Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of May 24-28
Lead Teaching: Jenny
Overview and Goals
Last week was filled with outdoor adventures on the toddler playground and exciting play scenarios in the classroom. The children used camping materials outside to pretend they were on expeditions and sometimes they transformed into animals along their trek! Several students visited the bakery this week as they made recipes and baked "treats" with the packing peanuts, pom pom balls, and polyfill. Comic strips were introduced at the beginning of the week and the majority of the students created their own comic! The teachers assisted the children in writing captions to their pictures and then shared them with each other at pick-up time. This form of story-telling gave children who do not often visit the writing center a chance to put their imaginative stories onto paper. Our focus this week will be on providing new materials to expand on the already developed play going on in the classroom. Furthermore, we would like to focus more on the "academic thinking" to enhance greater learning opportunities. The children have been very focused on certain activities and we will be enticing them to dig deeper and expand further on their play. Critical thinking skills and imagination will be fostered as the children are prompted to incorporate the new materials into their play.
~ The easel will be restocked with twelve different colors of tempera paints this week to promote creativity and symbolic representation through art. In the past, the students enjoyed the open-ended opportunities of painting as they produced artwork revolving around their favorite interests: dinosaurs, princesses, and playmates. Bringing back paints will provide the children with the opportunity to engage in making their own creations once again with a familiar medium.
~ The creation of bracelets and necklaces made from pipe cleaners, buttons, and beads have become a popular occurrence at the art center over the past week. To support the creativity and pattern-making skills we have seen through this activity, we will be providing more materials that can be used for making jewelry, hats, and other accessories.
~ The sand table has been a huge hit over the past week and it provides a rich learning opportunity for many skills. Children are using tools such as the sand sifters, shovels, and containers, to perform precise tasks. A popular theme is making "volcanoes" out of piles of sand and pretending they erupt. We will continue to use the sand table to encourage children to use their imaginations to create detailed play scenarios with the materials.
~ Students have been experimenting with the clay as they mold it into objects based on their interests. A dragon was carefully created by a student with detailed wings and a delicate face. In order to encourage more students to use the clay, we will be introducing the volcano theme at the clay area that has become all the rage at the sand table. Children will have the chance to look at a volcano model and recreate it with the clay materials--including spewing lava using baking soda and vinegar! This will also be a chance for the children to observe chemical reaction, an "academic" concept several children will see more of in kindergarten!
~ The children have been hypothesizing about what the larvae might grow into at the science center--guesses include ants, butterflies, and caterpillars. The larvae will continue to develop in the next week and the children will get closer to solving the mystery: supporting critical and scientific thinking skills.
~ Each student planted a new bean this week in their individual cups with the understanding of how important sun and water are to keep plants alive. We have been studying the changes in the grow window, recognizing the roots, stem, and leaves of the bean plants. Our focus this week at the science center will continue to revolve around the beans we have planted. The children will examine how a tiny seed can grow into something much bigger. This is a biological concept that the children can see and relate to everywhere in their environment. We will also be focusing on taking the individual responsibility of growing a plant which gives each child the feeling of ownership and accomplishment.
Language and Literacy Center
~ The comic strips were a hit last week! Herman the Worm was transformed into a comic strip at large group in order to show a familiar story in the form of a comic allowing the children to understand the story-telling sequence. The children caught on to the idea and created their own stories using a comic strip template. This week, we will be making a book out of all the comic strips created by the students and sharing it at story-telling times. Furthermore, we will be providing examples of comics in order to get the children's minds rolling to create more stories. Pre-literacy skills including reading, writing, and the concept of a story will be implemented by the teachers as we sit alongside the children and work with them one-on-one.
Math and Manipulative Center
~ Children have been arranging puzzles at the manipulative center, demonstrating their one-to-one correspondence skills. We will be continuing to promote these skills by adding new puzzles to the table. Sequencing stories became a fun activity with the Herman the Worm comic strip--children arranged the pictures in various orders, imitating the original story and inventing different versions. Therefore, we will add more familiar stories for students to sequence and recreate new versions based on their imaginations. To promote academic/higher-level thinking we will be adding games with rules such as Hi Ho Cherry-O and Candyland. These games will also promote turn-taking skills and persistence.
~ Several block structures were built over the past week: stages, fire trucks, and helicopters. Children have been created stages; therefore, we will bring back the CDs in order to promote more musical and rhythmic development as well as usage/exploration of new instruments. In addition, we will be providing the children with props in hopes that they will use their structures in more detailed play. For instance, we will provide the firefighters with water hoses, walkie-talkies, and pretend fire scenarios--taking their play one step further. The overall goal is to create opportunities for elaborate play with more child direction and less help from the teachers.
Dramatic Play Center
~ Quite a few students visited the bakery this past week and baked pies, cakes, and cookies. For example, an imaginative, detailed pie was made last week along with a drawn set of directions. The packing peanuts turned into blueberries, lemons, and huckleberries. Frosting was made out of the polyfill and the pie was baked in the oven before it was served! Several children have started taking the food to other areas of the classroom on picnics. Therefore, we will be providing more materials such as baskets, blankets, food items, and plates for the children to venture further on their picnic adventures. The open-ended materials will continue to allow children to use their creativity to mix foods and follow step-by-step directions. Furthermore, it will encourage the children to take on roles and imagine scenarios that may occur at a picnic.
~ We have been spending as much time as possible outside in the amazing weather! The children have been kicking balls around on the playground, peddling on the tricycles, and digging deep holes in the sand. This week, we will be including more games with rules outside on the playground to focus the activities and to foster the development of following rules and working collaboratively. Parachutes will also be incorporated for an exciting way to work on coordination! The water for the hoses will be turned on next week, so prepare your child in appropriate clothing and footwear for water activities.
~ Over the past few weeks, more and more toys from home have been traveling to school in backpacks and finding their way to the classroom and playground. Most of them make it home, however we have found some of these "special" items after school during clean-up. To make sure everything makes it home and nothing is left at school over the summer, please keep all toys at home or, at the very least, in the car.
~ Thanks to those who have turned in their parent evaluations and there is still time for those who haven't had a chance to complete it yet!
~ Please remember to turn in your order form for the Lab School Pizza Party on Tuesday, May 25. I hope you can all make it!!! The event is from 6-7.30p and is a great time to connect with other families from our classroom before the year wraps up.
~ Remember...NO SCHOOL Monday, May 31. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!
~ The "End of the Year Party" is scheduled for Thursday, June 3. We will meet and have a quick snack at 10.30a, have our sing-a-long, say thank you and goodbye to our student teachers, and then invite any and all families to join us on the playground for a picnic lunch! Bring a blanket and a basket filled with your lunch supplies for the day and join us for one last get-together!
~ That being said, our last day of school is Friday, June 4. It will be a regular day with regular times for drop-off and pick up. Hard to believe we're already at that point!
Tuesday: Pretzels, carrots & Dip
Wednesday: Multigrain Cheerios & Kiwi
Thursday: Graham Crackers & Apple
Friday: TLC & Oranges