At The Gan we entice the children with engaging, imaginative activities, art and play.
To learn the life cycle of the butterfly, we acted it out:
egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly.
Lochlan: Ok Miles I was the caterpillar now I have to be in my chrysalis.
To help us learn our letters and sounds, we play games with flying butterflies.
We enhanced our sense of wonder as we took a closer look at butterflies.
Morah Katie: What do you see on the butterfly wings?
Lochlan: They both have blue.
Matan: They look the same. They match each other.
Lochlan: But butterflies can't fly backward like dragonflies.
We used that knowledge to make our own butterflies.
Mason: Now the wings close.
Lakshmi: It's the same on both sides!
We used our imaginations to become butterflies so we could better understand how they use their proboscis', their long coiled straw like tongue.
Butterflies use their proboscis' to sip nectar from flowers.
Throughout the week we observe and ask a lot of questions. These are the primary ways we discover what our friends know and comprehend.
How we respond to inaccurate answers that provides the child with the correct information, yet doesn't trample his budding spirit, is important.
Morah: How many legs does an insect have?
Morah: Let's think about the honey bee, it had 6 legs. Is it an insect?
Child: It is.
Morah: How about a dragonfly? It had 6 legs.
Child: But it flies better then it walks.
Morah: TRUE! It still has 6 legs. And fireflies, they have 6 legs. Are they insects?
Child: Yes and they light up in their special abdomen.
Morah: They are all insects with 6 legs. Butterflies are insects. How many legs do you think a butterfly has?
Morah: I agree with you.
It is easy to say, "No a butterfly has 6 legs". It is quicker to just give the correct answer.
So much understanding between a child and teacher can be lost when we do not take the added time to have a conversation.
Having had this conversation, I now know that this child remembers the dragonfly is a poor walker, and the firefly has a special organ in its abdomen that lights up. He just doesn't remember, or retain, that insects have 6 legs.
More importantly if I had simply said NO and corrected him and moved on, perhaps I could have cost this child some self esteem. There could have been a chance this child was guessing, worried he would fail. If that was the case and I said, "wrong!" why should he take a risk next time?
I am taking full advantage of this absorbent mind. I am giving the child information that he may remember when he comes across it again in elementary or middle school. I do it because it never fails to impress me what a child will share with me.
Morah Katie: What have we learned about butterflies?
Miles: They have 3 sets of arms.
Morah Katie: (pause) They do have 3 sets of arms, or we could say 6 legs. I like how you described that fact Miles.
Jade: And honey bees have proboscis' too. They carry nectar in it back to the hive from the flower to make the honey with.
Morah Katie: Yes Jade, they do. I am so excited and impressed you remembered that fact. Honey bees were the first insect we studied.
It is a joy to see the pride on their faces when they reveal their knowledge and capabilities.
Jade uses her name card as a guide to practice writing it herself.
On this day, after each letter she said: I did it! For real! I did it!
Aura counted the red and blue rods to place them in order form 10-1 to make the maze,
something she had seen Olivia build 2 months ago.
Olivia completed her hundred board.
These accomplishments were in between playing, helping and sharing.