Summary Week of September 23rd, 2013
Perceptions: Big and Small
We have been studying perceptions this semester and I have noticed the children have a strong interest in the use of binoculars. It got me thinking about the ideas of big and small and part to whole and what children know and understanding about these concepts. I wanted to introduce the children to the idea of a picture viewed on a small scale and then expanded to see a larger view. We explored this idea with animals, looking at a small portion of the animal and comparing it to the larger picture. The children were fascinated by the larger picture and studied the small picture with great detail. They would lean in close to find the fine points, since they did not have to study the whole picture. This week we introduced microscopes, so the children could really focus on the small details of the objects. The children had to develop an understanding of how to use this new piece of equipment. At first the children spent their time examining the object on the stand below. I showed them how to look at an object through the view finder. They tried using it as if there were two lenses, sticking their forehead on the viewer thinking they could look through. Trying to get the children to just look through the viewer with one eye was difficult. They began to make the connection that the object they saw in the viewer was the same as the object below. They did not quite grasp the idea that an object was viewed at a more detailed level. We will continue to work on this idea.
Next week we will explore the opposite of microscopes, binoculars. This is where their initial interest started and I would like to reintroduce the idea that an object far away can be viewed using microscopes.