interests and encourage them to keep making connections between their activities at school and the world around them. This week, we will incorporate topics such as symmetry and floating/sinking in a variety of ways throughout the classroom. Small groups will begin to come to a close next week. Julianne took her small group to the post office on Thursday which was a lot of fun! The children are eager to share what they have learned about mail and letters with the rest of the class. Amy will be leading the entire class on a field trip to the Bell Museum on Thursday of this week! The children enjoyed solving the mystery word that revealed where they would be going during large group last week. We hope to find closure in some of the current topics within the next couple weeks and are looking forward to sharing our ideas come spring session!
Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Play-dough, metal tools such as, potato masher, mini muffin pans, garlic press, spatulas, different shape moldings, egg slices, plastic knives, chopping utensils, rolling pins. Projector, overhead sheets, markers, paper.
~Rationale: The children have continued to enjoy using the play-dough! Experimenting with the new tools by creating a variety of food was very popular among the children. The children continue to enjoy creating images on transparencies and creating a larger version using the projector. This activity has started to spark conversations about outlining and shadows. This week we will continue to provide support and build on the children's curiosity by asking prompting questions. The easel will continue to give the children the opportunity to experiment with color shades by mixing white with another color.
~Skills: color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, experimentation, descriptive language and sensory stimulation

Light Table

~Materials: variety of translucent shapes
~Rationale: The children have enjoyed using various materials in the room to make different structures.To support their interest and foster their creativity, we have added different sized and colored translucent shapes at the light table. The children will be able to experiment with with the shapes to make unique pictures, designs, and patterns with the light shining through. The light table will also provide the children with another sensory experience.
~Skills: fine motor, eye-hand coordination, patterning, self-expression, sensory exploration, descriptive language

Sensory Materials
~Materials: water (two different colors), large pieces of Styrofoam, small balls, items that float, items that sink
~Rationale: The materials in the sensory table reflect the children's interest in objects that float and objects that sink. The materials are open-ended in order for the children to play with them in whichever way they chose while also building their awareness of how some items float and some sink.
~Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, creative thinking, fine motor strength, problem solving, negotiating, descriptive language, social interactions, compare and contrast

Science
~Materials: two buckets of water (one labeled float and one labeled sink), basket of various materials, prompting questions. Pictures of different beaks, bird seed, tweezers, pliers, different materials to represent different kinds of beaks
~Rationale: To support the children's new interest in floating and sinking, the science center will provide opportunities to experiment putting various materials in a tub of water to test if they will float or sink. They will then have the opportunity to sort them according to whether they floated or sank. The other science table continues to foster the children's awareness of birds and their habitats and characteristics. The children will be able to explore different types of seeds and beaks and reason why birds' beaks vary in size and shape. Prompting questions are provided to help the children make connections and further inquire about the presented materials.
~Skills: scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: Legos, Lego boards with lines taped down the middle, Tangrams, gray trays with a line taped down the middle, magnetic board with a line taped down the middle, magnetic shapes
~Rationale: The math and manipulatives cave is always filled with busy children. In large group last week we introduced the concept of symmetry. The children enjoyed examining Tangram designs and discussing if they were symmetric or not. To continue to foster this new concept we have added a variety of materials, along with boards that have lines down the middle for the children to explore symmetry in different ways.
~Skills: symmetry, concept knowledge, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence, comparing and contrasting

Dramatic Play
~Materials:
Loft: fairy tale books, fairy tale story puzzle, fairy tale picture/word sheet, markers, clipboards, paper, envelopes
Underneath the loft: table, four chairs, place mats, different colored open-ended fabrics, purses, hats
Kitchen area: dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics, ice cream, ice cream cones, ice cream scoops, aprons, chef hats, window with chalkboard, mirror, table cloths, wire shelves, coffee cups, coffee pot, dilly bar bags, sundae cups, paper, markers, clipboard, calculator, menus
Dramatic play cave: mailbox, stamps, envelopes, paper, pencils, postal worker bags, hats and shirts
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in playing "ice cream shop," and have started to incorporate some new types of food into their shop as well. For example, Tinkerbelle pizza, cakes and cupcakes, just to name a few. The ice cream shop continues to expand past the dramatic play area, to other parts of the classroom on a daily basis. Last week the children explored with moving the ice cream shop to different states and cities. To continue to support the children's interest the lower loft and kitchen area will continue to provide materials and opportunities for children to expand their ice cream shop. We have added more materials for the children to explore and dress up in to expand on their ice cream shop play. The upper loft will continue to provide children with a place in the classroom to explore fairy tales as well as promote important literacy skills. The dramatic play cave is set up as a mailroom in order to offer an area to put all of the children's great writing to use! They will be able to send each other letters, stamp envelopes, and pretend to be mailmen. This week to build on the children's interest in the mailroom we will add clothes and materials for the children to dress up as postman!
~Skills: symbolic representation, social interactions, descriptive language, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, numbers, writing, sharing, letters, writing, alphabet principle

Blocks
~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces
~Rationale: Children continue to use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encouraged cooperation. The hollow blocks have been useful in making extra tables for the ice cream shop play that has been going on in the classroom. The children have also been using the hollow blocks and ramps to make an airplane to move the ice cream shop to other parts of the country.
~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving, mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions

Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, symmetry cut-outs
~Rationale: The children continue to show interest in the writing center. We have continued to provide the symmetry cut-outs for the children to practice their cutting as well as play with the concept of symmetry. Many children have been engaging in the mailroom, writing letters to each other and sealing them in envelopes. Story writing prompts were added to encourage the children to create their own fairy tales in the booklets provided. Different vocabulary words will continue to be available for the children to use as models when they create their own stories. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways and will also provide them with another place to do some creative writing.
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cutting skills

Large Motor


~Materials: crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall
~Rationale: The children continue to explore the provided equipment set up in the large motor room. Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bump slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow.
~Skills: climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (crawling tunnel, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall), propulsion skills (basketball and basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basketball and basketball hoop), directional awareness (all)
~Outside: The weather has permitted us to spend time on the playground every day this week. It is starting to be a little bit more mild, which is nice for the children's play! Sledding is still popular amongst the children, but more children have begun going down the slide in different ways. The snow mountains have been transformed into snow tunnels throughout the course of this week! The children have enjoyed digging through to the other side and then crawling through one at a time.

