4/5s Classroom News

Week of October 5, 2015

Magnatiles were a bit hit this week. Many houses and tall towers were built, in addition to spaceships, sailboats, and even a fish.  Magnatiles are an excellent building material as they allow children to construct objects of all different shapes and sizes.  The magnets make it possible to build 3-D structures that are not possible with regular blocks, however, the magnets can be a bit tricky at times, but that helps the children to be both patient and persistent.

As I had suspected the week before, creating “Please Save” signs led to a lot more building and a lot more saving.  It was important to the children to keep their own structures safe as well as those of their peers.  This led to a lot of careful walking around the block area.  In addition to magnatiles, the children did a lot of building with blocks.  Right now, this block play often involves vehicles of some kind.  Garages with secret doors were built, as were roads.  One boy was able to balance two tall, skinny rectangle blocks, make a bridge with a third similar block, and put a few triangle blocks on top to create ramps.  There were also many tow trucks rescuing cars that had fallen off the roads.

There was a dramatic increase in drawing this week!  After reading various books about vehicles, the children tried their hand at drawing their own vehicles.  Simply by putting two circles to represent wheels on a paper, the children were inspired to draw firetrucks, race cars, and silly monster cars.  On a related note, the 4/5s were inspired to make their own books after listening to the stories created and shared by the 6/7s at Town Meeting two weeks ago.  Not only were they eager to create their own books, but they wanted me to “read” them at rest time  At this point, their books only have pictures so it’s a little tricky for me to “read” them, but the authors were proud to have their books “read” and the others were excited to listen.

Other popular activities this week included doing road construction work in the rice and beans table, donning fire helmets and putting out fires in the pretend play area (which has recently moved to our meeting room), and making various kinds of food out of play dough.  I ate lots of donuts, cookies, and even spaghetti and meatballs!

We read several vehicle books this week by two authors, Byron Barton and Paul Collicutt.  My Car, Trains, Boats, and Planes, all by Byron Barton, depict the basic workings of a car and various types of trains, boats, and planes, the places they travel, and the things they do.  Paul Collicutt’s books This Plane, This Train, and This Boat illustrate various types of planes, trains, and boats, but also provide a fun way to learn about opposites such as fast/slow, short/long, and city/country.

As with the holiday merchandise that is slowly creeping its way into stores, “Santa” has entered our play outside on the playground.  The other day I was Santa and all the children came to visit me at the North Pole.  It was only one day, and that was the extent of the play, but it has begun!  Also outside, a tiny worm was discovered, beds were built out of planks, and the sunny weather allowed us to enjoy a few more picnics.  It poured on Friday, but that didn’t stop us from getting outside!  We put on our rain boots and rain coats and ventured outside.  We enjoyed a walk around the pond in addition to puddle play.  Some created rock bridges/pathways across puddles and all enjoyed jumping in the puddles.  Everyone was sopping wet but they were happy!

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