Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog


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Ellie the Spider

A little while ago, we realized we had a visitor in our class.  This little friend was attempting to pick out a lovey (we think?)  Being kind hosts, we created a special place in our classroom for our visitor to hang out safely.  P1210320

We learned that our new friend needed special food.  Hamburgers were just not going to cut it.  We also found out that it required hiding spots to feel safe and a small capful of water to drink.

Many names were considered including Buggie, Boogie and Spiderman.  After a class vote, “Ellie” became the official name of our new friend.  (Although many still call her “Buggie.”  I’m including a picture at the bottom of this post, but I should warn you, if you are not a fan of spiders…..close this window now.

Ellie inspired us to find out what type of spider she might be.  At first, we thought she was a Grass Spider.  Then we realized that her abdomen is not the right shape.  We’ve also observed that she is not making webs.  Our current thought is that she is a wolf spider.  If you have a different idea, let us know in the comments.  We can always take ideas from “the experts.”

A few times each week, we go foraging for food for her.  We’ve put in ants, mites, pill bugs (isopods) and unidentified teeny tiny bugs.  Soon, we will need to let her free to roam before the cold weather hits.

An now……meet Ellie:

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Sharks, ahoy!

Our boat accidentally coasted into a swarm of sharks!  Oh my!  Luckily, there weren’t any injuries.  When one child decided to make a fin, others quickly followed.

With sharks came questions.

  • What kinds of fish do they eat?
  • How strong are shark teeth?
  • Is a shark’s fin always long?
  • How do sharks swim?
  • How do they breathe underwater?
  • Why do they swim underwater so long?
  • Do they eat fries?
  • Why can’t they go on the beach?

The children decided we could look through books, talk to experts, and check the computer to find our answers.

 

 


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On the day we went to sea….

Our studies have taken a new direction.  The other day, we noticed that some sharks were swimming around our boat.  Luckily, they were nice sharks and didn’t bite anyone.  However, it became apparent that the children maintained an interest in all things ocean.  One child suggested that we needed to make our room into an ocean using paper hanging from the ceiling.blobfish

Beginning our research with some non-fiction seemed like an appropriate idea.  Unfortunately, Blobfish appears to have written all over our Deep Sea Book.  Oh well, nonetheless, we were able to glean some interesting tidbits about the Hadalpelagic Zone.

***Ask your child about the size of the Giant Spider Crab or the light on the front of an anglerfish. See if they can find anything in your house that is bioluminescent. ****

The barnacles of information that stuck:

“I never knew a squid could grow and I never even knew this animal was in the world.”

“[A submersible]…goes under water.”

“That kind of fish can open it’s mouth really wide.  And this octopus glows.”

“I learned that fish light up in the dark”

“I learned that fish can glow.”

“Blobfish swam.”

 


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Loose Parts

I recently added some foam corners, left over from packaging, to the construction zone.  I thought they might make for an interesting addition to buildings.  As is usually the case, the children had much grander plans.  Requesting something to stick into the foam, I provided them with craft sticks.  Delighted, I watched as they proceeded to impale the sticks into the sides, using them to attach pieces together.  Many creations came from these experiments, yet somehow I only managed to capture this one on film.

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The child who made this eagerly explained his design and wished to display it in the class.  He then wrote a label so anyone visiting would understand his sculpture.

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Forest 4s: The Real Woods

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This gallery contains 16 photos


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Ships Ahoy!

It’s official, our box has become a boat!  It all began with an enthusiastic engine design and a wave of imagination.  P1200590

So far, we’ve added navigation equipment (“It’s radar, Mrs. Forst, it shows where the water is, where the land is and where the boats are”), door knobs, handles, a “buoy” (“You throw it in the water to get people who are in the water”), a stool for the driver, lots of ropes for various jobs and a steering wheel.

The children were interested in attempting to cut the box by themselves and found it was much more difficult than it looked.

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Corrugated cardboard isn’t very forgiving to small hands.  Luckily, my trusty box cutter did the job. (No worries, safety precautions were taken and children watched from afar as I sawed my way through our sea-worthy creation.)  The children marked each space they wanted removed, cut or bored-through.  I did my best to match their schematics.

One of the ideas for the box included an animal shelter where we could get dogs and cats.  With that in mind, one of the students asked for a “cat hole” so the pets could get in and out of the boat.

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Halfway through our work, the children decided to see if they all could fit inside.  The first attempt involved squishing and smooshing while they all tried to sit down.

P1200611After five adventurers, it got a bit crowded so I asked my favorite question, “How can we solve this problem?”  “Stand up,” exclaimed one excited sailor.

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It worked! All of the children present during this construction fit.  We’ll have to check in on our boat project over the next week.

 

 


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Welcome to Pre-K!

Hooray! Welcome to a new school year!  We are going to have so many adventures this year.  This was a short week and already we’ve explored many of the materials available in our classroom.  The children are independently choosing activities and participating in short group discussions.  I’ve overheard sharing,

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You can have some toast if you want. I’m using that [the toaster], but you can have it when I’m done

witnessed initiative,

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A child walked up to me holding the pretend toaster, tipping it forward.  She directed my attention to the pat of wooden butter lodged inside.  We came up with a solution together.

empathy,

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Three children are playing in the construction zone.  One child is using a block as a

hammer.  Another tries to pick it up when the first says, “No, I was using that.”  The first then carefully looks for another, similar block, for the child without one.

and

Child one accidentally drops a block on child two’s fingers.  Child two says, “Ow” and holds her fingers.  Child one automatically says, “Sorry, are you ok?”

and lots of practicing patience,

A child wants to play in the kitchen, but it is full.  She decides to play at another center while she waits.

Many children wish to speak at the same time during a group discussion.  Even though it is not easy, each tries to find a spot where no one else is talking.  Many give raising their hand a try.

Even though we’ve only had two half-days this week, it’s been a whirlwind of activity and introductions.  Your little one has worked hard to control impulses, remember names, figure out routines, memorize faces, and most of all, have fun.  I’m proud of them all!