“Experience Baby” does STEAM!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

Our program begins as early as 6 weeks of age- does STEAM really apply? Absolutely! Do infants and wobblers really need curriculum? What are they learning anyway?  Glad you asked!

We love that the “Experience Baby” curriculum set understands the variety of skills and abilities for these tiniest of students. Having activities planned allows the teachers to focus on the care of the children and not so much on planning. It also guarantees that our little ones have quality, engaging activities designed for their development.

“Experience Baby”, from Mother Goose Time, is set up a little differently from the basic curriculum, because the skills of a 3 month old are drastically different from a 12 month old. The lesson plans come in three colors (content areas) and they are numbered. For example, they might do Orange, Purple, and Green, number 1 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, and 3 on Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday, they can do any of those that they didn’t get to, didn’t go well and want to try again, or were favorites. The cards outline what supplies we will need, a basic plan, and then what to expect from different ages and stages. The teachers are able to track how the child approached the activity and communicate to parents what we did that day. The set comes with a book for each child to go between home and school- such a valuable tool for those who cannot yet communicate! This is not an extensive run down of Experience Baby, but I highly recommend it for any program that offers infant/Wobbler care!

Here are just a few STEAM Activities happening during “My Small World” unit with our Infants and Toddlers!

Engineering!

Math! They loved these cards so much!

Science! This was a fascinating activity to see how truly engaged they were.

Developing Hand-Eye coordination!

Art! They love to paint and this was their version of the Eiffel Tower.

Science with Jell-o… They loved this! Testing bounce, squish, color mixing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And just a little more cuteness! These little ones are so precious and busy. I love that their teachers not only meet their basic needs beautifully, but strive to give them fun and challenging interactions with the world around them. Thanks for all you do Teachers!

Advertisements

STEAM Around the World!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Mother Goose Time provides so many opportunities for these skills to develop naturally. Here are just a few ways that we used STEAM in our classrooms this week with our “Small World” unit!

Swirl World was one of our favorites! There are many options for how to approach this activity, but we opted to play with the shaving cream and then make a marbled print. To do this, we put shaving cream on a plate, added liquid watercolor (green and blue, of course) and then the children gently swirled it. Once it was swirled, but not totally mixed to one color, we put a piece of card stock on top. We used the side of a ruler to scrape off the shaving cream and the most beautiful prints were left behind. We cut them into circles and glued them inside the provided paper plate to hang in the classroom.

The Wooden Airplane activity tested our engineering skills, and they became quite artistic in their design as well. Some children had fun using as much glue as possible to stick the wooden sticks in every which direction, while others studied the photo carefully as they constructed the body, wings, and tail.

On “Rug” day, our older children really enjoyed sewing their own rugs. This type of activity is why we love Mother Goose Time so much. The fabric, string, and plastic needles were individually cut and ready to go

Our younger children had a different variation of the rug activity in the Little Goose Supplement. They used tape to make a design on paper and then painted over it. After the tape was removed, their design showed through. Our preschool and Pre-K children liked that idea, but they got to tape the design themselves.

Mother Goose Time is packed with STEAM opportunities within the basic curriculum. An addition to the weekly lesson plan book this year is STEAM stations. The first couple pages of each book has a variety of ideas for how to incorporate STEAM into the classroom. Thank Mother Goose Time for continuing to improve the education opportunities for our children!

 

 

 

Celebrating Love Around the World

On the first Thursday of each month, our center hosts a Family Night (6:00-7:00) and everyone is invited to participate. One of our wonderful parents volunteered to organize these events and it is such an amazing addition to our school community. We began in December with a pajama story time with milk and cookies. We had a wonderful Storyteller from the community come to share “The Christmas Spider”. Then in January we had a Bilingual (Spanish) story time with a fun craft, organized by one of our Spanish Speaking families.

