As we finish up the unit on polymers there are two important points to remember.
- Polymers are a result of long chains of patterns.
- Polymers consist of two states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, or plasma).
The students have discovered that the patterns are all around the classroom. They are not limited to beads or shapes or even colors.
Understanding how this is important to polymers may be a concept they do not totally grasp, but exposure to the science will be helpful later in life. Allowing them to explore with color and light will give their minds two more ways to remember the experience.
At the Light Table are bottles with flower beads that we watched grow. Food coloring was added to the water to see if the beads would change (drain the water and seal lids with tape). Translucent papers reflect even more colors and we recorded what the students observed.
The light table was another area for children to use their imagination while counting and testing their manipulative skills this month. Small laminated bats could be placed in the tree or fly around the moon. Bats, moon and background are made out of tissue paper. This allows the light to shine through for a night time effect. Tree branches are fashioned from brown masking tape for the bats to hang on.
While some children recited “Five Black Bats”, others talked about bats being nocturnal and looking for bugs in the dark. A good opportunity for dictation that could lead to a journal activity.
The light table’s theme has changed this month to help the students imagine where an earthworm goes underground. I used construction paper and yarn to create an underground view of a worm’s world. The worms are made from heavy yarn. Dip the ends in white glue and allow to dry to keep them from unraveling.
This will lead to another chance to talk to a student and take dictation about thoughts on what a worm does while underground.
Summer is winding down and the new school year is about to start. My classroom runs year round for children ages 2½ to 5. VPK students have already said their goodbyes and are busy getting ready for Kindergarten. That leaves a short time in August to tackle the final theme… The Final Frontier… Space! Each year I add to and subtract from this theme. There are many ways to approach Space. Planets, star gazing, astronauts, constellations, and rockets are a few of the subjects that seem to be of great interest to preschoolers.
The light table in my room has been transformed into a Planetarium. I covered a piece of tissue paper with contact paper (best done alone in a very quiet space). This made the tissue paper durable, but still translucent. It was well worth the struggle. After punching a few holes in the paper, I added some window clings that are space themed (planets, stars and rockets). The students arrange the objects on the table. This is a good activity for dictation. Interview the child working at the light table and ask why the pieces are arranged the way they are.