Snack
Monday: Cheerios and raisins
Wednesday: Oven fries
Thursday: Graham crackers and milk

Weekly Plan, February 25 - March 1, 2013

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Weekly Plan February 25, - March 1, 2013
Julianne Lead Teaching
Overview and Goals

This past week has sparked a lot of great new interests in the children! The classroom is full of engaging and interactive activities that the children have enjoyed exploring. As is often the case, three days was not enough time for the children to really dig in to the new materials. Therefore, the classroom will not undergo any big changes for this week in an effort to allow the children to further engage in the interesting materials. They have continued to spend a lot of time at the play-doh table as well as in the dramatic play area that is now set up as an ice cream shop! This week we will also be introducing some new concepts such as symmetry and things that float and sink. Each of the small groups has continued to develop and field trips are coming up in the next couple weeks! The children have really begun to build strong connections and relationships with their peers in their small group. The teachers are all excited to see how real-world experiences will change the dynamic and focus of their small group.

Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Play-dough, alphabet cookie cutters, rolling pins. Projector, overhead sheets, markers, paper.
~Rationale: The children have continued to enjoy using the play-dough! There have been several children using the alphabet cookie cutters to spell their name and other words. It has been quite an exciting table and therefore will be available to the children this week as well. The projector that was in the dramatic play cave last week will now be set up at one of the art tables in order to allow the children to trace their drawings on a larger piece of paper taped to the wall. We aim to provide continued support in their interest with this neat tool! The easel will give the children the opportunity to experiment with color shades by mixing white with another color.
~Skills: color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, experimentation, descriptive language and sensory stimulation

Light Table

~Materials: sand, transparent trays
~Rationale: The children continue to spend time exploring letters at the light table. To support their interest and further their engagement with letters and writing, we have set up a tracing activity at the light table. The children will be able to trace and draw letters or make patterns in the sand with the light shining through. The light table will also provide the children with another sensory experience.
~Skills: fine motor, eye-hand coordination, letter recognition, patterning, alphabetic principal, sensory exploration

Sensory Materials



~Materials: snow, ice, blue-colored water, small plastic polar animals, plastic containers, people pegs, items that float and sink, gloves, shovels
~Rationale: The materials in the sensory table will continue to represent winter weather and provide children with an opportunity to play and construct with snow and ice in a more comfortable environment. Last week the children became interested in putting all of the snow into the water, making the snow clump together and float. They have noticed that some of the animals they play with float and some of them sink. Therefore, ice will also be added to compare items that float and sink in water. The peg people continue to represent the children in their play.
~Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation, fine motor strength, problem solving, negotiating, dramatic play, descriptive language, social interactions, compare and contrast

Science


~Materials: Rulers, clipboards, paper, markers, colored pencils, various materials to measure, prompting questions. Pictures of different beaks, bird seed, tweezers, pliers, different materials to represent different kinds of beaks
~Rationale: To support the children's continued interest in animal tracks and animal habitats, the science center will provide opportunities to explore two different types of animals. One of the tables is set up to encourage the children to trace their own hands or feet to examine the tracks they make. Rulers are set out in order for the children to measure their hands and feet as well as a variety of small objects found throughout the classroom. The other science table is meant for the children to become aware of birds and their habitats and characteristics. The children will be able to explore different types of seeds and beaks and reason why birds' beaks vary in size and shape. Prompting questions are provided to help the children make connections and further inquire about the presented materials.
~Skills: scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, measuring, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, numbers

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: seriation tiles, Legos, cardstock building pieces, hole punchers, star connectors, letter blocks
~Rationale: The math and manipulatives cave is always filled with busy children. In order to support and expand the children's interest in block building, we have added cardstock building pieces that add an entire new dimension to Lego constructions. We have kept the star connectors in the math and manipulatives cave due to the children's continued interest. The letter blocks have also been used quite frequently to spell out names or invent new words. Seriation tiles will help the children practice putting a group of items in order according to their size or color.
~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence, comparing and contrasting

Dramatic Play



~Materials:
Loft: fairy tale books, fairy tale story puzzle, fairy tale picture/word sheet, markers, clipboards, paper, envelopes
Underneath the loft: table, four chairs, place mats, different colored open-ended fabrics, purses, hats
Kitchen area: dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics, ice cream, ice cream cones, ice cream scoops, aprons, chef hats, window with chalkboard, mirror, table cloths, wire shelves, coffee cups, coffee pot, dilly bar bags, sundae cups, paper, markers, clipboard, calculator, menus
Dramatic play cave: mailbox, stamps, envelopes, paper, pencils
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in playing "ice cream shop." From the kitchen area, to the sensory table, to the play-dough table and even out on the playground, ice cream shops are still a major topic of conversation! To support the children's interest in ice cream shops we have transformed the lower loft and kitchen area into an ice cream shop. We have added more materials for the children to explore and dress up in to expand on their ice cream shop play. The upper loft will provide children with a place in the classroom to explore fairy tales as well as promote important literacy skills. The dramatic play cave is set up as a mailroom in order to offer an area to put all of the children's great writing to use! They will be able to send each other letters, stamp envelopes, and pretend to be mailmen.
~Skills: symbolic representation, social interactions, descriptive language, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, numbers, writing, sharing, letters, writing, alphabet principle

Blocks


~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, big fabric pieces
~Rationale: Children continue to use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation. The hollow blocks have been useful in making extra tables for the ice cream shop play that has been going on in the classroom. The children have also been using the hollow blocks and ramps to make the pantry in "Scamper Scamper".
~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions

Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, story writing prompts, symmetry cut-outs
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in the writing center! In order to extend the children's interest in a large group activity last week, we have added some symmetry cut-outs for the children to use. Some children have started creating their own storybooks while others have been busy writing letters to each other and sealing them in envelopes. Story writing prompts will be added to encourage the children to create their own fairy tales in the booklets provided. Different vocabulary words will be available for the children to use as models when they create their own stories. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways and will also provide them with another place to do some creative writing!
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression, cutting skills

Large Motor


~Materials: crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

~Rationale: The children continue to explore the new equipment set up in the large motor room! Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bumpy slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow.
~Skills: climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (Crawling tube, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling block wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall) propulsion skills (basketball & basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basket balls and basketball hoop), and directional awareness (all)
~Outside: The weather permitted us to spend time on the playground every day this week. Sledding continues to be popular amongst the children. Some children have started exploring going down on their slides on their stomachs! A couple weeks ago, the children helped Sheila build a "snow mountain". Last week, the children helped her paint the "snow mountain"! They had spray bottles filled with water of various colors which made quite a beautiful addition to our playground. The children enjoyed crawling through their impressive creation. More children are becoming interested in adding "turbo boosters" to both the large and small slides on the playground. The children enjoy giving the all clear to each other and taking turns sliding down the slides.

