Thursday, June 23, 2016

Washed In The Water

We had a special water play day to practice all the things we learned that we could wash in with water. There's a spacious patio/balcony on the 2nd floor of the school, on the backside of the building that has a rarely used little tykes playhouse and slide. I thought it would be a fun new environment to experience water play without the hassle of having to clean up puddles. 

I set up 3 stations: 1 for washing dishes, 1 for a car wash, and 1 for washing doll clothes. Dish soap was added for the desired amount of bubbles, and then they got to work! I especially loved the creativity they displayed in building a car wash with waffle blocks so that it wouldn't collapse. 

The clothes washing station was so much fun. It reminded me of washing my clothes by hand in Haiti. I loved seeing them work together, transfer the clothes to different containers for better "squish", and surprisingly enough, the clothes actually did get clean! 

The dish washing station morphed into a kitchen/picnic area where the kids pretended to make food, serve it at a picnic, then wash the dirty dishes after they finished "eating". 

After lunch, we played the spin and say game with body parts. I made up a little rhyme: "rub a dub dub, wash your ___________ in the tub!" And they had to fill in the blank with whatever body part they landed on. By the end of the game we had squeaky clean knees and shoulders! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Marvelous, Marvelous "V"

OK, so technically "V" is not a focus letter for this month's MGT theme. Those would be A, D, and U. However, the vocabulary used in many different activities lends itself to lots of practice of the /v/ sound. I really noticed this because typically /v/ is later acquired speech sound (around 6 years old), but for my younger 2nd language learners, this sound does not exist at all in Japanese.

We first encountered the /v/ sound in our Truth Tunes song, "Marvelous" from Job 9:10,"He does great things too marvelous to understand." They were initially very enthusiastically singing about the "Mable-ous" things that God does! This one has by far been the most requested song on the Truth Tunes CD to date.

When we got to Beaver Day, that's when the /v/ fun really began. We practiced teeth and lip placement for /v/ in isolation, then everyone practice saying "river" and "beaver".


It was quite comical to listen to their very earnest attempts to get it right. But they FINALLY got it. The storybook for this month, entitled "Rowing Down The River", features a little girl in a canoe, who invites a variety of river animals to join her on the trip down the river. Each time, they repeat the line,"Move, over!"  The repetition gave my students lots opportunities to hear and practice saying the /v/ sound in several different words.

I still hear frequent developmental substitutions, but I'm pretty proud of their attempts at correct articulation. They definitely rose to the challenge!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wonderful Waterfalls

Waterfall day was great! It was filled with creative arts activities and pretend play. The MGT craft was super simple, a ribbon wand, and the kids used them right away. Because they didn't take long to make, I had them come to the art table as soon as they arrived, so once finished, they could be used during praise & worship time. I taped together some colored popsicle sticks with blue streamer on the end for the kindergarten kids so everyone would have something to twirl.

I made a playlist of "river songs" for praise and worship, so on waterfall day, instead of gathering on the carpet, I split the kids up by class, and we "danced" along the riverbank, and into the blue "river" in the middle of the room. I even had one student use his ribbon wand to pretend to catch a fish in the river.

I found two really great YouTube videos about waterfalls that we watched. The first one was "Just Around the Riverbend"  from the Disney movie, Pocahontas. It features a river, waterfalls, otters, fish, and a beaver.

The second video was about spectacular waterfalls around the world. At the end of the video, the credits show in what country each waterfall is located. We checked our Global Friends world map to find the general location of each waterfall. I was impressed that Ruby Falls, in my home state of Tennessee, made the list!

We talked about other closer places that they may have seen a waterfall, and reminisced about our field trip last year to Minoh Park, one of Japan's oldest national parks, which has a beautiful waterfall between two mountains.

For dramatic play, we used striped floor mats to create a waterfall over the table, while the rainbow rugs made "dancing" rainbows, and river creatures "swam" through the water fall.

It was wonderful way to learn about waterfalls!