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Showing posts from April, 2014

Earth Day

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To celebrate the Earth today we set up a nature weaving provocation. We used flowers, weeds, sticks and ribbons. The base was an old window frame with chicken wire. The children worked individually and cooperatively.

The children loved doing it and it turned out beautiful! We decided to hang it in our work room.






Is It An Insect ?

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We got these cool X-ray insect cards to use with our overhead projector. The children were quick to point out that some of the cards were not insects at all. Some had no legs at all and some had 8 legs! The children had a great time counting legs and identifying them as spiders and noticing which had triangle shaped heads which makes them bugs. We learned that bugs are insects but not all insects are bugs. The cards were also great used on our light table. The children did some great tracings.









Insect Compositions

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We often use loose material compositions in our classroom as a way for children to tell us what they know. We set out various materials, stones, gems, paper and sticks. These representations are not permanent.  We take a picture and then the material gets sorted back and the activity is ready for the next child.








Insects

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We have three different types of 2D representations displayed on the wall in our preschool. All of them are of insects which we have been exploring as a class during this beautiful Spring.  Tracings, paintings, and free hand drawings were mediums that we chose to begin with. We like to use these mediums as a way to track our progress in the construction of knowledge. These multiple mediums were done by individual children over the span of a week. At different stages of learning their images change and often become a truer and more realistic representation of an insect. This is not teacher directed, this is organic. This is showing how children build upon what they have previously known, reshape their ideas, and create new meaning. We are learning that insects have 3 pairs of legs, 3 body segments, antenna, are a variety of colors and sometimes have wings. We are also  learning about the important role insects play in our world, great new vocabulary words like, "pollination"…

Seed Sorting

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We invited the children to sort seeds using pincher tongs. This is a great way to exercise finger muscles important for writing. The activity was also a fun way to develop greater hand-eye coordination skills.







Planting Seeds

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Our class just finished talking about soil and things that live in the dirt,  focusing mostly on creatures like insects and worms. From our exploration of worms we learned that they "ventilate" the soil and provide nutrients that help plants grow. This opened us up to new questions. How do plants grow? What do plants need other than good soil to live? We decided to start from the beginning.  We are taking advantage of the blossoming Spring and planting seeds for an Herb garden. Each child chose an Herb. We read about it and learned that seeds take at least a week to "sprout". We soaked them in water overnight and let the children plant them in starter pots the next day. We read they need water and dirt for the seeds to "germinate", or "Wake up" as one preschooler said. We are looking forward to them getting big enough to plant in our garden.


Worms

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Because of the childrens' interest in creatures that live in soil we decided to get some composting worms for our classroom. While exploring our worms up close we found eggs. We had many great conversations about worms. Arthur told us " Worms eat dead things and poop". Cooper told us " The dirt is the worms poop". Megan said, " They make holes so they can go underground". We all learned how important worms are for keeping soil healthy. Healthy soil helps plants grow. The children noticed how much these pieces of colored wire looked like worms and had a great time manipulating them. When asked what new word they wanted to put in our work room window the answer was unanimous.






Soil

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We started a conversation about soil. We realized that dirt is everywhere, on our playground, in the garden,  the park and in our own backyards. We set out to do some exploring.  We noticed that not all soil is the same. Some soil is sandy. Some soil has a richer quality. Some soil is dark while other soil is much lighter in color. We all agreed that soil is important and without it plants would not grow. We read a really cool book about creatures that live in the soil like different kinds of insects, certain animals like rabbits and of course worms. So we realized that it's not just plants that need soil, it's home for many living things.