Snack
Monday: Clementines and Pretzels
Wednesday: Macaroni and cheese
Thursday: Whole wheat bagels and honey butter

Weekly Plan, February 18 - February 22

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Weekly Plan Feb.18 - Feb.22, 2013
Weekly Plan February 18, - February 22, 2013
Amy Lead Teaching
Overview and Goals

Another great week was had by both the children and the teachers! Time really does fly by when your having fun. Can you believe we're already half way through February? The children were excited by the new equipment in the large motor room and were eager to try it out. The playdough table and sensory table continued to be popular amongst the children, many of whom enjoyed using the materials to create "ice cream cones" and play "ice cream shop"! To build on the children's interest in ice cream shops we transformed the lower loft and kitchen area into an ice cream shop and added open ended materials the children can use to support their play scenarios. The children also have been exploring the writing center and have been busy writing letters to each other. Small groups are starting to dig a little deeper in their topics and the children continue to be excited to share what they are doing with their classmates. Thursday the children had a blast helping make heart-shaped waffles for snack and creating a waffle song with Frances to go along with the waffle making process! The children continue to be engaged in the materials offered to them, and this week we are excited to expand on their interests by adding new materials all around the classroom.

Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Warming trays, paper, crayons. Play-dough and alphabet cookie cutters.
~Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the play-dough! This week we will be adding alphabet cookie cutters to extend the exploration of letters and words in a hands-on way. Children can use the new materials to practice spelling their names, making letters, and creating words. Warming trays will be added to the other art table this week so the children can experiment with melting crayons on paper and expressing themselves in a new creative way. The children continue to enjoy color mixing and making new shades of colors at the painting easel.
~Skills: color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, descriptive language and sensory stimulation

Light Table

~Materials: Button mosaics, alphabet stencils
~Rationale: The children continue to spend time exploring letters at the light table. To support their interest and further their engagement with letters and writing, we have added button mosaics. The button mosaics will provide the children with a new way of creating letters and words and also allow the children to make different patterns and shapes.
~Skills: fine motor, eye-hand coordination, letter recognition, patterning, one-to-one correspondence, alphabetic principal

Sensory Materials


~Materials: Snow, blue-colored water, small plastic polar animals, plastic containers, people pegs, gloves, shovels
~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will continue to represent the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to play and construct with snow and water in a more comfortable environment. This past week the children have shown a great interest in the water animals. To build on the children's interest we will add blue water to create an ocean to go along with the snow. The people pegs will continue to allow the children to represent themselves in their play.
~Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation, fine motor strength, problem solving, negotiating, dramatic play, descriptive language, social interactions

Science


~Materials: Photographs of different animals and the tracks they make, molds of different animal tracks, rulers, Whose Feet Are These? book, clipboards, paper, markers melting trays, ice (with different objects frozen inside) and snow, magnifying glasses, gloves, prompting questions.
~Rationale: The children have continued to express interest both in the melting process and in investigating animal tracks. At the science tables teachers continue to prompt the children in making predictions, observing changes that take place, and discussing their reasoning. Rulers will be added to the animal track table to create awareness of size and measuring. Teachers will encourage the children to measure the different animal track moldings and make their own handprints to measure. Prompting questions will get the children inquiring about different things they can measure as well as finding the largest and smallest animal tracks. Melting trays will allow the children to continue experimenting with the melting process. Prompting questions will also be added to get the children wondering about other things that can melt! These opportunities will further satisfy the children's inquiry into the scientific process.
~Skills: matching, scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, measuring, seriation, numbers

Math and Manipulatives
~Materials: Number stackers, star connectors, alphabet unit blocks
~Rationale: The children continue to enjoy creating unique structures using the star connectors. The different shapes and means of connecting the pieces together, enable the children to be quite creative in their constructions. The unit blocks with uppercase and lowercase letters will continue to build the children's awareness of letters and the alphabet. Seriation is another concept that we will continue to highlight in the math and manipulatives cave. To help foster the development of the children's seriation skills, teachers will add number stackers. This will allow the children to explore numerals and one-to-one correspondence in a unique and engaging manner.
~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence, comparing and contrasting

Dramatic Play 


~Materials:
Loft: Fairy tale books, fairy tale story puzzle, markers, clipboards, paper, envelopes

Underneath the loft: Table, four chairs, place mats, different colored open-ended fabrics, purses, hats

Kitchen area: dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics, ice cream, ice cream scoops, aprons, chef hats, window with chalkboard, mirror, table clothes, wire shelves, coffee cups, coffee pot, dilly bar bags, sundae cups, paper, markers, clipboard, calculator, menus

Dramatic play cave: different types and colors of fabric, small woodland animals, foliage, acorns and nuts

~Rationale: The children have become increasingly interested in playing "ice cream shops." From the kitchen area, to the sensory table, to the play-dough table and even out on the playground, ice cream shops are popping up all over the place! To support the children's growing interest in ice cream shops we have transformed the lower loft and kitchen area into an ice cream shop. We have also added more materials for the children to explore and dress up in to expand on their ice cream shop play. The upper loft will provide children with a place in the classroom to explore fairy tales as well as promote important literacy skills.
~Skills: symbolic representation, social interactions, descriptive language, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, numbers, writing, sharing, letters, writing, alphabet principle

Blocks


~Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces. 


~Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.

~Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. Mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions. 





Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, stickers, story writing prompts
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in the writing center! Some of the children have started creating their own storybooks while others have been busy writing letters to each other and sealing them in envelopes. To support the children's interest at the writing center and build on their knowledge we will be adding some new materials this week. Story writing prompts will be added to encourage the children to create their own fairy tales. Children will be able to stamp their envelops with stickers, and different vocabulary words will be available for the children to use as models when they create their own stories. The children have been sealing envelopes with artwork or letters made for other people in our classroom. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways and will also provide them with another place to do some creative writing!
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression

Large Motor


~Materials: Crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

~Rationale: The children will continue to be able to explore the new equipment set up in the large motor room! Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bumpy slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow.
~Skills: Climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (Crawling tube, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling block wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall) propulsion skills (basketball & basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basket balls and basketball hoop), and directional awareness (all)
~Outside: It was another nice week! The weather permitted us to spend time on the playground every day this week. Sledding continues to be popular amongst the children. Some children have started exploring going down on their slides on their stomachs! Other children started helping Sheila build a "snow mountain" which the children are eager to paint on Monday! More children are becoming interested in adding "turbo boosters" to both the large and small slides on the playground. The children enjoy giving the all the clear to each other and taking turns sliding down the slides as fast as rockets.

