Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog


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Fairy Houses on the Move

Today was a Forest Four day, and what perfect weather we had for it!  Last Forest Four day we decided that it was time to move our Fairy House (the stick lean-to) to a new location.  With this in mind, we headed out on the trail today with moving on our mind.IMG_6299

Above is an image of the old hide-away.  The children spent over 30 minutes moving all of these sticks to the new location.  I apologize for not having any photos of the massive undertaking. I, too, was busy hauling logs of all sizes.

Our new fairy house is much bigger and has the potential for many rooms.  The children began playing in it before it had even been completed.  We are looking forward to future child directed renovations.

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Letter Builders

In the past week, the students have been playing a game during center time called “Letter Builders” where they work with various wooden shapes to build a given letter. At the beginning of the game, the students are given a card with a letter displayed on it and they are asked to figure out which pieces they will need to make their letter. They then take the wooden pieces and place them right on top of the letter card. In most cases, the students exclaim how easy the task is and that they are ready for more of a challenge.

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Once the students are comfortable with their abilities to manipulate the shapes, the letter card is then placed on a stand that sits in the middle of the table. The students must now create the letter shape while looking at the letter card from afar rather than directly in front of them. While this seems like it should be an easy task, the children actually must now use their executive functioning skills and working memory to hold the shape of the letter in their minds while searching for the appropriate pieces. Then they must create the shape of the letter in front of them without the help of the card underneath as a guide. The letters that use more straight pieces tend to be the easiest for the students to create, while the letters that use curvy pieces or letter that requires the students to cross the midline prove to be the most challenging. Some of the letters require the students to overlap the pieces, which created an extra challenge for them to tackle.

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The last step in the game is when the students must create the letters completely on their own. The letter cards are put away and the student are asked to create the letter completely from memory. This is obviously the most challenging as the students must think about what shapes they will need without an example in front of them to use as a resource. Some students quickly problem solved this issue by looking around the room for the letter they were working on or even looking at a neighbor’s completed letter. The more the students work with the letters and their shapes, the easier the task becomes.

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Today, we focused on creating uppercase letters as they are easier to form. Next time we play, the students will be challenged with creating lowercase letters with the wooden shapes. This makes the task slightly more difficult as the students will have to make sure their letter shapes are facing the correct direction. When shifted, even slightly, it can be easy to accidentally create the wrong letter. Letters such as b, d, p, and q look remarkably alike and the students will have to stay focused in order to create the correct letter. We know that our Pre-k Letter Builders will be up for the challenge!


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Forest Fours Journals

Today, we introduced the students to a new chapter of Forest Fours by implementing a writing component to our day. Each child received a special journal that travels with us while on the trails. The students are allowed to draw pictures of the games that they are playing, the structures they build, or the specimens they see while out in nature (fungus, birds, rocks, deer, etc.). They also are allowed to collect things like leaves or small pieces of moss and tape them into their journals for safe keeping.

In addition to the journals, we borrowed four Polaroid cameras from Mrs. Weber so that the students can take pictures of items that would be too big to fit in their journals. The pictures are then taped onto a page and the students write about what they observed. The journals will travel with us each time we venture into the woods and the children are allowed to fill their journals to their heart’s content whenever they deem it necessary.

Since it’s inception, our class has used Forest Four days to play in an unstructured setting so that they could explore and create at their will. The addition of the forest journals allows students to extend their learning by giving them the opportunity to write, even while outdoors. Through this activity, the students are practicing skills such as fine motor development, phonemic awareness, self-regulation, observation, categorization, identification, and much more. We look forward to sharing our journal entries with you in the future!


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This Moment

There is nothing better than enjoying snack outside on a beautiful fall morning!
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So very much going on!

