Thematic Unit: Plants
Essential Question: How do plants grow and why are they important?
Focus Questions: What are plants? What do plants need and where do we find them? What are some different kinds of plants? Why are plants important?
Spring is finally here and we will be spending time outdoors. Outdoor play helps children develop their gross motor skills and provides many opportunities for learning!
Comparing Size: Comparing large and small objects
Numbers up to 20: Identifying numbers and developing 1:1 correspondence.
Monday March 29, 2021 to Friday April 2, 2021 is spring break, schools will be closed. Classes resume on Monday April 5, 2021.
A Letter to Parents on Outdoor Play
What We Do and Why
Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum. When children are outdoors, they like to run, jump, swing, climb, and use all the large muscles in their bodies. They need space to work out and let off steam. They can race around, breathe the fresh air, look at the clouds, or catch a ball or a bug. They not only satisfy their physical needs for large muscle activity but also develop a sense of wonder about the miracles that take place in nature.
When we take children outdoors at school, we talk about the things we can see, hear, touch, and feel so that the children become aware of changes in the weather and the seasons, the growth of plants, and animals. We help the children notice changes by asking them what is different about the trees, the caterpillars, or the sky. They lie on the ground and look up, or they climb the jungle gym and look down. We point out the many kinds of birds that fly overhead, butterflies, mosquitos, milkweed seeds, falling leaves, and rain as it begins. We wonder aloud where all these things come from.
By playing outdoors, your child can learn the following: •To notice changes in nature •To discover what happens to people, animals, and plants when it is cold, hot, dark, or light outside •To use his or her body in increasingly skillful ways •To be a good observer
When the children play outdoors, we encourage them to talk about what they are doing. For example, we might say: •“What happened to the sun just now? I don’t see it anymore.” •“What is making the trees bend over the way they are today?” •
We also ask questions that help children extend their thinking as they play outdoors. For example, we might say: •“What happened to the water in this pan? It’s hard now. What do we need to do to make it pour?” •“If you keep digging your hole, how far down can you go?”
What You Can Do at Home
You can provide wooden boxes and boards for playhouses or an obstacle course; gardening tools to dig, plant, and cultivate a little garden; a big paintbrush and a pail of water to “paint” walls or fences; large balls to kick or throw; or old blankets or sheets to make a tent. You can take a walk around the block with your child and talk about all the different colors of cars that pass by. Your child will take great pleasure in collecting rocks, finding buys, watching birds and airplanes in the sky, or pretending to go camping.