Preschool through IB Middle School

Self Directed Exploration

Helen Peterson

Continuous Provision

This week we have been busy rearranging the classroom to provide more areas of continuous provision. These areas allow children the opportunity to continue and extend their learning without adult direction. Between 7:50am and 9:00am each morning the children have a period of time we call 'Exploration.' During this time the children explore the unique areas of continuous provision in the classroom. All areas are carefully planned and materials thoughtfully chosen to engage, provoke thinking and challenge your child in his/her learning. While this may look like "play time," our morning Exploration is a valuable learning opportunity. I encourage you to ensure your child arrives at school early enough to have time to participate.

Water Play

As part of our room rearrangement we added a water table. Young children can spend countless hours playing with water, pouring it back and forth, watching it spill over the edge of a container, blocking its stream, directing its flow and splashing gently. Water and a few tools can provide a sensory and learning experience of huge proportions, building the foundation for understanding of a multitude of scientific concepts, including the concepts listed below:
• physics - flow, motion
• chemistry - solutions, cohesion
• biology - plant and animal life
• mathematics - measurement, equivalence, volume
In addition to these scientific skills children are also developing their hand-eye coordination, strengthening gross motor skills, learning new vocabulary, engaging in talk about their discoveries and stretching their imaginations.
Whilst children may gravitate towards using simple, repetitive activities during water play, their experiences can be broadened with the use of ladles, straws, basters, and plastic droppers. These tools are challenging to manipulate correctly so that they draw in and expel water. Sifters and colanders add another layer of challenge and exploration. With experience, simple water play will give way to more precise and complex activities.
We have made our shelving more accessible for the children enabling them to obtain tools and materials easily whenever they need them. We have provided an array of tools allowing for an engaging learning experience, offering a range of challenge to the children.
You can read more about water play for young children in this article.
Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 • After-hours x229 •
Boulder Country Day School, where academic distinction meets education with character. BCD is a top rated, accredited private school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover his or her own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, engaging academics and a focus on community, our preschool, elementary and IB middle school teachers strive to create a well-rounded educational environment that balances traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and project-based learning.