Together with the interns we look forward to exploring what the children have been exploring so you can join in the thinking! In the meantime, you are still welcome to send in photos your child has taken or of pets (please see October announcements). Additionally, any photos you have of your child visiting tall buildings and structures would provide fabulous opportunities for him or her to share and connect around this concept of tall. Please peek at the November announcements for a few routine bits of information, too. Here are some of the things around which our thinking has been centered:
Our Introduction into Photography
Since the beginning of the year the children have shown an interest in photography. They have taken control of the camera to explore all aspects of the classroom and outside. We have discovered how to take a picture and what constitutes a good picture. The children paid close attention to the details in the pictures and were able to make a connection and recant what was happening at that point of the day.
As a way to promote our classroom community we worked together to create our identity board to help the children get to know one another. The children started by taking pictures of each other and the adults in the room. We then cut out our faces and posted it on the board. Our names followed.
From the very beginning the children showed us their interest in cats. They started off by role playing a cat family in the vet clinic. They worked to take care of one another. To further explore the idea of cats we started to investigate the body of a cat in the form of drawing. As we examined the model of a cat the children drew many of the details they saw. From drawing we moved onto to sculpting cats from clay. We started off by learning different techniques on how to make legs. Then we moved on to bodies. We are now at the point of connecting the two together.
Our shadow studies have lead us to build with light. Doing so to model the details of famous structures as well as to manipulate shadows, the children consistently show an interest in the aspects of building tall. Their understanding of balance, stability, components of structures, cooperation and safety is really shining through.
A Note from the Interns:
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with this diverse group of children. Each child brings his or her own personality to each exploration. We were both very excited to begin this school year knowing that we would be interning in a mixed classroom: both prekindergarten and kindergarten. We have already learned a lot as a class and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Ashley Atanosian’s Explorations
Since the beginning of school I have been exploring the way that textures are around us. I have explored the garden and the Art Studio. During both of these explorations children chose one item to keep. From all the items that were kept we sorted items into categories (according to texture). Those categories were bendy, itchy, pokey and bumpy. I’m beginning to work on the five senses with the children and would like to center all of my explorations around the concept of working together. Having the children work together will allow them to balance one another’s thoughts with their own. At this age it’s hard for the children to share without getting upset with one another. My goal this semester was to go from less one-on-one explorations to more working together explorations. I believe that by having the children work together, the explorations are going farther because the children are building off what another child hears. A few specific ways that you can encourage the lessons would be to focus on being fair and sharing. Sharing with siblings, other family members, or a close friend of your child could do this. These can be done outside of the school environment. I am striving to have all the children understand how to share and how to makes activities fair for everyone. When I see that children are having a hard time with choosing what each person will do I make the suggestion of picking sticks because this is a fair way. Even though sharing is my main goal, I am still watching the children closely and reflecting on my lessons as I go, because ultimately the biggest goal that the classroom is focusing on is meeting the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten standards.
Chelsea Grigg’s Explorations
It has been exciting to see the children’s interest in different explorations grow throughout these first two months. From the start I have been working with children on patterns and have watched it develop into sorting and classification. Children have explored different characteristics of patterns and used those characteristics to sort. When sorting and working with patterns we have tried to encourage children to use other attributes than just color. We have been able to sort leaves of all one color and focus on the other key characteristics we noticed about the leaves. We have worked with animals and explored differences and similarities of animal characteristics. I have been reflecting on the lessons I have done with children and paying close attention to the children’s play and thinking. I have noticed many children interested in building different homes and structures and through this have noticed children working together and cooperating as classmates. I am looking to further the children’s thinking by having them continue to work together and plan together in the building process. During this exploration I will be having children explore what it means to be a classmate and help each other. A great way to encourage this at home would be by either encouraging play with other siblings, friends, family or anyone else as a form of cooperative play. You can support children by reminding them of a common goal, and encouraging them to come up with ways they can reach their goal together. This is important for prekindergarten students and kindergarten students as they are both working towards meeting standards that focus on collaboration in the classroom.
We would like to invite you to the Curriculum Night the Early Childhood Education Center is hosting on November 30th. At this event we can go into further detail of the children’s learning explorations and answer any questions you may have about what we have been working on with your child. The Curriculum Night will begin at 4:30pm and finish up around 6:00pm. We hope to see you there!