A popular theme at the beginning of the year is Who Am I? We began discussions of this aspect Thursday. I always read this great book we have that is called, "I'm the Greatest Me There Could Ever Be!", by Vicki J. Kuyper. It talks about people's different hair color, eye color, families, likes, etc. I read through the book, then we go back and discuss the aspects about ourselves from each page. For example, I have them tell me their eye color, hair color, what they like. It's also fun to bring two children up at a time to have everyone notice likes and differences.
Our activities at this time of year are centered around the beginning of our ME BOOK, which our school creates every year for every child. Today was to make the page where we notate their height, weight, handprint, and footprint at the beginning of the year. We will do this again at the end of the year. We also mark each child's height on a growth chart and leave it there all year so they can see the difference at the end of the year.
Some other fun activities we did today were: Bean play, for which I will be stepping on beans until the end of the year. It's amazing how far these beans can travel once they hit the floor. Dot Painting; believe it or not this was my first experience with this. I had received some dot paints free from Scholastic last year, but never got them out. It was fun, although that paint can splatter! Magnetic Foam Blocks: the children LOVE these, they create so many varied masterpieces. Finally, I made a color wheel over the summer to use with clothes pins. This wasn't too big of a hit yet, but I noticed that the clothes pins were troublesome for some. Have to keep exercising those fine motor skills.
Name recognition is a big "skill" we like the 3yr. old class to master so today I played a little name finding game. I had written all the children's names on sentence strips and laminated them. I handed each child their name so they could examine it. Then we traced the letters with our finger--or tried. I then had them give them back to me and I spread them out on the floor and asked them to find their name. This was our first activity with names and was I shocked. The AM class was pretty much right on target, the PM class only had 3 that were unsure. I think these guys are just getting too smart for me.
I know it's only been two weeks, but it is so wonderful how these children play together and enjoy themselves. GREAT GROUPS!