Shalom and welcome to February! We spent the week playing and learning about our teeth, dental health, and dentists.
Monday: This morning, the kids arrived to find the beginnings of a dentist office where our science lab used to be. They got right to work, helping me organize the office, switching out some books to make room, and of course, trying on the gloves and examining our pet patients. (I didn’t want them using the things in each other’s mouths). Though colder than the weekend, it was still warm enough to go outside on the playground today. The snow is really packed down though, and the kids made a game out of chipping away at their big snowballs with the shovels, making shaved ice.
Tuesday: After introducing the letter R and lots of free play, I told the kids we would be learning about our teeth this week. As an experiment, we would see what would happen if we soaked some hard-cooked eggs in different drinks for a few days. The eggshells would mimic our teeth’s enamel coating. The kids each chose from Coke, root beer, apple juice, orange juice, red gatorade, blue powerade, Red Bull, coffee, Mountain Dew, orange Fanta, and Pellegrino Lemonata. My egg sat in a water bath as a control. The kids were excited to start it!
Wednesday: Music class was so fun with Ms. Shana today, as she played more Tu B’Shevat songs and what are quickly becoming classics, a song with movements for our whole body called “My Goofy Goof”! In our meeting time, the kids gave me good reasons why teeth are so important- they help us chew and talk. In reviewing the letter R with the class, I noticed that unlike other “earlier” letters, the kids are hearing /r/ in the middle of words and at the end, as opposed to only the beginning sound. It’s great to have them listening so closely and decoding the words they use each day!
Thursday: We checked our eggs today, and boy, some of the eggs are really colored! In our meeting, the kids had pictures of various foods and had to sort them by “healthy for your teeth” and “unhealthy for your teeth.” I closed the meeting stressing the importance of brushing twice a day, especially before bedtime so the food doesn’t sit on their teeth all night. It was a morning and afternoon full of puzzle solving and drawing. Some of the kids drew a blue jay with me, while others will complete it on Friday. All these activities are valuable and promote kindergarten readiness.
Friday: Today we will make a list of what we can do to keep our teeth clean. We’ll demonstrate brushing and flossing on styrofoam teeth. We will take out our soaked eggs and try to get them clean, first using just a toothbrush and then using some toothpaste. Which stains will be removable? We’ll practice making predictions and reasoning why.
A peek at next week: For the rest of the month, our dramatic play area will be a scientist lab. We will spend the first week deciding what props we need and making some props too. The letter S, I believe, will generate a good list.