This week the children have been exploring reflection with the use of mirrors in different sizes. The teachers took this exploration outdoors during the children’s playtime and set up a sensory provocation using two different sized mirrors underneath the patio with some materials on top of each of them. One mirror offered play with transparent legos and the other mirror offered play with playdough and small tree twigs. The purpose of this was to encourage the children to come and investigate the reflection of themselves and the materials used.
The children were immediately inticed to come over and explore. It didn’t take long before they all were engaged in activity. Some of the children took more of an interest in laying on the mirror and looking down at their reflection as they made faces. Some would glance at themselves as they played and even seemed to look at the reflection of the things they were building in attempt to make a comparison.
The mirror added an element that supported the children’s construction of their self image in their play environment. Mirror play allows the children to become familiar with faces and different expressions. It not only allows them to practice focusing on things and tracking images with their eyes, but it’s an early step towards their emotional development as they begin to notice how their own expression changes, which, once they are older can lead into talking about how they are feeling.
As Wonderland children continued to explore different types of sea animals, one animal that they were drawn to and spoke a lot of was a SHARK! As they discussed details about how a shark moves, eats and it being one of the “scariest” sea animals in the ocean, they became very focused on shark teeth. This drew them to do a comparison between the human teeth vs shark teeth. The teachers began by letting the students work in groups to observe one another’s teeth at the light table where the light shined bright on their faces and they also had a large sized mirror in front of them. This helped them identify the difference in shark teeth and human teeth.
Light tables are a perfect resource for science and discovery. Normally we use our light table to set up an inviting provocation with materials based on our exploration, but this time we were able to use it simply for its glow of light on our faces.
When mirrors are placed in front of children it doesn’t take long for them to start exploring their selves. Mirrors focus the children’s mind on an area of science and generates initial questions they may have while observing their features.
Being able to have these two resources the children were able to identify the difference in the shape, color and size. After having open conversation and discussing details the children were able to draw a shark mouth and count the number of teeth they believed a shark may have. This helped children with math and writing skills, allowing them to create addition problems as well as identifying numbers.
- “Shark teeth are triangles and our teeth are square “ –Cody A. (Age 5)
- “Sharks have sharp teeth because they are predators and eat hard meat.” –Brett H. (Age 4)
- “Shark teeth are spread out.” –Mackenzie H. (Age 5)
- “Shark teeth are big and our teeth are small.” –Maya M. (Age 5)
The castle room students have started stacking materials around the classroom, after noticing the children’s interest in piling things.
The teachers brought in materials: blocks and legos. Right away the students began building different structures however this time they did not stop stacking. Some students laid the blocks along the floor in line expressing that they were constructing a, “choo choo train”. A few students compiled the legos into squares indicating that their structure was a “house” or a “tower”. The students made sure to explain what they were constructing with each arrangement.
Teachers saw this as a perfect literacy opportunity to introduce the class to words like assemble, build, and construction, using these words as they created. The teachers also used this moment to review colors and shapes, and to count. A few of our children even chose to draw their creations.
This project came with an array of educational benefits. Building alone improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination ,while presenting new words as they build enhances vocabulary and language skills. Free range building exercises the students ability to be creative which develops concentration and great problem solving.
You are invited to our Educator Workshop. This workshop is open to all Educators and those who desire to see and experience Inquiry Education through a “Child’s Eye’s” . There will be engaging discussion, presentations, and group work. Please register below and be prepared to see a World of Wonder…
The document has moved here.
Parents are a vital component to the philosophy in our school. Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children. One way that we foster this relationship is by hosting four major festivals in our school every year. These festivals are inspired by the four seasons, and allow for our children and families to celebrate what these seasons have to offer. Our annual festivals are a time where our schools have no walls.