We see patterns in numbers through skip-counting, on the calendar, and we create complex patterns with materials such as cubes and Dominos.
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
We are well into our harvest season and the children have been exploring the natural world to find the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.
Last week, we cut apples into halves horizontally to reveal the sequential number 5 of the Fibonacci number pattern. The children observed, while labeling the parts of the apple, that if the apple is cut horizontally, between the stem and blossom end, only then can one see the center pattern in the apple that creates a 5-pointed star. The children discovered that it did not matter what kind of apple we cut, the star was always at the core, provided we didn’t cut the apple vertically, from stem to blossom end. Many children discovered there were lots of seeds in the seed compartments, but the 5-pointed star was always present.
The children listed all the many ways to enjoy apples, including applesauce. They took turns coring, spiraling, and peeling the apples and we boiled the apples until they became sauce.
Friday, September 17, 2021
To excite curiosity in the children – which truthfully is easy to do in these kids – a head of a freshly cut sunflower was placed on each of their tables. Quick to notice the small details, the children described and drew the attributes of a sunflower.
MT- Sunflowers have leaves and sunflowers have petals, too.
MT- Why does the sunflower have petals?
DW- Why does the sunflower have green leaves?
DS- Why the sunflower has polka dots?
EW- Why is the sunflower yellow?
MH- are the flowers really dying? Nobody watered the sunflowers.
What changes do you see?
DW- They are wrinkly and they are starting to get dry. Because they have been sitting in our (tables) for a long time. The tiny florets look brown. It smells like a regular flower.
MA- I see the mold. This petal is on top of the mold.
What is under the florets?
MT- Green things.
MH- The tiny petals are falling off the sunflower.
LW- I’m really looking under them to see what is under them. It's white and yellow stuff.
DW- White pollen.
MH- Little tiny blacks.
LW- I see white pollen.
I asked, what did you notice about the sunflowers in the sun verses the sunflowers in the shade?
EW- Some are bigger, because they were more in the sun.
MH- The bigger flowers are yellow and brown. The little ones are not all yellow and brown.
The boy and his father observed the sunflowers in the morning and in the afternoon. I asked our class, what do you notice about the sunflowers in the morning compared to the same sunflowers in the afternoon?
EW- It is pointing a different way?
MH- Because it has an abra, abra means it turns this way and this one is turning this way.
MA- Something is at the bottom and something is at the top.
In our classroom, we observe carefully for details and watch for changes. Like Mary Anning and Galileo, we watch, wonder, and explore deeper, just like scientists.
Friday, September 3, 2021
We kicked off the school year by exploring sunflowers and listing some of their attributes. I asked the children, what do you see? Curious pre-k students used magnifying glasses and started to explore. The children first listed: yellow, green, brown, black; the children quickly moved on to shapes: circles, dots, triangles, and then the conversation took a turn ...
What do you see? “A big bunchy sunflower; bunchy means – big, huge. So there is one in front that is dying. I think it's dying because all of the petals are turning brown. They are starting to be brown because you are not watering them.” LM
Friday, April 23, 2021
During the week of Earth Day, pre-k saved single-use items and discarded packaging from snacks and lunches, most of which still had plenty of food inside. As the collection grew, we discussed what we saw in the tub. There were many applesauce pouches, string cheese wrappers, and assorted types of chips and cracker bags. I asked the children, what can we do to make a difference in the amount of waste we create? “We could eat an apple instead.” What a great solution and it’s so easy and fast to pack! As well as being easy to pack and with no packaging, it’s one of the healthiest things you can eat. I asked the children to list other foods free of packaging: apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries (we decided strawberries can be sent in a reusable container) offered a good start.
Some surprising discoveries: as I sifted through the garbage with the children, I discovered that most of the packaged food packages were more than half full, especially applesauce packs and other assorted pouches, as well as snack crackers and Pirate Booty. So, along with producing less garbage, we could save money on foods that are not really being eaten. If a child doesn’t eat a whole apple, the only waste is an apple which will decompose and remain a purposeful part of our Earth.
It can all feel overwhelming; however, do you know what is super cool?! Every child in our classroom shared what they are already doing to help the Earth. They listed or showed their reusable water bottles, reusable lunchboxes, reusable containers, reusable/biodegradable straws, reusable napkins, and took turns holding up foods, like oranges, to show that they understand how easy it really is.
We are doing great! And we can do even better! Every day is Earth Day!
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