February 16, 2018

As we learn different songs and sing them in repetition, children are learning words, rhythm and the beat of each song.   The first response to music is through the movement of the body.  It helps them express their feelings of excitement.  In addition, music involves many different parts of the brain, so singing which includes music and language helps develop these areas.   We are learning a popcorn song and jump in the middle song.  It will take practice before we know the words well.  Practice and opportunities are the two keys that are important in the classroom.   I want the children to learn in fun and interactive way. 

Our guiding study of the year, The Identity of a Child, focused on the importance to embrace their individuality.  We extended our study to Family.  In this section, we discussed the different types of families and how each family celebrates together.  We are entering the third facet of our project, Buckle My Shoe Community (Peers and School).  Our first step to learning and understanding our peers and school, we visited classroom 3b.   The teachers are, Ms. Ada and Mr. Adam and the children are 3.5 - 4 years-old.  

We were curious and wanted to meet their pet rabbit, Pinky, and learn a few things about him. We all sat with them during circle time, sang a song with them, which involved some dancing, and some of the children from classroom 3b articulated what pinky likes to eat, his coat color, what he likes and doesn't like.  Pinky did not reveal himself; it seemed he was hiding in the kitchen area.   Our children were able to catch a glimpse of Pinky, under the stove! 

Our class seemed comfortable and ready to explore the environment. Observing and interacting with different hands-on activities, allowed the children to engage with a variety of materials.  The children had a fun, educational and interactive day in classroom 3b.

We went on a neighborhood walk and saw cars, trucks, and sang some songs!

Highlights of the week:

February 9, 2018

The transition from home to school is always a difficult journey for young toddlers.  It is a gradual process as they adjust to the routines and schedules of the classroom.  As they interact and engage with their peers, teachers, activities, and projects, they will feel at ease and comfortable in their new environment.  We need to follow children's pace as they adjust. 

We are re-visiting sensory bottles. Sensory bottles are great for teaching color, for calming, and for helping young toddlers relax.  The purpose is for children to use their senses to explore the bottles.   I used a variety of materials to create each sensory  bottle.   Some of the items are too small for them to handle, but are just perfect for safely exploring through the clear window of a bottle.   Sensory bottles are great for helping toddlers eyes to focus on near objects.   They shake, roll, and observe how items in the bottles move around. They will enjoy the movement as the glitter swirls around the bottles, looking at the different colors, and looking and listening to the movement of the water. 

Songs we sang:

  • ABC
  • Mr. Sun
  • There are 7 days in a week....
  • What's the weather, what's the weather, what's weather out today, ............
  • The Muffin Man
  • Old Macdonald (finger puppets)
  • Five Little Speckled Frogs (finger puppets)
  • Five Little Monkeys (finger puppets)
  • Five Little Ducks 
  • My Little Tea Pot
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Where is Blue.....
  • Where is Thumbkin
  • Johnny Works With One Hammer
  • Popcorn Song....   and many more.....

Books:

  • Pete the Cat- I Love My White Shoes (We must include this book as one of the children's favorite book)
  • Hooray for Hats (Favorite)
  • Pete the Cat- Missing Cupcakes
  • Mother Goose Rhymes.... and many more.

Art:

  • We recently started using small easels for art.  We noticed how the children enjoy  to paint and explore on these easels.  Dipping the paintbrush in and out of the small paint cups requires a steady hand.  As they dip and paint they are working two areas simultaneously (eye-hand coordination). Holding the paintbrush and whooshing it across the paper in the direction they choose, is difficult when you're a toddler.  As they explore and discover techniques to control the paintbrush, they create fantastic lines and circles.  Pre-writing skills are promoted as they hold the brush and dipping into the cups, hones the small motor control muscles.  The children are also expressing creativity and using their imagination as they paint. Rheya said, "Look alligator!" She drew an alligator at the center of her paper
  • The children also painted pictures frames for a special project
  • They painted Valentine Wreaths- They used paper plates, red tempera paint with glue, pink tissue paper, and glitter.

Gym:

 

Edith observed as I demonstrated to Harlow and Madeline to crumple tissue paper for our morning project.   Madeline focused on my hands as she slowly uses her fingertips to crumple the piece of paper.   She tossed it into the container and selected another piece of square paper.   Madeline appeared eager and excited as she manages to do several pieces.  It is essential to have children help in activities because it builds confidence and self-esteem.

Water Play:

Manipulative:

  • Mario's grandmother, dropped him off today and engaged with him at the Manipulative Center, before departing.  They both interacted with the puzzle boards.  Mario appeared excited as he was able to find the right fit on the fish puzzle board.  He used an oval and three triangle shapes to complete the puzzle.    
  • Today we decided to try the peg mats on the easel.  It gives a new and different perspective to play.  The children seemed interested in exploring and manipulating the pegs in a different way.  Madeline displayed interests as she plays for a length of time.  As Remy inserted the pegs in the holes, she yells, "Birthday cake!".
  • Today we began working with rhythm and kinesthetically explored sets of 4 with our bodies
  • Explored sound dynamics with the parachute
  • We were introduced to the violin

Highlights of the week:

Clay: Clay is a wonderful sensory material for children to investigate.   Most children, when given a piece of clay, are instinctively motivated to explore its inviting sensory qualities.  They poke it, squeeze it, hit it, pick it up, and pound it down.  The children worked for long and short periods, and others observed. Harry, Mario, and Edie have a unique way of exploring and manipulating the clay.  They maintain focus as they shape it using their fingers and hands differently.  Each child that interacted with the material, examined and manipulated the clay differetly. 

