We really enjoyed our field trip to Detering Orchard, in Junction City, OR. We enjoyed our covered Hayride, and we learned about apple trees. We got to pick our own apples and pumpkins, and have a cider tasting with lunch.
Here is a few of the precious highlights from our rainy day down on the farm!
We just received a complimentary sample box of the new Experience Toddler curriculum (formerly known as Mother Goose Time). Right away we love the look of it!
It comes with the Experience Toddler Curriculum Guide, which lays everything out nicely. We love the 4-part system they have in place – Plan, Play, Connect with Families, and Observe & Document Growth. This new curriculum makes planning easy with grab and go play cards. They are numbered which makes it easy to know which cards are for which day.
With the Experience Toddler curriculum they will develop 40 skills throughout the month, and everything is really geared towards their age which we love. They have their own newsletter each week which will keep parents informed on what their child is working on.
Each weekly theme comes in one package, complete with a calendar for the week, art supplies, the grab and go cards, and other curriculum materials. In the box we also received an egg carton and a cube, things that they will be using this month.
We are so excited to dive into this box of curriculum and see how it works with our Toddlers!
For more information about Experience Toddler, please visit the Mother Goose Time website!
Our preschool teacher created a fun Halloween themed assessment today using an outline of a piece of candy corn. She drew three shapes to review – a circle, a square, and a triangle. They also reviewed three colors with this project – white, orange, and yellow. She cut out white triangles, orange squares, and yellow circles. They reviewed the shapes and colors before starting. She sat out glue and asked the children to match the shapes to the shape on the paper. She observed as the children did this to see if they followed directions and if they were able to match the shape/color.
This was a fun bonus activity to go along with Halloween this month and worked as a great assessment. After they ate their lunch they got to eat a piece of candy corn!
Experience Preschool (formally known as Mother Goose Time) also has curriculum for ages 18 months – 2 ½ years, called Experience Toddler. This curriculum box comes complete with a Little Goose Toddler Teacher Guide, which helps teachers adjust the level of activities and materials to various age groups. There is a big difference between 18 months and 2 ½ years, and authentic assessment is going to look different for every age group.
With toddlers, observations are key. They may not be able to communicate with words, so watching what they are doing and the milestones they meet is vital. Toddlers love to color and there are a couple of things that the teacher is watching for as they are doing so. The teacher is looking to see if they can hold the crayon – instead of trying to eat it – do they have the mature grip to hold it correctly? When they are coloring, the teacher is looking to see if they are specific when coloring, such as coloring one object instead of the entire paper. Can they follow single step directions? As they get older they should be able to start following single step directions. You can learn a lot about a child just from observing them. The different activities provided by Experience Toddler (formerly Mother Goose Time) and the teacher allows for authentic assessment because the children are learning through play.
The teachers also watch for how the children are using their full bodies and their gross motor skills. For example, one child didn’t realize that they could climb over the tire and into the sandbox, he stood there and waited for help. Whereas when they get older they figure out that they can climb – up the stairs to go down the slide and over the tire into the sandbox. They are quicker to climb over obstacles as they get a little bit older.
Our toddler teacher set out a sensory bin and the goal for this activity was to scoop and pour. Some of the children followed directions and practiced scooping and pouring, while others explored however they wanted to. They are also working on color matching in that classroom. Today’s lesson was Egg (Experience Preschool Week 2, Lesson 11 in Down on the Farm). They worked on color matching with the plastic eggs and one to one correspondence by placing one chick in one egg. The teacher watched to see if they could grip well enough to open and close the egg. The children have no idea that the teacher is watching for certain things throughout their activities, they are just having fun with the process!
We love that Experience Preschool is a curriculum that isn’t just geared towards preschoolers – but babies and toddlers too. They make authentic assessment for all ages easy with play-based curriculum.
Authentic Assessment comes easy when using Experience Preschool, formally known as Mother Goose Time, in the classroom. Authentic Assessment allows the teachers to capture learning as it happens, and it leads to an improved experience with teaching and learning. Observations are important in the preschool classroom. Teachers learn a lot about each child through observations and authentic assessment.
