HighScope Small Group Activities

At the beginning of the year, we take small group time to do a tour of the building and meet the people that the children will interact with during the year. I created a small “tour book”.  It is a 1/4 of a page of paper and at the bottom it has the person or place that we will be visiting and I give them a symbol. It is attached to a piece of string and hung around the student’s neck. I prearranged with individuals that the children will see during the year and gave them an idea of what I would like the children to know about them. These are people like the principal/director, janitor, other teachers. I give them stickers, made from mailing labels, with the same symbol as on the tour book page. When we visit that person, we get to meet them, find out what they do in our school and get a sticker from them (which the children match to the appropriate page in the tour book) and go on to the next. We also visit important rooms like the gym and the church. It gave us the opportunity to inform the children of what that particular room was used for and the rules. The final part of this small group activity was to send home a map of the school and include a brief description of the different places we visited and draw an arrow to that room on the map. There is quite a bit of prep to this activity but very informative to students and parents alike

For small groups last week, I used some scrap wood from my uncle’s cabinet shop. The children had a wonderful time painting the blocks and when they were dry we put them in the block center to use. The kids were a painted MESS when we got done, but it was worth it. They discovered paint mixing, counting, printing, and sharing. I highly recommend this small group activity.

seashells: have a large assortment of seashells. give each child a good amount of shell and talk to them about the shell. ask them questions about the size, color texture of each shell. they will sort them by size, color, shape. have them count shells.

keys: have a large assortment of keys. give each child a good amount of keys ask them questions like who uses keys?   Where do you use keys?  talk about the size of the keys, number of holes. some children will put the keys into a straight line others will make shapes like a large circle, square talk about the shape they made.

Let the children mix play dough ingredients themselves. I have just spent 45 minutes with 4 two and three-year-olds doing just this. The floor is covered in flour, but the learning experience was well worth the clearing up time. We added mixed herbs to give a wonderful smell and left the dough white so that they could see the herbs. I wanted to show the crèche workers that I am encouraging to use High/Scope the importance of children being involved in the process rather than just playing with the finished article. Brilliant success. Children also had good recall session showing parents when they returned.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.