The Mother Goose Time “Science Lab” unit (August 2019) is off to a great start! Today from Lesson 4, the children completed a Firework Salt Painting as their “Invitation to Create” activity.
They started out the lesson by reading about Alfred Nobel from “Ingenuity”, the story that Mother Goose Time provided in the curriculum this month. They learned that Alfred Noble discovered a mixture that made a big “boom” and how he and his father created dynamite. They talked about how fireworks also make a big “boom” sound when they go off.
As a class, they talked about what colors were in the firework Inspiration Photo, and what colors they were going to use to create their fireworks. They used glue to make their firework design, sprinkled salt over the glue, and then they used watercolors to bring the fireworks to life. They spent a lot of time on this art project because they were having so much fun with it.
These firework paintings turned out really cool and they loved the experience of using salt in their artwork.
At the beginning of the weekly Mother Goose Time Teacher Guides books, there are two pages dedicated to STEAM stations. We love these extra activities! There are great ideas and they allow children to learn through free-play.
Today our Pre-K class did the Chalk & Water activity. When I set up this activity the children saw some chalk on the table sitting next to a cup of water. They immediately wondered what the water was for. One of the questions to ask was what they thought might happen when they dipped the chalk into water. They noticed that once they dipped the chalk into the water the colors became smoother and “totally darker” as one of our kiddos said.
When I asked one of the children if they would want to be a chalk artist they responded with “Sure! Because I like drawing with chalk.”
Chalk and water are not something they often see together, so this STEAM activity was really fun for them. They took their time experimenting with the different chalk colors and loved how much darker they looked on paper when wet, vs. drawing with dry chalk. Having the children use wet chalk isn’t something that is often thought about, as we always bring the chalk out when it is sunny; but letting them use it wet created a totally different art experience and they will get to do this again!
We love the painting Starry Night from Van Gogh. We always look forward to this lesson when we are doing the Art Studio unit with Mother Goose Time. In Lesson 11, the children got to create “A Starry Night.” We talked about what shapes and designs they see in the sky when the stars are out. Mother Goose Time provided all of the materials we needed for this project – all we needed to provide was the paint! We helped the children swirl their pipe cleaner and then they dipped it in the paint and stamped it on their door hanger. They liked seeing the different designs their pipe cleaner created. The preschool class loves glitter, so it is always fun when a project involves glitter. They sprinkled it on their door hanger and created their “Starry Night.” They got to take these home to hang on their bedroom doors!
Our Toddler class created stars to resemble the stars that are in the Starry Night painting. The teachers cut out yellow stars and the children got to finger paint them with glitter paint. These turned out really cute, and when they were complete the teachers hung them on the wall with the child’s name to make their own starry night.
Lesson 13 in this unit was all about mixing colors. They reviewed the three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow). They talked about what colors they thought they would create when these colors were mixed with each other, and afterwards they got the opportunity to mix red with yellow, yellow with blue, and blue with red. After the children created their colors they painted their coffee filter, and turned them into butterflies!
We love that Mother Goose Time allows the teachers to use their own creativity within the lessons.
This week we have focused on art in France. To go along with Lesson 9 from Mother Goose Time we made pointillism paintings of the Eiffel Tower. We talked about the Eiffel Tower (we love that Mother Goose Time provided information of the Eiffel Tower for the Community Challenge under Lesson 9) and then provided the children with an outline of the Eiffel Tower and a Q-tip so they could make small dots. They really concentrated on making each dot and filling in their Eiffel Tower before working on making their dots around it. They did find that making dots was more time consuming, but they enjoyed using different colors and seeing the patterns they were making!
Our Toddlers did their own version of pointillism paintings by using dot painters. They had fun stamping these on their paper and even got to try to use some hole punchers to make more dots!
One of the fun things about having different age groups is seeing how each class did their own version of the same lesson, based on their age-group. Pointillism paintings are fun and we are excited to do more!
Last week was all about Art in Italy. In Lesson 2, of Mother Goose Time’s Art Studio curriculum, the topic was “Portrait.” The day before they completed self-portraits, so we talked about the difference of a self-portrait and a portrait. Our Pre-K students paired up and sketched a portrait of their friend.
One of the activities in this lesson was called Magic Letters. The toddler class used the letters of each child’s name and wrote their names in the white crayons that Mother Goose Time provided. We love that Mother Goose Time provides so many of the materials needed for each lesson – it is really convenient!
Once the teachers wrote their names on the paper, the children got to paint with watercolors to uncover the hidden letters. Using the letters of the child’s name for this activity provided a great way to practice name recognition. The teachers traced their names in Sharpies when they were dry so that they could see them better. It is fun to see what colors the toddlers use and how each piece of artwork turns out.
Our first week with MGT Art Studio was a great success! We are learning a lot and having a lot of summertime fun!
Our school was closed last week for the 4th of July holiday. We came back this week and were excited to start our Art Studio curriculum. This is always a fun unit with Mother Goose Time. We love seeing the creative artwork that the children come up with.
For our self-portraits, our teachers decided to take pictures of each child. From there,they did things a little bit differently, depending on the age group they were working with. Our toddler teachers let the children pick out their own colors of paint and they painted a picture. The teachers attached their photo to it and they wrote four things that they thought described the child, such as “I am sweet,” “I am funny.” Our infant teacher let the babies do some finger painting and then attached their picture to it, making their “self-portraits.” Both of these classes had really sweet artwork!
