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!
Family Tree from Week 1, Lesson 1 in Mother Goose Time’s Family and Pets unit for September is a great example of some of the supplies that Mother Goose Time provides with the curriculum. When the new school year kicks off, it is always busy. Teachers are getting to know the kids and the kids are getting to know the routine. Anything that can be done ahead of time is always helpful. One thing we love about using Mother Goose Time’s curriculum is that they help take so much of the guess work out of planning.
For the My Family Tree activity, Mother Goose Time provided the Title Display and Inspiration Photo, and for each child they provided background paper, green paper, brown paper, and the circle stickers. All that the teachers had to provide was glue, markers, scissors and real leaves. These were materials that the teachers already have in their classrooms so they were not hard to gather, and for the leaves, the children had fun collecting them from outside!
Our teachers love that Mother Goose Time provides so many of the materials because it helps make planning easier.
When we set up our classrooms for a new school year, we think about what new things we can incorporate into our daily routine that will help benefit our students.
Our Pre-K teacher incorporated a sign-in area using Mother Goose Time’s name tags that we get each month with the new curriculum. She laminated them, which allows them to be reused daily! She has a bucket of dry erase markers and erasers for the students to use on the sign-in table, and has them sign-in before circle time. They write their name on the name tag, display it, and meet at the rug for circle time. The repetition of signing in everyday is allowing them some extra practice in writing their name and a fun way of doing it.
A sign-in desk is a great thing to incorporate using Mother Goose Time’s name tags for authentic assessment, and if you laminate them they can practice writing their name over and over again all month long. Having daily routines that are not only fun, but informative is such an amazing tool!
Week 2 has been all about feelings. Today we talked about feeling mad. Pre-K listened to Head Space, an app for meditation. They talked about what makes them mad and how they feel when they are upset, then got to practice some meditation techniques. We also talked about other ways we can calm down when we are upset (taking a walk, taking some space, drawing, reading, etc.). The lessons this week have been great for the beginning of the school year when we are learning how to address our feelings, and how to recognize how our friends are feeling.
When we did the Picasso Painting, under Week 2, Lesson 10, they got to do whatever they wanted to create their face. They were creative when it came time to creating their picture, and they all turned out unique. This was a fun project to tie into the different feelings we have talked about this week.
Electricity is a fascinating subject. In Lesson 11 of “Science Lab” with Mother Goose Time, we made our own (paper) light bulbs and had fun connecting the dots on a math worksheet.
We discussed electricity safety, where we find electricity, and how it works (in Pre-K terms). Some examples we talked about were when we get a shock after using a slide, or touching someone after they rubbed their feet on the carpet. We pointed out the electrical sockets and we are aware not to touch them. We also played with balloons and discussed static electricity and what it does to our hair! The children loved playing with the balloons and they were a great visual to see what static electricity does, and it was a great activity to practice communication and sharing.
What a great way to introduce the concept of Electricity to children. It is a necessary and fascinating force, but we also need to talk about how to be safe with such power. Thanks to Mother Goose Time for bringing up this concept as part of our Science Lab unit!
In Lesson 12 of “Science Lab” with Mother Goose Time, the topic was “Structure.” The “Community Challenge” was to talk about community structures. The children got to take turns telling us about what kind of buildings they see in our community. A building across the street from our school is shaped like a rainbow! We talked about how buildings look different and might be that way for different reasons. The children also got a chance to share with us what they like to use to build with (Legos, blocks, etc.).
The triangle necklace activity was a good way to review shapes, and they learned that triangles are the strongest shape and often used in building! We love the ‘discuss’ feature under each activity in the Teacher Guide Book- they make a great conversation starter. We practiced our scissor skills by cutting straws into three pieces, and we practiced our fine motor skills by threading them onto a pipe cleaner. They created a triangle and got to wear it as a necklace. We talked about what other shapes they could create out of straws as well.
They also enjoyed using the link strips from Lesson 7 to create the designs on the shape design mat. We love that Mother Goose Time are so packed with fun and learning. Sometimes we get to everything for the day, sometimes we come back to activities and do them again because we enjoyed it so much, and sometimes we reuse the materials in a different way on another day.
Today we completed Mother Goose Time’s Week 2, Lesson 7 – ‘Light.’ The children loved the ‘Searching in the Dark’ activity. The teacher created a tent and sat a set of matching cards inside. The children took turns searching for the matches in the dark under the tent. They took turns hiding pictures and really enjoyed using the flashlight! The room was dark so it was the perfect setting for this activity.
Another activity in this lesson was ‘Color the Rainbow.’ The teacher dimmed the lights and the children colored their rainbow. While they colored they talked about how their eyes adjust to the light. For the last lesson, ‘Color Paddle,’ they colored with different colored markers and then used the color paddle to discover what they could see. They thought the paddle was fun.
The great thing about these activities is that Mother Goose Time provided almost all of it in our “Science Lab” kit, so our teachers spent less time planning and more time enjoying the activities with the children! The things we needed to supply ourselves are basic materials that almost every classroom has on hand.