When we talk about literacy in the classroom, it goes beyond just letters, the sounds they make and pre-reading skills. If you google “what is literacy?” the definition is…
the ability to read and write
competence or knowledge in a specified area
Mother Goose Time takes a global approach to learning, which matches the way the brain is developing in the early childhood years. Each activity is carefully planned to include skills across the content areas, to pack the most learning and fun.
For the month of April, we are learning all about Bees and Butterflies. The first two weeks was focused on Bees and this week we shifted our attention to butterflies. Is is so fun to hear children using big words like “metamorphosis”, “chrysalis” and “larvae”.
Did you know that a caterpillar that forms a chrysalis will become a butterfly and a caterpillar that forms a cocoon will become a moth? One hangs and one lays- do you know which is which? Ask your child!
Our outside time has included many signs of Spring. We have been pulling out weeds from the garden beds and planting some wild flowers for our growing caterpillars to enjoy after they make their transformation.
Monday was all about “Eggs”. We gathered a variety of leaves from outside and made some guesses as to which kinds would be able to support Butterfly eggs and which probably wouldn’t.
Then we made our own Egg on a Leaf art. We like to use the Daily Topic Poster and the Invitation to Create poster to display our artwork.
Naturally, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” was on the MGT recommended book list for this month and we have been really enjoying retelling the story with our felt board!
Today was all about Caterpillars. We started sorting a dying noodles for our Butterfly Life Cycle sensory box (more on that another day).
We used our Pocket cube to practice our shape recognition, as we worked together to build the longest caterpillar. Whatever shaped was rolled, is what we picked out of the basket to add to the caterpillar. We measured each other and other things around the room in the same way.
To round out the plan for the day, we had a true letter learning activity, but even that incorporated fine motor development, teamwork and cooperation. We used our letter recognition cards. We flipped over one card at a time and decided what letter, or sound, it started with. Then we “munched” a hole in the correct letter leaf with a single hole punch. Our children came back to this activity later in the afternoon because it was so fun. We will definitely be adding it to our literacy shelf!
We love that our Mother Goose Time activity guide is so comprehensive for not only letter literacy, but overall comprehension of the topic at hand. Every child learns differently, so when we take a global approach, we can guarantee everyone learns and it is so fun!
Mother Goose Time offers plenty of opportunities to teach literacy in the classroom. We love the “Little Letter Books included (3 each month), new name tags, picture cube letter cards and so much more!
We love pulling other activities to extend the lessons. For instance, kite is one of the site words given to us to use this month for the letter K. Our Pre-K class made kites, and finished the sentence “If I was a kite…” that we wrote on a cloud to go on the back of their kite. One kiddo said they would “Go to Mexico and eat a lot of things!” Another kiddo said that they would fly to Colorado. Having them finish the sentence made it a complete one, and was a fun way to use their imaginations to create a sentence. Art and literacy go really well together, and often times the art creates a really good visual for literacy. Our kites are hanging from our ceiling with their sentences on the back. The kites are a fun visual for a word that starts with our letter this week.
Any time we introduce a new letter we always create a list of words that start with that letter. Today we made our list of K words. We practiced making the letter sound, and had to find words that matched that sound. Some of them named words that started with the letter C, so we discussed how though they sound similar, they don’t start with the letter K. We came up with 11 words.
We also love to use the “Experience More Literacy” book that is an option with the curriculum. We printed out the ‘Letter Kk’ worksheet that helps us identify letters and words, and practiced tracing and writing the letter k, as well as the site words that were given to us. The children worked really hard on their worksheets and by the end of it were getting the hang of how to write the letter K. They chose a word from our list that they wanted to write to finish the worksheet.
The letter printouts are so fun to use and we do several different things with them each month, whether it be making artwork out of the letter or tracing the outline and filling it up with words. Today we filled it up with 16 K’s! 16 is one of our numbers this month, so it was a great way to tie in one of our numbers to practice counting while we practiced writing the letter K some more.
One other smart thing that Mother Goose Time does is introduce the letters away from traditional ABC order. This forces children to know the letters individually and what sound they make, not just because they can sing the song. We love to incorporate letter learning across the content areas because the more children see it in a variety of ways, the more likely it is to stick!
For the month of April, our Friendship Trait focus is on “Beeing Respectful”. As we close out one unit and begin another, we sometimes have a hard time sharing the toys, games, books, etc. Our preschool class was having a particularly hard time yesterday and their teacher was fast on her feet. They had already completed the activities for the morning and were getting antsy for lunch. Ms. Heather asked if we had any books in the office about sharing and the closest we had was “How Full is your Bucket for Kids”.
After reading the story, Ms. Heather gave each child a piece of paper with a hand-drawn bucket on it with the child’s name. She put stickers out on the table and they proceeded to fill the buckets with stickers. Some children didn’t want the help of others and some were very excited to get a sticker from a friend. We talked about how it feels good to get a sticker and it feels good to make someone else happy by giving them a sticker.
This morning was a very different tone. Children were excited to work together, they were more respectful, asking before taking, and there was a lot more collaborative play.
While everyone was busy checking out the new activities on the shelf, I was working on scrubbing some crayon off the table tops. My little friends were so excited to be bucket fillers that they all wanted to help. They were enthusiastic about being helpful and before long, we had the tables looking much better.
We love that Mother Goose Time makes character building a regular piece of our day. The first 5 years of a child’s life are critical to their social/emotional growth and a time when the brain is most receptive to learning.
We are so excited for our April unit with Mother Goose Time- “Bees and Butterflies”! This is always one of our favorite units and we learn so much! We spend the first two weeks learning about Bees and the second two weeks on Butterflies. Here is a sneak peek of what we are going to learn!
Our Portfolio dividers and one of the beautiful Daily Topic posters for April. We love the beautiful photographs on the Topic Posters- such a great way to get us thinking about what we are learning each morning. Thanks Mother Goose Time for giving us such a great platform for fun and learning!
We have reached the end of our “Desert Discovery” unit with Mother Goose Time– March flew by so fast!
Our Days were full of fun and STEAM learning, but one of our favorite activities was the Desert Night activity.
This project took two days and led to some great conversations. We began by drawing in crayon some things we thought we might find in the desert at night. There were animals, cactus, other plants, bugs and snakes. We talked about what animals might be awake and what might be sleeping at night, and why. Then we painted over our drawings with thinned black paint. The next day, when the painting was dry, we added sparkly stars in the night sky. This was one of our favorite projects.
Another favorite activity from our play shelf was the balancing cactus. Sometimes children were stack them independently, and sometimes we would use it as a cooperative game. We always love the new puzzle for each month from Mother Goose Time. It is a great way to add to our collection of available activities each month!
Each month with Mother Goose Time, we receive two new books (one Forest Friends Book and one exclusive MGT book) and we use the Recommended Book List to gather other great books from our collection or from the local library. Mother Goose Time is such a complete package program!