Things are really rolling along this week and the children are finding the rhythm of the schedule and the classroom expectations. We have been working hard to learn how to listen at group time – to look at the teacher, keep our hands in our laps, our ears and eyes open, and to raise our hand to indicate that you have something to say.
This week’s MWF class has been busy expanding our understanding of body parts – mostly focusing on our heads and necks and the proper terms and functions of facial features. We drew faces, created paper plate faces and even cut out facial pre-drawn facial features and glued them onto the appropriate place on a face.
I have introduced the children to the question of the day, writing the question on the dry erase board and charting their responses. Wednesday’s group was asked WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HAIR? Some children had to look in the mirror and observe themselves, and then made a selection from pre-written choices. We then counted how many students had each color and used terms like more, less and greater than to quantify our results.
The children are really enjoying playing active games to support their learning. We are singing and dancing about our bodies and even playing a dice/bean bag game during which the children roll a dice with body parts on it, identify the body parts and describe their function and then finally toss a bean bag onto a larger version of that body part that is on the floor. Language/listening, following directions and motor skills.
Thursday’s group wrapped up GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS. During early morning centers/work time, Mrs. Lozano worked with children in small groups on cutting and sequencing the story and gluing the parts onto paper. The children are learning how to keep their “work” in order, how much glue to use when creating work and even the proper order/placement of work onto paper. Some of the children also worked on tracing or copying vocabulary words from the story.
While Mrs. Lozano worked in the hallway, I worked inside the classroom on “porridge” activites. I worked with small groups of children, using a balance and the dry oatmeal. Children took turns getting out small blocks and feeling how heavy each block was (the block had to be small enough to fit into the bucket of the balance). Next the children took handfuls of oatmeal and felt the weight of that. I then asked them to predict how many handfuls of oatmeal would either be equal to or heavier than the blocks. I also placed equal amounts of oatmeal into different sized glasses and had the children examine the glasses and decide if one glass had more oatmeal in it than the other (one glass was tall and narrow while the other one was shorter and wide). It was fascinating to observe how some of the children actually used their fingers as a method of measuring the oatmeal before making their predictions. Each group of children at the “porridge station” also followed a recipe to make “porridge dough.” They counted, measured and mixed ingredients to create their dough. They had a blast using props to expand upon their play.
Of course, we re-told the story and sang all of the songs we learned on Tuesday. This time we used the term “subtract” as each child took a turn rolling out of the bed during “Roll Over.” We ended our day creating masks – the children being given a choice of coloring and cutting out a Goldilocks or a Bear mask. We then went into my smaller room which had been set up as the 3 bears’ home and acted out the story, using the bears that the children brought from home and some extras that both Mrs. Lozano and I brought in as well.
Next week we will continue on with both bodies and expansion on our focus story of “If You Bring a Mouse to School.”