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Me and my Family

Me and my Family

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's in the Bag?

      Every weekday after breakfast and a brief stint at free play, I do circle time with my daycare kids. I am always trying to think of new things to do with them at circle time to engage them in quality learning that will stick with them.  Although I do have a music education degree, I do not have an early childhood certification. Thus, anything I do now has all come to fruition through trial and error.

     I am always picking my friends and family's brains for ideas that might work with the kids that I have and their very short attention spans. Just the other day, one of my friends shared an idea with me that I thought was awesome. Her child got to bring home a bucket and fill the bucket with things that start with their letter for that week. Brilliant! Why hadn't I thought of that? I have long been doing the letter of the week, but I needed to spice up my technique and THIS is just the thing to help me with that. With Monday being the a holiday, I did not have the opportunity to send my adaption of the bucket (which is just a tote bag) home with any of the children. So, I came up with the game for today called "What's in the bag?"
  I found enough old plastic grocery bags for each child to have one. After I had shown them our new letter of the week (which was the letter B),  and talked to them about the sound of the letter, I handed them their bag. One at a time I had them pull out what was inside. Bells found a block in her bag, K. found a basket, and Ruby found a book. We reinforced the beginning sound of each item after we had learned what it was. The kids loved the game!
     We continued circle time by reading the books Bears on Wheels (which I will place in my favorite things store). We noticed that the word bear is a B word. Bears on Wheels is an excellent book for practicing counting, so I made sure to jump on that opportunity. It can get really long if you count every page, so I only counted the pages with high numbers of bears on wheels. My kids tend to get wiggly if a book takes to long.
    Next, we sang "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee". Did you expect anything else? I'm a music teacher! Plus, Look at all those B words. I learned that Bells LOVES this song. She does seem to get stuck on the "Ouch!" part, but I helped her through that. The kids enjoyed buzzing and "catching" their bumble bee's and pretending to get stung. They enjoyed the song so much we did it a few times.
     Finally, we reinforced the letter B by coloring a bear. We talked about the different colors that we each chose to use. I always make sure to color with the children so that they see a good example of how to take your time and try to color carefully. I have really noticed a difference with Ruby's coloring since I joined the coloring table. Plus, its fun for me to get in on the conversations that they have with each other. They are so cute with all of the complements they give each other! "Wow!" "Awesome!" "I see that red!"

     The kids had such a great time with "What's in the bag?". I think I will make it a regular in our circle time. However, next time I think I will use paper lunch bags instead. The plastic bags where a bit see-through. Also, I think I will let them shake the bag, smell it, feel inside, and try to guess what it is before we look at the item. That would be a great opportunity to mention the 5 senses!
     I would love to hear your thoughts on the "What's in the bag? game. Let me know if you try it with your children and how they liked or didn't like it. Also, please feel free to share any circle time activities your children have done at daycare or with you. I would love to test them out on my 3 darlings!


Anonymous said...

I see from the pictures that you have added a doll baby to your group. She or he may have trouble grasping the concepts.

Jessica said...

LOL! Yes, Bells and Ruby decided the dolls needed to be added to circle time today. She was very quite, but sat and listened nicely. I am not sure she will retain much, but I give her an "A" for effort!

Holly said...

OK..I want to play...but I want one of those black plastic bags that comes from the ABC store. See...ABC....just let me know when the letter for the day is "V" as in Vodk....well you get the it. Keep up the good work.

Jessica said...

Maybe we can play our own adult version of what's in the bag some evening!

Jessica Sanchez Tucker said...

Dr. Jean has a great song for your Whats in the bag. Actually, any of her CDs are FANTASTIC! Music With Mar will take ya far as well! Enjoy!