Why investigate pets? Pets are beloved parts of many families and classrooms. Young children love to watch their animal friends and imitate the animals’ movements, sounds, and expressions. Pets, whether at home or at school, teach children the importance of taking care of others, showing affection, being sensitive to others’ needs, and developing lasting friendships.
A study on pets not only offers opportunities for children to explore a topic that interests them, but it also allows children to gather information, become more aware of the world around them, and solve problems. Children will explore many types of pets; investigate what pets eat, how they communicate, and what they need; observe people caring for pets; and learn about jobs related to caring for pets. Children will gather data, meet interesting people, and explore a variety of materials used to care for pets.
We have a class pet for the next five weeks. Thank you to Aubrey's parents for buying us this sweet and special lion head rabbit. We took a class vote to determine a name, and after tallying our votes, the winner was Lollipop! Young children are interested in living things. They are especially interested in the plants and animals in their immediate environment. No matter what topic of the life science children study, they can learn the major concepts as they interact with living things. Through regular contact with nature, children expand their curiosity and observation skills, practice nurturing behaviors as they care for living things, and gain knowledge in other academic areas.
A big thank you to Reed, who also brought a soft shell longnose turtle to class for the children to enjoy in the science center.
We worked on spatial relationships and shapes by putting together puzzles and talking about how each piece fits in a specific space. Understanding spatial relationships and shapes helps children build the foundation for understanding geometry. Children who have a strong spatial sense do better in mathematics.
We made modeling clay! We started with a recipe, and read it together before beginning. Long before they learn to read, young children try to make sense of the print around them. Children see print in their homes, in their schools, on street signs, and elsewhere throughout their communities. Knowledge of print and its uses includes understanding that print carries a message and that print is organized and read in particular ways. We talked about capacity (how much something holds) and the measuring tools. Each child was given an opportunity to measure, pour, and mix the ingredients. As the children played with the dough, we talked about how the ingredients changed after they were mixed together.
We started our Kick Start Kindergarten books this week. These workbooks teach in a developmental order that helps children master skills and boosts confidence. HWT teaches the easiest skills first, then builds on prior knowledge. Capitals are taught first, and lowercase letters follow.