learn through play

Room 5: Bringing multiculural education to preschoolers

By: Arelys Menendez & Suzette Dort

The teachers and students in our classroom come from different cultural backgrounds, such as: Cuba, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Egypt, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States. During this month, we are learning about different cultures. To introduce the theme we read the book "We are all alike...We are all different." Through this book we taught children that even though they come from different cultures, they are different sizes, different texture of hair, skin color, they like different kinds of food, but we are still the same because we are all people. 

To instill the lessons of this theme, we have:

  • We read different multicultural books.
  • We talked and discussed about the different kinds of cultures.
  • We made a chart comparing the different sizes.
  • Parents and children dressed the doll with their native or typical dress.
  • We played the musical instruments from different cultures.
  • We made rain shakers that are musical instrument that use the Africans, Chileans and Indigenous cultures for their rituals.
  • We traced our bodies and covered them with beans.
  • We made pizza.

In addition, to complete our monthly lesson:

  • Parents come to the classroom to read multicultural books; also, they can share some stories from their countries.

  • We are having a buffet with our typical dishes.

  • Children and teachers can dress in their native clothes.

 

 

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.


Practicing Fine Motor Skills in Preschool

By Neva Lattanzio Temple 

During the month of October, Room # 2 has focused on strengthening our fine motor muscles. These skills are so important for developing cutting and writing skills. By being able to use the pincer grip when picking up small items, such as beans for counting and sorting, or pulling apart cotton balls to make baby owls, the children are adding muscle strength to their fingers. The children take part in many different things that require the use of their fingers.

 It may seem as a small thing but it is very important that the children learn to do things for themselves and become more independent. Such as, pulling up their own pants, brushing their own teeth (with a parental check after), washing their own hands and drying, putting on their own coat. All of these small things require a lot of finger work and add to independence and fine motor strength.

There are many activities and strategies that Room #2 has used, you can do at home, these include: sorting three different kinds of beans into three different bowls- sort by size or color, cutting practice with size appropriate scissors and paper, ripping and picking up construction paper and tissue paper, pulling apart cotton balls, playdough- rolling it out, then cutting with scissors, squeezing, shaping, also, cutting out animal pictures form magazines, picking up cotton balls with clothespins- using fingertips to press- put correct number of cotton balls on numbered plate, or do something with the alphabet.All these activities are simple, economical, and easily carried out. It has been my experience that most child are engaged with these simple yet effective exercises. Try one on a rainy day at home and see how focused they can be!