Tag Archives: WG

How to Build a Bridge

By Laura

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Today the puppy classroom went on a field trip to the park. They tried to cross the river but discovered that part of the bridge had been washed away. Each puppy gathered a different material which they thought would work to make a bridge.

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Yellow puppy tried to use two small sticks. The kids explained why this didn’t work:

“They’re wobbly.”

“And the bridge can’t reach the other side.”

“And they need two more.”

“They end too short.”

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So, Orange tried a popsicle stick. There was some discussion of using this as surfboard to ride across the river. But when Orange tried to surf the current carried the puppy back to the same side of the river.

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Post Office Visit

By Laura

Sculpting Wolf Stories

By Laura

I have been thinking about ways to continue to connect the children to the information and stories that were shared during the wolf presentation. We have had invitations to draw from photos of wolves (and their prey) on the tables during the morning play time. And on both Wednesday and Friday I held a small group clay appointment, posing the following question to the preschoolers: how can you use clay to tell the stories we learned during the wolf presentation? Today the group focused primarily on the mechanics of building a wolf and building a den: they were focusing on the story of the mama wolf digging a den for her and her wolf pups. They used a variety of strategies with differing degrees of effectiveness and differing degrees of frustration. The group as a whole learned a lot about the clay today. Even if they have a more open-ended invitation to work with it in the future, I have a hunch that this work with more constraints pushed them toward coming up with some new solutions for expressing themselves with this media.

The Den – The basic problem involved how to create the negative space inside of a den.

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The Post Office

By Laura

We have noticed several children playing games about delivering mail, mail trucks and mail planes. So next week we have scheduled a walking field trip to our local post office. Today at circle we did some thinking about mail and post offices. We made a list of some of the things we already know about the post office. And developed some questions to ask when we visit it.

We Already Know:

It’s for mail sending

For giving mail to people you love

Packages, too!

Trucks bring mail to your house sometimes

Trucks also pick up mail, bring to the post office and deliver them to different places

Big blue box is called a mailbox and put your mail in it

A stamp is something you put on the mail, if it falls off they throw it away (some disagreement about this one, so it became a question)

At the post office we wait in line, then they put a stamp on it, and then they mail

Our Questions:

How do they put the mail in the trucks?

What happens if a stamp falls off a piece of mail?

Where do they put the mail in the truck?

Can you make your own stamp?

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The Puppy Classroom

By Laura

Over the last few weeks I have been telling stories at circle time about a puppy classroom. Five puppies (all named after the color of their fur) and their teacher (a dalmatian named Teacher Polka Dot) navigate preschool life. We have told stories about a new student joining the classroom, about sharing a doggy pizza fairly, about a another kind of fairness when each puppy has a different need, and about working together to help every puppy see over the fence into the neighbor’s garden next door. And one morning a puppy from a kindergarten classroom came to visit and tell them about puppy kindergarten. Now, nearly every morning when the children know that I am leading circle, one or two of them will ask, “Are you going to tell a puppy story?”

All preschoolers (and preschool-aged puppies) are learning about friendship. How to make new friends, how to keep friends and how to know someone is your friend even when they choose to play with someone else (or by themselves). So today the story was about how to join in play. I tried to slightly exaggerate some of the things children do when trying to join in so that everyone in the circle would notice why those strategies don’t always work. We went through a couple scenarios, the first one involved free play time outside. Yellow and Brown were deeply engaged in playing with the marble ramps and Black wanted to join in their play.

[Black comes and stands nearby. Black decides to stand in another spot. The other two puppies just keep playing.]

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Laura: How could Black get there attention and join in?

RR: You could say, “Yellow and Brown, can I play?”

Laura: So, Black goes back and asks, “Yellow and Brown, can I play?” [said in a quiet, mumbly, whisper voice]. The other two dogs kept playing. So Black went over to Teacher Polka Dot and said, “Yellow and Brown won’t let me play!”

Laura: Is that what you saw happen?

Kids: Noooo. Continue reading