The Seashells are learning about pets and have been sharing different pets they have at home. We have set up a vet practice in our home corner and the children are using their imaginations to role play and deepen their learning about vets.
The children have engaged in many different creative activities around the topic of pets. They were invited to draw a cat face. Some of them were more adventurous and drew a whole cat, some had big eyes, some were very fluffy, some had long ears, others were very colourful with lots of whiskers.
To complement our learning, we read a nursery rhyme The Three Little Kittens. The children had the opportunity to watch the video and we sang and acted out the song and pretended to be kittens with mittens.
We looked at and read lots of books about pets. Matteo showed us a book about a duck. Claudia told us she has ducks in her garden at home. Sam showed us his grandparent’s dogs, Oscar told us about his cat Heidi and James showed us some pictures of his grandparent’s pet horses, who, live on a farm. We read lots of Hairy Maclary and Slinky Malinki books. They were very popular.
Many of the Seashells worked collaboratively on some pet puzzles. There was a lot of great teamwork, sharing and taking turns to complete the puzzles.
On Monday the Seashells were very excited to be turned into dogs and cats with face paint. This inspired a lot of imaginative and enjoyable play outdoors.
In response to their interest in dogs, Laura our Seashell Educator, brought her dog, Wolfie, into Pre-school for an hour on Tuesday morning. The children were delighted to meet Wolfie who looked just like Hairy Maclary. The Seashells have heard many stories about Wolfie. It was very exciting to finally get to meet him.
Wolfie showed the children how brilliant he is at finding a ball. The children took turns to hide a tennis ball and Wolfie was able to locate it every time, by using his sense of smell.
The children were so engaged and fascinated by Wolfie’s accessories. They learned all about why Wolfie has a collar and a lead. They also took turns to give Wolfie a brush with his special pet brush. They all had a sniff of Wolfie’s shampoo.
Laura showed the children how Wolfie has a special harness that fits round his body. His lead clips into the harness and this stops his lead from choking him when he pulls against it.
The children also observed that Wolfie has a special disc on his collar with his name on it.
Noah: It has a badge with his name on it.
Dean: If he is lost, it has his name on it, so you know who it is.
Jack: He needs it on so that he does not run away.
Xander: You need a lead so you can take your dog for a walk.
Adrienne: When he wags his tail, he is happy.
The children learnt so much from their interactions with Wolfie. They were all so gentle and calm around him. It has been an exciting week for the Seashells learning about pets.
Whilst the Dolphins were visiting the Year K classrooms last week, we took the opportunity to engage in a science experiment.
We decided to set up a sinking and floating experiment. The materials we used for this experience included a boat, a tub of blue water (the river) and small stones (which represented the people).
Before embarking in this learning experience, we posed some questions to the children. We wanted to find out what they already knew…
What does an experiment mean?
Bronte: It’s science.
Oliver: It means you study genetic sequences.
Finn: It means you explore new things.
Arlo: You explore germs.
Penny: It means that you make potions.
Joshua: It means that you’re generating things and changing people’s lives.
We then asked the children what they thought would happen when we put the boat in the river. We introduced the word ‘prediction‘
Penny: It can float or sink. I think it will float.
Arlo: Isn’t it called a hypothesis?
Finn: The water will rise, and the boat will sink.
Liana: If you put the boat in the river, it will float. But if you put rocks, it will sink.
Oliver: It will float.
What do you predict will happen when I put one person in?
Jaimee: It will sink.
Adam: It will float, but if you put another one, it will sink.
Oliver: It will hover.
Finn: The water will rise, and the boat will sink.
Joshua: The person will give the boat the weight, Finn is right.
We tested what happened when we put the boat in the river, and we added one person/rock in the boat. We observed the boat stayed afloat.
We started to test their predictions and hypothesis…
This was such a fun process. We gradually added the people to the boat as in the children’s predictions. The children marvelled at how well the boat was holding the people.
This was also a great opportunity to engage in maths – “We have five people in the boat, how many more do we need to make 10? When we had 13 people in the boat, I asked the children how many more people we would need to get to 20.
The children were able to use descriptive language to share what was happening as we added more rocks into the boat.
Adam: It still floats.
Mili: Still floating.
Finn: It didn’t sink.
Daniel: It almost sinks.
Arlo: We need 4 more to make 10
Bronte: We need six more to make 11.
Zach: Two more makes 13. We need 10 more to go from 20 to 30.
We kept on encouraging the children to observe closely what was happening to the boat.
Zach: It’s tipping.
Arlo: It’s gone diagonal.
From 30, we added one more at a time.
Penny: We need two more to make 34.
When we got to 35, the children noticed the boat sank. It took 35 people for the boat to sink!
We were amazed at the children’s level of concentration. This experience lasted a long period of time!
After the experiment, we invited the children to represent their thinking and ideas. As a demonstration, a group of children offered to represent it. Zach wrote the number 35, Arlo drew the river, Adam drew the boat and Finn represented the 35 people in the boat.
This learning experience offered many learning opportunities: language development: using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions, making connections with real life experiences, promoting scientific thinking: predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation, cause and effect and concentration.
Pre-school is certainly a time of deep, meaningful, and engaging learning opportunities. We understand that children learn through many languages and our role as educators is to present them with many experiences that can engage the interests of all the children in the group and allow them to share their wonderings, thoughts, and ideas in a secure, safe and warm environment. We are constantly amazed by their thinking and how they use many different skills to make sense of their world.