Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A is for Animals

Interesting morning!  Goes to prove that, as a teacher, we must be flexible!  We didn't even touch one activity we had planned but we did activities that weren't planned today because that's just how the interest and conversation went.  So though we didn't do everything...it was still a profitable morning!  Maybe even more profitable that if we had just done what was planned.  :-)

A few activities we enjoyed:
Cloud Dough Exploration
This was something I had come across on Pinterest.  The original website was
8 C. of flour to 1 C. of baby oil.  Mix well with your hands.

My thoughts toward Cloud Dough...
*  Something we'd do again, yes.
*  Messy, yes.  But a clean messy.  Meaning, the flour gets all over but it cleans up easily.  I think playing with it in a sensory table vs. at the floor level would lead to a little less mess.  But if I was large center based, I would encourage the use of smocks!  We changed clothing for the two youngest. 
*  Makes your room smell lovely and your hands soft.
*  We used one batch with two people but really, I'd probably use one batch for one person next time. 
*  Next time, we'll play with it using spoons, cups, and other kitchen supplies.  The safari animals are always fun in sensory material but doesn't lead to the molding that could be done. 
*  All age groups would enjoy.

Our focus letter this week is A.  These past few weeks have been I, J and now A.  All three of these letters begin in the center vs. in the upper left hand corner. 
This was a very simple activity that they loved!  Remember that it's not necessary to always have "new" activities and sometimes the simpler, the better!  I did have a capital A lightly drawn on the page.  We talked about how it started in the center and that's where they put their first sticker.  They then put stickers on as they would write the letter.  Great conversation with the variety of animal stickers that were available!  (The white A was T.'s-2.5 years old. Shows a bit of his personality.  Very orderly.  He loved this activity.  However, keep in mind that many 2 year olds would just put the stickers anywhere on the page, and that is okay.)

There Was an Old Lady is always a favorite . So many variations out there now also!
This CD, book, and flannel set came from Lakeshore Learning.  Stories like these lead to retellings pretty easily. 

They had noticed with There Was an Old Lady that those animals we would find at the farm. This led directly into creating a venn diagram about farm and zoo animals.  I should have started with those flannel pieces because we did talk about how we'd find a fly, spider, and bird at the zoo...not just at the farm.  :-)

When doing Venn Diagrams...remember to think from their perspective and what their experiences might be.  They put a horse and chicken in the middle of the two circles.  Why?  Because our local zoo has those.  :-)  I'm surprised they didn't put a cow there also since our local zoo have cows also.  It's more on the petting zoo type of zoo.   The bottom right picture shows a bit of disorganization.  That is because this was not a planned activity.  :-D  They handled the disorganization fine but it's not how I would have done the activity if I had planned it.  We got talking about where those zoo animals would have lived if they weren't at the zoo...which leads to conversation about habitats which leads to Ms. Amber scrounging for a visual of habitats which leads to them getting all excited and wanting to match the pictures to the habitats.  LOL  So instead of their normal World World segment as I get lunch together...they worked with habitats and animals.  :-P  Can't complain!

And...we even got a good 30+ minutes outside today.  Been an interesting winter and there have been more than desired days that we were inside for whatever the reason.

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