Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tunnel Learning Group - Week 1

The implementation of the first inquiry involved the children exploring the big idea "Where did it go?" Intention was to study the movement and disappearance of an object when it goes through another object and then reappears through the other end. The children wanted to study where the object goes when they can't see it before the object reappears again. The children explored with the cardboard tube by putting the toy car through one end and watching it come out of the other end. They did this over and over again. This was the favorite activity among majority of the children. The children also rolled the toy car through an opening in the foam blocks. They watched as the car went under the tunnel and then came out of the other side. They then explored the same concept themselves by crawling through a large tunnel themselves. They also rolled the toy cars through the large tunnel. The children observed and connections between the activities. The concepts children learned doing the activities include the concept of motion and the concept of objective permanence.

Sound Learning Group - Week 1

This week we looked at different instruments that would produce sound through shaking.  They included the maracas, bells, rock bracelet, beads in a cylinder, and Tupperware with water and beads.  Each instrument ranged in volume, some were loud and others were soft.  The children explored with the instruments by using them.  They shook each one and choose the one which caught their attention.  We enjoy comparing loud and soft sounds and plan to investigate this more!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scenery Learning Group - Week 1

For one of my material exploration lessons, I wanted to project a scene on the wall using the overhead projector and see how the children interacted with it.  For the first scene I decided to use a tree since we have a small tree and stumps in our block area.  The children were fascinated by the tree and the scene projected on the wall.  They used their hands and bodies to interact with the scene.  They also used the tree blocks and the animals.  Some children tried to “jump” into the scene.  Others spent some time comparing the part of the wall with the tree and the part of the wall without the tree…testing if the different areas “feel” different.  The children tried putting animals in the tree on the wall and in our small tree in the corner of the block area.  They also enjoyed building their own trees with the tree blocks. 
To extend this idea, I would like to change the scene next time to a forest.  I want to compare how they interact differently with a whole forest scene compared to just one tree.  I wonder if they will continue to use the animals and tree blocks in the block area or if their exploration will focus more on their bodies interacting with the scene.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to Fall 2012!

This semester, we will be focusing on exploring materials.  We will be utilizing many different types of materials in the classroom...materials from nature, recycled materials, open-ended materials and art materials.  Our children are very interested in the sensory experience of exploring materials and are intrigued by mixing and manipulating the materials. 

Here is an activity where we explored sand, water and shells.  The activity started with the sand and water separate, but the children quickly explored what happened when they mixed the sand and water together.  They were very interested in the way the sand felt when it was wet. "Mud!" "'s yucky!!"  They also used the shells as tools for mixing and picking up the sand. Soon, they noticed their fingers could make designs in the sand mixture.