A Reggio-Inspired Project Focusing on
As a social studies extension, we pulled in maps of Memphis. Research shows that spatial thinking is one of the most important skills that children can develop as they learn about our Earth and environmental science.
Map reading and map making are important skills as they help us learn about the distance of two places. Maps also help us learn to estimate distances between places. Because maps are smaller scale representations, teaching our girls to read a map helps them develop the ability to see different perspectives.
During our study, we explored maps of our community. We noticed roads, interstates, land, water, and different landmarks on the maps of Memphis. Using black pens and colored pencils, the girls had so much fun playing with the maps. The activity invited rich conversation for the girls and allowed them the opportunity to share the things they know.
Is this the airport right here? That's how I am getting to Disney World. This is the way we are driving to drop my car off.
Look, here is Chick-fil-a right by Hutchison. I can see the grass on the map. -Mary
This is the interstate. I'm going to draw a line to Nashville. Now we need to go back to Memphis. Oh! We passed Chick-fil-a. Let's stop here. -Reid
I see Germantown, Tennessee. That's where I live. -Ruthie
Let's take the interstate to New York!
Now I'm going to travel all the way back to Germantown because I want to go home. -Ruthie
I live on Gwynne Road. Is that it? Yes! That's it. -Reid
I see the roads that will take me home!
As our project continued, we tasked the girls with building a community. At the heart of our project was the idea of featuring the girl's favorite places in our community. We wanted this to be their community so that they would take ownership of the places we highlighted in our community. Look closely at our Memphis...it's our favorite!
There are so many houses.
Yeah, It's because it's a neighborhood.
I have a neighbor. She lives next to my house. She's really nice. Sometimes when Reid kicks a ball over the fence, she gives it back.
My neighbor has a pool and a swing set. It even has a playground too!
We need trees in our neighborhood...and roads! Let's connect all of our houses together . I will draw the roads between the houses.
We need a park too! Look at my slide...and my swings. I love going to the park.
My neighborhood has a round circle that we take walks on. Sometimes I take my water bottle and sit next to the tree....and I can climb the tree too.
Benefits of Learning Centers
As we have settled into our daily routines in Junior Kindergarten, the girls learning is in full force all around the room. Our classroom is set up in learning stations, or centers as we call them. In Early Childhood at Hutchison we embrace this style of learning as it allows the girls to maximize their experiences in the classroom.
During center time each day the girls will have choices they make about their learning journey each day. Our JK centers include Science,
Literacy (ABC), Math, Reading, Writing, and Art. These academic areas are always hands-on and independent so that the girls can complete the tasks without much assistance while interacting with their peers.
During center time, your daughter will also receive small group math and literacy instruction as well as project experiences.
At the beginning of each week, the centers will be modeled so that each girl understands her weekly academic responsibilities. During the course of the week, the girls may work at their own pace completing each center and even revisiting for further exploration or enrichment.
I love the Science Center best because I like looking at creepy things!
A couple weeks ago at church I heard something that really spoke to me. I keep thinking about the words I heard as we begin a new year of teaching and learning together. The message was all about the importance of positive relationships.
What spoke to me the most was how important it is to foster these relationships and love each other while we grow. I learned that we must love one another through
all the stages of life.
I found peace
in the idea that these stages can be happy, sad, challenging, silly, frustrating, and empowering...
but they are all part of the process of
When I look in the mirror...I see me! I am my own best friend. I like me.
I love my yellow hair that Jesus gave me. He used his magic to make it mine.
can be described as having a clear perception
of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them.
Self-awareness is critical during early childhood.
As we begin a new journey together in JK we began with a study of self. We explored similarities and
differences among our peers and began to understand that these similarities and differences make us who we are.
Self-portraits are a great way for our girls to explore the concept of self. A child's self-portrait can reveal many things. As with any drawing, it shows the development of fine motor,
observation and even focusing skills. It can also give insight into a child's self-concept. It's an easy way to form a connection and see where our girls are through their own eyes. We are able to think about how they perceive and represent themselves.
The following conversation was recorded as the girls looked closely at themselves in the mirror and asked the simple question...
"What do you see in the mirror?"
I see my circle face...and my yellow hair.
I see my eyes. They are so blue...
So are mine!! They are so blue. I can't even count how blue they are.
Look...we both have curly hair.
Wow! But I think mine is more curly than yours.
When I look in the mirror I see me! I have glitter on today.
After looking through mirrors closely at ourselves, we invited the girls to record their findings and discoveries using black pens. We talked about the idea of creating a portrait for others as a way to share our individuality.
To further our self-awareness study, we welcomed another art extension...loose parts. We were so excited about the opportunity to explore various materials. Working with loose parts opens many doors for our girls. First and most importantly it allows our girls the ability to explore creatively. Next it helps improve creative problem solving. When working with various materials the girls are able to use their imagination which is critical during the early childhood years. Thirdly, working with loose parts is extremely therapeutic and calming and allows the ability to manipulate small pieces freely.
Most importantly, working with loose parts builds a sense of accomplishment and great deal of pride. Working with various pieces provides an avenue to create and reflect.
I love my blue eyes. They are blue like a crystal!
I see my nose and my mouth. Look at my eyebrows...and the veins around my eyes. Veins have blood inside that runs everywhere in our bodies.
