In the classroom we provide and encourage ample time for building. Not just during open exploration times, but as a math center or group activity. On the surface, building maybe seen only as play, however if you take a deeper look, the important math work becomes apparent.
In Preschool, children are beginning to develop their Geometry Thinking through the basis of shape, space and location. Young Learners need the time to practice arranging and rearranging objects to develop their Spatial Learning. Working with blocks and Lego help children develop an understanding of how objects can be arranged and positioned within a given space. Please watch the video taken from
“Mathematical experiences for very young children should build largely upon their play and the natural relationships between learning and life in their daily activities, interests, and questions.” (Early Childhood Today, www.scholastic.com)
After reading a fun book Chalk; about children using their imaginations and drawing with chalk, the Laser Bugs wanted to give it a try! We went down to the basketball court where we had lots of space to draw. The best part was that we could see our drawings from our classroom windows and just like the book it rained and washed away our work. We were not sad, because we know we can go out and draw again.
Today Mr. Lill brought his 9th grade writing class to visit all the ECLC1 classes. The 9th grade students worked with the children practicing taking photos with the iPads. Today was also the first day that the ECLC1 students used iPads this school year.
Today’s visit marks the beginning of our cross campus community collaboration project. The project’s aim is to promote the use of technology in the early years in an authentic way, that supports learning. As a teacher, I do not believe that they best way to integrate technology in the early years is to spend time on apps or engrossed in “screen time”. I hope that my young students will develop an understanding that technology can be used to document their learning and can be used to make connections within their community (school or world wide) to share and collaborate throughout their learning journey.
The 9th graders gave the children simple instructions on how to take a good photo. They asked the children what they wanted to photograph, told them to hold the iPad still, count to 3 and push the button. The 9th graders proved to be great mentors during this activity. They were kind and patient and understood that they needed to be responsible for supervising their younger buddies. The 9th graders used engaging and encouraging words throughout the photo taking, praising the children for trying their best.
Later in the classroom, the 9th graders had a reflection session with their small buddies. They asked them what they thought of their photos. The older students went beyond just asking the children if they liked their photos but engaged the children in higher thinking questions. “Do you remember why you wanted to take this photo?” “Did you mean to include the person in the background?” “Did you hold the iPad still or is this photo too shaky.”
ECLC teachers were impressed with the level of maturity and responsibility that the 9th grade students showed. I think that the 9th graders were also impressed with how capable the 3 and 4 year olds actually are. It seemed that all the students enjoyed their time together. It also seems that connections within our school community have begun to grow!
We will meet up with our 9th grade buddies later this school year. After the children have some time to practice photo taking, they will choose one favorite photo. We will share that photo with the high school art students, who will create representing artwork. That same shared photo will be given to the 9th grade writing class, who will compose a piece of written work. We will go to visit both classes at the Bayside campus in the new year.
In March the great unveiling of the collaborative community project will be showcased to the whole school community during the week of ECLC’s Learning Comes Alive.
This morning we had a special visit in the elementary music room. The music teacher Mrs. Overlie, spent some time showing us different instruments. She also played and sang songs with us. The best part was getting to try out the instruments on our own. Mrs. Overlie took time from her busy teaching day because she knew that the Caterpillars have been exploring music and that we are making our own instruments.
At different times of the day the Caterpillar and Guppy classes have their adjoining door open. When the door is open the children from both classes can choose to move in and out of the 2 classrooms. As we will most likely have different activities going on in the 2 rooms, the children will have more choice and have the opportunity to engage with different children and teachers. On this day as the Caterpillars were dressed up and role playing in the House Keeping area they heard music playing in the Guppy classroom and they decided to check it out. The result of being curious turned into a fun dance party. Hope you enjoy these photos and videos!