Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rock Salt and Ice Experiment

Exploring with Science

With this experiment children will discover how ice turns to liquid when placing rock salt on the ice surface, they will be able to observe how the salt creates crevasses in the ice and begins to melt. In this experiment we also added liquid color and droppers so the children could also experiment with color mixing.

What you will need

• Lots of ice
• Dish pans
• Droppers
• Liquid water colors or food coloring
• Rock salt
• Small bowls for rock salt
• Spoons for sprinkling rock salt

Allow the children to sprinkle the rock salt onto the ice as it starts to melt and make the holes let them drip the colors into the holes. They will be able to experiment with color mixing on their own.

Asking Open-ended questions help children think and talk about the topics related to the activity.

• What would happen if…?
• What if we add this?
• Why do you think this happened?
• What did you notice about?
• How do you think this works?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ones Trash Some Ones Treasure

You have to love those parents that are willing to dumpster dive for the sake of their child’s education. One of our moms rescued these foam circles from being thrown away. The children have enjoyed hammering in plastic golf tees into these foam circles and it is amazing to sit back and watch the imagination, language and cooperation going on. Ones trash is always some ones treasure.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prop Boxes for Dramatic Play

Prop Boxes for Dramatic Play

Prop boxes are a way of setting the stage for Meaningful, purposeful play through exploring different experiences. When setting the stage with props children’s dramatic play will evolve naturally. Prop boxes will give children a variety of experiences in language, literacy, math and science, art, social and emotional play.

With Prop Boxes children have opportunities to play in a non threatening way. Children will be able to acquire new skills, practice evolving skills and experiment with adult roles without the pressure of conforming to adult expectations.

When children spend long hours in early childhood programs we as teacher need to insure that the environment is set up for optimal learning. Prop boxes are a way to help assure that the classroom environments are a living learning environment. Young children’s understanding and learning happens as they explore and investigate new roles, prop boxes are a great way for children to do that.

Prop boxes need to compliment theme of study and be rotated as the themes change.

Beauty Shop/Barber Prop Box

Post Office Prop Box

Office Prop Box

How to prepare a Prop Box

• Find alike size boxes. (office storage boxes or plastic tubes)

• Search attics, basements, thrift stores, garage sales, friends, family and the children’s parents are all great places to find your prop box theme related materials.

• Use real items when possible. Real items are always better than toys.

• Include literacy materials in every prop box. (Menus, books, maps, blueprints, writing pads, order pads, writing utensils, key boards, old type writers, are just some examples.) Children need to have many opportunities to incorporate reading and writing in their play.

• Include numeracy materials in every prop box. (Calculators, registers, play money, pricing, rulers, tape measures, scales are just some examples.)

• Have children help with ideas and items. Encourage the children to make items for the prop boxes.

• Ask local business for donations of items that will help the learning of children. Local businesses are always willing to help when it comes to children’s education.

• Include activity binders

• Always remember to design your prop boxes to include all areas of the classroom environment.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Props for Setting the Stage

Props are a way of setting the stage for meaningful, purposeful play. Props will help bring opportunities for learning comprehension, vocabulary, sequencing, critical thinking, listening, speaking and most of all it makes learning fun for all.

Storytelling with Props

Story telling can be enriched with the use of props. It is an easy way to make reading more fun.

Using props to tell a story is a wonderful technique that can lead children to discover the joy of literature and learning. It brings the story to life, giving children a deeper understanding of the story and also the language.

Once you have read a story give it another layer by using a prop to retell the story. By retelling stories with props it helps:

• draw children in
• capture their attention
• bring opportunities for learning
• help children to associate the text and understand the story
• help children learn the joy of stories
• support comprehension and analysis of age- appropriate text
• support Literacy Interest and Responses
• support your English Language Learners

Stories to Start with:

• Caps for sale
• Mean Soup
• Hey Little Ant (this is a great on to change your voice with or have your assistant read with you.
• The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
• Frog In The Bog
• Three Billy Goats Gruff
• The Hungry Caterpillar
• Little Red Hen

Billy Goat Gruff

Frog in the Bog.
 As you tell the story the frog eats each group of bugs and the children can see them in the see through belly of the frog.
Little Red Hen
Little Red Hen Head Band for the children to wear as they act out the story.

Remember not all stories are conducive for props.

Finger Play Songs with Props

Props with finger plays and nursery rhymes will help to develop memory, hearing syllables, gain phonological awareness, play with rhymes and understand sequencing.

Finger play songs give teachers the opportunity to teach pre-reading skill.

Adding props to these songs will…

• Give teachers the opportunity to teach pre-reading skills
• Help maintain children’s attention
• Actively involve children
• Associate the objects with the word (building vocabulary)
• Help support your English Language Learners

Songs to Start with:

• Five Little Monkeys
• Five Little Frogs
• Five Little Bees
• Five Little Fishes
• Five Little Turtles

Five Little Frogs Sitting on a Log
Little Froggies

Open Ended Story

Five little froggies went down to the pond,
Down to the pond to play
Along came a giant ______________
And chased one froggie away!

Have one child fill in each blank and then come up
and take the froggie away. (You can use as may frogs
as you want)

Five Little Bees
Five Little Bees

One little bee flew and flew.
He found a friend, and that made two.

Two little bees as busy as could be--
Along came another and that made three.

Three little bees wanted one more,
Found one soon, and that made four.

Four little bees, going to the hive,
Spied their little brother, and that made five.

Five little bees working every hour--
Buzz away bees, and find another flower.

Five Little Monkeys

Have children act out the song. Have five monkeys, a mom and a doctor. Have props to help keep the interest of the song.

Five little Monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed.

Four little Monkeys swinging in a tree
One fell out and bumped her knee
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys swinging in the tree.

Three little monkeys standing on a chair
One fell off and bumped his hair
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys standing on a chair

Two little monkeys digging in the sand
One dug deep and hurt her hand
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys digging in the sand

One little monkey climbed on a boulder
He fell off and bumped his shoulder
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys climbing on the boulder


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