Animal Barns

Barns can be used for sheltering animals, their feed and other supplies, farm machinery and farm products.

20180927_101451

Barns are named according to their purpose, as hog barns, dairy barns, and tractor barns. The principal type in the United States is the general-purpose barn, used for housing horses and mules, cows, calves, and sheep and for storing hay and grain.

20180927_101132_hdr

Although the need for the general barn declined with the advent of tractors and electrical service, one or more barns are still found on the majority of North American and European farms.

20180927_101234

Many have been adapted to other uses. For this activity, we created our own animal farms out of hay, blocks and toy animals! Students participated in collaborative play with their friends, engaging in small world play!

Advertisements

Fruit Picking

Young children do not think in two dimensions.

20180906_091847_hdr

If they are presented with a picture, they are often unable to truly grasp its meaning, because they are not yet capable of symbolic thought.

20180906_101216

It is therefore imperative that they are given every opportunity to participate in their learning on three dimensions.

20180906_101349

For this activity, we picked fruit from a three-dimensional tree!

20180906_091837_hdr

The tactile experience of picking the fruit helps children develop a deeper understanding of where our fruit comes from!

20180906_101321

 

Letters of Fruit

Many children have problems learning the letters of the alphabet, especially when they are grouped together into words.

20180905_101224

Since letter (and word) recognition depends on understanding a sequence of features, the best way to teach children the sequence of word-making is by guided practice.

20180905_101159

Because of this, we partake in a variety of letter “games” that encourage your child to recognize, enunciate, and match the concept of a letter to its print form.

20180905_101028

Young children learning letters need vivid, concrete language to understand the abstract component of the written word.

20180905_101211

For this activity, we practiced placing toy fruit onto the letters in the word F-R-U-I-T.

20180905_101358

 

Sorting Vegetables

Sorting is such an important early math. As adults, we sort all the time! We sort the mail into keep and trash.

20180911_103040

We sort the laundry, the bills and the utensils in the drawer. Our brains sort bits of information into categories for easy retrieval.

20180911_102646

Young children are just learning to sort when they start preschool. We always start with learning to sort by color and then move onto other sorting, such as sorting by beginning sounds, sorting by quantity, and sorting by pattern.

20180911_102513

For this activity, we sorted vegetables by color. Using a Twister board and toy vegetables, we practiced our early skills by placing the vegetables on the appropriate color!

20180911_102557_hdr

 

 

Zebra Tracing

Writing is a skill that most people use every single day, whether it be writing a note to a friend or writing a check to a utility company. Even in the age of technology, the written word is still everywhere.

20180827_102149

But how do you teach a young child the proper way to write? The first step is simple… pre-writing. Pre-writing is learning the skills necessary to begin writing. Pre-writing is an important step because it teaches children the correct way to hold a pencil, how to use a good, firm grip, and emphasizes the use of fine motor skills.

20180827_102233_hdr

Pre-writing also helps children with the development of hand/eye coordination, learn that words go left to right, and that lines of writing go top to bottom on a page. Ideally, the first materials used are not markers and pencils but materials that allow children to strengthen the muscles in their hands needed to properly hold writing implements.

20180827_102137

We add a tactile (kinesthetic) component when we practice shaping the letters with different materials. Shaping letters with dough, tracing them on textured paper cutouts, and writing in the sand or salt trays all help children internalize the shape of the letter, while developing their fine motor skills.

20180827_102223_hdr

For this activity, we practiced tracing the letter Z with black and white colored salt. Your child was directed to trace the letter Z into the salt.  Doing so helped your child develop stronger familiarity with the structure of Z, integrating the sense of touch to create a visual representation of the letter.

20180827_102336_hdr

 

Zebra Camouflage

To humans, a zebra’s stripes stick out like a sore thumb, so it’s hard to imagine that the stripes act as camouflage. Zoologists believe stripes offer zebras protection from predators in a couple of different ways.

20180830_102628_hdr

One way is as simple pattern-camouflage, much like the type the military uses in its fatigue design. The wavy lines of a zebra blend in with the wavy lines of the tall grass around it.

20180830_102203-1

It doesn’t matter that the zebra’s stripes are black and white and the lines of the grass are yellow, brown or green, because the zebra’s main predator, the lion, is colorblind.

20180830_101626_hdr

The pattern of the camouflage is much more important than its color, when hiding from these predators. If a zebra is standing still in matching surroundings, a lion may overlook it completely.

20180830_101632_hdr-1

To help illustrate this concept, we hid zebras in grass and with some imagination, set up scenarios where the lions couldn’t find them! Students enjoyed manipulating their toys in a variety of ways, creating new stories as they went!

20180830_101305_hdr

Zebra Stripes

Zebrads are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white striped coats.

20180829_102202_hdr

Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.

20180829_102136_hdr

Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated. As part of our zebra unit, we talked about zebra stripes.

20180829_102250_hdr

While scientists have varying opinions about their purpose, most agree that they provide camouflage and temperature regulation to the animal. For this activity, we created zebra stripes out of black and white play dough!

20180829_101955