I’ll explain… the playground outside the Nursery building is timetables for set playtimes 3 times a day, but apart from that, the Early Years Department can use it. Now, I’m beginning to see a theme when it comes to Outdoor Play in this area of the School: Cars & Bikes. To me, they are used too much. They are always out and if not, they come out. The children beg for them constantly.
I would like something different: Other resources, or maybe an afternoon with no resources, letting using use their imaginations and the natural environment. Cars & Bikes are so limiting and take up so much of the playground that other children’s interests and activities often end up being limited to a small area, so they aren’t in the way.
What do you think?
I’ll be spending my summer volunteering at a Language School in Ireland, teaching English and organising activities for Spanish and Italian teenagers over a 4 week period. :D
Going to do a little bit of travelling after, as well.
Today was my room’s turn to clean up the playground. I decided to try and get my kids excited about it and make it fun.
While they were at lunch, I hid our class bear and put the above “TOP SECRET” envelope on his desk. When we came in from lunch recess, the students found the envelope and begged me to open it right away, right now! So I opened it and took out a printed up letter from our bear, which read:
I have a very important mission for you! My whole bear family is coming for a visit this weekend, and they get SO MAD when they find litter on the ground. They want to have a picnic on our playground, but I went out to take a look at it and have you SEEN all the litter out there? I would be so embarrassed for my family to see our beautiful playground with so much trash everywhere!
Can you help me? I’ve been trying my best to clean up, but I’m just one little bear. I can’t even reach the garbage cans! Please, help me clean up the playground so my family will have a great time at our picnic! Thank you!”
The kids LOVED this. I got out the plastic gloves and garbage bags, and they attacked that playground! I didn’t catch one single kid goofing off or slacking, not for a second. They filled two garbage bags full of litter, and some of them got into scoping out the perfect spot for a teddy bear picnic (scouring those areas for trash). I actually had trouble getting them to stop, even when we couldn’t find anything else to pick up.
And then we came back inside, washed hands, and settled down for some silent reading…and I carefully snuck the bear back to his little desk with a big THANK YOU card I’d prepared in advance. It didn’t take long until someone noticed it, and then everyone had to see the card, and they were thrilled to read inside the card that the bear promised to write another letter on Monday, telling us how the picnic went!
I have been grinning ever since. It was so much fun, and I really needed that today. I heard several kids telling their parents all about it as they were picked up, too. It was a good way to end the week!I LOVE THIS.
Nursery (0-2 years) ~ Exploring Shapes
Parents and teachers often say “good job” as an automatic response to a child’s action. “You ate all of your peas. Good job!” “You did a good job putting away the toys.”
A “good job” now and then is fine, but it doesn’t help children understand why what they did was good. Preschoolers need to know what they did, why it worked, or why it shows they are capable. Try the following suggestions to give preschoolers specific, detailed information that recognizes their achievements and encourages their learning.
I made some felt during a volunteer day and wondered what I could do with my finished product. In the end, as we were watching the leaves fall off some of the trees around school and we were making a display with a tree, the leaves gradually falling from the top of the tree to the ground (and later in the year, the tree re-growing its leaves), I would turn my creation into leaves and add them to our display!
This is a game we play to strengthen auditory memory (processing, storing and recalling information presented orally), This is an important skill for our children to develop in order to become fluent readers.
In this game, the leader calls out a sequence of three shapes. After the shapes are called out a second time, the leader says “begin”. Each child has their own set of shapes from which they must choose the correct shapes and then put them in order.
Note: It is important that children BEGIN with ONE and END with THREE. (We read from right to left, and it would be a tragedy if our children have reading troubles later on because we are not “fussy” enough to make them do it the correct way.) This is a habit that these students have to form, and a simple reminder will suffice. “Remember, the first shape goes in the number one box!”
I have seen vast improvements in these students from earlier this year. In the beginning, many of them would only remember the first shape in the sequence, and a few would consistently order them from left to right. Now they are much more accurate (consistently), and they just LOVE to have their turn as the leader!
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