Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flashlight Markers

Flashlight Markers
June 11, 2014

“They are making lines.”
“The lines all go this way.”
“Now they are going this way.”
“It helps me make a rainbow.”
“The light tells me which way to go.”
“The light helps me see.”
“The light makes the picture lighter.”
“I can see all 5 lines.”
“It looks like a claw!”
“I am drawing scratches.”

Friday, June 6, 2014

Exploring Train Jobs

Week of June 2nd, 2014
We have started to discuss many of the jobs required for a trip on a train. This connects to last semester’s exploration of roles and responsibilities. We have talked about the engineer (who drives the train) a lot. Today we added a ticket collector as well. He passed out tickets and collected them as the passengers found their seats on the train. They have also been talking about things they do while on the train. We learned that trains often offer food, like snacks or even dinner and lunch! The children decided that one of the jobs needed on the train as well was a food server.

Learning about Maps

Learning about Maps
Week of May 26th, 2014
As we have been exploring trains more, the concept of where to go often is discussed. They know that trains take us places and we often think of many different places we can travel to. Many of the children connect these ideas to recent vacations or to places close relatives live. We often take our trains to Disney World and to Memphis. We decided to explore maps with the trains. The children know that maps tell you how to get somewhere. They were often overheard using words like, “Turn here” or “Go that way now.” When we explored the big map on the wall, the children began using words like, “Go north” or “Now make the train go west.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bubble Investigation Week of May 19th, 2014

While playing outside the children have shown a strong interest in blowing, catching and observing bubbles. They often ask “make it bigger” and watch as a teacher creates a large bubble.  When the children themselves try to create their own bubble, they struggle and have not yet mastered the concept of “blowing softly”.  To further investigate bubbles, we brought the bubbles into our classroom and began an exploration.
At first the children really struggled with creating the bubbles.  They watched as the teachers produced bubbles of various sizes, longing to create some of their own.  The children had to determine how hard they could blow into the straw to create a bubble; too hard and the bubble would burst but too soft and no bubble would be produced.  They tried blowing through their straw and onto their hand, to determine what would be hard or soft.   As they found the perfect strength with which to blow, some of the children created bubbles of their own.  We discovered we could stick our straw through a bubble, carefully of course, without it popping.  However, it would not work if we used our fingers.  We also found we could create bubbles inside of another bubble.  The children then carried over their exploration to our outside time and produced more bubbles that afternoon.  Next week we will be exploring the consistency of bubbles, and what happens when we add another liquid to the mix.  We will first test out these new bubbles by adding oil to our solution. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Don't Fall In!"

Exploring Bridges
May 20, 2014

We have been talking more and more about water, boats and fishing throughout the classroom. Today I set up slats across the tree stumps and had small animals to explore on top of the slats. The children immediately saw the slats as bridges. They began walking their animals across the bridges. They would say things like, “Watch out! Don’t fall in!” Occasionally they would drop an animal into the water and have it swim around.  Hassan moved one of the slats so that it was like a ramp. He slid the animals down one by one and said it was a water slide. “They go swim in the ocean now.” They began talking about the fish the animals would see as they swam in the ocean. They even began to talk about the animals going fishing.