Last week was a busy week of Ocean study, and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! The children learned about the letter T by tracing it, correlating T words to the letter, and making a tree craft (which worked on fine motor by ripping the paper “leaves”). We finished our ocean scene, which included large whales and baby whales. The children spend time matching the numbered whales to the whales with the same number of corresponding dots. This activity will remain on our wall through our entire Ocean unit. We continue to reinforce this number recognition and counting through calendar activities, and playing many counting games. I introduced patterning, having children work on coloring in an A – B – A – B pattern. I was impressed at their quick absorption of this concept! In order to reinforce how big a whale is, we drew a 100 ft whale with sidewalk chalk in the parking lot. Each child took a turn drawing part of the whale. That size is difficult to comprehend, so we compared the whale to several vehicles, a bus and even a small house. We studied squid and how big they are, and what they eat, including small whales. When studying the squid, we made small squids out of plastic gloves and colored tissue paper. Our fine motor skills were put into play by continuously filling the gloves with the paper. We painted seahorses made from paper plates; they love painting anything! We made an “ocean in a bottle” including oil, water, sand and small shells. The children enjoy shaking the bottle and watching it settle with the oil on top and the sand at the bottom. When focusing on sharks and making the shark mouth hats, we played a fun shark game. While using the strong hearing and vision senses that the shark has, the children had to pretend our timer (with its ticking noise) was their food. They had to find it by remaining quiet and listen for the ticking. This was a thrilling game for them which included lots of focused concentration followed by excitement when they found their “food”. We read numerous books on the animals we study as well as books on the ocean overall. They children love our story time. We will continue our Ocean unit through this week.
For our St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we painted clovers using a cut green pepper. This reinforced the children’ love of painting, however showing them that many things can be their “paintbrush”. We also made necklaces out of Cheerios, by using our fine motor skills by threading the Cheerios on yarn. Again, their focus was truly awesome to see! We also spent some time on Thursday joining with the big kids for music.
With the amazing weather, we tried to allow a good amount of social interaction, exploration and pure fun outside on the playground. We will continue to do that this week while the weather is so warm.
Please encourage your child to bring in anything ocean or the letter U for show and tell. Having them get up in front of their classmates and talk is a great skill that we love to enforce.