Head, shoulder, knees and toes!! That is what we have been singing all week long as we have continued on learning about our bodies.
As we explored the function of our body parts, we played a variety of games using those parts. We bounced and tossed balls to our friends, using both our hands and then just our forearms. As the children played we their partners, I spoke to each of them, helping them to notice which parts of their arms/hands they used to catch, bounce and throw. At the conclusion of the activity, we charted whether the children found it easy or hard to catch/bounce with only their forearms, not their hands. Of course, we counted their responses, wrote the number and stated which response was bigger smaller.
Preparing for our fall unit, I compared our bodies to trees – our feet are the roots, legs and abdomen were the trunks and our arms and fingers the boughs. I worked with each child to trace their arms and hands and cut them out. Then each child assembled a line of unifix cubes the length of their arm. I worked with each child to count the number of cubes that they had assembled and we wrote that number on their arm. Once again, we charted, comparing the length of one child’s name to the other and using the terms AND the symbols GREATER THAN and LESS THAN. We are going to use the arms we cut out to create a family tree in the next 2 weeks (homework!!)
I have been working 1:1 with children each morning on writing strokes and cutting. I am encouraging proper grasp and/or one that is more functional for them as well as guiding them on how to manipulate the scissors to cut with intent and greater control.
The Tuesday/Friday group worked on the story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” A natural expansion from “If You Bring a Mouse to School,” we continued to get to assess the children’s skills and to challenge them through fun, active lessons. Of course, we sang some of our new favorites – Ring Around the Rosy, Hokey Pokey, Up in the Sky and Down in the Meadow. We taught the children how to play the game WHO STOLE THE COOKIE FROM THE COOKIE JAR. Each child had a paper cookie with their name on it placed inside a plastic cookie jar. As we chanted the lyrics, each child took a turn drawing a cookie out of the cookie jar, identifying the name of a peer and proudly reciting the words/lyrics (WHO ME?).
Tuesday’s group worked on coloring the mouse by number, following visual and verbal directions to complete the task (and challenging fine motor skills, too). The children continued to strengthen fine motor skills by tearing pieces of brown paper and gluing them into the shape of a cookie. They counted and patterned with cookies, worked on both AB and AAB patterns and even counted out increasingly larger groups of cookies. We charted which cookies the children liked to eat best and, again, used the terms and signs for GREATER THAN and LESS THAN.
Thursday’s group wrapped up the story and activity. They cut and glued cookies in order from smallest to largest and sequenced the order story of how to create rolled, shaped cookies. They worked in small groups to act out the story, using cookie cutters, rollers and playdough to share and recreate parts of the book. While a few children worked on skills (cutting and seriation) with Mrs. Lozano, Ms. Newman worked in small groups to follow a recipe to create oatmeal cookie batter. Each child had a turn to measure and add ingredients, smelling each ingredient as we went along. After creating the batter, each child was given a small graph to indicate which ingredients they would add to customize their own cookies….raisins, chocolate chips or sprinkles. They then took turns passing the bowls to one another and placing the ingredients on their own cookie.
We wrapped up our day with an estimation activity. The children were shown a jar of cookies as asked if they thought there was more or less than 10 cookies in the jar. Again, we charted their responses using the terms GREATER THAN and LESS THAN. Finally, we played a game of WHO STOLE THE COOKIE while they enjoyed their cookies.