Train Week


Children love trains. We will have them in all the rooms this week. Our art project will have the children use shapes to build their own train. The art activity uses pre-math skills. The ‘train pieces’ will be circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. As you discuss different shapes with your child you are building their math vocabulary. You can help your child with the names of shapes as they name objects in their home environment – a door is a rectangle, the dinner plate is a circle, the window is a square, a stop sign is an octagon, etc. They can recognize and compare 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes as they compare the 2-dimensial train they make at the art table with the 3-dimensional wooden trains in the blocks area and with the 2-dimensional train puzzles at table toys. As the children learn about shapes we will give them opportunities to create and take apart shapes –- make a square from 2 triangles, a rectangle from 2 squares, a circle from 2 half circles. At the playdough table you can encourage the children to create new shapes — cut the ball in half, roll the snake into a circle — as they experiment with the playdough. Using words such as turn (rotation), flip (reflection), slide (translation) identifies spatial visualization terms that will later be used in geometry. Using these terms with toys – “turn your Teddy Bear over” – will then be used with directions for shapes – “turn the triangle shape piece so it fits inside the puzzle”. At Circle Time we will continue to use words that expand their spatial orientation vocabulary. Above, below, in front, behind, over, under are positional words that allows children to understand where things are in their world. The spoon is beside your bowl, you are under the table, a bird is flying over the house are sentences that teach spatial orientation. While reading Freight Train we will use positional words that describe where the train is going. Using descriptive words with your child you can help them develop a stronger math-based vocabulary. When you talk with your child try using descriptive vocabulary words that include shape, size, and placement.

Down By the Station
Down by the station
Early in the morning
See the little pufferbellies
All in a row
See the engine driver
Turn the little handle
Whoo Whoo Choo Choo
Off we go!

Little Red Caboose
Little red caboose, choo, choo, choo
Little red caboose, choo, choo, choo
Little red caboose behind the train, train, train,
Smokestack on his back, back, back, back
Chugging down the track, track, track, track
Little red caboose behind the train.

Choo, Choo Peanut Butter
A peanut sat on a railroad track
His heart was all a flutter.
Around the bend came a choo-choo train
Uh Oh! … peanut butter!