Friday, August 3, 2012

Karl came for a visit!

Hey! I'm Ms. Elissa. I'm a student intern at Child central station. I've been working under Ms. Amy and Mr. Allan all summer. I am working on getting my degree in early childhood education, and although it's been a long process, the end is near. I will be graduating in May, when I hope to joing the Americorps and move somewhere that I'm more needed. I loved doing my internship this summer and spending so much time with the kids. It was nice to finally be able to put all of the stuff I have been learing to use.

For the course of my internship,  I had to create and perform 2 learning plans with the children. For my second learning plan, I did a week long lesson on teaching the children about pets. I started the week talking to the children about what kinds of animals can be pets, and what kinds of pets they have. The children and I  made lists of all the pets they could think of, and than we made charts showing their favorite pet. After talking with the children about pets, I decided that I would bring in my kitten Karl for the children to play with. They were able to pet and hold him, watch how he acts, and things he does. He even came outside and played with us.

After the introduction to the topic on day one, our week continued on Wednesday with a trip to the pet store. The children were able to see all of the various pets they had to offer. There were puppies, kittens, birds and fish. However, the children seemed to be the most interested in the mice. Eww. But we learned about them and they were able to see some of the similarities and differences in mice and rats. They seemed to really enjoy that. They also loved looking at the fish in the fish room. They made connections with the clown fish being “Nemo" from finding Nemo. This experience was great for the kids because they were able to all learn in their own ways about various animals/pets. And they were also able to get different sensory experiences while we were there helping them to learn and make connections.  
For the rest of the week, the children’s favorite two activities seemed to fall into the dramatic play section. They enjoyed playing veterinarian and pretending to be sick or hurt pets. They also used the play time to be the vet taking care of them. These dramatic play activies really helped the children learn about pets, and how they need to be taken care of.  The children also enjoyed spending their time playing pretend pets.  They acted out various scenarios that they had witessed or made up involving pets. Some of the scenarios involved feeding time, play time, giving baths, or going to the vets.
Throughout the week the children loved sharing stories about their own pets and experiences they’ve had with other pets. They seemed to really enjoy Karl when he came in. They liked petting and playing with him, and continue everyday to ask about him. During the week I taught the children several fun facts about  pets. Some of the things they learned, that hopefully children shared with their parents, but if not I’ll share again, are
·         Cats can jump as high as 5x the length of their tail.
·         Cats use their whiskers to help them feel their way around. The length of their whiskers is the length of their bodies. There are lots of nerve endings in the tips of the whiskers that allow the cats to know what areas they can or cannot fit through.
·         The reason that cats bring home dead animals and leave them on your doorsteps or porches is because they love you and are “giving you a gift.” Several of the children were very eager to tell their parents this one.    

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