This morning at our meeting, the whole group revisited the small group conversations from Tuesday about the veins in leaves. The main theories are: veins give the leaf structure/shape, provide the leaf water, and are involved in the growth process. It was a very thoughtful discussion. The children are improving in their abilities to listen to another's ideas and feel comfortable sharing different ideas. The focus here is not "the answer" - it's thinking, hypothesizing, discussing - the process of the learning, not the outcome.
The follow-up to this discussion was a materials experience. All the children took a turn drawing a leaf or two and watercoloring it. Again the focus was on the process: taking time to observe and work slowly and carefully. The end results are FANTASTIC! Materials experiences support children's thinking and learning. Today's work will probably not be the only time they represent leaves/veins.
The store continues to flourish with activity! Today's play made direct connections to both literacy and numeracy. Fletcher's ice cream play led to him writing the words ice cream for the classroom documentation. Oliver's play incorporated counting and the concept of time, Olivia and Grace's play led to concepts of sorting, shape exploration and one-to-one correspondence.