Art:

  • The children painted with fingerpaint.  Fingerpaint is different from tempera or activity paint.  Its texture is thick and pudding-like.
  • Some of the children painted their picture frames (Project).
  • Painting at the easel is always an interest the children have as they study and discover ways to move their hands, body, and fingers when holding a paintbrush.   The children explored different easels and each promoted different experiences. 
  • As Ellie painted on the easel, she connected three lines.  The teacher asked, "Ellie what are you painting?"  Ellie responded, "A triangle!" She appears to be very proud of her triangle.  As she interacts with materials in the classroom, she learns to understand the environment.

Manipulatives:

Has children learn to interact with the material, and maneuver them to make them fit.  Edith and Rheya were engaging in the Block Center.  They took some train tracks from the basket and began to build and connect them.  They each took turns and played cooperatively.  Edith displayed excitement as she noticed they had connected several, and Rheya was starting a new set of tracks. 

 

Music:

Circle, Transition, and Reading Time:

Circle time is a great way for preschoolers to get a sense of community with other children their age and enhance their social skills and improve their attention span.When something becomes routine or familiar to a young toddler, they respond to it better. By starting every day with circle time, the children know what to expect every morning, improving their skills a little bit more each time.

Our circle consists of different things.  Each day varies in what we do; nevertheless, we sing our good morning song, 3 or 4 songs, we are also incorporating the weather and days of the week song.  We can do a counting or color activity.  This week we counted how many blue feathers were in the box.  

Before the children transition to washing hands to eat lunch, we usually have a brief circle time.  With an erasable board, the first letter of their names will be written.  The teacher or the child will articulate the letter.   The child will erase their letter then wash hands and eat lunch. 

Spanish:

Our new students, Edie and Grayson, are experiencing their first Spanish session.  As they sat together with their peers, they observe the Spanish Specialist hand movements as she sings different songs.  They are both carefully observing and listening. Edie participated in some hand movements.  It always takes time for children to get adjusted to a new environment, including routines and schedules of the classroom. Soon we will see them repeating the words and dancing to the songs they hear in Spanish.  Welcome, Edie and Grayson! 

February 2, 2018

Songs:

  • Old Mc Donald
  • Five Little Speckled Frogs
  • Mr. Sun
  • Where is Thumbkin?
  • Where is Blue?
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
  • A Rum Sum Sum
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • The Wheels on the Bus go Around, Around
  • ABC
  • Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • There are seven days in a week...
  • What the weather.....  and many more..

Books:

  • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
  • Horray for Hats
  • Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoe
  • Mother Goose Book- various short stories were read from the book..... and many more books were read.

Let's welcome our new student Madeline and her mom, Colleen to classroom 1B:

We celebrated Ellie's birthday, with her mom and dad.  Happy Birthday Ellie!!

Ellie seems to enjoy giving her friends each a special birthday bag with goodies inside.  

Gym:

During circle time we sing songs, do activities, read books and discuss how to take care of the materials in the classroom.  As  opened the book, and the children immediately said, "It's ripped!"  I expressed how we must take care of the books and hugged them because they are important to our classroom. Also, we enjoy looking, listening, and sharing books with our friends. 

Before lunch, we have a brief circle time.  We sing one or two songs and then write the first letter of their names on an erasable board.  They will gradually recognize and identify the letter.  After articulating their letters, they will erase the letter and wash their hands to have lunch. 

Science Experiment:

We did the Lava Lamp experiment again. We used a 2-liter plastic bottle, water, oil, watercolor, and alka-seltzer.  These were the ingredients we used the first time.  The measurements of water and oil are the differences in today's experiment.   All the children had a turn in pouring the water and watercolor.  The teacher added oil and the alka-seltzer.  It is important for the children to take turns in all activities and share the space. Even though,  not sharing is a typical behaviour of a toddler, it is essential to implement the concept of sharing as they mature.  They know what things belong to them; however, they can not quite grasp that some things don't.

As your child matures, we continue to demonstrate turn-taking by providing language and examples, such as,"When friends play together, it's nice to take turns. " During turn-taking in pouring the liquids, Remy, turned to give Edith the cup as she finished pouring. Teacher: "Thank you, Remy, for passing the cup to Edith."  Learning to share, take turns, and cooperate doesn't always happen by chance.   We implement and remind our children.   It's a social skill that needs practice and helping them understand as they work together.  

Art:

As the children painted on both easels, they explored and experienced maneuvering their hand and arm differently.  They projected unique techniques as they move their paintbrushes up, down, side to side, or circular motion.  Their authentic art piece demonstrates their creativity and imagination.  Their fine motor skills and cognitive development are integrated as they create.  