For the month of February, we learned about traditions surrounding Valentine’s day from around the world, which tied in very nicely to our Mother Goose Time unit, “It’s a Small World”. One of the Pizza restaurants in town was kind enough to donate a few pizzas (Thanks Papa’s Pizza!), so as the families arrived, we fed the children and explained the activity to the parents. Each family was in charge of a country and their job was to teach the others about the traditions from that country. The children worked together to fill in the blanks on their worksheet. When they thought they had them all figured out, they earned a small prize. Then we all sat down and each family got a chance to share about their country while we looked at pictures of children from around the world.

To round out our evening, we had a photo booth for each family to get a Valentine’s picture taken. We had each child make his/her hand prints on a large poster heart. We added the family pictures and the pictures of the children from around the world, and this poster will decorate our classroom.27336683_10155341813251527_4873058863418775222_n

This morning, we took the flags from each country, the traditions that happen in each country, and the Mother Goose Time Map and put them all together. This way we have a reminder of the fun things we learned and it will be part of our study of the world around us this month, (and Valentine’s Day, of course).

Attached are links (hopefully they work) to the activity we used and the Powerpoint with the photos of children around the world.

VALENTINES AROUND THE WORLD

Valentines around the globe

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Positive Time Out and Empathy

Here at Wonders, we believe children who feel better, behave better. We encourage children to explore their world, interact with friends, and engage in activities. Children are encouraged to use words to identify what they are feeling and communicate with their friends and teachers. We try to approach each situation with a positive attitude and outcome in mind. We want children to behave because they know what is right, rather than fear of punishment. The goal is to teach children that their actions have an effect on the world around them and it is okay to take some time and space when needed, or ask for what they need to feel better- wouldn’t the world be a better place if adults understood this very thing?

When a child decides that he/she does not want to behave in a kind way toward a friend, teacher, or material, they will be asked if they need to take some space until they feel better. If the child chooses not to take space, they will be asked to mend the situation (i.e.: pick up the thrown toy, show a gentle touch, check on their friend, etc.) If the child really needs a little time to cool down, but chooses not to do it on their own, the teacher will go with them to the designated quiet space and help them calm down. When the child is ready, they can return and help find a solution to the problem. A child will not be forced to stay in the quiet space for any length of time, just until they are calm and ready to mend the situation. It is a place for the child to go anytime they feel like they need to calm down, have some quiet time or space to themselves (we all need this permission sometimes) and they can return when they feel they are ready. If the child returns to the group, but doesn’t seem to be calm or feeling better, they will be encouraged to go back to the quiet space until they are really ready.

When the child returns to the group, they will be greeted warmly and asked if they are feeling better. The child will be reminded of the situation and asked to help find a solution.

Example: “oh Johnny, I am glad you took a little space to calm down. Are you feeling better? (Child has time to respond) “I understand that you were frustrated, but when you pushed Molly down, she got hurt and it made her feel sad. Can you show her a gentle touch and see if she is alright?” (For small children, guide their hands to show gentle touches until they can do it on their own.) “Nice job! Next time you feel frustrated, remember that we don’t need to push. You can take some space anytime you feel like you need a break.”

If a child is abusing a material/toy, they will be asked to change their behavior. “If you stand on that toy, you might break it or you could fall and get hurt. Can you please get down?” If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to use the material/toy correctly or to find another activity. If that still doesn’t resolve the situation, the material/toy will be removed and the child will be redirected to another activity.

We try to use a lot of redirection and positive language with our children. Instead of saying, “Don’t stand on the chair” we say, “I need your feet on the floor” for example. It is challenging at first, but this technique reminds us to focus on the positives and to be direct with our language.

As far as “The Space” goes, it is great to have the child (children) helps design a space that is comfortable and welcoming. There can be tools or reminders there of strategies (stress balls, anger hands, breathing techniques, etc) or maybe something to snuggle. Sometimes all a child really needs is a hug to feel better.

(For more information on this technique, check out “Positive Time-Out” by Jane Nelson)

81vJTcmuBLL