We were learning about community and home, and wanted to reinforce the learning of the children’s home addresses. First, we set up a center with house numbers written on index cards and invited the children to match their house number with different number sets (wooden numbers, pips on stones, and dice).
Take a moment to add the pips below to see what the children did. The thinking here went beyond our expectations.
Next we sorted the children by their towns and created roads to each. Taking it a step further to tie in community learning, we asked how we could connect the roads to lead to each other and our school — even though we are all in different towns. I created one road* to the preschool and used the blocks to represent the preschool building.
We also sorted our colorful glass beads. Each of the four towns had its own color. From there, the children had to work together to figure out how they could make roads leading to each town and the preschool.
All the roads needed to connect. For some, it wasn’t easy to spread out their beads to connect with others.
There was so much collaboration going on. This is where the teachers had to pause and listen to the conversations and allow the children to figure it out — and they did. Each “town” had a limited amount of beads they could use. The children had to understand that if they placed the beads close together they would not reach the main road. They learned to share their beads to be connected and be a part of the community. It was so awesome to watch this develop and see how they mapped our preschool community.
We then invited to children to extend the learning at a center with loose parts, play-doh and clip boards.
The next day, I showed the children a letter I received at the preschool. The timing could not have been more perfect; one child noticed our mail carrier showed up in his mail truck to deliver the mail to the school. We quickly ran outside and asked him to tell us about his job. All the children wanted to know if he delivered mail to their house. He explained to them about zip codes and showed them the numbers and towns on the letters. We peeked inside his truck saw all the letters he had to deliver. Knowing he had to get on his way, we thanked him and said good-bye.
That afternoon, I inquired about the whereabouts of our school mailbox. We went on a search.
After looking everywhere, we finally found it nestled between the bushes! We also found mail in it and learned why the red flag was up rather than down.
We even went for a walk in our community neighborhood to search for mailboxes and house numbers.
We found mailboxes and numbers of all sizes in our neighborhood. It really was an incredible week that incorporated so much rich learning. I am always amazed how the children can lead us in their learning through our emergent curriculum.
*I want to give a big thank you to Ann Scaly (@anntom200), Laurel Fynes (@kinderfynes), Helen Chapman (@playing_in_k) and Julie May (@MissJules1010) for gifting our class those beautiful “loose parts”.