Manipulatives:

 

 

Highlights of the week:

We Celebrated Mario's Birthday together with his family.

Reading Session and Circle time:

Ellie's mom was our special reader of the week!

The children are gradually learning to articulate, recognize and identify colors.  There are many fun colors in the world around him/her.  By incorporating learning into fun activities and then reinforcing our lessons in an everyday situation, we can teach our toddlers the colors with relative ease.  We sing a song about colors, use different color dancing scarves (sensory) and bean bags (sensory).  These different approaches allow them to absorb information in different ways.   Today the children were wearing the color purple, another way we are learning about colors. I have noticed that on each approach, the children listen attentively as the colors are expressed, in English and now in Spanish.  

 

Dramatic Play:

Symbolic or pretend play, are other names for dramatic play, is one of the ways that young children come to understand the world around them.  As they interact with different people in their lives, they build the understanding that they will need to engage in pretend play.   They use symbols and recount events or actions they have observed and experienced.  Using symbols involves the ability to use one thing to represent or stand for something else.   For example, children represent an object (a person or living being when they pretend to be a dog or a mother) or an event (when they crawl in a cardboard box and pretend to be driving a car).  They always put a hat scarf and take a bag.  As they say goodbye, the teachers asked, where are you going? 

Remy and Edith: "Going to take the A train."      Ellis: "Going to the subway."   

Art:

  • As Rheya mixes the colors red, white and green, she notices and yelled, "Purple!"  Exploring different colors, whether they are primary or secondary colors, children are always curious and fascinated to feel, spread, mix, and squeeze the paint.  Harry paint his hand and said, "My handprint!"
  • Two-step project: The teacher used popsicles sticks to create snowflakes.  The children seemed to enjoy painting and covering them using white tempera paint.  Next week, they will use glue and white shredded paper, representing very own snowflake. 
  • Filter paper and watercolor paint activity:  As the children gently painted the coffee filters with a thin brush, they noticed how the paint spread.  They added two more colors, exploring and observing how the paint quickly moved and covered the paper.   Some of the children looked amazed as the colors changed when they were combined.  Two different methods were used to explore painting on coffee filter paper.  I provided those choices to the children. Some preferred the paper opened on the tray and others folded in a cup.  Then, they added the colors of their choice.

Manipulatives:

I welcome Grayson and his parents, Erin and John to classroom 1B.  Grayson entered the classroom and observed the different centers, and explored the areas of his interests, puzzles!   Soon, he will engage and participate in various activities.

Music:

Music allows children to express themselves in different ways.  They might dance alone or with a peer, and sing along as they listen to the music, tap their feet or clap their hands to the rhythm.   Music contributes to a rich sensory environment.   Exposing children to a wide variety of sounds can benefit their learning process as they develop. Sharing songs that go along with simple hand motions, words, or dance moves, like the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” The Wheels on the Bus “or” Two Little Blackbirds benefit children's development.  As the children were listening to music, Rheya, Edith, and Olivia spontaneously held hands and began to dance.

Spanish:

Gym:

Sensory:

Exploring the color purple, the children wore purple Wednesday and Thursday; this is a way for them to learn and identify colors.

January 26, 2018

   

As they grow, they are developing, physically, cognitively, social/emotional, and language.  It's such a fantastic time not only for parents but teachers too.   As a teacher, I enjoy watching them focus, concentrate on an activity, or listen carefully as the teachers are speaking.  

Songs that were sung:

  • Where is thumbkin
  • Ring-Around -The-Rosy
  • If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap your Hands......
  • The Wheels On the Bus
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm (finger puppet)
  • Monkeys on the Bed
  • Where is Blue (color song using a glove)
  • I'm a Little Tea Pot
  • Mr. Sun
  • ABC
  • There are 7 days in the Week
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Johnny is working with one hammer
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider

These are some of the songs that we sang.   We also read several different books.  Next week we are going to read some  some of the children's family books during circle time.

Art:

  • The children painted on mirrors.  They each chose the color and used different strokes as they painted
  • "Pressed Paint" This is an art form in which different drops of paint was placed on cardstock and covered with plastic.  As the children tapped, pressed, rubbed or lightly touched the plastic with their hands, they spread the color into different directions, creating a unique art piece.  They observed and focused on the movement of the paint.  Their puzzlement allowed them to continue exploring.   They appeared intrigued in how they were able to point to each color with their hands without getting some paint on their hands.  This type of sensory play promotes color recognition, imagination, fine motor skills, and is also calming for children.  

Movements:

The children enjoyed passing the ball and taking turns as they pass the ball to the teacher.  Physical development is tightly interwoven with the development of perception, cognition, motivation, and communication.  Talking to toddlers and interacting with them on simple learning tasks improves understand and language development. 

We sang songs using musical instruments.  As they listened to the songs, they shook their instrument simultaneously.  We also did colors using colorful scarfs.   We enunciated them in English then in Spanish.

Manipulative:

Using a strainer and pipe cleaners, is excellent for the fine motor skills, concentration and focus. 

