Endless Possibilities and Imagination with a Loose Parts Station
Help me give my students a store and explore science cart and additional loose part materials to add to our collection including: jenga wooden blocks, mixed size color shape buttons, wooden spools and large marbles.
My classroom consists of 20 enthusiastic and inquisitive young learners with active imaginations and kind hearts. Many of the children are English language learners while encountering their first classroom setting. I work in partnership with my assistant teacher to create a safe, supportive environment for my students with a focus on literacy and language development. Together, we set the foundation for learning through small group literacy, art, mathematics, and science activities while balancing the school day with social-emotional problem-solving and self help practices. Our activities also promote kinetic movement for active learners as well as whole child free choice centers.
In our current preschool classroom, we hope to provide children with as many opportunities as possible to direct their own learning in a hands on and creative way. A loose parts exploration station will provide the storage space needed to expand and organize this new adventure while adding onto the recycled materials we currently gather. Rather than telling children a material's purpose or how to use it, building and creating with loose parts allows children to use ingenuity and imagination while opening up learning into multiple directions and possibilities. Some of the materials to add to the portable science cart include buttons, ice cube trays for sorting, wooden jenga pieces, beads, and corks.
In today's world, we need children to develop into individuals who can "think outside the box" and develop new solutions and ideas.
Playing with loose parts in a preschool classroom allows this cognitive process to unfold. There are no right or wrong answers without directions to follow. Children give meaning and purpose to the materials while inviting language and collaboration amongst each other.
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