Snack
Monday: Frozen peas and pretzels
Wednesday: Rice cakes and carrots
Thursday: Granola bars

Weekly Plan, February 18 - February 22

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Weekly Plan Feb.18 - Feb.22, 2013
Weekly Plan February 18, - February 22, 2013
Amy Lead Teaching
Overview and Goals

Another great week was had by both the children and the teachers! Time really does fly by when your having fun. Can you believe we're already half way through February? The children were excited by the new equipment in the large motor room and were eager to try it out. The playdough table and sensory table continued to be popular amongst the children, many of whom enjoyed using the materials to create "ice cream cones" and play "ice cream shop"! To build on the children's interest in ice cream shops we transformed the lower loft and kitchen area into an ice cream shop and added open ended materials the children can use to support their play scenarios. The children also have been exploring the writing center and have been busy writing letters to each other. Small groups are starting to dig a little deeper in their topics and the children continue to be excited to share what they are doing with their classmates. Thursday the children had a blast helping make heart-shaped waffles for snack and creating a waffle song with Frances to go along with the waffle making process! The children continue to be engaged in the materials offered to them, and this week we are excited to expand on their interests by adding new materials all around the classroom.

Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Warming trays, paper, crayons. Play-dough and alphabet cookie cutters.
~Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the play-dough! This week we will be adding alphabet cookie cutters to extend the exploration of letters and words in a hands-on way. Children can use the new materials to practice spelling their names, making letters, and creating words. Warming trays will be added to the other art table this week so the children can experiment with melting crayons on paper and expressing themselves in a new creative way. The children continue to enjoy color mixing and making new shades of colors at the painting easel.
~Skills: color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, descriptive language and sensory stimulation

Light Table

~Materials: Button mosaics, alphabet stencils
~Rationale: The children continue to spend time exploring letters at the light table. To support their interest and further their engagement with letters and writing, we have added button mosaics. The button mosaics will provide the children with a new way of creating letters and words and also allow the children to make different patterns and shapes.
~Skills: fine motor, eye-hand coordination, letter recognition, patterning, one-to-one correspondence, alphabetic principal

Sensory Materials


~Materials: Snow, blue-colored water, small plastic polar animals, plastic containers, people pegs, gloves, shovels
~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will continue to represent the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to play and construct with snow and water in a more comfortable environment. This past week the children have shown a great interest in the water animals. To build on the children's interest we will add blue water to create an ocean to go along with the snow. The people pegs will continue to allow the children to represent themselves in their play.
~Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation, fine motor strength, problem solving, negotiating, dramatic play, descriptive language, social interactions

Science


~Materials: Photographs of different animals and the tracks they make, molds of different animal tracks, rulers, Whose Feet Are These? book, clipboards, paper, markers melting trays, ice (with different objects frozen inside) and snow, magnifying glasses, gloves, prompting questions.
~Rationale: The children have continued to express interest both in the melting process and in investigating animal tracks. At the science tables teachers continue to prompt the children in making predictions, observing changes that take place, and discussing their reasoning. Rulers will be added to the animal track table to create awareness of size and measuring. Teachers will encourage the children to measure the different animal track moldings and make their own handprints to measure. Prompting questions will get the children inquiring about different things they can measure as well as finding the largest and smallest animal tracks. Melting trays will allow the children to continue experimenting with the melting process. Prompting questions will also be added to get the children wondering about other things that can melt! These opportunities will further satisfy the children's inquiry into the scientific process.
~Skills: matching, scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, measuring, seriation, numbers

Math and Manipulatives
~Materials: Number stackers, star connectors, alphabet unit blocks
~Rationale: The children continue to enjoy creating unique structures using the star connectors. The different shapes and means of connecting the pieces together, enable the children to be quite creative in their constructions. The unit blocks with uppercase and lowercase letters will continue to build the children's awareness of letters and the alphabet. Seriation is another concept that we will continue to highlight in the math and manipulatives cave. To help foster the development of the children's seriation skills, teachers will add number stackers. This will allow the children to explore numerals and one-to-one correspondence in a unique and engaging manner.
~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence, comparing and contrasting

Dramatic Play 


~Materials:
Loft: Fairy tale books, fairy tale story puzzle, markers, clipboards, paper, envelopes

Underneath the loft: Table, four chairs, place mats, different colored open-ended fabrics, purses, hats

Kitchen area: dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics, ice cream, ice cream scoops, aprons, chef hats, window with chalkboard, mirror, table clothes, wire shelves, coffee cups, coffee pot, dilly bar bags, sundae cups, paper, markers, clipboard, calculator, menus

Dramatic play cave: different types and colors of fabric, small woodland animals, foliage, acorns and nuts

~Rationale: The children have become increasingly interested in playing "ice cream shops." From the kitchen area, to the sensory table, to the play-dough table and even out on the playground, ice cream shops are popping up all over the place! To support the children's growing interest in ice cream shops we have transformed the lower loft and kitchen area into an ice cream shop. We have also added more materials for the children to explore and dress up in to expand on their ice cream shop play. The upper loft will provide children with a place in the classroom to explore fairy tales as well as promote important literacy skills.
~Skills: symbolic representation, social interactions, descriptive language, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, numbers, writing, sharing, letters, writing, alphabet principle

Blocks


~Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces. 


~Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.

~Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. Mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions. 





Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, a variety of books, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words, stickers, story writing prompts
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in the writing center! Some of the children have started creating their own storybooks while others have been busy writing letters to each other and sealing them in envelopes. To support the children's interest at the writing center and build on their knowledge we will be adding some new materials this week. Story writing prompts will be added to encourage the children to create their own fairy tales. Children will be able to stamp their envelops with stickers, and different vocabulary words will be available for the children to use as models when they create their own stories. The children have been sealing envelopes with artwork or letters made for other people in our classroom. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways and will also provide them with another place to do some creative writing!
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression

Large Motor


~Materials: Crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

~Rationale: The children will continue to be able to explore the new equipment set up in the large motor room! Hopscotch, the crawling tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, scaling wall with rope, and bumpy slide continue to help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support exploration of what they can do with their bodies. Basketball and hopscotch also simulate outdoor activities that we are unable to do right now because of the snow.
~Skills: Climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (Crawling tube, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling block wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall) propulsion skills (basketball & basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basket balls and basketball hoop), and directional awareness (all)
~Outside: It was another nice week! The weather permitted us to spend time on the playground every day this week. Sledding continues to be popular amongst the children. Some children have started exploring going down on their slides on their stomachs! Other children started helping Sheila build a "snow mountain" which the children are eager to paint on Monday! More children are becoming interested in adding "turbo boosters" to both the large and small slides on the playground. The children enjoy giving the all the clear to each other and taking turns sliding down the slides as fast as rockets.

