15th - 19th February
Who builds buildings? What tools do they use?
This week we are investigating who builds buildings and what tools do they use. We have been looking at pictures of construction sites and asking "Who builds buildings?". The children told us that ......................
We looked at what tools were needed to build and examined tape measures and other measuring tools such as yard sticks and rulers, discussing how you would use them. In our Block area we introduced other construction props such as hard hats and safety goggles. Using props is a great way to stimulate imagination and dramatic play. Later in the week we added blueprints, clipboards, paper and pencils for the children to plan their own building designs.
What new words are we using this week? Construction site, tape measure, pound, twist, saw, blueprint, hard hat, protect, safety.
What's in the bag?
During our morning circle time I placed a mystery object in a bag and passed it around for the children to reach inside and describe what they felt. We recorded everyone's descriptions and guesses and after revealing a hammer, we talked about how the tool is used.
The children were able to practice their hammering skills using a hammer and nail set we had placed in the Discovery area.
This week the children to joined me reading alphabet books with clear and appealing illustrations of letters on each page. We looked at the books together, pointing out letters we spotted and I asked the children to find specific letters as we read.
Using alphabet magnets, cards and an alphabet mat we matched our letters and made their "sound". The children then traced the letter with their finger and I invited them to write any letters they identified.
Open ended questions such as "What letter do you see on this card?" and "Where do you see an I on this page?" encourage children to understand text has a meaning and demonstrate their knowledge of the alphabet.
Another small group activity this week was our "Guessing Jar". In groups of 3 I invited the children to explore a closed jar filled with pom poms and then estimate how many objects were in the jar. I explained that "estimating" means guessing how many objects are in the jar without counting each object.
The children then wrote their name and the number they guessed and we opened the jar to count the pom poms together. We discussed which guesses were more or less than the correct number and which guesses were closest.
Jars and small manipulatives such as legos and blocks were left in the Discovery area for children to practice estimating during choice time.
TRY THIS AT HOME: This is a quick and easy activity to set up and play with your children at home using items you can find around the house.
Michelangelo was not only a great sculptor; he was also a master builder. This fun small group activity had everyone drawing like Michangelo. With pictures of Michelagelo's architecture and paper taped under the tables each student lay on their backs on the floor to create their own masterpiece.
In the garden this week:
On Wednesday we had a surprise visit from two Architects! The whole of PK3 gathered together to learn about what they do and the materials they use. We heard about how plans are made for buildings (the blueprints), the materials needed to build and that you must wear a hard hat, strong boots and special thick gloves to keep you safe on a building site.
After a short question and answer session we examined some of the materials closer and tried them out. Back in class we made floor plans of our own.
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN READING THIS WEEK?
Eating the Alphabet
On Thursday we read Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert, an appetizing alphabet book with fruits and vegetables so juicy and colorful, you can't help but want to taste them!
This week we began with A for Apple. I bought in some different types of apples for the children to examine. We talked about their round shape, that they were red and green and they felt hard. Then it was time to taste!
We sliced each apple into 10 and counted the pieces before taking one slice each. I encouraged the children to smell and taste the apple and then describe it. Words such a "yummy", "sweet" and "juicy" as well as a few "yukky"'s were expressed!! Oh well, you can't please everyone :)
I would really like to continue this investigation into fruits and vegetables and this is where I need your help. If you would like to send a few pieces of fruit or vegetables on a Thursday for us to try, please send me an email and I can coordinate. It doesn't have to be much...just enough for the children to have a taste! Thank you
Construction in action!
On Friday Ms Alida had the great idea of visiting the ISP sports field where they are building new bleachers and laying underground drainage for the new sports pitch. It was a great opportunity to see LOTS of construction work in action. The children spotted wood, rocks, a digger and a cement mixer.
Ms Alida used the opportunity to show the children some examples of the different pipes they are laying; round AND rectangle! A great introduction to our upcoming study unit of PIPES!