Category Archives: Teamwork

Magnetic Tiles at the Light Table

Bella’s Structure

Preschool has started, and I have so many ideas to share with the kids this year.  Our theme for the year is “All About Me and My World!”  This year’s big project will be an interactive iPad book created by the kids and teachers.  More will be posted about that in another post.  During September the kids are learning about themselves and their families.  Gao, Laoshi, our Chinese teacher has been using the wooden doll house and the panda family to give children vocabulary about their families and homes.  I wanted to take pictures of the doll house furniture for the iPad book, but found many of the pieces missing or broken.  So, I went to the store to get some new furniture.  Unfortunately the store only had plastic furniture.  However, the store had these magnetic tiles in clear colors that would be perfect for the light table.  I could’t resist them!

The tiles were introduced to the children Monday morning during center time.  They were a BIG hit, and the kids loved them!  It was amazing to watch the children explore and build with the tiles and to hear all the language being used to describe their constructions.  Children were building houses, towers, pizzas, and just putting pieces together like a puzzle.  One boy was creating birds and making them fly.  Not on the light table, but still he was using his imagination.

In addition to language skills the tiles have the potential to teach science and geometry concepts.  The kids were learning to build using trial and error and making hypothesis of what will and won’t work as they created.  There was also a lot of team work happening.  I may have to purchase some more tiles to create more elaborate structures.

Little Pandas Preschool

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Look at all those Bones!

The preschoolers are still studying the human body and are currently learning all about their bones.

The children were very interested in the x-rays at the light table and could name many of the bones.

The next day the x-rays were set out on the floor where the children worked together to assemble the skeleton.

The kids did a great job putting the puzzle together and were very proud of their work!

Little Pandas Preschool

Unit Blocks

This school year we’re updating the blocks and related toys in our block center.  We’ve already added some more Brio trains and a Quadrilla marble run.  Last week a new set of unit blocks arrived.

It must have felt like Christmas to the kids.  They were very excited to open the boxes.

The kids spent the rest of the day building.

The older boys were very focused on their work and built some interesting and complex structures.

Even the youngest ones built some very significant structures.

The block center provides the children with many opportunities for group interaction and cooperative play.

Little Pandas Preschool

Trains!

The next science unit the children will explore is movement and motion.  While the children study these concepts Gloria is introducing Chinese transportation vocabulary.  Kerry has been playing with the children daily and helping them to build a multitude of layouts.  He has encouraged the kids to use problem solving skills as well as teamwork to accomplish this task.  The end result is a great layout in which to play that wholly engages the children.

The trains are a part of our new updated block center which will continually be added to throughout the year.  We took an inventory of what we had and then put ads on Craigslist to find more Brio trains and accessories.  I’m sure there will be a great layout around the children’s Christmas tree this year!

I would encourage parents to look at this inspiring blog to get ideas for playing with your children at home.  Wooden Track Mind

 

 

 

Little Pandas Preschool

Sand Layering


Our sand and water unit has been a great success! I believe the children would never tire of these activities. As they continue to explore they find new things to do with the sand and water everyday. Today one little boy decided to shovel the moon sand into a bucket of water.


The children began to notice that the sand settled on the bottom and the cornstarch made the water turn a milky color. Other children began to join in and it became a very focused group endeavor to fill the bucket and watch the layers grow.


The children decided to add colored sand to the bucket which meant they had to carefully carry the sand from the activity table to the bucket on the patio thus practicing fine motor skills.


The kids were very proud of their accomplishment!

The project turned out to be a great impromptu science experiment where the children practiced observation and fine motor skills as well as teamwork.

Adobe House

Yesterday the children read a book about the differences in desert environments during the day and the night. They also learned that people who live in deserts often build adobe houses. After looking at pictures and participating in a discussion about the desert the kids painted an adobe house to play in.

Dinosaur Feet!

The children have discovered that dinosaur feet are huge! They learned that a Tyrannosaurus foot is about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. Next the children traced their own feet and cut them out to compare them with the Tyrannosaurus foot. They also tried to see how many steps a Tyrannosaurus could take walking across our gym and then counted their own steps. The discussion also led to how tall the dinosaur might be. Some guessed it could be as tall as our gym.

September is Dinosaur Month!

This month the preschoolers are studying dinosaurs and prehistoric habitats. Later in the fall they will learn about deserts and plains environments. In the winter we will study the arctic and then forests. Oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds will be covered in the spring. Children will also learn about the people and cultures who live in each environment.

Yesterday the children learned about paleontologists and digging for dinosaur bones. To make the concept more concrete dinosaur puzzle pieces were hidden in the sand table. Children had to dig for the puzzle pieces and then take them to the table to figure out how they fit together. This was also a wonderful group activity where the children learned to work together as a team.

 

Summer Fun!

The weather has been very hot during the last two days and we’ve finally been able to begin our summer activities. This week the children painted murals on the white board. It’s great fun to see the bright colors and then mix them to make more. Before hosing the white board off children can take a piece of white construction paper to make a print of their painting.