Classroom Feature: Meadowlark Preschool Classroom


Here's this week's glimpse into what's happening in and out of our classrooms here in the day school! These feature lessons, activities, centers, and saunters from a different classroom each week.

Today's feature: Meadowlark Bus Sauntering

Bus Saunter: Place-Based Inquiry

A few weeks ago, our main focus was a bus saunter. The Meadowlarks had been asking why we only ever take the Route 5 Bus so we decided it would be fun to take a different bus to a different part of town. We prepped the Meadowlarks by looking at the bus map, talking about where all the different routes go, what the transfer station is, why we only ever ride the #5, etc. The day of the saunter, we asked them to use their owl eyes to pay really close attention to what was the same about the two bus routes and what was different. We took the bus to the transfer station and hopped on the #3 Bus to ride around the Northside neighborhood. We saw two different roundabouts, which we noticed were not under construction like the one on the #5 Bus Route. We went up and over the Scott St. bridge and got to look at the train tracks. We went around the Northside, near the hospital, and even under the Orange St. bridge. The #3 Bus Route was VERY different than the #5. Even the bus itself was a different bus with different seats, a different bus driver, and different patterns.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how we use roads and ponder how these things impact our daily lives

  • Discuss the different ways people travel to place to place and how it builds community

  • Act with kindness while demonstrating a respect for similarities and differences

  • Allow others to share previous experiences and preconceived notions while modeling while modeling open-mindedness

Bus Saunter: Building Community

On each bus we rode on, we asked the bus driver what his/her name was, asked them some questions, said thank you when we got off, and even gave some bus drivers high fives. We talked about how thankful we are to have such kind bus drivers and how important it is to say thank you. On Wednesday, a kind man on the bus offered to let ALL of the Meadowlarks pull the cord when he needed to get off. We made sure the sing him our thank you song as well. After riding the #3 Bus around the Northside, we had a 15 minute break between bus rides. We stopped by Ninja Mike's in the Transfer Station during this break so that we could eat some homemade cookies and meet a new friend working there. He will be visiting our class later in the school year as a Community Helper to cook with the Meadowlarks as well. The owner and the people working asked the kids lots of questions about the bus ride while we waited for our bus home. We met SO MANY new people on our bus saunter and practiced showing kindness to all members of our community.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize community workers and describe their jobs

  • Demonstrate back-and-forth conversation skills

  • Demonstrate community building skills

  • Act with kindness

Bus Books and Dramatic Play

In order to deepen our bus inquiry, we turned our Dramatic Play Center into the Meadowlark Bus. The Meadowlarks quickly informed me that we were missing some things. We added a pull string so that they could tell the driver when they needed to get off, we created "phones" so that they could use the "bus app" just like the teachers do on our saunters. They even helped me create a bus stop. They have spent mornings driving the bus around town, looking at the map, deciding where to go, picking up passengers, etc. At the same time, we have been reading bus books from the public library. We learned all about the history of the bus, the different kinds of buses that exist, and why the bus was invented. We also have been reading a silly book about a boy who missed the bus.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the ways in which technology is a tool

  • Imitate real life experiences in play

  • Engage in cooperative peer play in which there is a shared purpose

  • Demonstrate an interest in books and reading