We are soon coming to the end of the year. It has been a pleasant, rewarding, and educational experience working with the 18-24 months. Our children are growing, developing, and shaping their personality. I have seen them grow and develop both physically and mentally. I am proud to have been part of that growth. Each day we learn how essential it is to have children engage in activities, group time, circle time, and projects. Nevertheless, it is as important to follow their pace. Building confidence and self-esteem are fundamental for them to feel secure in the environment in which they interact and engage with peers and different adults.
As we observe them in play or an activity, we have noticed how they are listening to each other's words and talk as they play. Talking and asking questions to them is essential for their language and cognitive development. They demonstrate their learning as they observe and listen to the people they interact in their different environments (teachers, parents, and other adults). As teachers, we have encouraged them always to use their words and make independent decisions. As they think, they are developing and building, thinking and language skills.
One of our essential approach to learning is singing songs. The children have observed, learned, listened and memorized many of our daily routine songs.
Throughout the week we sang:
- There are 7 days of the week
- What's the weather?
- Mr. Sun
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Five Little Ducks
- Five Little Speckled Frogs
- Where is Thumbkin?
- Where is Blue?
- And many more....
A variety of books were read....
New Books: Bark George, Pete the Cat, the Wheels on the Bus, For Just One Day,
Throughout the year we have had many circle time activities. Providing different ways to stimulate their young developing minds, enables them to develop thinking skills. It helps them to be curious, uses their imagination, creativity, explore, and discover new things. For the past few weeks, we are demonstrating to the children a fun game, which entails using numbers or shapes. For example, five different shapes are drawn on an erasable board. The board is turned away from the children and a shape is erased. As the board is turned back, the children have to guess which shape is missing.
This whole week we have been preparing for our Spring Fair. Children are working hard on creating different art pieces. They are enjoying, exploring and discovering different techniques to create with colors. As they paint, glue, and sculpt they are using their imagination and creativity.
Painting at the small aisle has always been one of the children's favorite activities. It seems that it gives them a different perspective on painting. As they use a thin brush and a variety of colors, they appear to relax as they stroke their paintbrush in different directions. Each distinctive stroke is made with focus and purpose.
A collage is a technique of composing a work of art by pasting on a single surface various materials. The art of making collages, enable students’ to use their imagination and create a composition that expresses their creativity. The students used natural and recycled materials, for example; wood slices, small tree branches, recycling paper rolls, and seashells.
The children squeezed some glue on a square piece of corrugated cardboard. They applied the glue with a paintbrush and selected different items for their collage. They each seemed to enjoy exploring the materials, as they focused on squeezing and spreading the glue. The children that did not participate in this activity during the week will have an opportunity to do it next week. This activity promotes fine motor and cognitive development, creativity, and imagination.
Highlights of the week:
We are going to have the opportunity to see the butterfly cycle (Caterpillar, Chrysalis, and Butterfly). We have several caterpillars (Painted Lady Caterpillars) in a small container, and each day we will be watching and noticing the changes. The children appeared curious and excited as they observed the caterpillars move slowly in the container.
During circle time we counted how many children were at school. We counted and articulated the number 9, and it was written on an erasable board to demonstrate the written form. A set of circles were drawn next to the number nine, to show another way in which the number nine can be represented.
The children are creating a structure using small and large spools, Popsicle sticks and round wood circles. Each piece represents a child’s creation. The children are collaborating on all art pieces for the Spring Market Event.
Magna-tiles vary in shapes to build and rebuild different structures. They foster critical developmental skills, imaginative play, and creativity. The unique pieces engage children in in-depth investigations.
Madeline explores, creates and manipulates the Magna-tiles. She carefully placed each square shape side by side, depicting a walls of squares. She maintained focus and used caution, as she proceeds to add a square. There were different geometric shapes, but her interests were with the square shapes. Children’s creation evolves has they use materials that are available to them. As their young minds develop and grow with each interaction, they form an idea and construct the object of that idea. Madeline: “Look, I’m making a castle!”
Many children painted at the aisle. They each waited patiently for their turn.
Painting provides texture and color exploration. It enables children to create and become curious as they paint. Combining colors and using a paintbrush or their hands to explore are elements that help them create and discover. As Ellie was mixing the colors and maneuvering the paintbrush, she articulated, “The moon!” Harlow was making circular movements, “Look Sandra, circles!” Painting allows them to express themselves and develop their creativity freely.
Painting with young children not only helps their creative development but it also stimulates their brain. Stimulating children's brain can also improve other areas of their development; for example, developing their fine pincer grip or learning about color mixing.
We created more colorful tiles for our Spring Fair. The children appear amazed as they see how the colors they squeezed into the cup without mixing, created a pattern of colors on the tile. Some of the children participated in splattering color on a canvas, using latex gloves and paint. They squeezed paint into a latex glove, small holes were poked on the glove, and the children pressed to dispense the color in different directions and "Voila" a masterpiece.
Today we went for a neighborhood walk. Mario said, “Hello!” to every person he saw and they all pointed and articulated, firetruck. We said hello, to the friendly firefighter and we talked about the colors and the number the firetruck had. The children recognized the colors and Harry, shouted, "The number 7!" We talk about letters almost every day; therefore, as we pass the New York Law School building, the children were recognizing and identifying the letters! They also pointed and articulated cars, trucks, bus, yellow car, and dogs!