Saturday, April 5, 2008

Heads? Check. Shoulders? Check. Knees and Toes...?

In case you were wondering what Wednesday's loud rumblings over 89th Street were, they were a result of our fantastic brainstorming session, where we shared with each other anything and we know about the human body so far. Everything you see written on the board below came entirely from the cerebral cortices of your children. Some explanations that truly amazed me included: the brain is the 'control center' for the body, the heart moves blood around the body, and the tongue has taste buds that work together with the nose to provide information about taste.

We are fortunate to feature in the classroom many different hands-on resources for learning about the body. We have several three-dimensional figures to study, from our build-a-torso to models of the heart and eye that can be opened up to see what's inside. There is also a fantastic (and very popular) puzzle composed of several different layers, each focusing on one of the systems within the body, from the skeletal to the muscular to the digestive.

Many of the children have enjoyed filling in their own traced body with their favorite organs, bones, and other features, including the lesser-known uvula. These may be featured in our upcoming art show (May 15).

Another project, carried out by a visiting student-teacher, allowed the children to recreate their profiles on paper plates, using string, markers, paper, glue, etc. Many enjoyed studying their features in the mirror before beginning their work, as well as observing the features on their friends nearby (Who has red hair? Who has blue eyes?)

We've also got an awesome version of Body Bingo, with many identification cards (this can also be used as a simple matching game), and many magnifying glasses,
which have been popular since Day 1.

And now, a brief report on the Music & Dance scene from Preschool:

Late in March, we had a wonderful visit from a professional drummer (erm....I think his name was Joe....). This guy was super-talented, asked many questions to the children, and featured a great dance party at the end of his workshop. The children were ALL mesmerized by his performance, and really couldn't take their eyes off him and his percussion instruments. As a fellow drummer, I was equally mesmerized, and a little jealous. Photos below, including a short movie of the dance party:

I've since brought in my electronic drum machine for the children to use during freeplay, and they absolutely adore it. It even has some preloaded songs for them to play along to, and this of course inspires dance parties, as well as a moment to rest afterwards.

And yes, that's how I feel at the end of the day.

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