When I first read this assignment, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I remembered back to when my children were in preschool, which was sixteen and eighteen years ago, and was struck by the realization that I couldn’t recall them learning kinesthetically. It seemed to me that the only time I really saw them moving was during designated play time.
I was very pleased when I walked into my church preschool, for a day of observing and volunteering, and the first thing I saw was the children learning through movement.In an effort to learn their numbers, they were all standing in a large circle, with Teacher Karla standing in the center holding a stack of cards with a number printed on each. She passed a ball to one student and then held up a card with the number four (4) on it, and the little boy bounced the ball four times and then passed the ball to the next child, who looked to the teacher for his number, which was a seven (7). He had a little more trouble and only bounced the ball six times because he forgot the number five.He passed the ball on to the little girl next to him, who looked to the teacher, who still held up the number seven (7), due to the mistake of the previous child. I wasn’t sure how that would work, but the little girl bounced the ball seven times, and the boy, responded with “Oh yeah, I forgot five. How come you didn’t tell me Teacher? ” Teacher Karla responded to this by explaining that we don’t always just learn from the teacher and that we can learn from each other, as well.Later in the day, I was pleasantly surprised to see that teacher Karla was using the Letter Mats that I had created for her a few years ago when I helped out in the preschool. The Letter Mats are large laminated mats with big letters written on them. The letters are not in alphabetical order and each letter is written more than once on each mat. Because this was an activity that I had come up with, Teacher Karla asked me to lead. I stood in front of the mats and called out a letter. Each child then jumped on that letter on the mat in front of them. I then called out another letter and they jumped from letter to letter.We continued this until they had jumped from A to Z, with a few mess ups in between, but for the most part, most of the children jumped to the right letters most of the time. Chapter 2, Question While volunteering at the preschool, I have a lot of opportunity to watch the way different music affects the children’s moods and behavior. I wasn’t too surprised by my observations because music has always been something I have loved and when I ran an in home childcare, I used different forms of music all of the time. While at the preschool, I observed teacher Karla change the music frequently, depending on the mood she was trying to create.When they were playing the number and ball game, there was lively music playing, with children singing strong and loud. This music seemed to energize the children. When it was art time, and the children were painting, she slowed the music down and, while the children still chatted while doing their painting, they were much calmer than they had been earlier. When we did the activity with the Letter Mats, we listened to children singing the alphabet. The children really enjoyed singing along and I think because it was an alphabet song and coincided with our activity, it helped them stay on focus.