Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

Here are some of our children retelling the shared reading poem of the week, Little Miss Muffet. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Block Play Builds Math Knowledge and Understanding

Check out this article from today's Windsor Star on how wooden block play helps children develop math skills.

The Building Blocks of Math

Friday, October 29, 2010

Math Moments

In our classroom at any time during the day, the potential for 'math moments' exists. The room is one big learning center where strands of math discovery are continually being woven. Children learn to make sense of their world through everyday experiences.

To stimulate a math moment, we use a variety of materials and ideas to create an environment in which children explore math concepts. In our math center we keep games, puzzles, matching and guessing games, dominoes, cards, pattern blocks, and collections of objects that give children opportunities to recognize numbers and build on math skills such as patterning, sorting, and measuring.

But math moments do not occur only in our math center. They occur everywhere in our room. In the construction area children use language such as long, short, small, and tall to describe their creations. When eating together at the snack table children pass out one napkin per child. When we take attendance we count how many children came to school and keep track of how many days have passed in the month. When we take a class vote on what book to read or what to turn our dramatic arts center into our children compare quantities to see what wins the vote.

Parents can accept the challenge to find math moments at home or around town. With your child, identify numbers and shapes in your junk mail. As you cook or do errands together, you can make comments or ask questions that encourage meaningful math understandings. For example you can ask your child, "We need a bottle of juice for each person in the family. How many should we buy?" All of these moments will add up to a very rich mathematical understand for your child.
Sorting by colour; Comparing quantity of each colour
Matching objects to numerals; sorting by quantity; composing quantities with various amounts
Estimating quantities
Exploring shape and design; puzzles
Exploring shape and design
Working with numbers
Creating with 2-D shapes

Creating patterns with building materials.

Keeping track of each team's points in a game

How many cubes tall to reach the ceiling?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Collaborative Work with the Grade Two Class

We spent time today partnering with the Grade Two class at our school. After reading the book "Leaf Man" by Lois Elhert, we became inspired to create our own leaf creations.

Reading the book together in our classroom

Examining the intricate illustrations in detail

Searching for the perfect materials for our own leaf creations

Back in the classroom working together

Some of our Leaf Men

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outdoor Learning

It was such a beautiful Autumn day today that we decided to spend some time outdoors in the wooded area in the school yard.  The children engaged in some creative movement and dramatic arts together - practicing problem solving skills, engaging in rich, contextual oral language, and thinking creatively together in their communal play.

Many of our children loved using the cooking utensils and pots to make their own soups and stews.

They turned a large rock into a campfire and cooked together on top, sharing the space and materials.

A large mulch pile nearby turned out to be the perfect spot to gather ingredients.

Along with the scattering of leaves under the large trees.

We turned the space between two large trees into a huge spider web - weaving yarn back and forth and using large plastic spiders.

Some children decided to take advantage of the windy weather and fly the classroom streamers.

Others preferred to fly their own creations.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Artful Classroom

A child becomes totally engrossed in the process of making a work of art. When a child grapples with the challenge of representing an object or person on the page, he or she is engaging in a task that is both demanding and satisfying.  In our classroom we provide an assortment of art materials that children may choose from to make their own creations. We do not have the children copy a teacher's model or make a designated product. We encourage them to use the materials in different ways. Art is a vital and vibrant part of an early childhood program, contributing to all aspects of a young child's development.

As they draw, paint, and sculpt, children think creatively, make decisions and solve problems. Children's fine motor skills are developed naturally through manipulation of brushes, crayons, scissors, and play dough. Language is developed as children discuss colour, shape and size, and as they describe their creations to their friends and teachers.

Some recent art making includes...

More print making

Creating flying objects

Straw Painting

Puppet Making

And that was all in just one day!
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