Science:

Lava Lamp Experiment:

Materials needed for this experiment:

  • Clear Soda Bottle
  • Funnel
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Watercolor
  • Alka-Seltzer

The children helped the teacher pour the oil and watercolor.  As the teacher added the last ingredient, alka-seltzer, immediately some bubbles began to emerge to the surface.  We all observed with curiosity and amazement.  The teacher asked the children to observe and to articulate what they see.  Some said water, purple (watercolor), oil, and one child expressed they see two bubbles.   Unfortunately, our experiment did not go according to plan.  The tiny bubbles subsided quickly.  After researching the reason why the experiment did not work, we will try the test again on Monday and add the correct amount of water and oil.  We will succeed!

 

Dramatic play is an ongoing engaging activity in the classroom.  It is a time when the children pretend to be someone or something different from themselves.   Dramatic play is defined as a type of play where children accept and assign roles, and then act them out. Remy and Edith  were going to take the subway.  They all played cooperatively and it is a time when they break through the walls of reality and pretend and dramatize situations and actions to go along with the roles they have chosen to play. 

Teacher: "Where are you going?"

Remy: "To take the A train!"

Symbolic or pretend play, are other names for dramatic play, is one of the ways that young children come to understand the world around them.  As they interact with different people in their lives, they build the understanding that they will need to engage in pretend play.   They use symbols and recount events or actions they have observed and experienced.  Using symbols involves the ability to use one thing to represent or stand for something else.   For example, children represent an object (a person or living being when they pretend to be a dog or a mother) or an event (when they crawl in a cardboard box and pretend to be driving a car).

 

Highlights of the week:

Counting different or the same items is always one of our fun activities.  Today we counted ten different pieces.   As we count the total number of items, we will be showing the number in written form on an erasable board.  We are gradually integrating this into our lessons.  We have sung the ABC song in repetition, now we are showing the first letter of their names.  The children are excited to see and repeat the alphabet letters.  They are learning the first letter of their names and their peers, as they repeat the letters during circle or transition time. 

Art:

Sensory: 

Exploring oobleck and play dough

Constructive play focuses the minds of young children as they engage with the materials in the classroom. Young children have a natural desire to find out things for themselves, and children acquire knowledge through active play.  Rheya has developed and moved from functional play, where she used materials in simple, repetitive, and exploratory ways, to constructive play, with purposeful activities that result in creations.

“It’s airplane!”

Gym:

Storytime:

We celebrated Olivia's Birthday

January 19, 2018

                                                                             Celebrating the Child and Family

Family can have many different facets and being a part of a family can have a different meaning to each individual.  It can branch out to include many relatives. Member of the immediate family may consist of parents, brother and sister; however, members of the extended family may include grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  Sometimes these extended family members are also considered a member of the immediate family, depending on an individual’s specific relationship with them.  Also one’s “Family Tree” can include people that are significant in some way, so much so that they become part of one’s family.

The children created unique family trees using part of their arm and hand.   As the children engage in this tactile exploration, they create a visual representation of family, and can, in turn, see how that differs for everyone. They observe and count the number of people they have on their corresponding tree, gaining an understanding of the number of people they have in their family.  

Many areas of a child's development occurs at home, for example, language.   Our toddlers are developing language in a amazing rate.  Language learning begins at home, creating the foundation for a child’s growth.  In the early childhood years the amount and variety of language children hear at home and later at school is strongly related to their language development.  

Before children enunciate words, they experience receptive language before expressive language.  Receptive language is the understanding of words; however, its more than acquiring vocabulary skills, but having the ability to interpret a question as a question and the understanding of concepts.  Children develop receptive skills first, absorbing information from the different interactions with people and environments they experience.   Expressive language is most simple "the output" of language, how one expresses his/her wants and needs.  It includes words, grammar rules that dictate how words are combined into phrases, sentences, and paragraphs as well.   Our children are using more words and connecting them into longer sentences!

Language gives children the ability to communicate and voice their thoughts and ideas, which shapes their personality.  The bridge of language learning from home to school impacts a child’s language development and social/emotional growth! The amount of verbal interaction we give to the children is as important as the amount of language we use. 

Interactions with parents create the environment with which children can begin to learn the language they hear adults speaking. Language is a social process and a child’s language environment is the foundation for the development of the early language. Talking to children is teaching!!      The different aspects in which language is implemented in the classroom: circle time, counting (math language), Music, Spanish, Science Experiments, Reading Stories and during play when children are engaging.

 

"Finger Paint Art Project"

Some of the highlights of the week:

During this week we also celebrated, No Name-Calling Week and spread Kindness to all.  Some of the children had a share snack day.  It entails, a classmate bringing a snack that he/she will share with their peers.  The children enjoyed their snacks and gradually are learning and understanding to say, Thank you.  Kind words are essential to implement in the classroom as they engage in play, share, and take turns.  

Edith brought some homemade pumpkin muffins:

Mario brought drinkable applesauce:

Ellis shared raisins and crackers:

Harlow appeared happy as she serves her snacks to her peers.  All the children had the opportunity to serve their snacks to their classmates.  This act provides them with a sense of accomplishment and independence.

