Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bug Boxes!

Sharing with an adult the bug box.
Focusing on her bug box

Yesterday was our 4th week of preschool and it was so fun to see what progress the group has made.  As teachers, Jen and I have been working hard to make TOP a community.  We have been encouraging new friendships and helping the children to learn each other's names.  When children are playing together we step in for a moment and have the kids say who they are playing with.  We model saying, Tom can you ask Steve to hand the bug box to you?  Or on the tire swing, when there are 3 children on a swing, I ask them to talk together and decide if they want to swing high or low, or whether they want to spin.  I go over eveyone's names and wait for a consensus before I will begin to push them. 

So in that vein, during circle time we played the game, "Who stole the apple from the apple tree?" Here it is:
Who stole the apple from the apple tree?"
Who me?
Yes you!
Couldn't be?
Then who?
Jane stole the apple from the apple tree!
Who me?

And on and on around the circle with each child pointing out the next child by name.  We helped them to get all of the names. We were impressed that every child participated (whether in a big clear voice or quietly) and that they were all engaged for the entire game!

We also were able to have a discussion about where the children would like to play in the park.  A couple of children mentioned the tall grass so we headed out there.  But after a quick stop at the tire swing it started to blow and rain-so into the woods it was! 

For snack I read the book "Slugs", a silly, pretend story about if slugs lived like us.  Then I broke out the bug boxes.  One for every child.  The bug boxes have magnifying glasses on top-so some of the kids put in lichen, or pine cones.  Others found banana slugs and spiders.  The bug boxes were used-put away and used again.  Children also climbed into a tree stump they had and then saw how many kids could fit in there, making me think of the old photos of people squeezing into a telephone booth!  When it was time to leave I think I saw 7 children in that stump.  I think it was supposed to be a castle?  Ask them!

I had a mom as my assistant yesterday.  Thank you!  One of Jen's children is sick.  We are so appreciative of your help when we can't be there.  If you would like to be a helper some day, please send me an email and I'll put you on the call list.  Sometimes it is last minute like Tuesday's was but other times we do know a few weeks ahead of time.

The beginning of the "Stump Castle" with only 3 people playing in it.

1 comment:

  1. Cheers for sharing your ideas for reinforcing peers names. This year for the first time I am using parents as co-workers & so far it has been great.