Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You Can't Say You Can't Play

I've just started reading a very interesting book, You Can't Say You Can't Play  written by a kindergarten teacher, Vivian Gussin Paley. The book was assigned to me to read for a class I'm taking this summer, Social and Emotional Competence in the Preschool Classroom. 

The book is focused around a kindergarten classroom that has a very common problem in classrooms all over the world, students excluding other students from joining in their play. When the problem in this teachers class escalates to the point that there are children in tears daily, Mrs. Paley implements a new classroom rule, you cannot say the words, "You can't play" in her classroom.

The book follows the aftermath of implementing such a rule, the thoughts of the teacher throughout the remainder of the school year, and the outcomes she experienced in her classroom. I won't spoil it for anyone interested in reading it, but it was a great read!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Partners In Blogging: KWL Charts

Partners In Blogging: KWL Charts: This week in the Dolphin class, we are learning about creepy crawlers. To introduce the children to this topic, we started our group time wi...

Monday, May 11, 2015

KWL Charts

This week in the Dolphin class, we are learning about creepy crawlers. To introduce the children to this topic, we started our group time with a K-W-L chart.  A KWL chart is a form of graph about "what we know?" "What we want to know?" And "what we learned?"  about a specific subject. The KWL chart has three columns for recording your answers. Ms. Kelly and I think aloud to encourage the children to come up with their own questions. Once the children get involved in the discussion, we then record their questions. Sometimes it is helpful to draw pictures next to the words to make the chart more child friendly, so the information recorded can be easily understood. This strategy will also help with English as a second language learners as well as children with processing delays. 

Once we have all questions recorded our class will then go outside and explore, having a hands on learning experience to find all the answers to our questions. After the information is gathered we will record our findings in the column "what we learned?" The KWL chart is an effective teaching strategy for preschoolers.

KWL Chart 

Recording thier findings "centipede in his home."
Hands on learning experiences will help the children to retain and remember this new information better.

Recording information 

"Bumble bee" "Ms. Gen running from it." "Bees live in hives."

Notice the moth on the wall

"Worms in the grass"
" bugs eat plants."
"Roly poly's are fun!"
"Log with eggs"

I hope you enjoyed our learning experience, we sure did!!!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Annual Mother's Day Tea

Friday May 8th we held our annual Mother's Day Tea for the mothers of the children in the Polar Bears and Starfish classrooms. An invitation is sent to all the moms. I think we need to sure to bring tissues...on the invitations. The children sing a few songs, a book is read, and refreshments are served. 

With our annual Thanksgiving programs we alternate the books "The Giving Tree" and "Stone Soup." But with our tea we always read "Love You Forever." If you haven't had the chance to read this book, you need to. It never gets old. Last year we did a "play" of the book while being read. This year we read the book and then a video was shown of the mothers with their child. 
Tissues were defenately needed once again. There is a special gift for each child and mom to take home. This year they have soil and sunflower seeds to plant in the cup with a mini pinwheel to add. 

As if that isn't enough excitement, we write a number on the bottom of three plates for door prizes. They are usually different from year to year with the exception the book. That is always one of the door prizes. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Eggs-cellent Learning

When the seasons start to change and the sun is warming up our souls, many start to think of spring time holidays.
 With our center being a model for multiculturalism and diversity, our class brings in the excitement of these holidays with a study of eggs. This study starts our month long journey into of how things grow, where they grow from and many more questions about growth, changes, and life cycles.  We start very basic and work towards more complex thinking concepts. Here are some simple ideas to start your child out on some "eggs-cellent" learning opportunities.

So grab up several dozen plastic eggs from that store that's always cheaper than a buck and you're ready to get started.

In this activity, the child has to match the number symbol on one half of the egg to the correct amount of dots on the opposite half of the egg. If you want to add a little more, add plastic refrigerator magnets for them to place inside the egg as well. (Total cost of learning activity: $2)

For this activity, we found these great cake pans with lids to that same cheap store to use for egg rolling art. Take a plastic egg and fill with just a little sand or rice then tape it shut with duct tape. Add your piece of paper to the cake pan then several drops of paint. Replace the lid then let the shaking begin. Have your child shake the pan in several directions...try using positional words like right to left, forward to back, in to out, and up to down. Great way to build vocabulary while doing art.

Do you have a child that loves sensory or water play? Try adding rice/oatmeal/grits to a plastic shoe box then add several eggs, some little chick colored Pom poms, small plastic animals that come from eggs (butterflies, bugs, frogs, lizards, snakes, etc.) and a small scoop. Let them tell you all about the animals, the eggs, or whatever their hearts desire. Or add eggs, scoops, animals, and a few rubber ducks (personal favorite) to bath time or as we have in our class, an under the bed storage container, to have some great water sensory time.

Worried about those math expectations....try using those plastic eggs as a measuring tool. When children enter primary school, they often think that items must be measured with a standard unit of measurement like ruler, tape measure, etc. Great reminder about standard and non-standard units of measurement. Even eggs can be used to measure themselves, a friend, or anything around the house.

Even see those cute little styrofoam eggs in "that store" and wonder who has time to do anything with those??? Well now you do!!! Take a simple muffin tin, place the corresponding colors of the eggs in the bottom of each section then let the sorting begin. Why is it so important to sort? Only young children need to sort....not!!!  
Sorting helps children to learn about placement values, numbers, fine motor skills and more. What is all of that stuff you say? Think placement value in math equations and the counting of money. Fine motor skills include holding the pencil, writing with a pencil, using scissors, brushing your teeth or hair.  Amazing to think that this simple starter activity could lead to many daily life fuctions later on.

Do you have an extra egg carton laying around? You will after you dye all those eggs. Then recycle or up cycle it to make a number or alphabet game. Grab some ping pong balls (maybe two) from "that store"-usually in the toy section.  Write numbers or letters on them then write the corresponding dots or letter inside the egg carton. Here we placed the number on the ball then number of dots inside the egg carton. Trying writing the upper case letter on the "ping pong egg" and the lower case in the carton. Cheap activity and you can take it on the go as well. Think a quiet activity for the synagogue or chapel or that spring wedding.

We hope that you can find some ways to use these activities and have "eggs-cellento" opportunities for learning with splashes of fun to boot.

Have a "Springy" week and we'll see you next week for more learning make it take it sessions!!!
Ms. Gen. And Ms. Kelly