Week 1: Sounds All Around

Classroom Close-Up

The other day when we were outside on the playground, I noticed two students lying on the ground. They were listening to water dripping down the drain. I joined them and we listened together. We imitated the sounds the water was making and talked about how the sound was being made. Soon a group of kids gathered. What started as an interest for two students expanded to everyone’s wanting to listen and find out what was happening.

As a teacher you try to find out what your kids know, ask questions about what they are curious about, and go from there, always keeping your objectives in mind. As I start this exploration of sound, I want to remember to keep my plans flexible and to pick up on cues from the kids. I want to watch, listen, and notice what captures their curiosity, then—as much as possible, help them pursue and explore those points of interest. 

—Jazmine, preschool teacher

The kids’ awareness of sounds around them has spilled over into just about every other part of the day. When we did tire track painting with toy cars, the kids were fascinated with the sound the ridged tires made. We did a version of marble painting using jingle bells, and the kids loved listening to the bells rolling around in the box. 

At snack time we had a long conversation about sound, and we charted the kids’ discoveries. We agreed that celery, apples, carrots, crackers, and granola were loud, crunchy snacks. Bananas, grapes, yogurt, bread, and cheese were quiet snacks. And milk and cookies could sometimes be loud and sometimes be quiet. 

—Jazmine, preschool teacher

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