June 28, 2018
Comments Off on What’s Ahead and A Look Back…….
Country Fun Child Care program of care will change as of June 30, 2018. For the first time in 30 years summer care will not be offered. Country Fun will begin following the local public school’s schedule. Care will only be offered on days that public school employees are required to be at work. This means Country Fun will be closed for all school vacation weeks, major celebrated holidays and snow days. When open care will still be offered from 7:30am to 5:30pm. Our program will still be very child directed and play based for the mixed ages here in care.
Now for a look back (9/17 to 6/18):
Through the seasons whether it was: exploring the natural environment; cooking together; making and shaping playdough; exploring art mediums; using technology…….. we did it together and enjoyed ourselves.
Spending our days together it’s easy to forget all the growth that has occurred for each child. Whether it was physical, emotional or academic knowledge – looking back over images capturing little moments (like those here) reinforces that growth did occur.
May 10, 2018
Comments Off on Some Light Box Play
Just what is “Light Box” play?
A light box is an illuminated box that offers a way to explore light.
What is it’s value for young learners?
It offers a unique way for children to explore how different materials react to being placed on a light source.
How do the objects change when placed on the light box? Are their many shades of color? Why? Can you change the color of an object by placing another object on top? Does light go through all objects? Why?
Light Box play is offers a stronger experience in a darker environment. That is a problem in our space with all the windows. Solution: take advantage of the interest in forts and build a slightly darker environment with our parachute. This fort would allow for the freedom to go in and out as become comfortable with a darker space.
If you want to listen into some of the play that occurred in the parachute fort around the light box enjoy this 3 minute video.
March 21, 2016
Comments Off on Exploring Usage of Seesaw: The Learning Journal
I have been using technology tools for years in documenting the learning that occurs here. With new apps and programs being developed this usage has continued to evolve.
I have just recently been introduced to Seesaw: The Learning Journal a student driven digital portfolio. I didn’t initially explore this app very far because I saw it as student driven and I wasn’t sure how it could be used with my young group. Lucky for me as part of pulling together a workshop for other providers about e-Portfolios I was connected with an early grades teacher who uses Seesaw with her group. From First hand knowledge she was able to explain that yes the students have an ownership, but the teacher also can easily post. The other part is that parent have direct access to their child’s acct. Loved seeing that this app would involve teacher documentation, student direct engagement in their learning and parent involvement.
- I have set up an account for our class.
- The classroom QRS is posted!
- I’m watching tutorial videos to get as good a handle on how I can efficiently use this within our space, especially in teaching the children to take responsibility for documenting the learning that’s important to them.
- I’ve started documenting and posting to student accounts.
- Once I get a few more posts up and organize the student accounts, I’ll be sending home the invite to parents/guardians to access their child’s portfolio.
Believing that the connection with families is very important to a child’s development, being able to find alternative ways for this engagement to happen is important to me. With Seesaw families will be notified of updates to their child’s Seesaw journal. They will not have to remember to periodically check into the current e-Portfolios.
Knowing the connection that has currently been built through Country Fun’s social media platforms, I expect Seesaw’s immediate, visual updates to actually get viewed by parents. This will allow for more informed discussion with both me as teacher and their child.
Parents be on the lookout for that invite to Seesaw………thinking within the week.
January 28, 2016
Comments Off on A Snowball Sensory Box
Sensory play is not only fun, but it’s an important learning experience for young children. Today I brought out one of my winter sensory boxes. I think of this one as the “snowball box” because it’s all white and contains mostly round objects. The ribbon lengths add some of the glitter found with new snow.
To take this experience further I added some different tubes to the table. This group enjoys putting items into containers. They like to stack building blocks. They like to count. Knowing this and providing materials to support their interests, as I expected, the play changed.
To expand the learning I was able to direct the exploration into sizes and textures. We used different descriptive words starting from the concept of opposites. While exploring in this direction the children discovered that different sounds were occurring. They directed their learning at this point.
One simple sensory box =
- cooperative play
- fine motor
- descriptive language
- expressive language
- math – shape, counting, volume
- focus/attention span
One full morning of fun!
As part of ongoing authentic assessment the videos here and additional ones taken will be used in planning future learning experiences and documented in ePortfolios connecting with the Maine Early Learning Developmental Standards (MELDS).
Here are 10 of the MELDS that were demonstrated this morning:
- Communicates math ideas verbally and non-verbally
- Recognizes the relationship between numbers and quantities
- Transitions from rote counting to 1:1 correspondence
- Matches similar shapes
- Explores three-dimensional and two-dimensional shapes in the environment
- Begins to speak audibly and, with prompting and support, express thoughts, feelings, and idea
- Chooses individual activities
- Develops increased capacity to share materials or caregiver/teacher’s attention
- Uses materials and equipment purposefully, safely and respectfully
- Explores objects and materials, and interacts with others in a variety of new settings
March 5, 2015
Comments Off on Colors and Shapes are Starting
There has been a lot of random labeling of colors and shapes within our play recently. By random I mean the children are just trying out the labels without correctly applying them. This is a group that also gravitates to puzzles. To observe the knowledge base, I pulled out an activity using these interests that would provide me with a chance to see color and shape working together.
I video taped all interaction during the activity. Here’s a chance to see our starting point. I’ll be reviewing and pulling goals for future activities.
(warning this video is around 12 minutes in length)
M4H06326 from Country Fun Child Care on Vimeo.