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Enter Gambia, with a Rawr!

This month at Rock and Roll Daycare, we wrapped up our USA cultural unit and began studying Gambia. Families attended international nights and children began engineering in many different ways across the board!

Infants

The babies enjoyed themselves the most throughout with paintings, handprint fireworks, shaving cream and water play. Infants need a sensorial outlet, and what better way than to immerse themselves in these mediums! Even though it is way too early to be learning about numbers, simply being exposed to numbers through the environment around them helps in early recognition, which is what the infants did.

Using USA colors to paint!

Toddlers

In some toddler classrooms, children are learning about Dinosaurs alongside Gambia. Children had a wonderful discussion about Gambia and where it is located in the world, they identified Africa using the classroom globe ball.  The teachers also worked on color Identification with the children, while painting the flag.

Looking at a world map to show Africa and where Gambia specifically is, in a toddler 2 classroom.

Miss Alice, one of our music teachers, introduced a drum called the Katoro Drum.  This is an African drum that has a deep sounding tone! The children all took turns drumming, feeling the top, and holding the drum in their arms. Having visuals and concrete materials while learning about a topic helps a child build connections in their mind with  what they already know; making a culture more familiar and less foreign. Learning which takes place through all 5 senses helps absorb even more information! 

 

Children also learned about dinosaurs and had many questions; how big were they? what do they eat and who works and learns about them everyday?

Dinosaur puzzle, connecting pieces gives children and teachers the opportunity to talk about different parts of the bodies!

 

Giving children a clear visual and a chance to physically interact with the material can clarify so many bizarre concepts for them, they are literally putting themselves in the dinosaurs shoes!

 

The toddler teachers created a simple rhyme using the dinosaur theme to use for morning circle!

Preschool

In Preschool children wrapped up the USA cultural unit by visiting the USS constitution in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston making dream catchers and singing their hearts out at International Night where they also enjoyed a Puppet show.

In the USS constitution Museum, learning how the ship was built.

Watching the puppet show, East Cambridge

Enjoying international night at RRDC Prospect st.

Children also created Dreamcatchers, based on the USA theme while reading the book Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher by Becky Ray Mccain. Children had to string yarn, through holes and also decorate their work which helped strengthen fine motor skills. Children made family portraits in circle together, and talked about their pictures. They are working hard on their artwork for the end of year Art exhibition!

Making family portraits together, while talking about their families!

Its important to have a backup plan for a rainy day! Not being able to get physical activity or be outdoors and simply play can lead to changes in energy levels in the classroom, we try to avoid this as much as possible. Teachers created an exciting obstacle course for children to get the gross motor activity they need.

RRDC uses Music and Movement in all aspects of the children’s day. Children first learn to be safe, and when its movement time they move about the classroom differently!

As children start to learn about the new cultural unit, Gambia they looked at some robotics as Gambia just entered a robotics competition as part of their STEM challenge campaign to move Africa forward. Students enjoyed learning about the process, creating their own blueprints and models for individual “robots”

As part of the engineering unit, children continued working on the Marble run, and really took it to the next level. The run now has two tunnels, a secret passageway and a landing is being constructed!

This collaborative effort helps children learn about team building; how to bounce off of others ideas and when to give up your own ideas too.

Children used a sticks and wheels work to build complex structures and tried to make them move!

Teachers introduced a sticks and clothes pins work. Children try to connect these materials, while balancing them on top of each other and attempt to build a tower!

Additionally, they learned about the many different cultures in Africa by making their own ‘Kente’ cloth and masks after doing research on significance, purpose, and how each affects their community and concluded with a Venn diagram. 

They have been extra interested in science recently and went on a field trip to a “Brain Circus”. There were demonstrations followed by a “science magic”, as preschool likes to call it, workshop! Students were able to try the different activities they learned about and watched while having teacher extended discussions based on the performance.

Enjoying the workshop

Children at the field trip, Getting to use the materials!

 

 

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