Week of September 28, 2015
Last week, the children began exploring gears. They put small, medium, and large gears on various sized base plates. They were so fascinated with gears that we had them out almost every day this week. The children wanted to continue building a structure they started the day before or start a new project. I always find it fascinating to watch how a group of children plays with the same material because they find so many different ways to use it. One child connected nine base plates and filled it completely with small gears. By added a crank at one end, she was able to turn all the gears at once. One boy built vertically with the gears and built a structure so tall that it was taller than every child in our class. Other children discovered that by using extenders and axles they could build both vertically and horizontally.
This week we had two girls build block structures that they wanted to save throughout the day and even overnight for continued building. We made “Please Save” signs so that we, and any visitors to our classroom, would walk carefully around their work. We have often saved work on our shelves, but saving it on the floor with a sign was a new thing. I suspect there may be an increase in building this week just so they can have a save sign on their work!
In general, this group is not very interested in sitting down and drawing pictures. However, I have discovered that they seem to really enjoy working on joint mural projects. This week I made a sign that said “Good Morning” and every child made a contribution to the mural. Some colored in the letters, some decorated shapes, and others added stickers.
Making tape pictures was another fun activity. Some children cut short and long pieces of tape that they put flat on their papers. Others pulled long pieces of tape and created a 3-D kind of picture. Once again, it’s so interesting to watch a group of children play with the same material.
We added a few new songs to our repertoire this week. In “The Garbage Truck Song,” we collected each person’s trash, jumped down, turned around, threw the trash in the truck, and ground it all up. We learned the signs for “The More We Get Together” which is a lovely gathering song that helps us greet each friend. Many children spoke of seeing rainbows on Tuesday afternoon so we learned “The Rainbow Song.” As we walked through the rain on Wednesday, we sang “If All the Raindrops Were Gumdrops & Lollipops.”
It was time to return the “Mighty Machines” book to the library, but we got a new one called “Things That Go.” So far we have enjoyed two books from this bin, one called Trouble on the Tracks and another called Rattletrap Car. The first gives us an interesting perspective to think about as it leads one to believe there is real trouble on the tracks. However, we find out that the engineer is really a boy who has set up his toy trains and tracks and “Trouble” is his cat who finds great fun in derailing the train cars. In the second book, a dad and his three children head off to the beach in their “rattletrap car” but luckily they each choose to bring the perfect item to fix the car each time it breaks down.