Saturday, September 11, 2010

Poetry and Play Important in a Kinders Day!!

Three years ago I moved from first grade to Pre-K/K. I did Kindergarten in the morning and Pre-K in the afternoon. I knew when I moved "down" that I wanted to have a developmentally appropriate enviroment. In college I spent the majority of my time in our lab school in Pre-K and K, so I re-visited many of the ideas I'd learned there. Again, I'll put a plug in for my favorite college text book by Mary Mayesky "Creative Activities For Young Children". I poured over this book the summer before I started teaching Pre-K/K. So many great ideas for a developmentally appropriate classroom. She discusses classroom set up, importance of play, ideas for crafts, cooking, and TONS of poems and songs. My book is the 4th edition. It was a great help in beginning my program.

I love to hear the kiddos as they have some "free" play in housekeeping or dress-up. They are able to use their imagination and build their social skills with each other. At times these centers are something special like a resturant, store, or bakery, but other times it's just a place where they can explore. Last year we did a unit on Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales. Our dress up center had a stage and the props were things to act out the Nursery Rhymes and Fairty Tales we'd studied. It was so cute watching them use their imaginations and play!

Below is a quote from Dr. Jean's website about poems and I would say songs too.

"Children forget many things, but when you put a rhyme in their hearts it will be there forever!

Here are eight great reasons for integrating poetry in 2008:

Poetry develops oral language.
Poetry develops auditory memory.
Poetry helps children make print connections
Poetry develops phonological awareness (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration).
Poetry enhances fluency.
Poetry develops vocabulary.
Poetry sparks children’s interest in reading.
Poetry helps children fall in love with language.
According to the National Institute for Literacy, “Poetry is especially suited to fluency practice because poems for children are often short and they contain rhythm, rhyme, and meaning, making practice easy, fun, and rewarding.”

Okay, I've been on a soap box today! :) Next time I'll tell you about my LOVE for phonics!! ;) I've added some "play pictures" for you to enjoy!

Oh, by the way, another fun and rewarding learning experience is cooking. We put this in our curriculum at least once a month. A creative way to incorporate science and math!! On Monday, we begin our study of apples. We are going to make Crock Pot Apple Sauce. We'll be using an apple peeler/corer which is always fun for the kids to use.

Learning is fun! Let's keep it that way!