The children also painted a unique picture for one of their friends in the classroom. Harry and Olivia worked at the aisle side by side as they shared a painting together.  As they were using distinctive brushstrokes, they both stopped and observed their picture.  Harry articulated the colors on the paper. Then they continued working on their artpiece.

We celebrated Lucas birthday this week.  

Ice Painting with Tempera Paint:  A hands-on activity in early childhood is an avenue that links new concepts to ideas that children already understand.   Piaget and Vygotsky are two educational pioneers, their theories, learning occurs as children acquire new concepts, from their interaction with people and experiences, and all the information is stored in their mind until they can make sense of it.  Experiencing new concepts with paint enhances imagination and creativity.  Painting is a hands-on activity that allows children to explore their senses, color, explore process and outcomes.   

 Painting on ice incorporates science, texture, and color recognition while observing the ice go from solid to a liquid state.   As the children engaged in this activity, they explored the ice by touching and painting. The children brushed the tempera paint on top of the ice block. They noticed what happens with the tempera paint as the ice started melting.  The textures started to change, as well as the colors.  Sensory experience is the basic element to learning and understanding how everything works in our environment.  

All the children interacted with the activity differently.  Rheya carefully covered the ice with paint, Remy focused painting the side of the ice, and touched the ice and said, "The ice is cold."   Olivia stirs the paint, presses the brush onto the ice, and covers the top.  We will continue this activity next week to give all the children an opportunity to explore.

Exploring with tempera paint, glue, and sand: As the children interact with their environment, they experience different stimulation.  These experiences enhance their cognitive, physical and language development.  Some of the children observed while others explored the sensory activity.  We provide options for the children to explore the materials available.  It helps us as educators to observe children and alternate our activities as they study them. 

Manipulative:

Engaging in play in the same activity, promotes, sharing, taking turns, and language!

A Strainer and Pipe Cleaners: The objective is for the children to try to stick the pipe cleaners through the strainer holes. The activity promotes, concentration, work on their small muscles of their fingers, imagination, and creativity. i will put this activity again next week.

Circle Time:

During circle time we started to write every child's first letter of their name on an erable board.  We use this activity as a transition song to wash our hands and then eat lunch or snack. The teacher asks, "What letter is this or what letter do you think it is?"  Ellis said, "The letter R, for Remy."   Amazing!!  Our children are not only beginning to recognize and articulate their first letter of their names, but their peers.   Providing opportunities, exposure, consistency, and following the child's pace, allows them to learn in a fun and interactive way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 12, 2018

During the week we sang:

  • Where is Thumpkin?
  • Mr. Muffin
  • Mr. Sun
  • Where is blue? 
  • There are seven days in a week
  • ABC
  • Good Morning Song
  • Head and Shoulders........
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and many more!

We also have read a variety of books.  The children are enjoying listening to the book Hooray for Hats.  A book about friendship and it also demonstrates how to make a friend feel better when they are not feeling well. We had two birthday celebrations this week, Rheya and Harry.  As their chronological age increases by one year, they are also developmentally growing.  Cognitive, physical, social/emotional, and particularly their language development is changing.  They are adding more words to their sentences and expressing their thoughts more clearly as well.  

We have been learning the color white, so today the teacher placed a variety of items with different colors inside a box.  The children were to select only something white.  As they search for an item that was white, the teacher observes how they explored and focused on the different items inside the box.   Since we started the color chart, we have noticed their interests in colors, exploring the color in a sensory bag, searching, and then placing the color item in the Ziploc bag.  The children seem to look forward that this activity.

 

Edith and Rheya engaged with the kitchen utensils, cooking pans, vegetables, and fruits props.   An empty container of milk was added to the food props.  The children appeared to enjoy having an actual container in their refrigerator.  They each took turns pouring and serving food to each other. 

Creativity and imagination take form as toddlers continue developing. The level of cognitive and language development begins to take shape.  As Harry continues exploring and manipulating unit blocks, he has moved forward to creating a horizontal row using triangles, and aligning them.  He is developing more muscle control by stacking and combining blocks.   Harry also counted each triangle by pointing to one triangle at a time.  The last triangle he is pointing with his finger is the fifth triangle.  Harry is demonstrating a valuable skill, he is counting in sequence, using one-to-one correspondence, and understanding that each triangle represents a number.  Fantastic!!

Snow Theme Shaving Cream Exploration:

Shaving cream is great for sensory exploration and provides endless opportunities for children to play and discover.  Sensory play promotes many experiences:

  • Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mold materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination. 
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent.  Toddlers process information through their senses; therefore, they learn as they explore.
  • Is unstructured, open-ended, not product oriented.  It is the purest sense of exploratory learning
  • Encourages imagination and creative play
  • Develop social skills: turn taking and sharing
  • Language development- experimenting with language and descriptive words

Harry was reluctant to touch the shaving cream with his hands.  We provided options for him to explore, paintbrushes with thin and thick bristles. Providing choices allows children to explore their options and feel at ease with the activity. 

Some of the children looked and observed the pictures of their families.  We counted together how many members are in their family trees, some have 3, 5, or 7 members and some have pets.  We always see big smiles when they look at their family pictures.  A family is a foundation where children start to grow and develop and continue as they enter school.  