Snack
Monday: Frozen peas and pretzels
Wednesday: Rice cakes and carrots
Thursday: Granola bars

Weekly Plan Feb.11 - Feb.15, 2013

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Weekly Plan February 11, - February 15, 2013
Julianne Lead Teaching
Overview and Goals

The past week was as busy as ever! The children continue to be engaged in the materials offered to them and have begun to dig into some new concepts. Although we missed Marie, we all had a great day on Monday! The children enjoyed spending time in the gym and playing "Scamper Scamper" in the dramatic play area. Wednesday brought us perfect winter weather, which the children took full advantage of by sledding on the hill and adding snow "turbo boosters" to the slides to make them go really fast. By the end of the week, small groups had really begun to develop and the children excitedly shared what they had done in their small groups with their peers at snack time. This week we will continue to support the children's interest in animal tracks with materials for them to explore at the science and art tables. There will also be some exciting new additions to our classroom such as melting trays and ice cream shop materials.

Expressive Arts

~Materials: easel, brushes, paint, paper. Containers of different shapes and sizes, paint, and paper. Play-doh, animal track molds, animals to create tracks, model animal tracks.
~Rationale: In order to continue to support the children's interest in animal tracks, we will provide materials to experiment and explore different footprints in the art area. Recently, the children have chosen to make their own tracks (handprints) on the easel. Color mixing continues to interest the children at the easel as well as other tables in the art area. The children have enjoyed making their own "mystery tracks" with the different shapes and sizes of containers and have had other children guess which containers made each of their marks.
~Skills: color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, and sensory stimulation

Light Table

~Materials: alphabet tracing cards, Montessori letters, blank sheets of paper, colored pencils, crayons, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree
~Rationale: The children have been spending a considerable amount of time at the light table and literacy center during the past week. In order to further their engagement with letters and writing, we have added a different way to make letters on the light table. Using the crayons allows them to rub and trace the letters in a new and interesting way. The children have enjoyed showing off their work by taping their letters up on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree!
~Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, letter recognition, alphabetic principle

Sensory Materials


~Materials: snow or Ice chunks of various shapes and sizes (depending on the weather), small plastic polar animals, plastic containers, people pegs, gloves
~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will continue to represent the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to play and construct with snow and ice in a more comfortable environment. Recently, the children have been making snow forts, tunnels, and caves out on the playground. To support their interest in the classroom, we have added materials for them to build these structures at the sensory table. The people pegs have each child's name and picture on them to allow the children to represent themselves in the structures they create.
~Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation, fine motor strength

Science



~Materials: photographs of different animals and the tracks they make, melting trays, ice and snow, stuffed pheasant, magnifying glass, clip boards, prompting questions.
~Rationale: The children have continued to express interest both in the melting process and in detecting animal tracks. Teachers persist in prompting the children in make predictions, observing changes that take place, and discussing their reasoning. The children will be offered materials to match animals and their tracks as well as use melting trays to melt snow and ice. These opportunities will further satisfy the children's inquiry of the scientific processes.
~Skills: matching, scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: seriation blocks, star connectors, alphabet unit blocks, number puzzles
~Rationale: The children have been creating some very interesting structures using the star connectors. Due to the several different shapes and ways of connecting the pieces together, the children are able to be quite creative in their constructions. We have added unit blocks with uppercase and lowercase letters on them to continue to build the children's awareness of letters and the alphabet. Seriation is another concept that we will continue to highlight in the math and manipulatives cave. The children have been working to put different sized blocks in order from biggest to smallest. Number puzzles support this understanding while also adding a numerical dimension.
~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence, comparing and contrasting

Dramatic Play 


~Materials:
Loft: magnetic alphabet letters, books about literacy, alphabet puzzle, pencils, markers, clipboards, alphabet stencils, alphabet/number/color keyboard
Underneath the loft: open-ended different colored fabrics, stuffed woodland animals, animal costumes, stuffed fish, stuffed frogs, pine cones, woodland foliage, laminated animal tracks
Kitchen area: dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics, ice cream, ice cream scoops, aprons, chef hats
Dramatic play cave: different types and colors of fabric, small woodland animals, foliage, acorns and nuts

~Rationale: The children never fail to become involved in dramatic play. This week, we separated out the materials in the dramatic play cave and underneath the loft in order to allow the area to become more open-ended as well as allow the children to be more creative with the materials. The loft has attracted many children and provided them with the opportunity to explore literacy in a variety of ways. The children have been playing "Ice Cream Shop" quite frequently lately, using the snow in the sensory table and on the playground to create ice cream cones. Therefore, we have added some materials to support that interest to the kitchen area.
~Skills: symbolic representation, social interactions, discussions and conversations regarding animals, their habitats and their tracks, descriptive language, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, and sharing

Blocks


~Materials: hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, long wood boards, and big fabric pieces
~Rationale: The children have enjoyed playing "Scamper Scamper" in the block area recently. They have set up the pantry and table and acted out being mice and cats. The children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation and social interactions.
~Skills: construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving, social interactions, role-play, cognitive flexibility



Language and Literacy
~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, alphabet/number/color keyboard, letters on the light table, envelopes, pre-made booklets, vocabulary words
~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in the writing center! They have been busy practicing letters and writing their names and other words they know how to spell. Our effort to support the children's interest and discussions has resulted in some children who may not usually spend time at the writing center regularly engaging with the new materials. The children have put to use the new vocabulary words that match their interest. The children have been sealing envelopes with artwork or letters made for other people in our classroom. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways. The children have enjoyed playing with the interactive keyboard in the loft, the use of which supports several academic concepts such as letter recognition, letter sounds, and color recognition.
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, artistic expression

Large Motor


~Materials: Crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

~Rationale: In order to foster new skills and keep the children engaged in the large motor activities, new equipment has been added to the large motor room! While many new pieces of equipment have been added, we have kept the rolling bumpy slide as many children continue to enjoy experimenting with going down the slide in different ways and pretending they are rocket ships getting ready for "blast off." All of these activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support the children's exploration of what they can do with their bodies.
~Skills: Climbing (bumpy slide, scaling wall, A-frame, climbing wall), turn taking (Crawling tube, hopscotch, bumpy slide, scaling block wall, A-frame with balance beam, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, wall climber), static balance (balance beam, hopscotch), muscular strength and endurance (scaling wall) propulsion skills (basketball & basketball hoop), hand-eye coordination (basket balls and basketball hoop), and directional awareness (all)
~Outside: Temperatures were a little warmer this week so we were able to spend time on the playground all week. Children were interested in exploring the snow and determining if it was sticky enough for snowballs. The sledding hill was re-opened this week and the children had a blast going sledding! Other children enjoyed adding 'super boosters' (snow) to the slides while pretending to be rockets as they slid down.


