Over the last couple weeks we continued to talk about Bears and how they hibernate. We also talked about some animals that do not sleep during the winter; they adapt. The class also looked at birds that migrate such as geese and hummingbirds.
For craft we made our own bear faces to play in the bear cave before it is transitioned for the next topic. The children were extremely creative with recycled materials making wonderful bear faces.
The children also took lots of time during play to “feed our bear.” They cut out books from old scholastic orders, and were allowed to cut as much or as little as they wanted to feed the bear. This open ended exposure lets the children who are still learning to cut, one to one teacher time to master the hand placements and motions, and didn’t have the stress of assuring they cut specifically as directed. It also offered our advancing cutters the personal direction to cut around each book and feed it to the bear.
We read one of my favorite bear books, The little mouse, the red ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR by Don & Audrey Wood. I love how much fun it is to read this book. We also read The Mitten which has many animals that hibernate as well as adapt. I am very excited to go back to class this week to ask the children who they remember from the story and act it out.
Acting is harder at the preschool age, as children have a tough time remembering lines sometimes. It is encouraged though, to create confidence in front of crowds and peers, being the ability to public speak, avoid fears down the road to speak up for themselves, as well as introduce children to acting and fine arts.
Lastly, we talked about how we as humans adapt to the change in the season. In Edmonton our environment gets VERY cold and we need to begin to bundle up from the snow. The children used their fine motor skills to manipulate tiny puzzle pieces to be painted with white paint. We will be transforming them into snow flakes to decorate our class room.
We sang the "snowy pokey" - which is exactly like the hokey pokey except we talked about what outside accessory would go on our body part before we put it in the middle, such as "you put your toque in, you take your toque out ..." During this experience I took the time to point out which hand is left and which is right to practice dominate hand discrimination. We also practiced our left and right with a "Handwriting without Tears" song - the Hello song; in which the children offer their right hand to their peers and shake one another hand. For this activity I offered a sticker or stamp on the right hand to remind them which hand they're using. We will do more of this to support our classroom knowing left from right.
Our roster adult braved the cold and brought snow into the classroom as our sensory experience with scissors and cups. The children had the option to wear mittens since even in our warm cozy classroom that snow sure is cold! We observed the transformation of snow turning from snow to water.