Experience Preschool sends a ‘My Little Journal’ for each child with each unit. This month our unit is “Down on the Farm.” Inside each journal is a list of journal ideas for each concept.
The first page is always the color of the month, this month our color is blue. The journal idea for this concept was to draw a square barn. The children used blue markers or crayons to draw a square barn, and the teacher observed the children while they worked on their squares. Did they follow directions? Were they able to draw a square? Being able to follow directions is one thing the teachers are observing while working on the journals.
Sometimes the teachers adjust the journal ideas based on their class and the materials on hand. For the letter L the teacher had the children glue craft sticks down in the shape of the letter. Could they create the letter L? Did they place the craft sticks together or far apart? As you are observing your class, ask yourself questions and take notes. How did they approach the activity? What is our current pencil grip? How are we doing with scissors, spacial awareness, basic concepts, etc. The goal is always to see progress, however large or small. As you work on their portfolios throughout the year, taking pictures of some of the activities that get sent home (such as their journals) is a great way to capture some of these observations that were made. A snapshot of their activity with a quick note on what was observed during the activity is always great to look back on to watch their progress throughout the year.
If you are looking for a preschool curriculum to use in your classroom, Experience Preschool is a great choice! They make authentic assessment in your classroom easy by providing plenty of resources to help you document each child’s learning progress throughout the year.
We had a very unique experience yesterday- a field trip fundraiser!
Our center is next door to Force of One Martial Arts in Corvallis, OR. They partnered with us for a class. Parents paid for their child to attend the class, like any other field trip or special experience. Then the Taekwondo school gave a percentage of that money back to our school. A total win-win situation! They exposed our children to something new, and they loved it. They focused their brains and got some wiggles out at the same time. Martial Arts is a wonderful practice of control and mindfulness and we really appreciate Force of One and their willingness to give back to the community in such a unique way!
We have mentioned before that we love how Mother Goose Time has curriculum for every class in our center (6 weeks-6 years). The first thing that we focus on in our infant class is meeting their needs. After that, everything else we get to do is a bonus! The Experience Baby Infant Curriculum focuses on relationship-based play. Often times we see the babies dancing to the CD that we get each month! They love the new music, and our teacher loves the Teacher Bundle that they get each month with every unit!
Each Teacher Bundle in the Experience Baby Infant Curriculum includes:
- 36 Shared Experience Cards
- Planning Calendar
- New toy
- Board Book
- Storytelling Puppets
- 6 Picture Cards
- Read with Me book list
- Rhyme Poster
- Early Learning Continuum of Skills
The curriculum also includes child packs, which comes with a traveling journal, weekly engagement forms and shared experience stickers. We love that the curriculum helps build relationships between not only the baby and teacher, but the teacher and parents.
Mother Goose Time’s October unit is Down on the Farm. Check out some of the art from our infant class – footprint art is precious! They also had fun painting muddy pigs!
This week we have been learning about friendly traits! Lesson 18 of Mother Goose Time’s Family and Pets unit was all about ‘Help.’ This is always a great unit to start the year off with, as we work on classroom management and getting to know new friends. During circle time everyone got a chance to share how they help others. A few children said they help do the dishes, they help a friend when they get hurt, and they help pick up their toys. We talked about why it is important to help and how it makes us feel when we help each other out.
Today’s literacy activity was ‘Help Make Words.’ We practiced sounding out ‘a’ and ‘t’ and learned that when we put those two letters together we spell “at.” They also learned that when we put one more letter in front of “at” we spell a whole new word such as “hat” and “cat.” I placed the picture of the animal on the Decoder Game and they had to find the right letter that the animal started with (r is for rabbit). We practiced sounding out the letters and that helped us figure out how to spell the word!
I used the Decoder Reference Guide as a way to review the letters with the class. Since we are still at the start of the year, it made a great guide to see what letters the children knew/didn’t know. We are wrapping up this unit and are excited to start Down on the Farm next month!