Today we started a Thanksgiving unit.
The kids played in a sensory tub with water, cranberries and water beads. What is a sensory tub and why use one ?
One of the key elements in a play based child centered environment is a child’s exposure to sensorial experiences, those things which engage the senses ( sight, hearing , tasting, feeling and smelling ) in a way that allows a child to explore and discover the world around her. Think about going to the beach . What do you do ? You stand there and feel the sand squish between your toes. You listen to the waves crash on the shore. Somehow , in most cases, you are at peace there. All your senses are engaged . That is how kids learn . Playing in a tub full of corn kernels or cotton balls all provide a different sensory experience but ultimately have the same calming affect.
Taking kernels on Indian corn out one kernel at a time with a small pair of tongs helps tune our fine motor so we can write !
Today I asked the kids ” what is Thanksgiving?” Some of the answers I got were:
1. When people come to your house to eat
2. when you sing on a stage
3. When you share your food with a family.
After talking about this for a while ,we read a book called ” Thanksgiving ” by Gail Gibbons. We also watched the Charlie Brown special called ” The Mayflower ” The children were really engaged and asking questions. I think I even learned a few things . It said that many of the adults died ( I knew this.. ) None of the children died. But so many of the adults died or got sick that the children had to take over building the village and all the daily chores that had to be done. Also, If I ever plant a garden again, I know it plant corn ” when the oak tree leaf is the size of a mouses ear.” 🙂
We also did an emergent reader. Some of the kid like to color and others dont . In order to get done quickly they will make large strokes all over their page. Youve seen these pages , right ? As a teacher we dont like to say ” Please dont scribble .” I have said before to take your time, we arent in a hurry. Just color the person or the hat . Sometimes the kids really are doing their best, their little fine motor skills are not yet where they should be to be able to stay in the lines. Today I tried a different approach. I drew two circles on the chalkboard and said “What are these?” Of course they all knew circles. I ” scribbled all over one and asked them could they still see the circle. They replied no. Then I said , ” I am going to take my time and color inside the lines of this circle. Can you still see the circle?” YES! They replied. I explained that sometimes when they color the whole page I cant see the picture anymore. Miracle of miracles, I could tell a difference on their page. Look at it when they get home. I was impressed . I am sure that I broke a few developmentally appropriate teaching strategies doing this but I didnt say ” the other way is wrong or ugly ” I just showed them two different ways. Thats my story and Im sticking to it.
Ms Dallas did a sponging paint project outside with the kids.
Harelly and Alina enjoyed learning to play tic tac toe on the new outside tic tac toe game.
Carter enjoyed the drum set. It has always been there but Mr Randy added the cymbals !
It was a good day. The weather is amazing. The kids were listening and engaged. Yes, it was a good day.