Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog


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Road Trip (Part I)

Two of our dear friends moved back to Florida last week.  We are already missing their smiles.  Sigh….

No worries! The children have a plan….

We’re going on a road trip to Florida! Yippee! Oh, fine, it is only imaginary, but we can still make our plans.  To assist in the planning, I photocopied all of the pertinent states from my trusty road atlas and stitched them together with old-fashioned scotch tape.  The class was quite surprised to find such a spaghetti mess of roads between here and there.  Yet undaunted, they began to take action.

First, the children decided we needed a car to get there.  Enter our trusty stand-by, a nice empty box.

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Here are a few bits demonstrating the process and explaining some of the technical details:

I think we’ll need to attack the map next….


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A Change of Perspective

Our cup creations have evolved from balancing to creating large scale pictures.  As the children were building this image, they discussed the placement of the colors to create a shark.  I noticed something a bit different when looking from my head height.

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When the children realized what I was smiling about, they wished to see from my perspective as well.

Now much of our building must be viewed from “up high.”

 


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Balance Your Joy


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We’ve got this.

P1230338Two children were having a heated discussion regarding the distribution of toy cars.  We decided that the problem could best be solved by visiting the Peace Table.  In case you missed the introduction before, the Peace Table is a special place where two or more friends can work together to solve a problem.

Both children amicably sat down and I began my usual spiel.  To each child I asked, “What do you want?”  Both stated that they wanted to make a football game with the cars.  One child had been previously playing in the area before moving to make a ramp for a separate game.  The other child, inspired by the first, moved over to create their own football game.  Once we figured out that the “problem” was that both wanted to use the cars to play football, we spent five minutes trying to find a solution.  One child suggested that he should get all of the cars and the other child could play something else.  When I questioned whether it would solve the problem if the other child, instead, got all the cars, the first child said emphatically, “Mrs. Forst, why don’t you go inside [the classroom] and we’ll figure this out.”

Turns out they didn’t really need my help at all.  It seems that my presence simply prolonged the argument.  Two minutes later, they returned to the classroom.  They had solved their problem and decided to play the game together.  Again, I am reminded that children are a lot more capable than we give them credit for.  Luckily, they knew they could handle it.

 


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Water from the Sky

At Morning Meeting today we were discussing the upcoming change in weather.  For those of you not in our locale, it is 56 degrees here today with rain.  Tonight, this will change drastically.  We are expecting up to a tenth of an inch of ice this evening with 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow and a high of around 17.  I posited the question, “Where does the ice come from?” (They weren’t too keen on my idea that the ice came from trays in the sky.)

When they decided that it came from the sky and the rain, I wondered where the rain came from.  One of the children offered that it happened because of the water cycle.  She then explained to us that the water cycle meant that the water on the ground evaporated, went up into the sky, made clouds, and then fell back to earth.  We tried to find an explanation of “evaporate” and only came up with “you need to have something yellow, like the sun” to make it happen.  Finally, another child explained that the sun made the water hot and turned it into vapor.  The vapor then goes up to become the clouds and the water vapor parts bonk into each other and get heavier, making it rain.  (I still think my idea that there is a big watering can sprinkling water on the Earth is more interesting.)

Then I began to wonder where the snow came from.  It took a bit of thinking, but it was finally decided that when it is cold, the water “melts” and turns into ice which turns into snow.  I foresee some experiments in our future.

 


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Footprints?

P1220904Questions certainly arose when these small, round marks were found in the snow.  Many had the idea that they must be tiny footprints made the night before.  A host of animals were put forth as the culprits.  We’ll have to keep an eye on the phenomenon and see if we can gain more clues.


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Balance

Welcome back to school! I hope all of you had peaceful holidays filled with rest and joy.  During the vacation, I was reflecting on some of the play I’d noticed appearing repeatedly in various parts of the room.

Many months ago, two children created a “boat” using wooden arches and blocks in the construction area.   I’m sad to say, I can’t seem to find a picture of this creation.  Allow me to explain that the arch was set on the curve so that it would rock sideways if pressure were applied to either end.  The rest of the boat balanced in the center of this waving contraption.  At the time, I didn’t realize that this would become an activity captivating most in the class.

Since, I’ve noticed balancing fanciful creatures, other balanced block structures, and lots of experiments balancing bodies throughout the playground and forest.  I’m looking forward to directions we might take as we play we these mathematical, kinesthetic ideas.