early childhood education

Room 4: We are going to the Zoo

We’re going to the Zoo!

Recently, we were treated to a fabulous day at the Turtle Back Zoo. The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time exploring and talking with the kids about different kinds of animals. Room 4 loved every second of it, especially the stingray exhibit.  The children were able to put their hands into the tank to touch the stingray.

Another awesome highlight of our Turtle Back Zoo trip was our excursion on the Zoo’s famous train.  The children enjoyed an exciting ride on the train with their pals.  

 

The monkeys were also a favorite. The children enjoyed seeing them swing from rope to rope.

Overall the trip was a success and the children’s knowledge of the zoo broadened. School trips are so important to a child’s growing knowledge of the world. Hands on experience is key to successful learning.

In order to elaborate or extend learning about a trip to the zoo or even to the circus it’s great to incorporate high quality children’s literature.  For example, these colorful picture books allow children to gain prior knowledge and extend knowledge of their field trip.


Room 3 Trip to the Zoo!

The weather cooperated for our trip to the zoo at the beginning of November. We had a nice day and the children were excited to see everything. The train ride was a hit. Some of the children were telling us what they might see at the zoo.  When we got back the children were excited to tell us about all they saw at the zoo. They also told us what was their favorite animal.

    We’re in full speed going through the fall season with many different projects, stories, rhymes, and finger plays for the children to learn. We read the gingerbread man and created gingerbread cookies. We talked about the leaves changing color and created some different leaves of our own. We used our fine motor skills and eye hand coordination to pick up and place beans on a leaf and cover the whole leaf.  The children preserved leaves by ironing them onto wax paper. Then we created a place mat for the holiday season. We went outside and jumped in the leaves since they were all falling down. We covered everything from math, language, science, fine motor, and gross motor to learn about the season.

    As November continued we began to get ready for our multicultural week. We had two parents come and read stories to the children. Our music teacher came and let the children play instruments from around the world. We watched videos of the first Thanksgiving. We read stories; and learned finger plays about turkeys, and many different songs. The parent’s came on the day before Thanksgiving to enjoy lunch with their children. We read a book about the first Thanksgiving and some children asked if they could make hats so we did. Some of the boys picked the pilgrim hat and some picked the Indian hat. They girls liked the bonnets so we made them too. We were pretty busy right up to the break we had. Now December is in the air new level of learning will begin at a higher stage now that the children are accustomed to our classroom.

 

How to Have Fun with Play Dough in School and at Home

When preschoolers play with play dough it stimulates their senses, while offering an opportunity to use their imaginations. Furthermore, the possibilities for conversation and interaction are endless!

The goals of a play dough activity are to:

  1. Encourage free exploration of the materials, which encourages creativity

  2. Expand their ability to pretend and imagine

  3. Help them learn some interesting new words that label their interests and actions

  4. Have fun!

This is the way we made the play dough in the classroom:

  Our students helped us make the play dough and then we put the play dough in a ball in front of our children and had them choose their own color. We watched them mix in the food coloring and talked about the changes that occurred. We observed, asked questions, listen to their observations, and waited to see how they want to use it.  

Our goal was to give your our students an opportunity to see what they want to do FIRST.

Once our students have started to show some direction as to what they want to do with the play dough, we joined in and played, following their lead. Our preschoolers used play dough to create pretend events, so pretended along with them. We turned the play dough into a person, animal, food, vehicle, etc. Pretending by using one thing to represent another is an important part of language and cognitive development.

   Our students enjoyed our playfulness and the fact that we were playing with them, contributing to what they have started to create.

This activity was lots of fun for our students as they:

  • played for a long time (maybe longer than usual)

  • became quite creative both with the play dough and the pretend theme

  • communicated with us frequently

 In case you are looking for a fun activity to do with your child at home, below are the play dough ingredients. This quick and easy recipe is great as kids can help make it as well as play with it.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cup plain flour

  • 1 cup salt

  • 2  tbs oil

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 2 drops liquid food coloring

Method

  • STEP 1Combine plain flour and salt

  • STEP 2Add water, food coloring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.

  • STEP 3Knead well.

  • STEP 4If consistency is too wet add a little plain flour.

ENJOY IT!!!

Humpty Dumpty Preschool Curriculum room 1

One of our students’ favorite nursery rhymes so far was Humpty Dumpty. Since every literacy activity is usually integrated into other projects, here is was we used Humpty Dumpty throughout our curriculum.

Science Activity
•    We look at the raw eggs and the boiled eggs and we observe what happens with them when they fall.
•    We analyze the content of the egg and we talk about it.
•    We eat eggs and we talk about how they taste.
•    We think about foods that we cook with eggs.

Art Activity
•    Using the pre-cut pieces, we glue them to make the wall, then Humpty-Dumpty with his body parts, we choose the outfits we prefer, and the pieces of shells that are on the ground. 
•    We talk about Humpty-Dumpty’s body parts and we  talk about the colors of his cloths. 
•    We discuss about the piece of art we created. 

Math Activity
•    We talk about Humpty-Dumpty’s shape and we compare it to a circle. 
•    We observe how the circle rolls and how an oval does not. 
•    We are going on an “Oval Shape Hunt” in the classroom. 
•    The children have to identify the shapes that have an oval shape in the classroom. 
•    Then we color an oval shape without crossing the oval shape’s line. 
•    We build a wall for Humpty-Dumpty in the block center and we count the blocks we used to make the wall.

Literacy Activity
•    We talk about the content of the nursery rhyme “Humpty-Dumpty”.
•    We talk about the words that rhyme: ”wall”/”fall”; “Humpty/Dumpty”; “men/again”. 
•    We talk about the sound the and the letters in the title ”H” and “D”.
•    We talk about other words that begin with the same sound. 

Writing Activity
•    We try to write an oval and to draw Humpty-Dumpty.
•    We color the inside of an oval shape. 
•    Using the wooden pieces we write the letters “H” and “D”.
•    Using the chalk boards , we try to write lines and then we try to write the letter “D” and “H”.