We learned about farmers and farms by taking a field trip to a local farm/pumpkin patch! This was my first ever field trip with this age group so I, of course, was completely stressed out and worried for the entire week leading up to the trip! But in the end, it was a huge success and everyone had a great time! We got to see a farm show where we learned about different farm animals and farm equipment. The children loved having the opportunity to pet all the different kinds of farm animals and see them up close!
After the farm show they gave us popcorn and juice and then we got to explore the pumpkin patch! They had a couple old tractors out the children could climb on and explore, hay bales piled up to make pyramids (they enjoyed climbing to the top), and a corn “maze” (not really a maze – but that’s what they called it) for the children to walk through, and a “cave” for them to explore! They loved every second of it! We all brought our lunch so after exploring the pumpkin patch we sat down for a picnic – then all the children got to pick a pumpkin before we headed back to school! I only wish they had had a hay ride for us – I always loved those as a kid! Since this trip went so well I’m already thinking about where we could go in the spring!
So, the last you heard from me I was having trouble controlling some of the children in my class. Things have gotten somewhat better – but there are still about 4 (sometimes 5) children I’m working with – out of 14 I guess that’s not too bad! October is the month I choose to learn about Community Helpers. One of my father’s is a paramedic and he came in his uniform and with his stethoscope to talk to the children about his job. They were super excited to be able to listen to their lungs and heartbeats! He also read two stories to them and gave them all a “super special band-aide from the ambulance”! They LOVED that part!
Then the police came! One of my fathers is a policeman and he wanted to come talk to the children about safety. He also wore his uniform and brought his police car along! The children LOVED that! He even let them get in the front and backseat of the car! I totally wish I had taken my camera to school that day – those would have been super cute pictures! He also gave them a badge sticker to wear – and I have never seen my children so excited to get a sticker before!
A visitor came to our class this week – a dentist. He gave a 15 minute presentation to the kids complete with pictures, demonstrations, props, and even gave a little goodie bag to each child. The children were excited to learn that at this age they each have around 20 teeth! Some tried to count theirs! 🙂 He showed pictures of various foods and asked the children if they thought the food was good or bad for teeth. I was proud that they got them all correct! He also had a set of false teeth and showed us how to properly brush and floss. He brought in a giant tooth with holes in it and told the children about cavities and the importance of brushing. He even had a set of teeth in clear acrylic to show the children how their permanent teeth are tucked up into their gums waiting for their baby teeth to move out-of-the-way – even I found that cool! It was a really good presentation and the children came away very excited!
Today we made doctor bags. I took a large piece of construction paper (I let them choose between black and dark blue), folded it in half, put a red cross on the front, and above that wrote “Dr. ________” (here I filled in the child’s name). For the handles I stapled on two die cut uppercase C’s. Inside each bag the children got to tape, 1 tongue depressor (jumbo craft stick), 2 gloves (the latex doctor kind), 3 cotton balls, 4 Q-tips, and 2 band aides. As the children tape the items in their bag, we talk about how doctors use the items. Sometimes I’m surprised by how much some children already know! They got such a kick out of me calling them “Doctor”. They would giggle and smile and repeat it a few times! Then, all morning long, I heard children calling each other “Doctor” – it was sooo cute! 🙂
The past couple days we’ve used eye droppers to make fall leaves. We discussed with the children that many different jobs use tools that are very similar to eye droppers. Chefs use basters (which we said are basically big versions of the eye dropper) and scientists use eye dropper like instruments when doing experiments. Hey, I had to tie our theme into our art somehow – I know this was a stretch! 🙂
Anyways, so I die-cut white paper towels into oak leaf shapes and the children used red, orange, and yellow liquid watercolors (I love those things) to dye them to look like fall leaves. After they dried we hung them from the ceiling. They turned out awesome! They are simply beautiful and give the room a nice burst of color! I also have owls hanging from the ceiling (I cut owl shapes out of their car paintings) so they look nice together. We have pumpkins hanging on the wall (their toothbrush paintings) – so the room is beginning to really look like fall – my favorite time of year!
We’ve transitioned into a Community Helpers unit for the month of October. After we had learned more about each other it made sense to start talking about our families, the jobs our parents had, and other jobs within the community. Some of the art projects we’ve done are toothbrush painting (the kids got a kick out of using toothbrushes this way), car painting and easel painting for the first time. When the paintings were dry I mounted them and hung them in our “Art Gallery” – just like real artistes! Next week we are going to make doctor bags and do dental floss painting. We are also going to dress up as fire fighters and get our picture taken – then glue those pictures to firetrucks we’ve colored. Also, one of my parents is a fire fighter and he wants to bring his truck by the school (we are just waiting approval from Ms. Lezze-Faire).
I’ve also put various community helper clothes and props in the playhouse so the children can experience acting out different roles in the community. We’re also going to go outside and play Red Light, Green Light soon – it’s always fun to see who has the impulse control to stop running when the red light pops up! After they get good at the game I add a yellow light (means walk) to the mix. Should be fun! 🙂