Sunday, January 25, 2015

Doctor's Office - Dramatic Play

We always have fun at the Dramatic Centre!
This centre starts off at the beginning of each school year as a "house centre" - I have real pots and pans, ceramic plates and bowls from Ikea, stainless steel cutlery, an old phone and many more items you would find in your own home!
As the school year progresses, however, the students often want to change this centre into a variety of things.
We have already had a Witches' Brew Centre and Santa's Workshop this year.
Last year, we turned it into Post Office, Grocery Store, Pizzeria and even an Ice Cream Parlour!
So last week there was a lot of buzz around students going to the doctor for a checkup (or being sick during the Winter Break!) that the children wanted to turn this centre into a Doctor's Office.
We started by examining and sorting out all of the medical supplies a doctor and nurse might need.
We discussed the role of a Pharmacist - and had a variety of 'medicine' at the pharmacy.
We left out a few books about visiting a doctor.
We are fortunate to have a day care centre attached to our school.  We asked the day care if we could borrow a cot and the children thought it would be a great idea to place tissue paper on top, just like in a real doctor's office.
I find that sometimes the students need a little more structure when it comes time to assume roles - everyone always wants to be the doctor and we never have enough patients!  So by choosing a name badge, students take turns playing different parts.
Here is the Reception Area - one student is the receptionist.  Patients must sign in first and then wait in the waiting room.  The receptionist also takes calls over the phone to book appointments.
We used different corners of the Dramatic Centre as exam rooms.  Here, the patients can get their eyes checked.  We also had this medical cart where the doctor and nurse can place all of their tools they need.
I printed in colour and laminated the Patient Medical Records so we could easily wipe them clean (and save paper!).  They are stored in this box for the doctors and nurses.  The receptionist hands these to them as a patient arrives.T
A few students created a large x-ray machine using an old box.  We found and printed x-ray photos online and glued them to the sides.  There are 2 openings on either end ... and of course we had to create x-rays themselves!
These were very easy to make!  I printed the x-ray photos we found online and the students labelled each one.  Then I photocopied them onto transparencies - I love that the students learned many parts of the body by having the pictures labelled!  Some students brought these x-rays to the light table to have a closer look!

Here are the students playing at the Doctor's Office.
You can find all of the above....and SO MUCH my Hospital/Doctor's Office Dramatic Play Centre
Or you can purchase all of the Dramatic Play Centres in The Complete Set BUNDLE which is discounted at 20% if you were to purchase each one individually.
(Note:  I am continuously updating this bundle and adding more!  You will receive all of the new centres for FREE by re-downloading it.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our Wonders About Snow

I can't believe how fast the first couple of weeks in January went by!  The students came back after the Winter Break refreshed and energized (so did I!).  But the weather was so COLD!
We experienced indoor recess nearly every day for 2 weeks!
This sparked the students to wonder why snow falls, what snow is made of, why the weather can be so cold and many more questions!  We wrote them on a chart so that we could research together.
I decided the next day to put some small trinkets into the ice cube trays before freezing them.  The students loved watching the ice melt throughout the day and even tried to find ways to make it melt faster to see what was inside!

S.Q.:  If you hold the ice cube in your hand, it will melt faster because your hand is hot.
My E.A. (Mrs. Chiovitti) and I wanted to show the children how quickly hot water freezes in below zero temperature so on the coldest day (it was about -30 Celcius with the windshield) the two of us went outside while Mrs. Petrone (my DECE) stayed inside our warm classroom and documented student learning.
Please excuse the quality of this photo.  Our windows have protective screens and this was the best picture we could get!  This demonstration was much better live!
The students couldn't believe how quickly the boiling water, when thrown into the air, turned to a white powder.
So since the students couldn't go outside to play with the snow, we decided to bring the snow inside!
It was cold!!!
So many decided to play with it using their mittens.
We saw a bird out our Wonder Window and some of the students were wondering why the bird "didn't fly south". 
(I wish I had taken a picture in time!)
After discussing a new word, "migrate", we read a story a student brought to school, Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick.
It's a beautiful story about a snowman alone in the woods with various pieces of food on him.  Animals wonder who he could be and where he came from.
I love all of the amazing photos!
The children quickly saw a connection between the bird out our window and a cardinal in the story.  They wanted to research more about birds that migrate and winter animals.
My colleague, Ms. Cerbino, showed me a provocation she left for her students all about arctic animals and sugar cubes, so I decided to do the same.
The students have been using the plastic animals to role play and build interesting structures using the sugar cubes.
A few boys decided to take pictures of each animal and compile them into a book about arctic animals.
Some girls even put on a play using the pieces!
Of course my Senior Kindergarten students remembered the poem "The Five Little Snowmen" that we acted out numerous times last year so we had to show our Junior Kindergarten friends one of our favourite poems.
You can download the poem and hat props for free by clicking here.

For the past few days, Mrs. Petrone noticed that the students have taken an interest in snowflakes, drawing them and creating them using natural materials on our light table, so she wanted to try an experiment using Borax.
We left these snowflakes overnight and can't wait to see what happens to them in the morning!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

3, 2, 1....Happy New Year SALE!

There's nothing better than saying goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015 with a big sale!
I've marked down my entire TpT store - 20% off!
(Thank you to Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten for creating the cute button!)
If you are looking for some quick and ready-to-use activities for your first week back at school in January, here are some to check out:

Here's a fun and interactive reader all about the winter!
It comes with a teacher big book (for a shared reading) and a blackline master you can photocopy for your students to use!

My Winter Wonderland unit was on the bestsellers list!
Here's another fun unit all about snowmen!
Don't forget to download my FREEBIE!  It's a fun and interactive dramatic poem about the 5 little snowmen!
And my teaching partner, Ann-Marie Parisi, and I just uploaded our 2 new Take Me Home Packs...perfect for those students who need a little extra practice at home with concepts taught in class.

I'm off to start planning for tonight...I'm hosting here at my house and have to start decorating!
(And cooking!)

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy, healthy 2015!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Christmas Capsules

When I went to Dollarama a few weeks back, I found a package of small capsules that expand into various foam Christmas items (such as reindeer, ornaments, stocking, etc.) once you apply warm water.
I thought that the students would really enjoy guessing what they could be, as well as watching the capsules grow, so I brought the pack into our classroom and set it up as a provocation at our Discovery Centre.

I added a paper with a clipboard to each capsule in the jar, entitled "What can it be?" for the students to record their predictions.
The students were so intrigued at this centre!
They began using magnifying glasses and examining the capsules in more detail.
They guessed what they could be and also how long the water would take to dissolve them.
One student had done an activity like this last Easter at home, and shared what he discovered, so he told the students how adding warm water would "melt" the capsule.

Many of the students spent a large part of the day making predictions and recording them on the papers.
We added warm water that afternoon and waited...and waited...and waited...
And then something started to happen....
One of the capsules started to come undone and reveal what was inside!

This was a wonderful activity (and so easy to prepare!) that had many of my students intrigued throughout the entire day!
I loved how the students were making predictions, discussing what or what not it might turn into, and how they all needed to be patient (which they were!) while we waited for our capsules to turn into Christmas items.