It’s Teacher Feature Thursday!
This week we are featuring Camille Frere. Her classroom was exploring the alphabet and spent the day learning about the letter R. The children in her class are almost all 3 years old and beginning to show great interest in their names and recognizing letters. Based on this interest, the teachers decided to guide their exploration with the alphabet, spending a day or two exploring a topic based on the first letter of the word. Providing children with the opportunity to build early literacy skills by exposing them to words and letters through books, songs, language, and storytelling is extremely important in their development. While there is no expectation that the children will be reading or writing at this point it is important to expose them to letters in a way that provides them with multiple examples of the same concept, especially as they continue to show interest. Below you will find a reflection from Camille and images from her lesson on the letter “r”.
What were your topics of exploration?
The overarching theme was the alphabet. The day of the lesson, our class was studying and exploring the letter “R”. We looked at Rain and Rainbows to build connections between letters and concepts.
What were your learning objectives? (What did you want your children to take away from the lesson?)
The basic goal was to familiarize the class with the letter “R” and offer them some words and concepts that begin with the letter so that they might recognize it in the future. Since we had been having an unusually rainy week, I thought it would be interesting to have penguins create a rain mural with tissue paper. I also wanted to explore rainbows and the different way they can be created. Since there was no chance of see a rainbow outside, we took the class to the gem hall to see some indoor “rainbows”.
What was most successful about your lesson?
I think the most successful part of the lesson was watching the kids having fun throwing tissue paper “rain” onto the mural. It was also extremely delightful to watch the class excitedly point out rainbows throughout the museum.
What could you have done differently? What recommendations would you have for another teacher trying out this lesson?
It was a busy and rainy day at SEEC. While our trip was delayed by circumstances out of my control, I believe I could have been more prepared more for the unexpected. I also would have liked to have the class create their own rainbow mural to accompany the rain collage that they made. I would recommend that a teacher create some of the materials ahead of time (pre-draw clouds and set out appropriate paints to make a smooth transition into the next art project). It also might have been a good idea to make real “rain” from colored water and have the children use this to make their mural.
Here are a few images from their unit on rainbows:
Camille began by reading the group A is for Artist by Ella Doran. The class had been reading it throughout the unit so they were able to help identify the images on the page and even remember which letter they started with. When they reached “r” Camille pointed out all the different words that start with “r” on the page.
Camille explained that today they were going to focus on rain and rainbows. She had prepared a simple cloud illustration with the word rain. Camille put small pieces of tissue paper in the cloud to show how the moisture collects and when it gets very heavy it will start to rain.
Camille then spread liquid glue onto the paper and invited the friends to come up one at a time and spread the rain out below the cloud.
Since it was a rainy day the group stayed in the National Museum of Natural History in the Gem and Mineral Hall and hunted for rainbows. They spotted one created by light passing through a prism. The group talked about the different colors in a rainbow and the ones they saw on the wall.
The children also discovered the rainbow colors on a map!
This class had a wonderful time learning about rainbows! Be sure to check back for our Teacher Feature next week!