We started our exercise study on Monday. Why investigate exercise? Our bodies are made to move. Young children are in nearly constant motion when they are awake. They wiggle, stretch, bend, jump, hop, bounce, and climb. Moving makes children feel capable and confident, releases tension, and builds strong bodies and minds.
This study begins with children’s natural desire to move. A study of exercise not only offers opportunities for children to explore a topic that interests them, but also enables them to gather information, become more aware of the world around them, and solve problems. Children will explore many types of exercise, observe people while they are exercising, and learn about the mechanics of movement and how to use special equipment to stay safe when exercising. They will also learn about nutrition and jobs related to exercise, and the connection between exercise and healthy bones and muscles. They will gather data, meet interesting people, explore a variety of challenging exercise movements, and prepare energizing snacks. A study of exercise offers a meaningful way for children to use literacy, mathematics, the arts, and technology to investigate and represent their understanding of important concepts related to physical development, science, and social studies.
Our focus question for the week was what do we know about exercise? Abbi said “you can jog for exercise.” Townes said “people exercise to get stronger.” Piper stated “you can use a treadmill to get exercise.” Our home living center has been turned into a gym. We added a trampoline, weight bench, hula hoops, and yoga mats.
We learned about the number fourteen, and all about the letter D. We read about Dinah the Dinosaur and the sound she makes. We water colored Dottie the Dinosaur, traced and wrote our own Dd and practiced drawing diamonds!
We read The Happiest Tree a Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami. We learned the following vocabulary words: improved, clumsy, performance, rehearsal, topple, sets, India, astonishment, cloak and snagged. We also read We All Went on Safari A Counting Journey through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs. We learned some fun facts about Tanzania, and counted to ten in Swahili.
We are learning about symmetry in math. The children were given sheets with half of a butterfly and tadpole. They were told to make the pictures match, to copy the lines to make the picture symmetric. I explained that symmetry means for both sides to look exactly the same. With this activity the children were introduced to a topic (symmetry) that will be discussed in their math classes from now until college; and depending on which career they choose, even longer. Symmetry is found everywhere in nature and is also one of the most prevalent themes in art, architecture, and design. It seems to be such a small aspect of the study of Geometry, however it is an integral component connecting Mathematics to the real world. Children have a natural interest in finding balance, what better way to feed that curiosity than by teaching a basic understanding of symmetry?
Students were able to explore dance and movement concepts using scarves in PE. One of the first ways that children express themselves is through movement. Each new movement gives children more information about the capabilities of their bodies. Preschool children demonstrate knowledge of dance and movement in many ways when they use scarves as they respond to music. Movement, taught with pretend imagery, is beneficial to children’s learning and enjoyment of dance. Coach Nicole also introduced jumping rope, and this helps with their balancing skills. Balancing involves movements to help stabilize the body’s position when the person is not a rest. Jumping rope requires balance. Balancing is difficult for young children because of their uneven body proportions. As children become less top heavy, their ability to balance improves.