Between the ages of 3-6, children spend large amounts of time honing their fine motor skills. As adults, we take controlling the tiny ballet of movement within our hands and wrists for granted. Children, developing from the trunk outward, have a much better grasp of motions involving their entire arm. This is why many young creators use both a fist grip and large sweeping motions either from their elbow or shoulder. Practice controlling these muscles is the only way provide growth. The funny thing is that children are built to learn this skill. They naturally seek out activities that hone their use of all the fine motor muscles. Below are some of the ways children choose to practice in our class.
Arranging and creating designs using found objects.
Manipulating small toys.
The most recognizable one: choosing to color or draw as a fun past-time.
All of these activities are self chosen. Of course we incorporate many other opportunities for fine motor use throughout the day, but I find the ones they choose most interesting.
Today Pre-k participated in our fourth annual “Hour of Code” event. We didn’t actually spend an hour on the project, but the computer programming that we played with was lots of fun! The instructors (Mrs. Kate Weber and Dr. Anne Faye, our Director of eLearning) explained that computer programming was as simple as giving someone or something directions. After a quick practice with paper arrows and maze, the children moved on to Kodable, an iPad app with similar parameters. For this task, the children directed a fuzzy creature through mazes while practicing planning, problem solving, the Scientific Method and visual-spacial skills.
If you are more curious about Hour of Code, check out Computer Science Education Week. Here is a short introduction found within their site:
We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.
That’s why schools across the nation joined in on the largest education event in history: The Hour of Code. During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14), students will be amongst over 2 million worldwide spending one hour learning the basics.
See http://hourofcode.org for details.
This morning we made a dash for the woods, making quick use of the clear skies. The slightly muddy ground presented us with clues as we headed deeper along the trail. Beasts had been here.
Within a few minutes, we spotted an assembly of bounding white tails leaping away.
As we quietly snuck forward, the children realized that one had stopped within eyesight. We stopped, as well, and gaped in awe.
WTN’s Northbound Trail in the News!
Check out the Fox Chapel Herald article! Go WTN!