Circle Time:

Gym:

Highlights of the week:

Rheya's Birthday:

We did some Splatter Painting:

Harry and Ellie needed help moving the box from side by side and Harlow helped both children!  Cooperative play is essential in early childhood.  It promotes sharing and working together. 

Harry's Birthday!

The children enjoyed listening to Rheya's father, Daniel, read to them.  They appeared to be very comfortable!!

We had a special visitor during the week, Rheya’s grandmother, Carol.  She engaged with us during circle time and interacted with the children during play.  We all enjoy her visit and hope she returns soon. 

Painting with Q-tips.  Each child maneuvered the Q-tip differently, creating distinctive thin strokes. Some children created lines, dots, focus on one side of the paper, or created circles. 

Color and shape recognition game is a fun and interactive activity for our toddlers.  The children used the laminated circles or the bear counters to place them on the corresponding color.  Edith recognized the color blue and placed the blue bear on the circle.  Ellis found the laminated black circle that corresponded with the black circle on the board.  

We created a wintery art piece.  We used glue, pine cones, small pine tree branches and some silver glitter.

January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!  

I welcome all parents and children back to school.

As the children enter the classroom for the first time after being away from school, I observed how they have changed.   During this period they grow and develop an understanding and use of words rapidly.  Most children said two or three recognizable words and as their language builds, they will progress to a conversation of two or three sentences.  Each child develops at different rates.  It isn't necessary to be alarmed if your child has not reached certain milestones that other children the same age have.  Development is a journey.

During our first circle time, the children appeared excited to sing and articulate their names.  We sang some of our favorites songs, Mr. Sun, ABC, Head and Shoulders, Mr. Muffin Man, and many more!  The teacher read a new book,  Not Quite Black and White by  Jonathan Ying and the illustrator, Victoria Ying. 

 

 

Playing with Baby!
Children replay events they have seen or experienced in their environment.  As they gain information and make sense of the information, they will project the knowledge they have acquired through play.  Providing sufficient materials to extend their learning will enhance their imagination and creativity.

 

Spanish:

 

Circle Time:

We are using a box to put small items and asking children what they think it's inside the box. When the items are revealed, we begin to count. Counting is not only articulating numbers but understanding the concept of numbers. Utilizing moveable objects such as counters, blocks and small toys, makes number activities fun and easy to learn. Learning to count with understanding is a crucial number skill, but other skills, such as perceiving subgroups, need to be developed alongside counting to provide a firm foundation for number sense. This week we used eight Lego blocks and two fuzzy worms. We are now showing the number in a written form. It will help them to associate the numeral with the number of items.  As we counted the Lego Blocks, all the children began to articulate the colors.  The teacher's focus was the counting, not color recognition.  The children independently made that decision.  They will gradually form a mental image as we teach and demonstrate numbers and colors.  

Blocks:

Remy used one double unit block, and she arranged on top, one large triangle, two small triangles, and one small triangle standing in an upright position.  She also stacked 3 1/2 pillar blocks on the left.  Remy explored, manipulated, and created a unique structure using the unit blocks.
Teacher: "What are you building?"
Remy: "Family!"
She lifted the small triangle standing in an upright position and said, "Dad” and pointed to the two small triangles and expressed, "Mom!"  Remy did not express more information but continued building and rebuilding structures.  Unit Blocks are timeless play materials that allow children to use their imagination and creativity.   
Constructive play focuses the minds of young children as they engage with the materials in the classroom. Young children have a natural desire to find out things for themselves, and children acquire knowledge through active play.  Remy has developed and moved from functional play, where she used materials in simple, repetitive, and exploratory ways, to constructive play, with purposeful activities that result in creations.

Art:

Shake it Up! Splatter Painting!

Painting is a way for children to explore colors.   With Splatter Painting, we can experiment with different color combinations and make it a great color mixing activity.   We used paper, small rocks, and different colors.   We placed everything in a box, and Rheya squeezed drops of the selected colors.  She moved the box up and down and side by side.  She seemed to enjoy listening to the sound of the rocks crashing from side to side.   As the paint splattered on the paper, the stones simultaneously formed simple, thick or thin lines.   The process of a painting activity stimulates children minds as they use their hands and body movements.

Manipulatives:

Painting:

 

The children explored glue, blue and white tempera paint.  They used their hands and different paintbrushes to spread the color on the cardstock.  They used their hands and paintbrushes to explore. They noticed that as they mixed the blue and white a lighter shade of blue appeared.  The teacher provided popsicle sticks and allowed the children to explore with them.  They created lines in their painting with the popsicle and then placed in different areas of the painting.   Beautiful work of art!! A variety of tactile experiences fosters children ability to understand how various materials work.  It stimulates their cognitive, language, physical, and social/emotional development.   

 

Rheya enjoys a reading session with her father as he reads a book of her choice before he departs.  Arranging a routine and creating some familiarity helps prepare the child for a smooth transition from home to school.

