Thursday, June 14, 2012

IQ Building Activity

As a preschool teacher I have been lucky to attend many conferences and training events. I have learned so many activities that are an absolute must in any preschool classroom.  There is a lot of push these days to have the brightest and the best children. We are living in a time where standardized testing and academics continue to be forced down on younger and younger children.  

Today we completed an activity that will prepare your children for the future! 

This activity is so great that at times it can cover almost all of the learning standards. 

The best part of this activity is that children LOVE it! It can be done in many different ways to suit the needs and curiosity of the children involved. 

Here are some of the Maine Early Learning Standards that I saw being met today, as I observed the children, who by the way were quite actively engaged.

Approaches to Learning

 Initiative and Curiosity
  • Finds more than one solution to a question, task, or problem
  • Recognizes and solves problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults
  • Approaches tasks and activities with increasing flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness

 Persistence and Reflection

  • Considers and implements different approaches to carrying out a task
  • Alters approach to task when initial approach does not work
  • Recognizes and solves problems independently through trial and error and by interacting with peers and adults.

Health and Physical Education

Fine Motor Skills
  • Eye-hand coordination

Scientific Process
  • Makes generalizations or conclusions based on experiences

Personal and Social Development

Self Control
  • Uses materials and equipment purposefully, safely, and respectfully.
Self Concept
  • Expresses pride in accomplishments
Social Competence
  • Interacts with one or more children

What is this magical activity you might ask? 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Playground Sculptures

We made these sculptures with recyclables and a low temp glue gun. 
After they were all finished we used miniature animals to play on them.

We play all day!

Mathematics: Begins to recognize, copy, extend and create simple patterns.

We are proud to say that we play all day!

The great news is they are learning so much as they play, because that is how children learn best.
 In a play-based classroom the teachers job is facilitating opportunities for children to learn from their social environments using their five senses. This includes providing materials and vocabulary as well as helping the children investigate their interests further.
Children learn best when engaged through play, because they are active learners.
Currently our themes are developed based on the children’s interests and needs.  At the beginning of the unit, possible activities are outlined and connected with the standards.
 Throughout the duration of the learning unit, activities are added, eliminated and 
modified to suit the natural flow of the subject. 

Below I have given examples of activities that look like "Just Playing," when really the children are learning and growing according to the Maine Early Learning Standards.

Mathematical Decision-making: Uses planning to acquire a desired outcome.

Early Language and Literacy: Seeks out and enjoys experiences with pictures,
books, and other print materials.

Gross Motor: Moves with an awareness of personal space in relationship to others.

Car Repairmen
Social Studies: "Dramatizes the ways people work and various aspects of their jobs.

Mud Pies
  Scientific Process: Observes, describes and investigates changes
 in materials and cause and effect relationships.

Block Play
Approaches to Learning: (Persistence and Reflection)
 Demonstrates a capacity to maintain concentration for a meaningful period of time
on a task, set of directions, or interactions, despite distractions and interruptions.

Playdough Cake
Creative Arts: Uses props to enhance role playing and dramatic play

Drip Painting
Creative Arts: Uses different art media and materials