So, “pond study” is the word these days in the Seashell and Sunflower classes. The study started with an interest in tadpoles, thanks to Mom Allison Welch from the Biology Department, and has expanded to include lots of explorations and learning about the characteristics of ponds – water, animal life, vegetation, etc. Some of the activities associated with this ongoing investigation include:
It’s the time of year when awards & scholarships are announced and we are proud to say we have a number of student employees who have been recognized for their achievements! Rising senior, Kady Preston was appointed a “Teacher Leader” for the 2013-2014 academic year, a highly competitive program which “fosters the professional development of highly motivated students by providing them with challenging, extracurricular opportunities in the education community.” Competitive scholarship grants were awarded to:
Congratulations to all!
Butterfly children (4/5K) focused on many activities related to Earth Day last week, including a trip around campus to share their enthusiasm for this celebration, and pick up litter. They thought wearing gloves for this endeavor was “very cool!”
It’s spring and all the children at ECDC are very busy with outdoor activities and the much improved weather, which includes digging in earnest – of course everywhere EXCEPT the areas on the playground designed for that purpose. The children are particularly interested in excavating anything that might reveal critters underneath. Over the course of the past few weeks, some of our more dedicated diggers in the Sunflower class unearthed most the landscaping stones on the playground looking for roly-polies and centipedes. So Dr. Candy went to the local stone yard and bought them some fairly large boulders to roll, push, turn upside down, dig around, etc. Ms. Phyllis is channeling their obvious interest in dirt to a study of things that live in the earth. We have been learning all about roly-polies, snails and worms. The sensory table is full of dirt, pretend bugs and worms. Children have been spotted pretending to be roly-polies and we ordered worms to make a “worm garden” and then promptly spent the next morning rounding up all the worms that escaped overnight!
Well, the rain went somewhere else, the skies cleared, and our annual picnic/play day went down as one of the best ever! Our community welcomed new families who will be joining us in the fall and the students from Drs. Kelley Mayer White and Diane Cudahy’s EDEE 363 Families & Communities course. We re-visited a Remida Day theme, inspired by the concept developed in the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The early childhood majors designed and facilitated activities using “re-purposed” and recycled materials to create interesting, useful, and fun objects of many kinds. They helped children make stepping stones, a milk jug igloo, jelly fish mobiles, and planted seeds in old yogurt cups. They also used discarded baby gates as looms for two large tye-dyed sheet weaving projects, and created a mosaic representing each of the class names – Seashell, Sunflower, and Butterfly. We even had a surprise visit from our friend Ally in the Sustainability Office who coordinated the rain barrel project last summer. Many thanks to all our volunteers, friends in the Physical Plant and the SOEHHP, and our wonderful staff for a wonderful event!
The weather has broken and leaves are emerging. The Butterfly garden is planted. Chicks are incubating and due to hatch soon. The children have been reading and doing research on all kinds of flying animals and eggs and their field trip to the Center for Birds of Prey contributed greatly to their growing knowledge about birds. A few days ago we noticed a couple of them trying to make a child-sized “nest” underneath the large climber on the playground with logs, grass, mulch, etc. Ms. Mary began conversations and discussion about bird habitats and discovered that the children had a lot of information they were anxious to apply. A decision was made that the large climber with its various compartments would be perfect! Several excursions were made to the Stern Center gardens for bamboo and our friends in the Grounds Department gave us palm fronds. Little by little, it is being transformed into a visual delight and a space that reflects many things the children know about what birds need.
We have several children in the Butterfly class with a passion for everything “Star Wars.” This interest shows up across the curriculum in things like journal-writing, block play, artwork, playground games, etc. The children learned recently that Disney had acquired LucasFilms. In conversations with Mr. Chad about what might happen to Star Wars games and movies, the suggestion was made to write Disney a letter and tell them how much they loved Star Wars movies, games, and characters and hoped they would continue to be made. So that’s exactly what they did. A packet of letters and drawings went off Monday, hand-delivered to our friend Mr. Mark from CofC Mail Services. We’ll see what happens next (the children are obviously hoping for a reply)
Butterfly children are SO EXCITED! Their incubator is here and the eggs are in. They have had many, many questions about eggs and spent a lot of time researching and reading information. They are beginning to represent their ideas and knowledge about different kinds of animal groups and eggs in interesting ways. Their discussions have been rich, detailed, and very focused. We will see what their observation journals reveal about their theories and insights as the next 21 days go by.
Seashell teachers have been introducing the children to science-based explorations that really serve to provoke their curiosity, and challenge their sensory knowledge. Cooper’s mom Starr came to visit from the LowCountry Math & Science Center and did some experiments with the children that produced really interesting (and humorous) responses from them!
The Sunflowers LOVE pizza! In fact, we love it so much that we have immersed our entire curriculum into learning about pizza. We have made homemade pizza at school, read lots of books about the history of pizza as well as funny pizza stories, played pizza counting and patterning games, and even made finger painted pizzas! As a culmination, today we went on a special field trip to Andolini’s. The children got to watch the pizza being made and have a yummy pizza lunch.