As the interest in keys has begun to wane, we felt that it was time to dive into a new subject. Marie and I spent several days observing the students’ play but were unable to come up with any major themes that we could use for a study. So, we decided to just ask them, “What do you want to learn about next?”. Each child came up with an idea for our morning message and then we took a vote. Then we took the subjects with the most tallies and voted again. This gives students a chance to narrow down their choices and focus on a smaller number of subjects. There were so many great ideas it was hard to choose just one!
Although it was a close vote, we have chosen jewelry and glass as our next topic! So far, the children have decided that all jewelry is made from glass and that you have to be careful with it because if it falls off a cliff it will break. We are excited to see where this topic will take us!
Much of the learning in Pre-K happens organically, growing out of our daily interactions and explorations. The number blocks you see here were on a shelf with a variety of other blocks. One of the children pulled them out and began organizing them by number on his own. After a brief discussion about whether the seven might be a one, he proudly shared his accomplishment with the other children.
This activity encompasses a few mathematical concepts and even a couple of ideas we usually attribute to literacy. He recognized that the blocks were symbolic representations of numbers. In deciding what to do with the blocks, the child used problem solving strategies, number order (though backwards), and balance.
If you are interested in reading more about how young children learn mathematical concepts and how Pre-K classes sequence the learning, check out Ohio’s Early Childhood Building Blocks: Making Math Meaningful and Enjoyable by Pam Schiller.