Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring!

Spring is in the air, can you feel it?  I love this picture, though he had to reassess the control he had over his body and if it is appropriate or not during math time - I just happened to snap it at just the right time :)
We can sure feel it!  Today we continued our review of everything we've learned thus far in preschool and explored the idea of Spring!  We started by reading and coloring our book for the day, "Spring".
 While we were waiting for the rest of our friends to arrive everyone enjoyed talking about all the things we see in Spring and what color they were coloring those things.

 Then we headed downstairs to read a few books about Spring and learn a song called "Popcorn".  I used the opportunity to reread a few of our favorite books from our Fall and Winter themes to review the seasons we had already studied.  We read "Hibernation Station" and when we got to a book about Spring it was fun to watch as the light bulb went on in so many heads that the animals will be waking up and flying to their summers homes now.  Here's our little song:
video
We all loved this song and sang it over and over! 
 The song even naturally emerged at snack time, and how convenient is it that we were having popcorn for snack!  Such fun!

 Time to get dirty at Little Adventures Preschool!  I have a large garden in our backyard and we've already started some of our vegetable plants from seed.  Today the kids got to first have free explore with the dirt and then plant their own pumpkin seeds to take home.


 I transplanted one of our big tomato plants as we talked about the parts of the plant that will grow from the little seed now that the weather is warm enough and there is water and sunlight for plants to grow.



 We watered our plants with a spray bottle to avoid over watering (which happens with preschoolers a high percentage of the time)
 I continue to love how well positive phrasing works in our classroom.  Comments from me like, "I'm looking for someone who is sitting down with their hand raised that has some thinking to share with the group."  Works like a charm!
 Our review included math today where we were reviewing sorting objects by a single attribute.  The hardest attribute still continues to be size.  (We've worked on color, shape and size.)
 They love playing the game, "What doesn't belong?" with their friends.  They try and be so tricky!  I overheard some fantastic language today during this time.  Not only where kids responding to each other politely and discussing which object from a shape didn't belong, but they were ALSO talking about WHY it didn't belong - completely unprompted (though previously modeled) by me.  When kids can start explaining the WHY you can see into their thoughts and we've certainly done a lot of learning so far this year!
 There are a few activities that we do in preschool that are completely impossible to take a picture of, though perhaps I'll rig the camera some day to do it.  One of those activities is melody maps in music.  Today was the first day I'd introduced our Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star melody map and we built it together.  I had precut stars and the base of the chart.  Then as I glued stars on kids were able to point out which stars were higher or lower than other stars within the line (eventually that will lead to an understanding of the written form of higher and lower notes).  They were also able to identify that the big orange star came at the end of every line of music.  We also mastered the concept of the little yellow stars having one beat and the big orange ones having two beats (eventually that will lead to an understanding of quarter notes and whole notes, etc.)  I didn't get out the rhythm sticks today due to the extra energy in the room - see the first picture in this post for an explanation of all the energy - but we did clap to our melody map.  One clap for yellow, two claps for orange.  We also tried to sing along with the melody map though that makes clapping much harder.  We'll continue to work on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for a while until we're ready for a new song.
The other thing I didn't get a picture of was playing with the parachute.  We lifted it up high to show all the snow from the winter and then slowly the "snow" melted and then in the Spring it can rain hard or soft and with each descriptor we used the parachute in that manner.  We had a lot of fun today and I am completely impressed with the learning our little group has accomplished.  Awesome!

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