Week of September 14, 2015
We had another busy week in the 4/5s room this week! In addition to the ever-popular play dough, the children tried out some new forms of sensory play with rice and beans bins and water in the water table.
They did a lot of scooping and pouring, filling and dumping. The rice and beans went everywhere on the first day, but they were equally excited to play with it as they were to help clean it up with brooms and dustpans.
The children used tweezers and clothespins to move pompoms from a bowl to the compartments of ice cube trays. They used colored caps to create shapes and fill shapes.
They explored the polarity of magnets by trying to stack magnet rings on a pole, string magnet balls together with a magnetic horseshoe, and collect various colored magnet chips with magnet wands. Sticker pictures were a popular activity throughout the week.
The tabletop blocks provided lots of open-ended play as the children built houses for community workers, towers, and a classroom for a teacher.
We played both Candyland and Memory this week. Sitting through an entire game of Candyland was hard for some, as was the idea of going one or two spaces along the rainbow path. The children all enjoyed looking at the enticing pictures of sweet treats throughout the game board with the end reward of reaching Candy Castle. The first time we played Memory, we played together as a group during Morning Meeting. They all did well recognizing whether or not they got a match (“Same, same. It’s a match”) and they each got at least one match. I introduced the idea of keeping the cards in their places in order to “help your brain remember” which card is where. That was easier for some than others, as a few children just wanted to pick the cards up. We’ll continue to play during Choice Time and maybe even make a 4/5s version of Memory with our own photos!
We’ve been lucky to have such good weather these first few weeks of school. The children equally enjoy spending time at the playground, walking around the school property, and building with big blocks. On the playground they whoosh down the slide, hang from the bars, swing high on the swings, climb to the top of the dome, and do some excavation work in the sandbox. When they go for walks they run down the paths, listen for birds and the fountain, touch soft cattails, and peer into the pond looking for fish. With the big blocks they build balance beams, delivery trucks, and kitty houses.
Morning Meeting has been another enjoyable time spent together. Aside from the work of taking attendance, looking at the daily schedule, and figuring out the day on the calendar, they especially enjoy singing and moving. They got a kick out of standing up and down to the tune of “The Grand Old Duke of York.” “The Ants Go Marching” was another popular song this week. We marched in circles, stopped to see what the littlest ant would do, and marched down low to the ground to get out of the rain. “Johnny Hammers” and “There’s a Cobbler” let us do a lot of pounding and stomping. Boy, does that feel good! The children thought it was very silly when I magically turned them into ants, or “Presto, Change-o!” turned them back into kids, or when they got to slither or hop like an animal on their way to wash hands.
At the beginning of rest time each day, I read aloud books chosen by the children. Many have chosen books from the “Mighty Machines” book bin we borrowed from the Manchester Community Library. All of the children have enjoyed reading about a tractor doing five digging jobs in Dig, the various types of trucks in I Love Trucks, and the tracks that different machines make in Making Tracks. Seeing this interest in these books, combined with lots of driving on the play rug in the block area has helped me decide our first topic of study: Things with Wheels & Modes of Transportation.