Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fish in the Sea Week

Fish in the Sea Week was filled with rich literature, fun songs, lots of fish art, and a variety of fine motor activities.  Additionally, Fish in the Sea was the final theme within our overarching unit "All Living Things Grow."

Sea Life was represented on our Felt Board and in our Water Table!

Fish and Sea Shells were viewed under magnifying glasses.

Fish were assembled, sorted and matched.

At the Art Table, fish were glued, painted, colored and stamped.

Sea Shells were glued as well!

Thank you to Cameron's grandma, Jane for loaning us her life size Sea Creatures for the week!

Five Rivers held many surprises this year, not the least of which being hundreds of children and no access to the Beaver Trail!  Our trip was lovely none the less!  We saw wild life in many forms; flowers and foliage, a family of Canadian Geese, birds, bugs and fish swimming in several ponds!  Many thanks to all of our drivers and impromptu guides!

Looking Deeper:  Exploration and Learning through Play
Let's take a closer look at our concluding unit of study: All Living Things Grow

Fish in the Sea Week was the concluding focus of our over-arching unit entitled: "All Living Things Grow."  This unit was rooted in Doctor Weeks as we explored and discussed the three components necessary to insure healthy bodies.  It was formally introduced in late March during Baby Weeks as we explored our own personal growth, and discovered that our growth was dependent upon those same three components, namely: eating healthy food, getting plenty of sleep and lots of exercise. 

Our focus shifted from the growth of people to the exploration of plants and their growth from seeds during Growing Weeks.  We discovered that plant life also depends on three component to facilitate growth and sustain life, these being; soil, sun and water.   Additionally the children participated in a myriad of activities that concretely demonstrated to them the sequence of plant growth, which they will tell you is root, stem, leaf and flower.  Farm and animal life was also explored and discussed during this time.

In early May we began our focus on bug life.  We learned that while we consider insects to be bugs, not all bugs are insects, just the ones with six legs!  We read a variety of non-fiction books which illustrated and described the broad variety of species that comprise Bug Life.  Additionally the children searched for and observed bugs during our outdoor play time!

Fish in the Sea Week focused on one final life form, the mysterious creatures that inhabit our seas and oceans.  While our study was very basic, it served to broaden the children's concepts of sea life creatures and their habitats.

Throughout this unit the children have gained and broadened their basic conceptual understanding of a variety of life forms, the components that facilitate growth, and how these life forms are alike and/or different from one another.  This learning has been facilitated through literature and hands-on experiential activities, or as I like to call it Play!

Our Field Trip to Five Rivers Environmental Preserve was a fitting culmination for our unit as the outdoor preserve was bursting with abundant plant and animal life for the children to observe and enjoy first hand!

Have a fun and restful weekend!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bug Week!

Bug Week got off to a great start with our field trip to the East Greenbush Library where the children heard multiple books on the topic! 

Additional information was gleaned as we read topic related fiction and non-fiction literature.  We named and viewed a myriad of bugs within these books all week long.  The children learned that all insects are bugs, but not all bugs are insects, unless of course they have six legs.

Our Bug theme was reflected throughout the classroom!  Magnifying glasses were used to get a better look at a variety of toy bugs and insects at our fine motor tables. 

Other Bug Activities included:


Magnetic Bug Train

Cootie Game

We also enjoyed a class game entitled; "Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee, Someone took Your Flower"!

At the art table the children enjoyed
Bug Stamps

Creating Spiders

Fold & Paint Butterflies

Creating Egg Carton Caterpillars

Additionally, we wrote Thank You notes to Miss Molly.

Making and eating "dirt cups" was without a doubt the most fun of all!

We also Searched for Bugs Outdoors!

Many thanks to Cameron's grandma, Jane for bring in and explaining her son's Entomology  Insect Collection.

Many thanks to Luca's mom, Lauren and his grandmother Karen for making and delivering an Outdoor Kitchen for the Pre-K Playground.  As the photos illustrated, the children quickly began "cooking" in the new outdoor dramatic play center!  Lauren and her mom custom make the kitchens in two sizes.  Please feel free to contract Lauren if you would like information about having one made for your backyard.

Many thanks to Sophia, who concluded her semester of Student Teaching with us this week. 

Divertido con Espanol / Fun with Spanish
The children enjoyed Senora Jen's book entitled, "Hormigas en los Pantalones" (Ants in Your Pants)

Vocabalo de Semana en Espanol / Words of the Week in Spanish
Bicho / Bug
Hormiga / Ant
Arana / Spider
Mosca / Fly

Looking Deeper:  Exploration and Learning through Play
Let's take a closer look at this week's Field Trip.

The children fully enjoyed our Field Trip to the East Greenbush Library this past Monday.  It was a great start to Bug Week, as the children learned fun songs and heard wonderful "Bug Stories". 

Perhaps more importantly, Miss Molly, led the children on a wonderful tour of the library.

The children met "behind the scenes" library workers, and had an opportunity to observe firsthand the workings of the "book drop-off". 

They were also shown the location of all the books, music and movies that are available to them once they have a library card! 

Young children have a natural desire and a burning curiosity to learn about their world! Community Helpers are an important part of that world, and children learn best about Community Helpers by going out into the community, meeting these helpers, and seeing firsthand what it is that they do for us.  We are so fortunate to have had a whole team of helpers who worked with the children this year.  Our thanks to Miss Molly for sharing her time and expertise with us this week.  Our thanks again to Hillary Fink for leading us on a tour of Price Chopper, that enabled the children to experience the Grocery Store in a new and most thorough way, and to Firefighter Bill who did the same for the children last November at the Defreestville Fire Station.  Additionally, our sincerest thanks to Cameron's mom, Dr. Krista, for coming into our classroom during Doctor Week and giving the children a firsthand demonstration of her work as a Pediatrician.  

Our classroom and the experiences we have within it are enriching, exciting and educating.  Extending our classroom beyond its four walls to include these field trips is crucial for providing the children with the most comprehensive experiences for learning.  Many thanks to all of you who have driven for our field trips and made our excellent adventures possible.

We will engage with one more community helper during Post Office Week, when we meet and chat with Parker's own U.S. Mail Carrier! 

Have a fun and restful weekend!