My name is Andi Rose Clothier. I love to play with my mom. We like to play Barbies together. I really like Stacy. I have two Stacy dolls. I love to go the zoo. The giraffes are my favorite animal because they are really tall! My favorite part of me is my smile because it makes people feel good.
My name is Brooke Elizabeth Roberson. I am a really good painter. I love to paint stripes. One time I even painted a unicorn. I used rainbow colors. My favorite color is golden yellow. I love it because it’s so shiny. I love to play soccer too. When I was four I scored a goal. I’m really fast when I play soccer. My favorite part of me is my hair because it’s golden yellow.
My name is Meredith Parker Sones. I love my family so much. Sometimes after church we go to eat lunch together. When we go I order a grapefruit sparkly drink. It tastes sparkly and it comes in a glass bottle. I have a Honey and a Chappy. One time we went bowling together. It was so much fun. I got a root beer. My favorite part of me is my brain because it makes me so smart.
My name is Lily Annette Moore. I love to play soccer. I’m getting better because I go to practice. Sometimes we get popsicles too. I also love to play tennis. I play at home sometimes with my mommy and daddy. My favorite part of me is that I never give up and I always work hard.
My name is Virginia Louise Wilson. Everybody calls me Gigi for short. I love to take trips. One time I went to Arizona…and Sea Island! I also have a sister that lives in New York City. I visited her one time. We went to the zoo in New York. It was so much fun. My favorite part of me are my eyes because they are blue like crystals.
My name is Isla Jane Campbell. My favorite food is chicken tenders and french fries. I like to go to Chick-fil-A. There is an inside playground and I always love to play in it. I go with my sister. Her name is Caroline. My favorite part of me is my brown hair because I can wear it straight.
My name is Greer Kennedy Griffin. My favorite place to visit is Montana. I have been there two times. One time it was winter and I got to go skiing! We went on a really high trampoline. The other time when we went it was summer. We went fishing and my brother went on a high climbing wall. My favorite part of me is my hair because it’s brown.
My name is Reid Katherine Dunavant. My favorite colors are pink, blue, and purple. I love to paint pictures. I like to have fun and go outside to play. My favorite thing to play is family. I like to be the mommy. My favorite part of me is my hands because they help me give hugs. I like giving hugs because I am a really good friend.
My name is Mary Ruth Crowley. People call me Ruthie and sometimes Ruth. I’m named after my mommy’s grandma. I am a big sister too. My sister’s names are Lila and Frannie. I always help them when I am at home. We like to play hide and seek together and also the sleeping bear game. My favorite part of me is my face because I love to wear crowns and earrings.
My name is Charlotte Ann Carlisle. I am a really good soccer player. I love playing on my team. I was the first girl to win a medal. It’s gold and it’s so pretty. I was so excited and full of joy when I got it. My favorite part of me is my heart because it’s so big and it makes me feel safe.
My name is Mary Frazier. I love playing with blocks because I am a good builder. One time I even built the Eiffel Tower. I also love to read books. My favorite book is Pinkalicious. My mommy and daddy read to me before bed, and they always give me a kiss. My favorite part of me is my mouth because I love to give my mommy kisses.
My name is Annie Elizabeth Covington. I love to listen to stories. I’m interested in books…all of them! Lots of books. I really hope I learn to read in JK. I’m also a really fast runner and my favorite game is baby tiger. I love playing it because I can run away from my friends and they can run away from me. We chase each other, and it’s so much fun. My favorite part of me is my legs because they help me run fast!
I am a really good sister. They are my very best friends. I always help them so that they will be happy.
Our names shape and define who we are. From the time we were born we learn to identify with our name. It is important and valuable and makes us feel special. In junior kindergarten we took the opportunity to study our individual and unique names. We noticed that all our names are different and many even have stories behind them.
My name has 4 letters.
Mine has 9.
Whoa! That’s REALLY long. It’s longer than mine.
I have 2 names. But they both have 4 letters.
That means you have 8 letters because when you put 4 and 4 together you get 8.
Well….let me count mine. I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….I have 6 letters!
So my name has 2 more letters than yours.
Look at our names!
They both end with the same letter…
Yeah! But they begin with different letters.
I wonder who has the longest name in our room?
It’s Charlotte!!! She has 9.
It must take her a long time to write her name!
I love my name because I
can say it and I can write it...and that makes me happy!
Beginning With Books...
Our study of names continued throughout all areas of our room this week. As we studied our names, we began building a stronger community. The girls began to learn more and more about each other. It was interesting how respectful and attentive they were when listening to each other share their name stories.
I was named after a lady named Catherine Parker. She was born a really long time ago like in the 1700's...
We used stories, center time, and projects to build conversation and look closely at our names. In the ABC and Reading Center, the girls explored name puzzles as they put their names together and then tried putting together their friends names. Using play-dough and letter stamps, the girls stamped their names to strengthen fine motor and build awareness. In the Art Center the girls explored their creativity as they identified their name and then used water color to paint.
During small group time, we explored the length of our names as we counted the letters to determine longer and shorter names in our classroom. We also discovered that the first letter in our name is capitalized but the rest of the letters are lowercase. The girls created beautiful name pieces in a three step art process where we first practiced tracing our names, then used paint to create, and lastly added tissue for a collage effect.
To reinforce literacy in a different way, we challenged each girl to create a newspaper/magazine name. By searching for text in various types of print, the girls built their names one letter at a time.
During our name study we grew these skills: