It's time for fall break and I am amazed at how much the children have grown since the beginning of the year. Every morning we start off with our table activities and I'm really proud at how many of them they have learned to complete. Table activities in Primary II can include anything come puzzles and coloring sheets to AB patterns and sensory tubs. These simple activities help us develop important skills, for example, learning AB patterns helps us develop early math skills. Patterns are everywhere in our world and learning about them helps children learn prediction, base ten counting, and skip counting.
After our morning table time we start large group. Typically large group is where all of our big topics are discussed as a group but much of the large group time the last 2 weeks has been focused on practicing for our fall program. Public speaking is an area that is often skipped over in early childhood in the rush to develop typical math an dreading skills. We like to focus on public speaking year round by giving the children many opportunities to speak up in class and to put on programs. The children practice their program for many visitors and even took a hike to the middle school campus to preform for the 4th and 5th graders. The highlight was of course the opportunity to perform for our families and the children excelled during this performance!!
Throughout the rest of our day there are a multitude of different activities that we participate in to spark our interest in learning. In fact my favorite thing about St. James campus is the variety of environments we have available for our activities. For example, we went on a leaf hike as we explored the change in seasons from summer to fall. The children were able to travel around campus and collect different leaves. We added an element of music by singing songs about the leaves, math by comparing the leaves (shapes and sizes), and even a bit of science by discussing why the leaves were falling off the trees.
We were also able to travel to the Rec Center on campus to experience yet another hands on learning activity. Ms. Shannon our resident tech and science guru had set up some Orbeez water beads for the children to enjoy. This was a huge hit as they loved all the colors, feeling the different textures, and comparing the different sizes. They worked hard at developing important social skills such as waiting your turn and sharing space with others. All of this learning took place behind the scenes as the giggles, laughter, and wondrous cries of "Oh! look at this!!" took center stage for me.
Of course we don't want to have too much fun - then we wouldn't be at school, right?!
So, the children left the orbeez and went right back to studying math and this time we focused on AAB patterns,
you know by singing, "Duck, Duck Goose" on the big green grassy lawn outside!
Tricked you there, didn't I? It really is an exciting way to teach AAB patterning.
We do love to learn and we really want the children to learn in an environment that sparks their curiosity and makes them laugh. Learning is very important but it is also important to me that the children want to learn and find joy in understanding the world around them.
Until next time,