Goodness! We have had a whirlwind of discoveries this week. We’ve found “frogs” hanging out on our log circuit, mysterious yellow goo appeared on the wood chips, towers of blocks curiously refused to crumble, and the ramps in the construction zone have found configurations unseen before.  Oh, and I almost forgot! There has been a rash of author sightings within these four walls.  With so many options, it’s hard to choose what to research next…


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Happy Field Day!


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Pre-K Makes a Movie: Part 3

We are excited to announce that we have officially finished filming our movie! The students worked so hard on designing costumes and sets, learning lines and where to stand, and how to patiently wait while others delivered lines. That’s a lot to ask from 4 and 5 year olds, but they pulled it off with ease! Now, while we wait for our fabulous videographer Weird Eric edits and scores our movie, please enjoy the third draft of the play. This version was written on Feb. 17th and became the base story for our final draft. After rereading draft #2, the students had decided that they needed to write a new script that had one cohesive story line, rather than several separate stories. We also discussed how stories need to have a problem, so we decided to try thinking of a problem first and then creating a story around it. The result proved to be a pretty amusing, cohesive story!

Enjoy.

Third Draft

L.W. – a talking football

W.S. – Dark the triceratops

Z.W.– a talking soccer ball

A.H. – a lamp

C.S. – a talking building

R.F. – a chicken that talks

K.H. – a talking bone

A.G. – a talking stinky sock

K.V. – a horse

M.H. – a talking baseball

S.S. – a witch

N.P. – spell Witch

 

Problem: The bone keep eating everyone’s food and at the end of the day there isn’t any food left for anyone, even the bone.

Person keeps going into Campbell building

A running scene

Someone wants to wear the sock

 

Once upon a time the football (L.W.) wanted to play a game so he invites the soccer ball (Z.W.), and soccer ball invites the stinky sock (A.G.), and the football invites the triceratops (W.S.). They play the game for a long and time and then they decided to stop for a snack. Just then the bone (K.H.) comes in and eats all their food and then runs before anyone can see her.

They say, “Where’s our food!?!”

Soccer ball says, “I’m hungry.”

The sock says, “The only thing that is left is a potato.”

They try to share the potato but it’s not very big.

The football says, “I need more food, I’m still hungry.”

 

In the next house, the lamp (A.H.), a baseball (M.H.), a witch (S.S.), and the building (C.S.) all live together.

Everyone is having a dance party and the decided to stop and eat some food.

The building says, “Let’s stop and have some pancakes and cupcakes.”

The witch says, What!?! “There’s no food!”

The lamp starts to pace across the room and comes up with an idea!

The lamp says, “It’s a mystery! Who took our food?”

The baseball rolls out of the house and starts looking to see if he can solve the mystery.

He looks outside and notices that there is a trail of crumbs on the ground. He runs back inside and is breathing hard and he says, “There are pancake crumbs outside. Let’s get our magnifying glasses!”

So they all run outside and start to follow the pancake crumb trail.

Just then the phone rings.

It’s the soccer ball and he says, “Hey somebody ate our food!”

“Somebody ate our food too! We found a trail of crumbs. Want to come search with us?”

“Sure!”

“I don’t know where it leads to, but let’s go.”

 

The spell witch (N.P) lives all by herself. She sees the bone (K.H.) try to steal her food and she stops her and uses her wand to make her come closer. The bone tries to run away but the spell witch locks up her house so she can’t leave and then she locks up her food too so that the bone can’t get her food. The spell witch uses her spell to make the bone want to stay in her house forever.

The second group follows the trail of crumb to the spell witch’s house and the baseball says, “One of you ate our food. Was it the bone or the witch that did it.”

The spell with says, “It was the bone and she tried to eat my food too!”

The regular witch says, “AHA! I solved the mystery, it was the bone that took our food!”

The lamp says, “That wasn’t nice. Please don’t eat our food again!”

The bone says, “Ok, I’m sorry. I just didn’t have any food.”

The spell witch uses her magic wand to make a new house with a refrigerator for the bone to live in.

The spell witch unlocks the bone and then they all have the dance party.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End.