Letter Learning!

We all know that preschool is all about learning Colors, Shapes, Numbers and Letters. Mother Goose Time makes it so easy to make that learning fun for little ones and efficient for teachers!

For the month of September, our unit is “Friends and Feelings”W we have been working on the Letters F, H, and T. These letters are great for beginning to write because the lines are straight and the sounds are pretty easy to hear/make.

For each letter, the children get to make their own mini book. They enjoy coloring them, tracing the letters and cutting them apart. The teachers help with the stapling and then they have a book to practice reading. They are so proud of themselves when they finish sharing what they can do.

We expand our letter learning as we play. At the beginning of the unit, our MGT kit included pieces to make puppets and feathers were for the hair or whatever the child wanted them to be. We found ourselves having more fun blowing the feathers into the air and watching them float back down.

hm_collage_mini_magick20180904-4-1kz89i8.jpg

F is for Friends and Finger painting!

hm_collage_mini_magick20180911-4-1dm0zzb (1)
Our Make and Play was a Happy Horse made out of the letter H- so clever!

Picture collages, Letter Community Game and Word Walls- we are learning letters in so many ways!

hm_collage_mini_magick20180912-4-1q7osyz

We read The Kissing Hand (because H is for Hand). Then we made our very own when we talked about the Sad and Scared feelings. We hung them in the room to remind ourselves that we are loved even when we feel sad. This was not laid out in the MGT unit, but it fit in nicely.

Here are a few other ways we have extended our letter learning…

Textured T Printing and Happy Handprint H!

We have been pulling some ideas from “Art Across the Alphabet” from the Applebaum Training Institute for some extra letter learning fun. This book is a great resource and it qualifies for 5 clock hours in most states!                                        42110617_10155861619081527_8973449479038435328_o.jpg

Being intentional about the activities we present, how we speak to children, and our plans for the day leads to some amazing and fun learning! It is even more fun when we can incorporate concepts across the content areas. Thanks MGT

Advertisements

Transitions

Our goal is to make our transitions throughout the day smooth! If you suddenly
tell a child to stop what they are doing to clean up so that they can go on to
something else, it is not going to go smooth. Children need time to prepare for
what is going to happen next. This way they have time to finish what they were
doing before having to clean up and move on.

42168902_10155861342611527_2292192735563612160_o.jpg

In the mornings we have free choice as students arrive, then snack, recess, and
then we come in for circle time and activities. When we line up outside to go in,
we go over what we are going to do (take shoes off, wash hands, sit on the carpet
for circle time). With our older students, a verbal reminder everyday about what
we do before circle time helps make our transition from recess to washing hands,
to circle time fairly smooth.

One way we transition our Pre-K students is by using a sand timer. They get a five-
minute warning before they are expected to clean up. The sand timer is put
where they can see it, and they know that when the sand runs out it is time to
clean up. The sand timer captures their attention. They keep an eye on it, and as
soon as the sand is gone they will say “Time to clean up!” Having a visual helps
our transitions go a lot smoother.42143646_496700014145714_8412756835873849344_n.jpg
When the children are really interested in an activity it is a great opportunity to
expand on that lesson, so we spend more time on it. One activity our Pre-K
students were really into was the ‘Letter Community’ lesson under the “Include
Everyone” topic in the Friends and Feelings unit. We first reviewed the letters,
identified whether they were uppercase or lowercase, and took turns rolling the
cube and writing down the letters. The children got excited to see what letter
they were going to roll next and what letter their friends were rolling. There were
a lot of laughs when they rolled the same letter twice in a row! We expanded it by
making predictions on what letter they thought they were going to roll next, and
which circle would have the most letters. Each child had several turns because
they were enjoying this activity so much. It was fun to see them so excited about
writing!20180917_110314.jpg

20180917_111419.jpg
One activity that our Pre-K students were not as into, was the ‘Sharing Stories’
lesson under the “Sharing” topic. They quickly arranged the story pieces,
explained what they did, and were done. It could be the dynamic of the group that day, so we like to leave the pieces on the shelf as an activity that is available for another day.20180918_105429.jpgWith preschool, it all depends on the day and the class. As with any lesson, sometimes they are really into it one day and not as into it the next.

We love that Mother Goose Time has the lessons planned out for each topic. It allows us to look ahead and decide what we are going to do for the day. We can follow the child’s lead on what we may spend more time on doing, or what we may accomplish rather quickly. Our students know that after circle time they get to do the activities, and with most of the materials provided, Mother Goose Time makes it easy to stick to this routine.

What is Mother Goose Time?