Snack
Monday: Rice cakes and raisins
Wednesday: Carrots and triscuts
Thursday: Class-made waffles with blueberry sauce

Weekly Plan Feb.4 - Feb.8, 2013

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Weekly Plan February 4, - February 8, 2013
Overview and Goals
Amy Lead Teaching



Monday was such a beautiful day! We were able to spend extra time out on the playground enjoying the sticky snow. The children had a blast building snowman, making snowballs, and sliding down the sledding hill on their stomachs like penguins. As a class we were able to go on a winter walk to search for animal tracks in the snow as well as make our own tracks. In the classroom we continued experimenting with ice and the melting process. We froze plastic penguins in ice cubes and the children made predictions as to which substance (salt, seeds, or water) would melt the ice most quickly and "free" the penguins first! The children began exploring the new materials at the clay table, which led them to create habitats for various woodland animals. This week we will continue discovering different ways to make ice melt. The children will have many hands-on opportunities to explore this topic, from navigating tracks in the dramatic play area, to building habitats at the clay table and the woodland cave. The children will also have plenty of opportunities to continue to explore letters and words embedded throughout our classroom.

Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Containers of different shapes and sizes, paint, and paper. Clay, clay tools, straw, open-ended materials from outside, sticks, leaves, and animals.
~Rationale: In order to continue to support the children's interest in making habitats, we will continue to have outdoor materials and animals figures at the clay table. The materials will also support the children's recently sparked interest in and awareness of animal tracks. Color mixing continues to draw children to the easel where they are able to express themselves and experiment with mixing different colors. This week we will be adding different shapes and sizes of containers to the art table to continue building awareness of tracks. Children will be able to discover that differently shaped containers leave prints of different shapes and sizes.
~Skills: Color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, and sensory stimulation.

Light Table


~Materials: alphabet/picture tracing cards, Montessori letters, blank sheets of paper, markers, colored pencils, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree
~Rationale: The children have shown an interest in letters, whether finding them in the room or practicing writing and tracing them at the light table, writing center or in the literacy loft. During large group time we have been talking a lot about letters and recently read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. To support the children's interest in letters and to continue to foster their pre-literacy skills, the children will be able to continue tracing different letters at the light table. In addition, we will be adding Montessori letters so the children can make rubbings of the different letters. The children will then have the opportunity to put the letters they made on the classroom Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!
~Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, letter recognition, alphabetic principle

Sensory Materials


~Materials: Snow or Ice chunks of various shapes and sizes (depending on the weather), small shovels, small forks and metal "chipping" instruments, small plastic polar figurines (frozen into the ice or hidden in the snow), shovels, gloves.
~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will continue to mirror the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to experiment with ice in a more comfortable environment with an array of interesting tools. The ice on the playground continues to inspire the children to experiment with melting and freezing, and the sensory table allows them to further explore inside the classroom. 

~Skills: Scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation.

Science


~Materials: Different kinds of feathers, feathers from different birds to match with bird photographs, stuffed pheasant and crow. Pans of ice, snow, and water. Photographs from the playground, prediction charts, prompting questions, magnifying glasses, penguins frozen into ice chunks, different substances such as ice, berries, sugar, cocoa etc. to continue the exploration of the melting process. 
 Photographs of different animals and the tracks they make in the snow.
~Rationale: The children have become very interested in "freeing" the penguins that are frozen in the ice chunks. At the science table children will be able to experiment with adding different substances to the ice chunks to see which substance one melts ice the most quickly. Teachers will prompt the children to make predictions, observe the changes that take place and discuss why they think certain ingredients makes ice melt faster than other. Children will be able to examine how different birds' feathers look and feel as well as compare and contrast the different kinds of feathers. Bird photographs will increase children's awareness of different birds and encourage them to continue to explore the bird watching area of the classroom.
~Skills: Scientific inquiry, making predictions, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, grouping, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world, seriation

Math and Manipulatives


~Materials: seriation blocks, puzzle builders, ring stackers, unifix cubes and star connectors
~Rationale: The children have been interested in creating structures with the ring stackers that start at the ground and reach to the top of the cave. To extend the children's creativity with making structures and patterns we will be adding unifix cubes to the math and manipulative cave. To further build awareness of size relationship and promote developmental math skills, children will continue to have the opportunity to explore the concept of seriation with the seriation blocks and unifix cubes. The puzzle builders allow children to explore how different pieces fit together, thus exercising their problem solving skills.
~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving, counting, one-to-one correspondence

Dramatic Play 


~Materials:
Loft: Magnetic alphabet letters, books about literacy, alphabet puzzle, pencils, markers, clipboards.

Underneath the loft: Open-ended fabric, stuffed woodland animals, animal costumes, animal "ears", stuffed fish, stuffed frogs, blue fabric "lake", pine cones, woodland foliage, laminated animal tracks, markers and paper.

Kitchen area: Dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics.
~Rationale: The children have enjoyed using the open-ended fabrics and animal costumes to dress up as birds and bears in the hibernation "cave." They continue to build homes for the birds and woodland animals to live in. The children have noticed the animal tracks and begun to move them around in the cave to indicate where the animals are going and where they have been. To continue to extend the children's play we will add prompting questions to the cave to get children thinking about where the animal tracks might be leading, and why. In addition, we will be adding markers and paper so the children have the opportunity to make their own tracks to add to the dramatic play area.
The upper section of the loft contains materials selected to continue to build the children's awareness of letters, writing, and literacy concepts in general.
~Skills: Symbolic representation, social interactions, discussions and conversations regarding animals, their habitats and their tracks, descriptive language, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, fine motor, and sharing.

Blocks


~Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces. 


~Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.

~Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. Mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions. 



Language and Literacy

~Materials: name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, magnetic letters, alphabet/number/color keyboard, letters on the light table, envelopes, pre-made books, new vocabulary words
~Rationale: The children have become increasingly interested in the writing center. They have been busy practicing letters, writing their names, and some children have started making their own books. To support the children's interest and discussions we have heard, we are going to add pre-made booklets to the writing center along with new vocabulary cards. To create awareness of writing letters, this week we will be adding envelopes to the writing center. The upper loft continues to allow children to experiment with letters in a variety of ways, such as, rearranging magnetic letters to writing letters and reading books. The children have enjoyed playing with the interactive keyboard in the loft, the use of which supports several academic concepts such as letter recognition, letter sounds, and color recognition.
~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness

Large Motor



~Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall

~Rationale: The children still have the opportunity to use old favorites: the bumpy slide and the climbing wall. The Pedalo, rope swings, and rolling hill continue to be a hit with the children. The children have experimented with going down the bumpy slide in different ways as well as pretending they are rocket ships getting ready for take off on the rolling hill. Children have also started using the Pedalo in pairs and work together to get across the gym and back. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill).

