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Posts tagged ‘curriculum’

Apples, Apples, Everywhere

The next kind of tree we heard the children discussing where apple trees.  The children shared their personal experiences about trees by making small apple trees.  They used tan colored paper to wrap the poles of our loft.  They then added red circles to the paper to represent an apple.  One child created a three dimensional apple using model magic and a pipe cleaner as the stem.

The children investigated three types of apples including red, green, and yellow.  The children had an opportunity to cut the apple if they would like and they were able to taste test them. After the tasting was over, the children created a graph to compare and document observations of the tree kinds of apples.  After the list was done, the children signed their names on the sign to identify which was their favorite apple.  A day later, a child decided to create her own survey on the apple tasting.  She created four different apples, red, green, yellow, and brown.  She remembered that brown was not a color of an apple they tried so she crossed it out.  She then went around to each child in the classroom asking them their favorite kind of apple.  When she was done, she counted up each vote and found out which had more and which had less.  This took so many skills in this one activity!  She met many of our objectives from the Peoria Pre-Primary Curriculum, here are a few:

  • showing beginning control of a writing or art utensil
  • writing words for work and play
  • beginning to show comfort with self as someone growing in skills and abilities
  • shows interest in quantity and number

After the investigation of the apple tree was over, a child decided that we needed to re-create the apple trees to be more accurate. They found a tree book called, How does an Apple Grow?  With the book near her, she created a list of items she needed to gather to create this tree.  With the help of her peers and a teacher, she sounded out each word and created a list.  She then gathered the materials to begin to create this new tree.  The children used tan paper but also colored various shades of brown on the tan paper.  One child shared, “not all trees are the exact color brown!”   They then cut green leaves to add to the apple tree to represent a Spring Tree.  They then created three dimensional apples by painting lids red and stuffing them with fluff or taping them together.

As a teacher, you can help support this survery or collaborative work by:

  • modeling
  • supporting the children
  • taking baby steps
  • thinking out loud with the children

It will take time to begin to make this a classroom norm, but soon it will just be another way to investigate and discovery.  The children will begin to lead these surveys without any teacher guidance! 

Until next time,


Teaching Email 2

My classroom is currently knee-deep in our bakery project!  This past week, my assistant planned and implemented the process of baking Gingerbread cookies.  With the Children’s Campus, each of our staff members is required to fulfill one to two personal goals.  My assistant’s goals over the past few years have been to further her own knowledge on child development, lesson planning, and project work!  Kudos to her lesson plan, execution, and what her and the children learned, it was phenomenal!  She started the week by having the children sketch and predict what the ingredients (which were laid out on the table) would create.  On Tuesday, the children followed the recipe to create the cookies.  On Wednesday, the children rolled out the dough and used cookie cutters to make various designs.  The children started to share that they would like to share the cookies–so we followed the children’s lead and made another batch so we could share more!  On Thursday, the children created another batch and on Friday they cut out shapes and baked.  The children who baked both days began to feel more confident in the skills they gained Tuesday and started to use those skills by themselves on Thursday! In the afternoon on Friday, the children counted and added cookies in a bag to share with their families.  This is only one week in our project!  We have learned so much and the children’s interest is still driving this project! 
Often times, I hear others ask the question, “How do you combine the learning objectives from your curriculum in your project work?”  In the above scenario, I have laid out only a few of the many objectives:
  • use strengthen and control to perform simple fine motor tasks
  • show interest in quantity and number
  • participating in measuring activities
  • persists in play for six to nine minutes
  • make comparisons among objects that have been observed
  • represents ideas through pictures, dictations, and play

As you enter the classroom this week, begin to observe the patterns of your children.  Look to see what they are interested in and begin to start a small project.  If you need help along the way, let me know!  I’d be willing to help.  If you already do project work in your classroom please reply all and share your experiences.


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