We started our day with Free Block Play. The kiddos walked into the room with minimal toys out, and bit bin of simple blocks waiting for them. The concept of Less is more is something that I try so hard to instill in the lives of my own kiddos and myself, as well (although... I need a daily reminder of this). I LOVE ALL that our modern world has to offer with iPads, computers, smartphones and more. All of these tools provide an ease of information, and the ability for our kiddos to gather so much learning at such a young age. I fully embrace technology at home and in schools. Yet, I equally embrace the notion of simplicity. Sometimes I feel that when my classroom is filled with tons of different toys, stimulation points and activity centers we take away from the concept of simple learning via play and imagination. While there is certainly a time for both, today we started with one simple bin of blocks, and it was awesome!!!!
The ENTIRE (and I mean each and EVERY child) worked with each other to create an amazing city. We had bridges, buildings, towers, roadways, farms and more! I had to let them go just a few moments longer than planned as it was pure magic to see them working together as a team!!! Simple Block play is just so important for our preK kiddos, and providing a simple platform for them to do so is one easy trick for the classroom and at home. I love this article, 'Ten Children Learn from Block Play' by the National Association for the Education of Young Children found HERE for further information.
At some point, we had to transition our carpet over from block play to our morning Circle Time. So.... I am going to let you in on a little secret (try not to tell too many people) .... I do not have a daily calendar routine in my classroom during circle time. I have found that my 3 - 4 year old kiddos are not at the point to grasp the concepts of days, weeks, dates, etc. To make it even more confusing, many of our littlests of ones are not even in school 5 days a week. It is pretty tricky to instill that consistent calendar concept when they are only in school 2-5 days a week. Then, layer on weekends, holidays, snow days, the ever changing # of days in a month, and high number dates... oh my!!!!
I do like to talk about seasons and weave the changing of months, weather and correlating activities within our daily learning. Based upon our weather patterns over the past several days, we will be discussing the concept of March: In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb!!! We will be discussing the concept of season changes and what that means to us as we transition from short, cold, winter days into longer, warmer springtime ones!!! I will be using the following Lion and Lamb templates for our crafting adventures. The kiddos will get a chance to create both Lions and Lambs out of various materials. I have different shades of brown yarn for them to create a magnificent, fierce Lion mane and cotton balls for a cozy, mild Lamb project. Click on the following pictures for a Free Download for at-home use! They can be used for color, crafting, shape recognition and more!