Monday, January 16, 2012

the wheels on the bus

I'm going to have to post more entries per week to keep up on all the learning going on in our classroom!  Our class is in the midst of our transportation unit: wheels, wings, & water.  

Buses are a good way to learn about wheels in the classroom; in our culture they are a school icon, they are a "community" way to get around - lots of space for everyone!, and they're featured in the coolest preschool song ever (in my estimation) "The Wheels on the Bus."

Dramatic Play: Bus!
One of my few memories of preschool is sitting on a "bus" in our classroom with our teacher and reenacting the "Wheels on the Bus" song.  If that activity made that strong of impression on me as a four year old, there must be something significant to that classroom community experience.  

I have a hand-me-down "house" (of sorts) that I use to make all kinds of dramatic play areas.  It is four, square pieces of plywood hinged together (it folds up zig-zag style) with a window cut out of each square.  Let me tell you, it makes a great bus!  

I cover the outside in yellow paper, add some wheels and lights (that I've laminated so I can whip them out for years to come), I put some chairs inside and we're in business.  We even have a steering wheel (it used to blow up but doesn't any more - no matter).
Inside our bus I added numbers to the chairs, with correlating numbered tickets and dress up from our housekeeping area. 

 The kiddos had lots of fun imagining where they were going, taking turns being the driver, matching their tickets to their seats, helping Miss Eileen sing the song... love it!

Math: Bus Count and Park

To create this game I programmed a large sheet of paper with parking spaces and dots, 1-12.  I made buses with numbers 1-12 on them (the buses were from our Accucut machine, but I just found bus cut-outs at our local dollar store too).  I laminated all the pieces.  
I put this set out as a center area for counting practice, but I also played it as a group game.  I passed out the buses to the students, we counted the dots, team-work style, and if they had the matching bus they were able to drive their bus to the matching parking space.

Art: Bus
I love to use what I have on hand, and this art project was sitting in my file drawer.  The kids were very engaged in counting the windows and wheels, gluing them in place and adding their own colored design to their bus.
Stay tuned for more transportation activities!

Miss Eileen

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