An Inside Look at 2 Year Old Class
By: Angela Hicks
Want to talk about busy? Our 2 year old class is the place to be. Ms. Michelle certainly has to stay on her toes with these movers and shakers all day as they grow, develop, and learn at such an alarming rate.
I spent a few weeks hanging out with these bright eyed wonders, and their love for play and curiosity for the world was simply amazing. Ms. Michelle does a fantastic job of balancing the fun with learning to the point where the children do not even realize they are learning.
Fall brings lots of changes, but it also brings apples! Using these ideas, Ms. Michelle designed her lessons to incorporate the changing world around to give the students an authentic learning experience. For example, last week they used apple art projects to make an apple and an apple tree. Working on their spacial awareness in a hands on learning experience helped them understand and build knowledge of the letter "A" (for apple) as well the the fruit (comes from a tree, color is red, etc.)
Ms. Michelle picks a variety of toys for the children to interactive with during free play time. Free play is something that on the surface does not seem educational, but reality is very educational! Research has shown that:
When children play in this way, they mix the contents of their imaginations (things that are merely possible) with the contents of the real world (blocks, toys, costumes, lofts), and through their own creative acts they bring into the world something spontaneous, novel, and unique. (Read more at Chapter 3. Early Childhood Education Programs: Play)
One of the really neat things she did was incorporate "Talk Like a Pirate Day" into her classroom. Children got to create a paper-plate pirate, ate a special snack called pirate's booty, and heard a Jake and the Neverland Pirates story. It was amazing to see the children engaged in their different activities, practicing their sharing and taking turns, working on listening and following directions, as well as developing their early reading skills.
Age 2 is such a strong developmental time for children, and Ms. Michelle does a fantastic job of bringing in a variety of learning toys to help them grow their fine and gross motor skills. One of the activities she had was a deep tray full of various objects in various sizes. Students had to use tweezers (learning how to control their finger isolation which is super important for building writing) to pick up an object and place them inside a cup.
With all the fun these children are having, it is no wonder they love coming to school and spending time in this classroom.