Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Get Hopping with Frogs!

It is definitely spring - at least it is here in Northern California!  What could signal spring more than watching the landscape awaken from it's winter slumber?  The trees are greening, flowers blooming, and small things are skittering about in the garden again - so this week, we learned about frogs and their life cycles.
We enjoyed frog books - both fiction and non-fiction - and talked about a great big word: metamorphosis.  We sang and danced, and jumped like frogs too.  Then, of course, we had frog learning / play!  Here's a pond sensory bin, because regular readers (and people who know small children) know that our youngsters crave this kind of sensory input.  We had fish, frogs and ducks in the pond, and some insects sitting on the sides - frogs have to eat you know!  Do you see the little pieces of bubble wrap?  The clusters of bubble wrap represent frog eggs, and the long strands represent toad eggs.  Our friends enjoyed burying all the pond elements, perching frogs on lily pads, and carefully filling the fish and frog finger puppets with little blue pellets.

Since we were learning some real facts about frogs, including their life cycle, I made up a set of 3 part cards about the stages in frog development: eggs, tadpole, tadpole with legs, froglet, and frog.  The card with both word and picture is a control card, and the kiddos and parents looked at the words to figure out what each one said.  Then the students found the matching word card and matching picture card for each one.  We had lots of visual discrimination, looking at the length of words and which letters were in them, some sounding out, and a few frog noises too.  :-)  My favorite part was seeing the grins on the children's faces when they made a match, and realized that they can read!

The highlight of the week however was most definitely the guest frogs that came to spend the day with us!
 These African water frogs don't need rocks to sit on or anything, they're happy to swim about in a shallow container of water.  Our friends loved observing them with magnifying glasses, then drawing and writing about what they observed.  One of my friends noticed that the frogs had 4 toes on their front feet, and 5 on their back feet. 
 Other friends drew detailed pictures, right down to imaginary eggs.  (One little girl had a mommy frog and a daddy frog, plus a line of eggs.  I said maybe they were toads, since their eggs were in a long string.  She said no, they were special frogs.  Truly, they were!)
Do you think our friends were fascinated with the frogs?  That they wanted some seriously up close and personal time with them?  I'm just grateful no-one tested the (much discussed) theory of whether any of our frogs were princes in disguise, and in need of kissing!

As they left, the kiddos filled in a graph, telling whether they would like the chance to hold a frog or not.  The answer was a resounding 18 yes votes to 3 no votes.  I guess frogs are a hit!

Good news kiddos, we're not done with frogs yet!  In a few weeks, when there are tadpoles out, we're going to bring some in to visit again.  There is so much more to observe and learn!

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