Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pancakes and Pretzels...

Looking at this week:
As we spend another week looking at books by Eric Carle, we focused this week on food. We had three books that led us to this topic and the children really enjoyed listening to each of the books and using them within the classroom. The first book read was "Walter the Baker." The children had the chance to make pretzels on Monday. This was what Walter came up with in his story to solve the riddle he was given. It sounds like they really enjoyed doing this activity with Morah Tzivie! While we stayed focused on pretzels on Tuesday we also introduced the foods and the weekdays as mentioned in the book, "Today is Monday." The children enjoyed spending some time in the different centers with these two books as their main focus. In writing we came up with foods that start with the same letter as each day of the week. The children helped me spell the words and then they added them to a calendar. We also used these same words to make a plate of each item and they will be on display in the room soon! There was also a picture and days of the week match game set up so the children could find the day of the week and the food picture to match what they read in the book, "Today in Monday." Some of the children enjoyed dressing up like Walter with a bakers hat and an apron. Then they played in the home living area, pretending to make baked goods. On Tuesday the children were able to go over to the art area and make yarn pretzels. On Wednesday the children were introduced to Eric Carle's book, "Pancakes, Pancakes!" They went into the block area and built pancakes (or pretzels, ovens or anything else to do with baking). Also we added playdough play where they could make pancakes and pretzels. Some children chose to go back to the art area where they traced circles, cut them out and then added color to them to make toppings on their "pancakes." Although at first there was only blue paper out to make little circles for blueberry pancakes, Levi told me he was going to make strawberry pancakes and went to get the red paper! On Thursday the children enjoyed making real pancakes! We mixed the ingredients, talked about how they matched the ingredients in the book and then also had the opportunity to enjoy eating them! This week we had a great time taking a small taste of food with Eric Carle books!
Listening In:
This week was the first time many of the children saw the new crystal "chandelier" that we made and hung in the home living area. It was fun to listen to the children as they "caught" the rainbows that floated across the area. It was nice to see the sun and watch the children interact with the display!
The other really nice thing to listen to was all the excitement over the children being able to sit in the classroom and read the Eric Carle books that I set out in a basket! I added a chair from the library and shortly after that we had to bring out the other two library chairs so more children could go over and read! Some children even chose to read the books during our center activity time!
Looking ahead:
Although we have already visited the themes of weather and trees and flowers, we are going to revisit them with the main idea of nature. We are using two of Eric Carle's books to lead us into some activities that have to do with nature. We will be taking an up close look as to how seeds root, we will be painting on tissue paper and then turning the tissue paper into flowers (making them look like something that Eric Carle may make) as well as hopefully getting a chance to go outside and look at the clouds in the sky to see what shapes we find! Let's just hope the weather allows this last activity! So while we spend more time with Eric Carle and his ideas we will be enjoying some more investigation into nature!

Dressed and ready to bake!
Taking some time to read on her own
Building a pancake
Cutting out pancakes
Playdough pancakes and pretzels
Adding the ingredients to make pancakes
Watching the pancakes cook
Enjoying the pancakes when they were done!

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