It's Easy as ABC!
This month the Jungle children tackled two big topics that they will use for the rest of their lives: body parts and the alphabet!
We have been studying the parts of the body, so we played a game to put all the learning into action. We decided to pretend to be doctors and help our "injured" friends. Using some toilet rolls as bandages the students got into their teams. They took turns lying in the bed and to their friends, who are doctors, which part of their body hurts. The doctors will then use the bandages to wrap up the injured area. This is a good exercise for practicing body parts and exercising their motor skills. But it is also to teach the students phrases that they can say to teachers if they are hurt or in discomfort. We mainly use the phrase, "my ___ hurts" to effectively communicate this information to the teachers.
We have also started our alphabet classes which will see us cover a letter of the alphabet every week. This will give us the opportunity to start some light writing practice and expand the students' vocabulary. The main purpose of these writing classes is not to ensure a perfect stroke order and good handwriting. Instead, it is to get students used to the alphabet and get a basic feel of how to write the alphabet before the more formal lessons start. Between the ages of three and four, the children are developing their motor skills to handle and control a crayon or pencil. During this time, they should be able to draw circles, dots, curved, straight, and angled lines. These are skills that will translate into writing the letters of the alphabet.
Along with writing practice (both the upper- and lower-case letters), the children have also been looking at words that start with the letter of the week: for the vowels, we are only looking at the short vowel sounds for now. With this, the children get to practice the letters’ phonetic sounds, and look at the letters in words as they are displayed on the board. The children will become familiar with how the letters look and sound at the same time so it will get them readier to read and sound words on their own.