Sunday, December 9, 2012

Connections

We are all connected. Although this can be a difficult concept for preschoolers to understand, we still enjoy spending much of our time at TPH exploring identity and our connections to other identities near and far. One of the ways we do this is by our constant interest and exploration of maps at the Preschool House. We look at where we are on the map and where we travel to on the map. We also often look at where Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is to see how far our package traveled to get to us and to remind us that we are still connected to people across the world. With all of the traveling the preschoolers do, we wanted to have a way to highlight these travels and share them with everyone at the school.











When I got back from my trip to New Mexico, I brought a few items back with me. During group I talked about the items and why I brought them back. I wanted to share a piece of my travels with the preschoolers through talking about them, and also be reminded about all of the adventures I had by leaving these items out on the construction shelf for everyone to explore. These items became the start of an artifact area, where preschoolers added items from their family trips and we got to experience a bit of these trips through the items.


AK went on a trip and brought back something he found. Here is what he told us:
     Briana: "AK, you just went on a trip."
     AK: "I found a sand dollar."
     Briana: "Why did you decide to bring it?"
     AK: "Because it's really special."
     Briana: "Anything else you want to tell us?"
     AK: "About the jellyfish."
     Briana: "Where did you find them?"
     AK: "The beach."
     Briana: "Anything else you want to add?"
     AK: "How about... shells."
This was a short story that evolved from one question and AK's sand dollar that he brought to share with the school.


SM also went on a trip over the same weekend. Here is his story about it:
      Briana: "SM, where did you go?"
      SM: "I found a stick in the river and I didn't bring anything to school."
     Briana: "Yeah, we forgot to bring it."
     After discovering that SM and his  family went to a river:
     Briana: "Where was the river?"
     SM: "We don't have the stick."
     Briana: "Who did we visit?"
     SM: "Grandma and grandpa."

SM talked about what he remembered from his trip. He was reconnecting with the people he saw and the things that he did on his trip. He was also connecting with the rest of us, telling us something new about his experiences.

Over the next couple of weeks, MR and IR brought bones they found on their trip, SC brought a rock from her vacation and EB and TB brought a bracelet back from New York. Each story was different and each adventure was just as special and personal as the other. We got to share in a part of each of these trips and each of the connections that were made.
Not only are connections being made with the preschoolers' travels, but also with explorations done throughout our days in the classroom. We have story workshop, which the preschoolers continuously expand on as they tell of their wondrous travels. We have also been exploring community and when we travel, we get to experience other cultures and explore how other people and/or animals live. We build connections with these other people and places, which can often become a group of communities. We relish in similarities and differences and look forward to the next time a new connection can be made and an old connection can be explored again.


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