Magna-tiles are versatile learning manipulatives that are designed to develop and strengthen motor skills including pincer grip, which is so crucial to fine motor development control.  The children will build and rebuild different structures.   Children can combine shapes together and form other shapes, and patterns.  They foster imaginative play and creativity.  The unique pieces engage children in in-depth investigations.

Teacher: "Ellie what are you building?"

Ellie: "A choo choo train!"

December 8, 2017

During the week we sang and read a variety of books!  We purchase a Christmas, and the children are creating and painting decorations for the tree and classroom.

The highlights of the week:

Music encourages movements, which is important for young children motor skills.  Picking up an instrument can also help your child break out of their social shell too.  As a class and team, we work together to create a beat that can correlate with the songs that we were singing.  We sang a Spanish song, Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas).  It was interactive as we played different instruments and sang together. 

 

Counting different items has become one of our favorite things to do during circle time.  We select a variety of topics: feathers, fuzz balls, counters (bears), Lego Blocks, or how many children are in school today, are some examples. Teaching children to count involves more than helping them learn the numbers one to ten. It consists of helping children understand the meaning of numbers. At this age, it’s great to count together with a child. You might count the steps as you walk up to them or the buses as they go by; this helps children begin to move towards matching one thing at a time with the number as they say it.

We have been exploring the color red.  Different color items were placed in a box.   The children selected items that were red. 

Ellis smiled and expressed the words,  "Red, red!"

We placed all the red items in a small Ziploc bag and taped it on our Color Chart.  We visited the chart together and talked about the colors we have displayed.  

We are now exploring the color pink! We also have been discussing and observing the different things in our environment that has the circle shape.  I demonstrated a round plate, an item we use every day. Young children are eager to learn and are engaging in many activities that promote simple and gradual learning experiences. 

 

December 5, 2017, Happy Birthday, Harlow!!

Spanish Specialist:

We went for a neighborhood walk and saw people, dogs, cars, trucks, Christmas trees, and words.  Harry raised his voice as he articulated and recognized the letter "A!"  We saw and bought a perfect tree for Buckle My Shoe!

As we walked the different streets in our neighborhood, we enter a park and the children observed the birds!  The teacher talked about the leaves, trees, and our New York pigeons.  They saw them on the ground and suddenly the children averted their eyes upward.  The birds flew!  Some children articulated the word, birds, birds.

We are starting with our Holiday decorations!

Children interact with different materials, and some gravitate towards specific manipulatives. The Duplo blocks on the table, Luca observed and interacted with them.  He pressed one Lego onto another and continued building by stacking different colors and shapes.  Experimenting and investigating each piece Luca selects and rotates to design, helps him visualize his creation.  He appeared focused and determined as he lifts his structure to place it on top of another.  Luca realized that it was not stable enough when it tilted sideways.  This experience allows him to maneuver the Legos until he finds the right fit.  The fine motor and cognitive development are integrated into this activity.

The children seemed eager and excited to see the lights turned on.   We intended to put them on the Christmas tree; however, half of the lights were not turning on.  We will find another set of lights and decorate the tree on Friday.

  • We brought in some hats for the dramatic play center.  The children seemed to enjoy wearing and exploring the different hats.  Some of the children were wearing them for a length of time as they engaged in various activities.  
  • Luca interacted with the puzzles but also likes to align his manipulatives.
  • Harlow appeared to enjoy the sensory bag placed on the light table.  It contained shredded paper and hair gel.  It promotes  the illusion of snow.  The thickness and reflection give it a shimmery appearance.
  • The children enjoyed the special reader we had in the morning, Ben.  As Ben enters the classroom with Remy to drop her off, he takes a little time and reads a story.  Some of the children gathered to listen or selected a book from the bookshelf and sat beside him.  Thank you, Ben.
  • We were able to find another set of lights to decorate the tree.  The children helped carry the lights.   They appeared excited and eager to see the tree lit with the red, blue, and green lights.  Adela volunteered to take a picture of the class in front of the tree.  It required litttle patients for our little ones to gather in front of the tree, before taking the pictures.  
  • The children appeared to enjoy the process of making wreaths: Paper plates, tissue paper (green and red), glitter, and glue.  They also painted dreidels.
  • As we paint and allow the decorations to dry, the children will gradaully hang them on the tree.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

 We are continuing the path of a child's identity and family.  Some documentation that we already have about family is, Meet our Community of Different Cultures and Languages that Unite us as one booklet, the panel of "Names," and we are in the process of completing our "Family Tree" wall.   Each person that lives in the household creates a piece of the family puzzle.  Therefore, it branches to the child's self-identity.   Family books help us learn and understand how each family gathers together and do things as a family. We will learn the similarities and differences how family do things.  We will continue following how the growth and development of a child, connect to family. 

