Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sometimes we get so used to doing things a certain way and sometimes when things are changed or go differently we may get upset. We may even feel like our day is all out of whack. Well it can be the same for children. Often times they may not know how to handle these changes. They may get upset and cry. They may lash out at those around them. So what can we do to help with these changes? Well we need to remember that children reflect what they see. They watch us probably more than we realize. It would be helpful to them as well as to us if we first talk about the change. We can let them know what changed. We can tell them we are not happy but it is okay. It just means that something was done differently. We can tell them that there may be more than one way to do things. What about changes in the childs' routine? Well we can talk about that too. If weather causes schools to be closed, especially for numerous days, it could be helpful to talk about school. Talk about what they like to do there, who their friends are. Take them by the school and remind them that they will be going back soon. You can also keep in touch with your childs teacher, ask questions about what they are doing in school. If a sickness prevents children from following their regular routine, seek ways to keep them in touch with their classmates. Video chats with the teacher, or doing projects at home may help the child to feel like they are part of the routine. Children sometimes may have difficulty adjusting to new or substitute teachers. When possible ask to meet with the new teacher or the substitute allow the child to get to know that person. When that isn't possible, take a little extra time in the morning, talk to your child and reassure them that it is only for a short time. When we as parents acknowledge that our children have needs and routines too, we will be better equipped to help them when situations arise where they may feel overwhelmed.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Preschoolers use math to help them solve problems and make sense of the world around them. Children learn numbers by counting objects and talking about what they just counted. For example, if a child is playing a math game and his card has the number 5 on it, and he only counts out four blocks. Talk about the results with the child by saying "count your blocks, you have four blocks but your card says 5. How many more blocks do you need?"
Not only is this child learning numbers and their amount but she is practicing her fine motor skills.
Preschooler also learn geomerty. They see shapes everywhere, they love to draw them and talk about them. Teachers use this as a learning opportunity and teachable moments as children explore their natural environment. These children were given a shape and were able to cut the shape and turn in into a picture of their choice. We will then make a classroom book so the children can enjoy thier artwork while learning geometry.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
We all know about learning through play. We also know that transition times can be a challenge. Some times are harder than others. It can be a simple song to help with these transitions or playng an I Spy game. Transition time is also a time of learning, and yes it's also through play. There are many different ways to help children through a transition from one activity to another. Below are just a few...
The Dolphins class like to use yoga. Which is a great way to get in some gross motor activity on a cold winter day. They were transitioning from free choice to getting ready for lunch.
The Whales class was using an art activity. This is also a sensory activity, using your senses. They too were transitioning to get ready for lunch.
The Polor Bears were reading books, for a quieter transition time. The children like to read to each other during this time.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
If you have been anywhere near a preschool (or older), you have felt the effects of that famous icy movie from the Disney Company. You can probably even sing a line or two from one of the many songs but how can you get your kiddos from out in front of the television and really experince what frozen really means. With cold weather and plummeting temperatures for much the U.S., it maybe hard for many adults to think about these concepts but these are prefect learning opportunities for children.
Today after our blizzard of a snowstorm on Monday night (haha that is suppose to be funny because we mainly received ice), our class did a brain walk to discuss ice/snow then went adventuring outdoors. First our brain walk was about where we may find or discover ice outside and with this, no answer is wrong and all ideas are accepted. This gave the children free range on what their ideas could be and the endless possibilities that we could explore.
Please make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share. If you are doing this at home, you need to include everyone especially the adults and you could space it out over several days if your frozen stuff hangs around that long...down here, not so much.
Our next step was to venture outdoors....always looking for learning opportunities please allow your child to put on all "their gear" by themselves and build up the anticipation for the event.
Look at those faces, we were so ready to go!!!!! We took a picture of our list to bring with us outdoors because our list was on a large flip chart but you could always just bring the list. We re-read several of the predictions as soon as we got outside because we could see these spots immediately such as "on the playground" and "on the ground". Our little guy who predicted "on the roof" was slightly disappointed when there was none on the roof to our building but we reassured him that we would keep looking (and did find some, which led to another discussion about shade and sun.)
We then went walk about to see what else we could find our list....we also had to skate our way across the playground....even the teachers loved it.
As we continued, we read off each place that had been predicted then added some that were not list but that we discovered while we were looking around the area. Here are several examples...
We skated our way down to the slides and the creek area.
Our discovery that the bike track was covered with ice but the bikes didn't have any on them.
We had to add the bridge to our list because it was not on before we came outside.
The girls discovered the ice felt different if it was on top of the cut stump vs. on the side of the stump on the bark...
Happy teachers because these kiddos can teach and learn on their own in their natural environment.
This activity may seem like something that is so simple but children need this time to discover the beauty of our natural environment even in the cold temperatures. Through this activity, the kids made predictions, drew their own concludions, and added to their hypothesis of their "experimental adventure". Science and math need not to be hard just inviting to an open mind and a willing heart to learn more. So grab your kiddos and find some cold weather adventures!!!!! Next week...make it take it experiments....
Happy experimenting!!!! Ms. Kelly and Ms. Gen
Saturday, February 14, 2015
I know we've all heard this before, but it bears repeating. Children learn through play. While in the Seahorses NC Pre-K class this week, I witnessed this first hand. Although it may appear to be just playing, it's actually learning. The children were read a book about Chester and going to school. After the story, Ms. Audrey told the children what had been added to each center and the things they could possibly do in those centers. These two went to blocks to build what I thought was the school Chester went to. While they were building and working togefher, I was asking open ended questions to add to their activity. Well, I was surprised to hear it wasn't the school at all, but the whole town Chester lived in.
Another example was at the writing center. Not only are they carrying on conversations with each other, they are practicing writing skills and fine motor skills. While this activity looks like its more learning than play, it's play because they decided to do this, no one made them go to the writing and no one told them what to do. The activity is set out, and the children choose what to do.
The same goes with stinging the beads and play dough activities. They are working on fine motor, math, and social emotional skills just to name a few.