On March 17th, Meghan (Elliott's mom) helped the class with a Bones, Blood, and Body capstone project. She brought in a model of the human heart and demonstrated how the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body. She started by helping children find their veins on their wrists. The children then had the opportunity to drop blood (jewels) into the heart and watch it travel through the organ and back out again. Thank You Meghan!
Now that the Bones, Blood, and Body exploration had its final project, the teachers are considering what the class would like to study next. In planning, the teachers created a mind map with all of the topics that they saw children investigating in the classroom. Four main themes stood out: Filling Containers, Animals, Gross Motor Games on the Couch, and Cars. In looking at what children were doing with each of these topics, the teachers decided that the biggest wonderings for both children and teachers were centered around Filling Containers and Animals.
This week many activities in the classroom focused on volume, size, building, and filling. New boxes in a variety of sizes were added to the classroom and the children experimented with filling them up and emptying them out.
The desire to play with cars was honored and expanded upon by offering the children the chance to build their own cars. Legos were available at the table and the children set to work building different types of vehicles.
Couch Games also continued with the children finding new ways to create spaces using pillows and blankets.
The Singing ERC Group is learning the song Thank You for Being a Friend (also known as The Golden Girls theme song). Raven created a beautiful book to help teach the children the song. The teachers have noticed the children in the ERC group are teaching it to everyone.
In what I think is an excellent example of co-learning, Cole and Kaiya sing the song together. Cole knows most of the song from ERC group and Kaiya is trying to learn the song. For most of the lines, Cole sings first and then Kaiya repeats. There is also a moment when you notice Kaiya showing Cole a page to prompt him.
Next Week: Over the past few weeks, the teachers noticed an increase in the number of children wanting to bring items from home to school. Children wanting to bring toys from home is not a new situation but it is a tricky one. On the one hand we want to honor the home to school connection that the children are trying to establish. They want to share fun toys with their friends, they want the comfort of knowing a favorite object is near, and they want some control over their environment and the materials available. On the other hand, teachers spend a significant amount of time creating environments, experiences, and finding materials that extend the children's wonderings and understandings of the topics that they are exploring. When the toys from home come out, they tend to dominate the play that happens that morning. The teachers decided to offer a compromise that corresponds with the current exploration of Fit. This week the children decorated a Special Things Box. Children are invited to bring one thing from home to put in the box. The item has to be small enough to fit in the box. It also has to leave enough room for other children's items. The items will stay in the box and children will have the opportunity to share them at meeting. Your child does not have to bring an item from home but if your child wants to bring something this is the new place to put it. The Special Things Box will replace putting toys in the cubbies and children are still welcome to bring a lovey for nap time. Teachers will explain these guidelines to the children at morning meeting. In the coming weeks, you will probably receive some updates to the guidelines as the teachers adjust the plan to meet children's needs. If your child does bring something to share, please remember to take it home with you at the end of the day.
The weather finally cooperated and the children were able to go on their truck search through the neighborhood! Luckily, our neighborhood almost always has a few trucks relatively close or driving through. Lauren walked the children to a main street and they watched lots of different trucks going by.
They also stopped to admire the cherry blossoms that are currently blooming.
Lauren captured the children's response to a UPS truck driving by.
The car and truck play in the classroom continues to grow as more children become interested. After spending lots of time watching their friends, Patrick and Annabelle figured out how to play with the large trucks. Emi also joined in the car/truck play.
Markers were offered at the table for children to explore. The children practiced taking off caps, making lines on the paper, and holding the pens.
The older children are interested in helping teachers clean-up. Teachers are offering them paper towels for the table and they are making sure that the table is very clean after snack.
The peek-a-boo game in the closet continued with the children hiding behind the curtain and waiting for Sarah to find them.
It was a quiet Friday afternoon with all of the older children still fast asleep, so Sarah and Lauren staged a Patrick and Emi photoshoot.
Next Week: If the weather continues to be nice, Lauren hopes to go on another car and truck hunt in the neighborhood. The class will also learn "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" during morning meeting.
The week started with a car washing and car painting project. The children were invited to paint with cars and then wash them with sponges. Taking advantage of the lovely afternoon weather, Jane and Shannon set up chalk drawing on the ramp. The children discovered that there were lots of worms lurking in the mud in the garden area.