Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ever Seen 'Innerspace??'

From the humbling expanses of outer space, we now take a trip of smaller proportions.... INSIDE THE BODY !!!
For a long while, the children have expressed a natural fascination with any of the topics dealing with 'the body,' and there are so many things to talk about. A good place to start was at the teeth. Here we go!

All of the children have taken a trip to the dentist by now, and they love to tell about their experiences. When reading "Dr. De Soto" by William Steig, or 'The Crocodile's Dentist,
by Shel Silverstein, they love to identify the dentists' tools, as well as the names of their dentists. "The Tooth Book" by Dr. Seuss has an interesting couple of pages near the end, showing various ways we can damage our teeth if we do not take care of them, such as using them to open bottles or eating massive amounts of baked goods. In freeplay, we featured dominoes in the water table, with toothbrushes for the children to scrub those pearly whites. During after school, we cut out our own teeth, and laminated them so that we could draw 'dirt and plaque' on the teeth with a dry erase marker, and then wipe them clean.

We have discussed the presence of teeth in all animals, and have found photographic evidence that not all animals have or need teeth. Snakes, snails, clams, and birds were some of the ones we noticed. The children know that teeth help us bite, tear, and chew our food, as well as help us speak.

Our letter buddies from Friday were 't' and 'h,' appropriately found at the end of the words 'tooth' and 'teeth.' There are more than a few children who claim to have "teef," so the highlighting of 't' and 'h' will surely prove to be helpful. Below are past buddies:

Our classroom was recently taken over by a strange gelatinous sticky gooey mess, and I'm not talking about the deliciously sweet topping of a Cinnabon! That's right... GAK ATTACK!

We've also been getting ready for drum day, and the children love playing with the drum machine. It makes various percussive sounds, and can be played by hand or with sticks. Our other new toy, the Kidizoom Digital Camera, is a huge hit. It was (relatively) inexpensive, is super durable, holds many pictures, and simple controls. The children use it rather intuitively. I enjoy it because it gives me a break from taking photos. Soon, we can host a gallery show featuring their photographs.

And, while these cutting edge technological wonders are thoroughly entertaining, let us not forget the simple pleasure a light bulb can bring... that's right! LiteBrite! This is a great tool because it's open ended (w
e don't use the pre-made patterns or pictures), allows for experimenting with light (like with a light table), while helping to develop fine motor skills (pincer grip).

That's all for now.
Remember that the school will be closed on (Good) Friday, and we will return on Monday, 3/31. We will have a field trip to the New Victory Theater on April 4.

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