A Place to Connect Teachers and Support Children

Children in our room have been learning about diversity through music, games and various activities.  With such a high interest in music, we decided to learn more about musical instruments.  We began by watching a short clip of instruments that are played in various countries.  We stopped the video clip at each instrument and discussed attributes of the instruments.  We then gathered items from our treasure chest  (a box containing items to create two and three dimensional representations), clay, paper and writing utensils and brought that over to the table.  Children choose a medium and then used that medium to represent.  We currently have recreated three instruments and plan on continuing this through out the rest of the week.  Later, a child asked if we could listen to music that used each of the three instruments.

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Looking for Details

We meet again! It has been so long since I have posted and since you have visited.  Welcome back!  I will do my part (on writing more) if you do your part on visiting the blog and posting more comments.  Can you help me keep our goal?

We had been in a cooking project which lead us to cooking appliances used in the kitchen mainly the skillet, crock pot, blender and magic bullet.  We have several questions for someone who might be able to share how electricity works in relation to these items.

Today, several children joined to sketch a cord from a crock pot.  One question that has come up several times is whether or not the electricity that powers kitchen appliances is different from those that power our cell phones, lamps, etc.  A child wondered if we sketched, investigated, compared and contrasted the two cords if that would answer our question.  So, we started that journey today.20E074F8-5056-A053-5EAB8CEDC24EE7DE_456762550-15136_062315104631_NA

Above: A child (4.8) sketches the cord.  He counts five lines in the cord and draws five lines on his paper. He then identifies a square and makes it.  He then traces the rest of the cord before completing his work.

Week of the Young Child

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It’s true.  NAEYC’s week of the young Child begin’s today!  How are you celebrating it?  We’d love to hear your ideas!  Below is a link from their website offering ideas for classrooms (and families) to participate in this week.  Or… Create your own activities for you and your child(ren) this week!

We are celebrating with an Art Show featuring each child work from each room in our center at St. Ambrose University.  We will also have our project work displayed and some of our university student’s work.  On Friday, we will be parading around the university campus celebrating childhood.  For those of you in the area, we will be leaving our school around 930am and heading to St. Ambrose.  From there, we will parade across campus (feel free to join us or wave at us from your office Ambrosians!) and then spend some time enjoying the campus.  We will have guest readers, music, and children’s activities during this time. Help us celebrating childhood as they are the foundation for our future!

As we work on our farm project, children have been wondering what animals are on a farm.  They also have been wondering if the animals think the same type of food that smells good to us smells and tastes good to the animals.  This discussion arose as we learned and studied silage. photo (63)

Today, after trying cabbage from our garden a child wondered if our bunny, Rio, would eat it. The children ran over calling any adult or child in their path to join them.  Children all joined near the bunny and a child fed the bunny some cabbage.  To the children’s surprise, he ate it!  The children now wonder, “Do horses and cows like cabbage?”

 

A few mornings ago, a child handed me a scarf and told me all of the things that they can do with a scarf including wearing them in the winter, putting on your head, dancing rhythmically with it and wearing it as part of your outfit. I mentioned that sometimes I will use a scarf if I am dancing (For those of you who do not know, I am first generation born in America.  I was raised and taught all of the traditions of our Greek culture). I then explained to the children that many of the dances we dance include the use of a scarf.  The children started to ask questions and we then brought up a few videos of several different dances.  After watching the videos the children wanted to learn to dance!

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A CD was located in the classroom that I had made.  I then taught the children three traditional dances.  We would start by labeling the dance and then watching it on YouTube.  We then would try out each dance without music and then adding music to it when we felt we had learned the steps.  After teaching each of the dances, I had to walk away to help a child.  When I returned,  a child was teaching other children each of the four dances I had taught with complete accuracy.

After sharing this anecdote with mom later that day, she shared her daughter taught her how to do it as well!

Please share any experiences you have from teaching your children things that are important to you!

A season of change

Change.  It happens to all of us.  This time of year always brings so much change.

  • The change of the seasons from Spring to Summer.
  • The sun is up so much longer.
  • Our lives seem to get so busy with sports.
  • Our children transition from one year of school, to home, and then eventually back to school again.

In our preschool room, we are beginning to talk about change as we are losing more than half of our class to Kindergarten this year!  We are discussing the changes of routines for our old children and then the new routines for our new children.  A quote our children say frequently during this time of year is, “our new friend is learning!”

I often times hear from families what can I do to support my child as they prepare this transition from their current school to their new school.  Some ideas can include:

  • Reading books about Kindergarten
    • The Night Before Kindergarten
    • Kindergarten Rocks
    • Kindergarten, Here I come!
    • The Kissing Hand
    • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
    • Welcome to Kindergarten
  • Visiting the new school (if possible–inside and outside)
  • creating a picture book of new and old to support the child
  • have discussions with your child about the new routine
  • each night as your child comes home discuss things that went well or didn’t go well
    • how can you change the didn’t go well

What great ideas do you use at your home? How do you help support your child with these changes?

 

Reflections

Many times, I am asked by students who do practicum hours in my classroom (for those of you who do not know we are a lab school and I have students join the room who are freshman to seniors to experience life in a preschool room.  Depending on the class, the students may observe, teach lesson or facilitate a project.) what is my favorite part about project work.  I felt  like this was  perfect time to share with you my thoughts.  Please feel free to add your own to the comments.

*The individual learning of each child!

-Some children may write a word for the first time.

-During this project, a little guy who is slow to warm has started the project work activity (whether it be my idea or his) every morning for three weeks (and counting!!)!

-Another of my little ones has remembered the origin of the ukulele and shares that with others.

-One of my older ones created his first three dimension representations and dealt with some frustrations along the way appropriately!

*The things that I learn as a teacher!!

– I learn about my own teaching such as how to engage children effectively with a project, what items I need to transform my room, and different ways to document the children’s learning.

-I also am able to see how amazing three, four and five-year olds are and always will be!  I see them grow in their own learning, begin to learn to represent, set goals for themselves, and work together as  a team.

-I learn details about specific items such as I now know all the parts of the ukulele!

*How caring our community  (both classroom and beyond) are to our children!

-We had the opportunity to meet with a local weather man who was more than gracious to our classroom!

-Families have been an outpouring support whether in my classroom or the community in our building.  This is also a wonderful way to get to know others and help teach the children about kindness, caring, and giving.

 

What’s your favorite part?

 

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