~Skills: Climbing (bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), turn taking (Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, rope swing, wall climber), directional awareness (all)
~Outside: The temperature and weather have been big factors in determining the amount of time we stay outside. Monday, while on the playground the children enjoyed making snowman and rolling giant snowballs! They continue to be interested in the sledding hill and coming up with new and creative ways to slide down. On Monday the children pretended they were penguins and slid down the hill on their stomachs!

Snack

Monday: Kale chips & carrots
Wednesday: Celery & sunbutter
Thursday: Class-made pretzels

Weekly Plan Jan.28 - Feb.1, 2013

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Weekly Plan January 28 - February 1, 2013

Overview and Goals


It's freezing outside! Too cold to spend much time on the playground, which is why we've brought the ice inside! The children have enjoyed exploring the properties of ice and water inside the classroom this week. Whether building with ice blocks and trying to "free" animals frozen in the ice at the sensory table, exploring the effects of heat and salt on ice at the science area, or painting with ice at the art table, children will have many hand-on opportunities to explore ice, water, and the process of melting.

Expressive Arts
~Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper. Colored ice cubes and paper. Clay, clay tools, wool, open-ended materials from outside, sticks, leaves, and animals.

~Rationale: The children have showed an interest in color mixing in a variety of medias, including paper, snow, and water. To support the children's interest, and to continue building awareness of melting, we will be introducing ice painting at the art table. In addition, this week we will also be adding animals, and some outdoor materials such as sticks, leaves, and wool to the clay table to extend the children's exploration of animal habitats.

~Skills: Color recognition, color mixing, self-expression, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, sensory stimulation, and knowledge of the physical properties of ice.

Light Table


~Materials: alphabet/picture tracing cards, blank sheets of paper, markers, name cards

~Rationale: The light table is a tool that can be used to support children's practice in writing letters by presenting the opportunity to practice literacy skills in a unique and engaging way. The children will have the opportunity to trace the letters on paper, and the pictures accompanying each letter will visually reinforce the letter-sound relationship. They will also be able to use their new name cards to practice writing their name, and other opportunities to practice literacy will be embedded throughout the classroom.

~Skills: fine motor strength and coordination, letter recognition, alphabetic principle

Sensory Materials


~Materials: Ice chunks of various shapes and sizes, small shovels, small forks and metal "chipping" instruments, small plastic polar figurines (frozen into the ice), shovels, gloves.

~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will mirror the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to experiment with ice in a more comfortable environment with an array of interesting tools. Additionally, the ice on the playground has inspired the children to experiment with melting and freezing, and the sensory table allows them to continue their explorations inside the classroom.


~Skills: Scientific thinking and reasoning, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, symbolic representation.

Science



~Materials: Feathers from different birds for matching with bird photographs, stuffed pheasant and crow. Pans of ice, snow, and water. Photographs from the playground, prompting questions, magnifying glasses, salt shaker. 


~Rationale: The children have started noticing that the sledding hill is starting to look different and that the snow is disappearing fast. At the science table children will be able to examine the properties of water, snow, and ice. Teachers will prompt students to observe the changes that begin to take place and get the children thinking about what might be happening. The furs will continue to build awareness of hibernation and promote a conversation about the different ways animals can stay warm in the winter. Children will be able to examine how different birds' feathers look and feel as well as look for patterns in the feathers. Bird photographs will increase children's awareness of different birds and encourage them to explore the bird watching area of the classroom.

~Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, drawing conclusions, reasoning, grouping, descriptive language, informative language, comparing and contrasting, knowledge of physical properties, knowledge of the natural world

Math and Manipulatives

~Materials: seriation blocks, puzzle builders, ring stackers

~Rationale: This week we introduced the concept of seriation to the children in order to build their awareness of size relationships and promote the development of early math skills. The children continue to practice making patterns with the materials in the math cave as well as in other areas of the classroom. The puzzle builders allow children to explore how different pieces fit together, thus exercising their problem solving skills. The ring stackers allow children to be creative in making structures with different patterns while using careful balance and fine motor control.

~Skills: seriation, concept knowledge, color recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity, pattern making, problem solving

Dramatic Play 


~Materials:
Loft: Magnetic alphabet letters, books about literacy, alphabet puzzle, pencils, markers, clipboards.

Underneath the loft: Open-ended fabric, stuffed woodland animals, animal costumes, animal "ears", stuffed fish, stuffed frogs, blue fabric "lake", pine cones, woodland foliage, animal tracks.

Kitchen area: Dishes, different types of food, open ended fabrics.

~Rationale: The children continue to be interested in creating homes for the birds and woodland animals in the loft. The lower section of the loft has been transformed into a "cave" to encourage the children to explore hibernation. Open-ended costumes have been provided for the children to dress up as bears and other woodland animals. We have added different animal tracks underneath the loft to as a way to support the children's continuing interest in animals and winter. Adding the tracks to the lower section of the loft will also build awareness for our upcoming walking field trip where the children will have the opportunity to look for signs of winter, such as, animal habitats, animal tracks, ice, melting etc.
The upper section of the loft contains materials to continue to build the children's awareness of letters, writing, and literacy concepts in general.

~Skills: Symbolic representation, social interactions, discussions and conversations regarding animals, their habitats and their tracks, descriptive language, knowledge of the natural world, role-play, problem solving, and sharing.

Blocks


~Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces. 



~Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.


~Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. Mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions. 



Language and Literacy

~Materials: new name cards, paper, various writing utensils (markers, colored pencils), scissors, tape, magnetic letters, alphabet/number/color keyboard, letters on the light table

~Rationale: Our classroom has several new and exciting ways to support and explore the children's interest in language and literacy. The writing center offers new name cards, which give children the opportunity to practice writing their name. The loft provides materials for the children to experiment rearranging letters on a magnetic board. The children have enjoyed playing with the interactive keyboard in the loft, which supports several academic concepts such as letter recognition, letter sounds, and color recognition. The children's interest in playing with letters was sparked after reading "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". The light table offers uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet that have "fallen" out of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree set up in the classroom. This promotes the awareness of letters and gives the children the opportunity to search and scan for particular letters.

~Skills: letter recognition, fine motor control, pre-/early literacy skills, alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness

Large Motor


~Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall


~Rationale: The children still have the opportunity to use old favorites: the bumpy slide and the climbing wall. In addition, we have brought out the Pedalo, created rope swings, and built a rolling hill with the gym mats. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill).


~Skills: Climbing (bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), turn taking (Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, rope swing, wall climber), directional awareness (all)

~Outside: We have shortened our time outside due to the frigid temperatures. Recently while on the playground the children have enjoyed exploring the properties of ice! They have been particularly fascinated with exploring the "where" and "why" of the location of the ice on our playground ("Why is there a lot of ice in the boat? Why isn't there much ice on the sand?").