Mother Goose Time is a wonderful curriculum program that covers all content areas and is based on National Standards for Early Childhood.  It comes packaged and ready to go each month, with a new theme, manipulatives, a book, concept webs, pre-cut and counted materials, etc. Here is just a sampling…

42160654_10155859513481527_491362211625697280_n 42099781_10155859513426527_2437918922922524672_n 42044427_10155859513341527_1303438642085101568_n      42059285_10155859513171527_792335949018169344_n42111169_10155859512951527_1201156736119996416_n

Art Supplies, Games, A New book, a magnetic storytelling set to go with the book of the month, and so much more!

The materials that Mother Goose Time gives us each month are fantastic. We really enjoy the manipulatives that we get with each unit, and our children love playing with them outside of the intended activities. This month, we had Tangrams included in our September kit. Here are just a few of the ways these shapes have been used in the first few weeks.

It is fun to see their imaginations at work when they are using the materials in a different way. The manipulatives that are sent make counting and pattern recognition more fun for our students.

 The art materials that are provided are great too. The materials that are provided allow the children to use their creativity. It is fun to see how the children choose to use the materials that they are given to complete their projects. Our Bumble Bees (toddlers) really enjoy any material that allows them hand stimulation. A few of their favorite items that have been sent are the pom-poms, sponges and cotton balls.

Yesterday, we were talking about Playing Together. We used a bunch of PomPoms that had been saved from other activities for our Tray Play activity. The goal was to take turns with the big tweezers and fill the jar with pom poms. It was so fun to have these materials on hand and to watch them work so well together.

When our boxes arrive, we undo the packaging and sort the materials, so each class has what they need. Then we place the daily materials into the file boxes. The younger group gets the Little Goose Supplement and the older group gets the More Math and More Literacy books for an added challenge for those who need it.

So much fun and learning are packed into each Mother Goose Time Unit and we are so excited for the year ahead!

Sharing!

Today in our Mother Goose Time “Friends and Feelings” unit, we focused on Sharing! Before we get to a few of the cute activities for today, we wanted to share a little trick we have discovered for getting our 2 yr. olds to stand in a line, wait their turn, and get all those little hands washed without chasing them… Magic Shoes! We found these little shoe cut outs at the dollar store, laminated them, and when it is time to line up, we lay out the shoes and have each child pick a pair to stand on. They are spaced out enough that they don’t bump into each other. When it is their turn, they can pick up their shoes and hand them to the teacher. It works like a charm and even if they aren’t exactly standing on them, they are preoccupied and not fussing with anyone, so we will count it as a win!

41938990_10155859394786527_2680117557582626816_n

Sharing space, toys, attention, etc. is a really hard concept for children and the younger they are the harder it is. They are still learning that they are separate from others, and their needs/wants are not the only ones that exist. If you spend any time at all with children, you will inevitably hear some adult telling some child they need to share. What that means is they must give up something that is making them happy, because suddenly someone else’s needs are coming before their own. Put that way, it doesn’t really sound fair at all. As adults, we are wanting to teach children to be kind and generous, but from their child’s perspective, giving up what they have sounds like a terrible idea and is usually met with resistance.

At our center, we try a different approach and here are some examples. Say Sally has four baby dolls in her arms and Tommy is upset because he really wants a baby doll, but Sally has them all. Tommy knows that grabbing isn’t ok, or maybe he gives that strategy a try and it doesn’t go well. Now Sally is mad and really doesn’t want to share at all. Sally is happy with all 4 baby dolls and forcing her to give up any is not going to work. We come to Sally and say that it looks like Tommy is sad because he wants a baby doll and we ask if there are any she would like to give Tommy, maybe even ask which one Tommy can have. Given a choice, she will most likely choose to give up one easily. We praise her for being such a kind friend and notice how happy that made them both. We can encourage her, but if she really doesn’t want to give up any, we help Tommy find something else to do until she is finished with the babies, because let’s face it, she probably won’t have all four forever. Giving both children the language to problem solve is so important.

Sometimes we will practice sharing with a timer. We give each child a toy to play with during “Sharing Time”, set a timer for maybe 1-2 minutes, and then when the timer goes off, everyone trades. Trading works really well because while it may be hard to give up what you have, it is fun to get something new.

Acknowledging the feelings of the children involved, giving choices, and trying to have more than one of the classroom items available are a few good strategies for teaching young children to share.

Today we practiced our sharing skills in a few ways. We worked together, we worked on the same task, but just next to each other, and we took turns. Even very young children can share, when we teach them how.42174137_10155859394561527_7417860329276702720_n42098387_10155859394431527_5580414461816078336_oWe took turns to make our “Helping Hands” posters to remind us each day that we can be such kind friends. We love that Mother Goose Time spends the entire first unit of each school year teaching children these important skills that we will continue to practice all year!