TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE NEST
LITTLE BIRDIES TAKE A REST.
SNUGGLE UP AND DO NOT PEEP
LITTLE BIRDIES FALL ASLEEP.
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE NEST
LITTLE BIRDIES TAKE A REST.
NEW EXPERIENCES, CONNECTIONS and THEORIES
This week I had the pleasure of meeting 24 young learners that will participate in the RES preschool this autumn. As I prepared the classroom for the three and four year olds visit, I gave great thought to the design of the classroom-learning environment. I attempted to “think” like a preschooler… what would a young child want to see and do when they entered this new place called SCHOOL and what would they want to hear from this new person called TEACHER? Knowing a sophisticated and developmentally appropriate environment is essential in stretching the mind of a young child and encourages children, (even at age 3 and 4) to start thinking about interesting and complex topics… I set to work. After preparing scented playdough, a beading activity and a seashell sensory tray for the children to explore, I struggled with choosing the perfect story to share when the children gathered for their first preschool meeting. It couldn’t be too long…young learners have short attention spans. It should involve a familiar topic so the students could make a connection to the story, it should include rich language to expose children to new vocabulary, and it must involve something visually appealing to grab and sustain their attention. I finally decided to create a story and rhythmic tune that involved a springtime nest, a MAMA bird and her babies.
After gathering the necessary props needed and rehearsing the story and melody, I tried out the new tale and tune with my current preschoolers (I wanted to be sure it was full of the right STUFF). Throughout the story the students were captivated, engaged and it left them hungry for more information! The story made the preschoolers wonder about baby birds and they instantly started to compare themselves to humans... “How was it possible for a brand new baby bird to eat worms without teeth? New born human babies don’t have teeth so they just drink milk.”
The children started to make connections to their prior experiences and shared the following THEORIES:
JAMES…”My guineas and ducks eat worms and they don't have teeth...so baby birds can eat worms without having teeth.”
STELLA… “This is true, I saw a movie about birds and the mommy bird puts her head down and breaks up the worms into tiny pieces and then feeds the tiny pieces to the babies.”
ALICE..”Worms are squishy and soft so baby birds can just swallow them.”
MADDIE…”The baby bird’s tongue has taste buds and the taste buds tell the bird’s brain, YES… I like worms and the bird swallows the worm.”
MADELINE…”Worms are slippery so the baby bird slurps the worm up like spaghetti.”
After our discussion we transformed into baby birds and attempted to swallow a worm (a miniature marshmallow) without chewing it! We were successful!
I am always amazed at children’s thinking…
My hope is the newest members of RES had a positive experience and made some great connections about school and the magic of wonder when they visited. Also, a BIG thank you to my current students for assisting me in the “arrival preparation” for the next generation of WONDERS at RES!