Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog


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Pre-K Pet Store

This morning, a group of students spent a large chunk of their morning play time designing and implementing a classroom pet store. The students worked diligently to draw various pets that could be sold and decided together how much each pet should cost. It wasn’t long before they pulled out the cash register and started making money and credit cards that people could use to purchase the animals. The name of the pet store is still up for debate but lots of ideas were tossed around. The look of excitement was clearly present on each of their faces and we are anxious to see how this pet store will grow and prosper within the classroom.


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The Science of Blood

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Yesterday, we took a trip inside our blood to learn about it’s composition. We put our items in the middle of our circle and explained that each of these items represent something that lives in our blood. We started with the large container of yellow water, which we were pretending was our plasma. We explained that plasma is a watery like substance that makes up large portion of our blood. At first, some students were not sure how it could be in our blood because it was not red, which lead us to our second ingredient: red blood cells!

We then added our red blood cells (red water beads) to our blood mixture. The students noticed that the more we added the red blood cells, the more the mixture appeared to be red than yellow. Because of this observation, they concluded that our blood looks red because of red blood cells.

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Next on the list were the white blood cells (white beads). We then discussed how our white blood cells are the “soldiers” of our bodies that are always working to keep us from getting sick and help your body get better when you do have a cold or the flu.

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Lastly, we discussed how our blood needs platelets (blue pom-poms) because they help our bodies create new skin or scabs when your skin is cut. Each child scoured their bodies for an old boo boo that they could share with the class and naturally they all had an elaborate story to go along with them.

Now that our students have spent some time learning about the composition of our blood, it’s time to learn about how the blood moves throughout our bodies. Bring on the giant, tape, floor heart! Hint: here’s what it looked like last year!

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My favorite part was…

After we returned from the Aviary, our students wrote in their journals about their favorite part of our trip. Below are their answers.

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What’s in our blood?

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Today, we took a trip inside our blood to learn about it’s composition. We put our items in the middle of our circle and explained that each of these items represent something that lives in the blood. We started with the large container of yellow water, which we were pretending was our plasma. We explained that plasma is a watery like substance that makes up large portion of your blood. At first, some students were not sure how it could be in our blood because it was not red. That lead us to our second ingredient: red blood cells!

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We then added our red blood cells (red water beads) which help to carry oxygen to our hearts. Our red blood cells also work to take away waste, like carbon dioxide, from our bodies. The students also noticed that when we added the red blood cells, the color of the mixture appeared to be more red than yellow. Because of this observation, they concluded that our blood looks red because of red blood cells.

Next on the list were the white blood cells (white pom-poms). It wasn’t long into the introduction before one student shouted, “Those keep you from getting sick!” while another student who was equally excited exclaimed, “Yeah, they attack the germs in your body!”. We then discussed how our white blood cells are always working to keep our bodies from getting sick and help your body get better when you do have a cold or the flu. White blood cells create antibodies that help to attack the germs (green pom-poms) that may be living in other parts of your body.

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Lastly, we discussed how our blood needs platelets (blue pom-poms) because they help our bodies create new skin or scabs when your skin is cut. Each child scoured their bodies for an old boo boo that they could share with the class but surprisingly none could be found.

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Now that we have spent some time learning about the compostion of our blood, it’s time to learn about how the blood moves throughout our bodies. Bring on the giant, tape, floor heart!

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Questions from the heart

As many of you have noticed, our students have been challenged each morning with answering various questions about the human body for our Morning Message. These questions were created and answered by the students. So far, the questions have mostly revolved around our hearts, blood, and veins. Once the children have a chance to use their prior knowledge to take a guess, we spend some time doing research to hopefully find the answer to their inquiries. Yesterday, we had the students write in their journals about one thing they had learned about our bodies this week.

Side note: take a look at that amazing kid-writing!

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Pre-K Geologists

One of the questions that we’ve been working on answering is “where do rocks come from?”. At the museum, we learned that some rocks come from volcanoes but the students weren’t completely sure what that meant, so we decided to do some more research. After looking at some books about volcanoes, we learned that when lava comes out of a volcano and hardens, it becomes an Igneous rock. We also learned that depending on how fast or slow the lava cools, it can become different types of Igneous rock. Sometimes when the lava is leaving the volcano, small to large gas bubbles get caught in the molten rock. When the lava hardens, the hollow interior can¬†often get filled with mineral rich fluids which allows crystals to grow. This is what we call a geode.

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This week, during center time, the students have been putting on their geologist hats (or more accurately geologist goggles) to see what a geode really looks like before, during, and after they are opened. We spent some time learning about how to be safe with our materials, as the children would be using a real hammer. The children started by using very gentle taps on their rock just as the instructions had detailed. After several attempts, we decided to use a little bit more force. After some trial and error, we found just the right amount of pressure that was needed to split the geodes open revealing different types and patterns of crystals. Some were white and swirly, while others were clear and hexagonal. We even saw some that were black and gray. The students then worked together to try and decide what type of crystals were inside their geodes by comparing them to the pictures in our guide. The students decided that some were very common crystals and others were very rare. We very excited to see what the last few geodes hold inside.

 


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The Key to Pre-K

In the past few days, the students have started showing a budding interest in keys. It began one day when two students asked to borrow our “teacher keys” to experiment with how they worked on the classroom door. Then they tried the outside door. They began to notice that certain doors only open with certain keys. When they realized that Mrs. Forst had more keys than I did, they wondered what the other keys could be used for.

As the interest started to grow from just two student to almost eight students, we thought that perhaps a morning provocation could expand the students’ knowledge of keys even further. This morning, we put out a giant bowl full of keys, some paper, and some black markers. The students began tracing the keys and noticed that there are many different sizes and shapes of keys. One¬†student exclaimed, “I found a master key. It says ‘MASTER’ on it and this one is for a safe because it has an ‘S’ on it,”. Another student traced the keys and then cut them out so that they could play with them at home.

At morning meeting, we continued our conversation when one of the students mentioned that sometimes you need a locksmith to open doors for you. The students are still unsure of what a locksmith does exactly but are excited to find out! Marie and I are quite interested to see where this new found interest will take us!