Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin
Our class has moved into our building study. This study is always a blast for the kids. They love building and construction and I love the way that social studies is wrapped up so neatly in the curriculum. As always we started our exploration discussing what we already know about buildings and then we moved into what we want to find out. During this discuss we introduced the book Three Little Pigs. The children loved the story and pretending they were the big bad wolf on the playground. We counted the doors and windows in our room, in our building and in other buildings around our campus.
We moved into our first investigation by drawing a map on the board and discussing the buildings in our campus neighborhood. At this age the terms map and neighborhood can be new concepts that they are still struggling to understand. Using our beautiful campus as a neighborhood allows the children to add a visual to accompany their newfound knowledge. Once we had discussed the map we planned a “tour” of our campus. The children walked around the campus as we discussed the order of buildings, shapes of windows/doors/roofs, and the features we found inside different buildings. The children loved seeing the stairs and fireplace that are a part of our administration building.
Of course we always like to differentiate and incorporate different learning concepts within our curriculum. So we also used our sense of hearing to learn about the buildings around our campus and what kinds of noises we could near different buildings. We used our hands to measure the different sizes of bricks used to discuss which buildings had larger bricks. Then we wrapped up our tour with counting how many cinder blocks tall our building was and we compared this with how tall we are in cinder blocks.
Aside from our building study we have been hard at work continuing to build a good foundation with our fine motor skills. We have cut, painted, and colored. These fine motor skills are now becoming a big part of the children’s lives. Throughout the year I work with the children to grow their knowledge of letters using our Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. We also work on their name and recognizing their special letters. This hard work comes in the form of play with tiles, colors, phonetic songs, and even playdough. At this time of year we combine that knowledge base with those fine motor skills to help them learn to write their name. At this point now the children are signing in every morning with a dry erase marker (which is super cool to them). In fact, several of them have begun to also write their name on their own coloring sheets and other work without being asked. I love sharing in their joy when they write one of their special letters all by themselves. It truly is excited watching the children grow happily in their confidence and skills.