In the Classroom: The Peanuts
July 14, 2015
Moving the Peanuts Towards Water and Sky
In the Peanut classroom our teaching team is focued on what we know the Peanuts themselves are excited about and ready to learn. But, how do we balance what the Peanuts are interested in with what we know they need to be learning through play?
The most important—and seemingly obvious— way we know where to lead the children’s focus is by playing pretend, listening carefully, and by having conversations with them. By taking cues from every day play and interactions we encourage further interest and curiosity – with related picture books, objects/artifacts, songs, games, discussions, adventures, and invitations to play and explore. The Peanuts then become more curious, which we document and encourage with our daily questions at sign-in, bulletin boards, art displays, pictures with quotes, and more!
The past few weeks the Peanuts curiosity about heroes (whom we discovered exist both for real and in pretend play!) has been encouraged towards a broader focus. While discovering that heroes have many special powers, we observed that being able to fly and being able to thrive under water came to the forefront. At noticing this, our teaching team was quick to introduce books such as Swimmy by Leo Lionni, Wave by Suzie Lee, Tar Beach by Faith Ringold, and Hedgy blasts off by Jan Brett.
We began putting lots of blue paint out with paper, blue paper of all hues with scissors, and asking Peanuts if different animals can swim or fly. Lo and behold, the Peanuts began identifying things that they know fly like planes and helicopters, and water animals they are interested in such as sharks and beavers.
Then, to really set things in motion, we asked each Peanut what they know about water and the sky, writing their quotes to post on our hallway bulletin board as well as on a page in each Peanut’s journal with an illustration.
We are embarking on exploring a great many things. As we grow and learn we will compare what we learn to what we knew at the beginning of the focus. Come on up to our hallway and classroom over the next several weeks to see where the Peanuts are steering this fun summer study!