Snack
Monday: Tortilla crisps with cinnamon
Wednesday: Sunbutter sandwiches
Thursday: Birthday snack & bread pudding

Weekly Plan January 14 - January 25, 2013

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Overview and Goals

It's been a busy and exciting week back at preschool! Many of the children have been eagerly taking advantage of the color mixing opportunities around the classroom; they have been busy mixing and stirring and painting as they create new colors and experiment with various color combinations. We will continue to support that interest next week as we explore shades of color and bring snow and color mixing to the light table. We are also adding a literacy focus to our classroom this week. As we move further into the school year we want to support the children's experience with literacy and the alphabet in a more concrete and intentional way. With that in mind we have added alphabet books and writing materials to the loft area, and we will continue to embed and literacy opportunities throughout the classroom in the weeks to come.

Expressive Arts

Materials: Easel, brushes, paint, paper, clay, clay tools, wire. Watercolor paints and paper, small brushes.
~Rationale: The children were so excited and engaged by the color mixing opportunities around the classroom that we decided to postpone bringing the clay out until this week! The children will have the chance to get reacquainted with the properties of clay as we explore the endless possibilities that it offers for creative expression and symbolic representation. 
The watercolors will continue to give the children an opportunity to explore color mixing in a unique and creative way. This week we will be adding a stuffed pheasant to the table for inspiration.
~Skills: Color recognition, growing understanding of mixing colors, self-expression, fine motor strength and coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, cause and effect relationships.

Light Table
~Materials: Pipettes, color-mixing trays, and tubs of snow, color mixing "recipe cards"
~Rationale: The light table provides the children with a unique way to explore the concept of color mixing. Children will be able to experiment with the properties of different colors and explore cause and effect relationships as they mix different colors together to create new colors! Adding the recipe cards to the area will provide focus and scaffolding for the younger student's experimentation.
~ Skills: Scientific thinking and reasoning, cause and effect relationships, experimentation, creative expression, inquiry and observation.

Sensory Materials


~Materials: Snow table, snow, small shovels, and small molding containers, spray bottles with colored water, pictures of snow sculptures, the prompting question "What can you make with snow?"
~Rationale: The materials at the sensory table will mirror the outdoors and provide children with an opportunity to experiment with snow in a more comfortable environment with an array of interesting tools. Additionally, the melting snow on the playground has inspired the children to experiment with melting and freezing, and the sensory table allows them to continue their explorations inside the classroom.
~Skills: Scientific thinking and reasoning, self-expression, sensory exploration, cooperative play, hand-eye coordination, growing understanding of color mixing.

Science

~Materials: Feathers from different birds for matching with bird photographs, stuffed pheasant and crow, animal fur, and various articles of warm (human) clothing. Boxy the turtle!
~ Rationale: The materials at the science center are designed to create community awareness of hibernation and birds and the different ways animals stay warm and survive during the winter. We have just added different feathers to the science area, which will allow the children to compare and contrast how different birds' feathers look and feel, wonder about how birds stay warm, as well as look for patterns in the feathers.
~Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, conceptual knowledge-knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, heuristic language, informative language, symbolic representation.

Math and Manipulatives
~Materials: Mosaic pattern grids, flexi blocks (moveable legos), classmate bingo, puzzles featuring winter and animals, in both inset and interlocking varieties, backyard birds patterning cards

~Rationale: Patterning is an important pre-academic concept and patterns can be found all around us. Exploring these "simple" concepts lay the groundwork for mathematical thinking and more advanced mathematical concepts. The children have begun to create patterns throughout the classroom, using paints, blocks, legos and paper to create their own patterns with their peers.
~Skills: Patterning, concept knowledge, one-to-one correspondence and whole/part relationships. 
Color recognition, number recognition, fine motor strength and dexterity.

Dramatic Play 

~Materials:
Loft: Alphabet and books about literacy, pencils, markers, clipboards.
Underneath the loft: Open-ended fabric, stuffed woodland animals, animal costumes, animals "ears", stuffed fish, blue fabric "lake", woodland foliage
Kitchen area: Dishes, fruits and vegetables, open ended fabrics.
~Rationale: The children have been creating homes for the birds and woodland animals in the loft. The lower section of the loft has been turned into a "cave" and open-ended costumes have been provided to inspire the children to dress up as bears and other woodland animals and explore the concept of hibernation through symbolic play.
The upper section of the loft contains materials designed to build the children's awareness of letters, writing, and literacy concepts in general.
~Skills: Symbolic representation, social interactions, discussions and conversations related to animals and their habitats, problem solving, and sharing. 


Blocks

~Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces. 

~Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.
~Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving. Mathematical concepts such as symmetry, dimensions and fractions.

Language and Literacy 


~Materials: A variety of writing implements, paper, notebooks, and a posting of the upper and lower case alphabet. A well stocked library with books about winter, animals, and habitats and the alphabet.
~Rationale: The children have been enjoying the winter and animal books in the library area. Books about birds will be added to the library to support the theme of "birds" in the science area. The writing center is placed near the bird watching area to record observations. The writing center will also have laminated name cards for children to spell and write their names as well as other children's names. The upper section of the loft is now a "literacy loft" and has materials that support letter and letter sound recognition.
~Skills: Letter recognition, listening and receptive abilities, fine motor control, descriptive and creative writing, dictation, awareness of the alphabetic principal, phonemic awareness

Large Motor

~ Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall
~ Rationale: The children have done well easing back into the routines of school and have seemed to enjoy the familiar equipment we had set up in the gym. In order to sustain their interest in large muscle activities and to foster new skills, we have changed out some the structures and activities. The children will still have the opportunity to use old favorites: the bumpy slide and the climbing wall. In addition, we have brought out the Pedalo, created rope swings, and built a rolling hill with the gym mats. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill).
- Skills: pushing with feet/propulsion (Pedalo), pedaling (Pedalo), standing/balancing (Pedalo), grasping (Pedalo, climbing wall, rope swing), climbing (bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), turn taking (Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, rope swing, wall climber), directional awareness (all)

- Outside: We opened our sledding hill last week and hope for more snow so that the children can continue to use the sleds! We will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. As before, our time in the playground is dedicated to both unstructured and structured large motor activities as well as scientific explorations and experiments. Many of the children have been shoveling and building with the snow, asking questions about and exploring ice and melting, and discovering how the winter weather affects the structures on the playground. We have been happy to see that they are making fascinating connections between the snow in the classroom and the snow on the playground!

Snacks

Monday - Clementines & rice chex
Wednesday - Pretzels & raisins
Thursday - Black bean quesadillas

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