Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cliff Climbing.


Lots of other great outdoor play going on at Learning for Life's Outdoor Play Party.

Project 365: February 2014

February sure was a snowy month. 

The preschoolers started to lose interest in using the sleds when our snow mountain just kept growing bigger and bigger. 

Then we started to lose interest in winter all together.

By the end of the month (with a little help from a bucket loader that helped reclaim our parking lot) we had a giant cliff to climb and explore. 

The cold air also hardened the snow and we were able to walk on top of the snow back into the woods. 

I'm sure all this snow will be bringing us great mud and puddles in another month!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Just playing! at the table.

This post is part of a blog hop that focuses on why playing isn't "Just Playing." 

This is a weekly event that is meant to encourage educators and parents to really think about how children learn through play. 

Play IS how children learn.

These materials were set out on the table in baskets and were one of the choices available in the classroom that day.
Children were exploring the materials all on their own.

We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. 

Play is important!

Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:

If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?

You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Seuss Architecture

Tuesday morning I sat down at the table by myself while the kids were arriving and playing. 

I started to sketch this picture. 

The kids were instantly intrigued and started bombarding me with questions.

What is that place? What are you drawing?

I told them that they would just have to wait and see. I asked them what theories they had about it.

"Is that the Lorax's house?"

"No, but you are on the right track."
At circle time I hung up the picture and asked them what it reminded them of. What do you notice about it? 

This is how we started our conversation about Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr.Seuss. 

I explained how he was an "imagination expert" and that he could use his imagination just the way kids do.
 He was very good at rhyming and writing words, but he also was an amazing artist. 

We started investigating the way Dr.Seuss liked to draw his houses and buildings. The kids noticed right away that he often included stairs. 

"There's a Wocket in My Pocket."

We looked at a couple books to find other things he commonly included. I introduced some vocabulary and so did the kids. I mentioned all the arches and columns. 

One child mentioned that all the windows were semi-ovals. :) 

"The Sleep Book"

 They noticed that he often included chimneys and smoke and of course stripes. 
Many times the features are crooked and curvy.  

"The Lorax"

The kids have been practicing their own drawings to include the same components as Seuss. We talked about how he drew his pictures with black and then added the color after. 

Another activity that we did on Friday was to make a tally chart as we skimmed through books.
We checked which books included the features that we have been practicing. They were really excited to shout out the items as I flipped through the pages. 

"The Sleep Book"