Crozet Play School

Kids at Play in Crozet


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Letters and Shapes

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Amongst all of our Valentine’s Day fun we have been still continuing with our investigation of letters and shapes.  Above is a picture of L and B looking closely at the large uppercase letters on the overhead projector.  They were lining up the letters, finding the letters in their names, discussing the letters as the pulled them out of the basket, and wondering why some letters looked “backwards” no the wall.  It is wonderful to see two children work for an extended period of time at one task, and scaffold each other with new information while they “play.”

Preschool Math:

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Since there is so much emphasis on the Heart at Valentine’s Day, I deduced to introduce other shapes through a series of books and activities this week.  We read some of my favorite shape books this week!  These are some of the titles we have been exploring…

This is a book of pictures and you can find shapes in each of the real-life photos

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The Greedy Triangle introduces the idea of geometry with lines and angles, but we focused on the shapes the triangle changes into from page to page.

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This is a great book that covers many different types of of shapes

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After reading many of these books we went on “Shape Hunts” around the classroom looking for shapes all around us!  The picture above is A holding up the Handwriting Without Tears wooden pieces into a circle.

We found Squares…

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A line and a square found by M…

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A circle and a rectangle found by H

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A semi circle and a rectangle found by D…

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A Rectangle and a Heart found by B…

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A Heart and Circle found by A…

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M found a circle on the edge of her cup…

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L found a circle and a line

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It was a lot of fun to do our shape hunt, and I was proud of how creative they were with their findings!

Process Art:

Of course we had to paint some shapes…We made these gorgeous Heart Mobiles with cardboard and tempera paints:

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Sensory Play:

We also explored hearts, pink salt, glass jars, and paintbrushes on the light panel this week:

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We made the most amazing SLIME from Fun at Home with Kids recipe on her blog!  It turned out perfect and the kids enjoyed it so much!!!

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We were also so lucky to get to go outside and on a bunch of walks this week with the warmer temperatures!  Ms. Kay came for yoga as well and we did partner yoga for the first time!

Preschool Gross Motor Development:

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Yep, I pretty much love my job!  What a great week!  Ms. Clare


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Shapes All Around

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The children worked so hard to sew the most beautiful embroidery for their Moms this Mother’s Day.  I know they were each so proud of their hard work!  I have done this activity in the past and each child colored a rainbow and we sewed the rainbow image.  This year I have a lot of different aged children from ages 3 to 5.  I decided to allow each child to choose their drawing, colors, and sewing.  I think the results are stunning and special for each child.  Above you can see pictures of someone’s mom, a flower, lots of colors/circles, a rainbow, and lastly a cake.  All for Mommy!

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It took Mrs. Brittany and I almost a week to get everyone’s pictures drawn and sewing finished.  I was proud of their work ethic and ability to keep their focus on such a long task.

Preschool Math

We have been working on our Shapes these past two weeks!  They have enjoyed many of these shape activities.  Below D and A are stamping shapes that are made out of cardboard tubes.

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We hunted for shapes around the classroom, and took pictures of our shapes!

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Oval!

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Triangle

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Rectangle

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Circle

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Triangle!

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Rectangle!

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Triangle!

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Triangle!

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A Line!

The children also really enjoyed these Tangram puzzles from my old first grade classroom! They are some smart cookies!

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Even on our walk to the library today children were finding squares and rectangles and triangles all over the place on our walk!

It has been a fun few weeks!


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More Spielgaben Exploration

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This past month we pulled out our Spielgaben math manipulatives and I took the long dress up mirror off of the wall and placed it on the floor for some open ended exploration.  Instead of offering the entire tray of shapes, I sorted the shapes ahead of time into three bowls: squares, triangles and diamonds, and circles.  These loose parts lend themselves to exploration and creativity so easily!

 

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D spent such a long time working with the materials on the mirror.  First he organized all of the circles at one end of the mirror.  The circles come in three sizes and they can fit inside of each other.  Once he figured this out he then looked for smaller circles to fit inside of the larger circles.

 

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At the other end of the mirror I made a simple flower using the diamonds and a stick from the other boxes.  D was inspired by my flower and started to make new creations apart from the circles.  You can see from the photo his lines extending similar to a flower but then off of the edges.  The children were fascinated with the whole idea of the mirror on the floor.  They spent a great deal of time studying their reflections and the looking at the lights on the ceiling that appeared in the mirror.  I spent most of my time observing and guiding the students with the materials.

 

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In another area I put a piece of Styrofoam out with dowel rods pushed into it.  I saw this idea from the blog Twodaloo.  The kids found this a little tricky, because if they loaded up one of the dowel rods it would immediately tip over.  It was a lesson in balance, weight, and fine motor skills. 

 

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Then I changed the activity slightly and put the bowls on our tables, along with smaller mirrors that gave each child a defined area to work with.  I started by only offering them the three bowls with the pre-sorted shapes.  It didn’t take long before they were requesting the other parts of the Spielgaben set!  I found myself digging the other two trays out of the closet.  There is something very appealing about the sticks that are all different lengths that the children love.

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Recently I posted about L and the amazing road scene he created with the Spielgaben set.  In his most recent encounter with the materials he combined the smaller shapes with the larger unit blocks that I have in the classroom.  The picture below shows a train that he made from the combination of the two materials!!

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I must constantly remind myself that we shouldn’t limit them with their ideas or expectations for play.  I catch myself saying or thinking “We are using this right now, not that” or “These pieces are for this area only.”  Sometimes we can limit their learning and play by not allowing them control of their interactions.  L is a perfect example of this! 

 

I can’t wait to get these materials out again!  Each time we use them surprising things happen!