Friday, December 12, 2014

Tell me a story...

Language
It isn't the first official day of winter quite yet but PreK is in a wintry mood as we talk about snowmen, Rudolph, and that man in red on everyone's minds.  I used the winter season to introduce a classic tale, "The Snowy Day" by Jack Ezra Keats.  



It is the story of a boy and his adventures on one snowy day.  If you've never read it, go to the bookstore or library and ask your child to "read" the story to you.  By now they are very familiar with it.  I am asking each student to tell me about the story while I write their words.  Current research has documented that "retelling as a post-reading activity is more effective than teacher questioning in building comprehension" (Gambrell et al., 1991).  The students are learning to recall characters and plot, recall the order of events, and they develop language skills as they put the story into their own words.  Then they get to draw a scene from the story, like an illustrator.  Check out our bulletin board inside the classroom to see their work.  

Fine Motor and Math
The holiday season provides many recognizable symbols like candy canes, trees, and bells.  Students use a small pushpin and a square of cork board to practice pinholes on the outline.  There is a great feeling of accomplishment when a student finished their pinwork and we hold up to see light streaming through the holes, illuminating their chosen symbol.  



Using tongs, a muffin tin, and holiday themed erasers has been a fun activity to practice sorting, counting, and coordination.  



Sensory
PreK enjoyed sprinkling "cloud dough" like it was snow.  This mixture of flour and baby oil is a soft material, and it covered hands and arms very well!


Large Motor
Slides of every size were available this week.  Some kids like to go down, some like to crawl up.  Fun no matter which way you go!  


I'm always surprised by the ingenuity of children.  They wanted a way to pull the bikes so they used boards made for lacing and either wedged or wrapped the laces in a way that allowed them to tow the bike.  This type of play was about inventing a new way to use materials, discovering what worked or didn't work then adapting, and using fine motor skills to wrap, thread, or knot the laces.  


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