 

 

December 1, 2017

Some of the songs we sang:

  • ABC (Favorite Song)
  • Mr. Sun (Favorite Song)
  • Five Little Speckled Frogs
  • Two Little Black Birds
  • Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • Do you Know the Muffin Man
  • Oh McDonald Had a Farm
  • Where is Blue...(Favorite Song)
  • Blow up a Balloon
  • Open shut them......
  • If you are Happy and you Know it...
  • Johnny Works with One Hammer
  • Blue Bird

Some of the books that were read:

  • The Family Book
  • Olivia
  • Hooray For Hat!
  • Daddy, Papa, and Me
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Christmas 123
  • Jingle Paws
  • Five Green and Speckled Frogs
  • Martha doesn't share!
  • Mommy, Mama, and Me
  • Subway (One of their Favorite Books)
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Next week we are planning a trip to the store to purchase a tree; therefore, today the children painted some decorations for the Holidays. 

Sensory:

Oobleck: Oobleck incorporates both science and sensory exploration; is a substance that's somewhere between a liquid and a solid. It pours like a liquid but acts like a solid when you squeeze it. The children looked curious and explored the properties slowly by dropping their hands into the oobleck, feeling and squeezing its texture.   Some children explored and others observed.  It is always important to go according to each child's pace and provide ample time for them to observe.  

 

The children are learning to recognize and articulate different colors.  This week we explored the color red.   Visual cues are excellent tools for young toddlers to learn and absorb information.   The color red was introduced in a Ziploc bag.  The children took turns touching, looking and squeezing the bag.  We have been counting the number of items in containers, bears and feathers are some examples.    Children are learning to count, recognize numbers, and count in one-to-one correspondence (counting in sequence).  We have also been counting in Spanish!

Circletime:

Spanish:

Art:

Painting with sponge-like brushes, pine branches, and their hands.

 

 

Manipulative Toys:

Music with Evan:

Feeding the Fish: Caring for a small pet, such as a fish, can provide young children with the opportunity to learn more about animals.  As preschool teachers, we know that young children are engaged and learn best by doing. We can certainly teach about animals through books and pictures; however, they can learn more when they can actually interact with one. They can learn about caring for animals and the responsibility that goes with it.

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REMY!

Rheya gave Remy a gift the children made for her.  They used white, purple, and blue colors.  Small drops of each color were poured onto the canvas and covered with a plastic bag.  The children tap and pat until the paint spread, revealing a beutiful work of art. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

We are continuing celebrating the child.  Their identity and the different attributes that separate them from one another are an essential part of who they are.   How does family contribute to a child identity?  What is each child’s concept what family represents? How can we expand and help our learners learn about the foundation of a family? Now we are bridging how a family is connected to the child’s growth and development.  

A family tree shows the different relationship of members of a family or other genealogical group.  It can branch out to include many relatives. We are currently making family trees with each child.  The teachers are painting their arm brown and hand green, representing a tree.  Then we are going to cut out the family pictures into circles shapes.  We are focusing on only the faces of each member and placing them on each correspondent tree. We have been reading different books about families; for example:

  • The Family Book
  • Daddy, Papa, and Me
  • Mommy, Mama, and Me

The children frequently visit the family wall, and they do not only focus on their picture but all the images.  They can identify their peers as they glance each picture.  As we begin our family tree, the children will be able to determine how people are in their family as they count the different faces. We will count and write the number of family member for each child. 

We will also see, listen, and learn how each family does things together through different events from the various Family Books we will receive. Music can be another avenue to explore.  What kind of music do all the families listen to?  

 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

As we continue our theme of the year, child identity, today some of the children made a Family Tree,  using their hand and the lower portion of their arm (representing the trunk).   The tree starts off with one person, the child, and then branches out to members of their family.  It will show the different people involved in making them who they are.

November 22, 2017

During the week we read a variety of books and songs.  

The children also explored painting on a different easel.  The benefits of working on an easel are: 

  • Fine motor: Moving the painting tool from the paint container to the easel surface requires focus and control.  
  • Large motor: Because of the angle of the arm, using the easel works the shoulder and entire arm. The bigger the surface, the more exercise this area of the body gets.
  • Cognitive skills: There is a lot to figure out while using an easel, such as how the paint will get on the paper, how the different colors will mix, and how to handle the drips that occur.

Gradually the children are learning to recognize and identify the colors in a fun and interactive way.  Today we are exploring the color yellow.  To celebrate the color, some of the children were wearing a yellow blouse, socks or both!  Before the teacher displays a Ziploc bag with the items of the selected color, she asks the children during circle time to choose an item that's yellow. 

The children are going to be taking turns feeding the fish!

Some of the highlights of the week:

  • The children made green Play dough
  • Painting at the wooden easel
  • Painting on Foil Paper
  • Painting with Q-tips-The children painted in pairs with Q-tips on a square canvas.  Some of the benefits of children working in pairs are:
    • Give learners more speaking time

    • Allows them to incorporate their techniques and ideas as they begin to use their words

    • Gives them a sense of achievement when reaching a team goal

    • Allows us as teachers to monitor, move around the class and listen to the language they are producing and observe as they work together.  Each pair demonstrated their different techniques when maneuvering the Q-tip, shared and respected their space.

The Spanish Specialist comes every Tuesday, and she manages to mesmerize the children with her songs and activities.  The children seem to enjoy listening and participating singing the songs in Spanish and listening to a short story about a turkey.  Today several of our students were articulating many words in Spanish as they sang.  It was great to see how they are adapting and absorbing another language.