Our preschoolers are able to describe some of their features, so this class was able to have a discussion about what color their eyes or hair are. The teacher set out the inspiration photo and took photos of each child in the classroom. She laid the photos on top of their paper and asked them questions about what they looked like. The children got to study their photos and talk about what they saw. After their discussion the children got to paint a picture of what they look like. It was really fun to use the child’s photos to complete these projects. The parents thought these self-portraits were really special!
To celebrate our last day of the school year, we took a family field trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland. We had a total of 51 (students, parents, and siblings) and then a great group of kiddos under 2. It was an amazing turnout, a beautiful day, and such a fun way to wrap up our June “A to Zoo Animals” unit with Mother Goose Time!
Along the way, one of our kiddos spotted a collection of bees in the flowers and said, “Look Ms. Jennie, they are pollinating!” (April- Bees and Butterflies) As we finished up our school year with graduation and this adventure, I am always amazed at how much our children have learned and retained.
They have had fun, made friendships and a community of parents has been formed. I love having a moment to reflect on the impact our little school has on our community!
Ok, here’s a few highlights from our field trip!
We had such a great day at the Zoo and we have really enjoyed our school year together! We are looking forward to Summer camp with Mother Goose Time (Art Studio and Science Lab). When there are great families and sweet children, there is always more fun to be had!
Do you ever find yourself needing an extra activity for your class? Maybe they finished what you had planned for the day faster than you expected, and there is still a lot of class time left. Or there isn’t much planned but you need to come up with an activity that ties into the unit. We love the Mother Goose Time ‘More Math’ and ‘More Literacy’ books for this reason. These books are a great way to incorporate some extra math and literacy practice into the day and they make great work samples. We get a set of these books each month and our Preschool and Pre-K.
Today we reviewed the letter M in class. We found the Measure the Moose Antlers worksheet in the More Math book, which tied in perfectly with today’s topic. With this worksheet they practiced scissor skills by cutting out the ruler and antlers. They decided which antlers they liked best on the moose and then practiced measuring. We worked on where to place the ruler when measuring something and then they lined up the antlers from smallest to biggest. This was a great way to see how everyone is doing on their scissor skills, and if they needed help it was a chance to remind them how we hold our scissors and that our thumb stays on top.
Another worksheet we did today to add some extra literacy in was a Quick Review, where they described what was happening in the three pictures and then told me what happened next. They all said similar things about the three pictures (the girl sat the apple on the fence, the raccoon saw the apple, and then by the third picture all of the animals ate the apple). They all had very different endings, for instance one child made his ending about an alligator finding another apple and sharing it with the girl after the animals ate hers. After everyone had a chance to dictate their story with me we read them as a class. It was fun to read all of the different endings, when the story started out the same.
Sometimes we make copies and send some pages home so the parents and children can work together. This gives the parents a chance to see what we are working on in class, and gets them working together and practicing these skills at home.
If you need something extra to do with your class, these books are great to have on hand! We love that they line up with the Developmental Continuum of Skills chart that Mother Goose Time provides at the beginning of the year. 13.1 was on our Quick Review worksheet, so we can easily match this worksheet to the chart and see what skill we are working on.
Mother Goose Time has a variety of ways to differentiate instruction and having these extra resources is just one example. Check out their website for more information about the basic curriculum and all the materials that can be added to any type of learning environment!
This last week our Pre-K class had a special guest. One of the parents from that class recently took a trip to Africa and brought back special beads for the children to make bracelets. Before they got to pick their beads and make their bracelet, we learned about how these beads were made and what special cause they support. The children learned that not everyone is provided a free education in elementary school, and we learned that the proceeds from the jewelry that is created with these beads helps send children to school as part of the Sub-Saharan Education Project. We think this is a great cause and have provided the link below, if anyone is interested in learning more!
The children got to see where Africa is on the map that Mother Goose Time provides us. We love that the map is colorful, because when asked if the children knew where Africa was, they responded with “It’s the brown one on the map!” They easily recognize the continents by what color they are.
The children had so much fun feeling the beads and picking out which ones they wanted to include in their bracelet. This was a special experience and we loved learning more about this special cause that she is a part of.
This also gave us a chance to talk about what animals they might see in Africa, which tied into this month’s MGT “A to Zoo Animals” unit. We are loving this unit, and at the end of the month we are looking forward to seeing some of these animals at the Portland Zoo!
We are so excited for our June MGT unit, “A to Zoo Animals”! This is one of our favorite units and at the end of the month, we are planning to visit the Portland Zoo for a fun family day! There are so many fun activities for each letter/animal and I love how this unit is organized. It is a lot of fun and a great review of our basic concepts. It is also fun to see just how far our kids have come in their basic concepts!
One exciting link that is available in the online “Member Resources” for this month is the Letter Outlines. There are upper and lower case letter outlines available. We print a set of these and use them throughout the year for a variety of activities.
In our Pre-K class, they use them to practice the Monthly Letters with words they can think of that start with that sound. They have been practicing all year and it is so fun to see how much their writing, letter and sound recognition has improved! They work together to create a word wall with Ms. Jennifer and then they get to choose which words they want to add to the Letter Outline.
These letter outlines are also great for quick and easy letter art projects. Yesterday, my friends made “Beautiful Alligators” for the Letter A, and today they made Blue Birds for the Letter B.
On top of the great curriculum kits and daily activities, we love that Mother Goose Time provides our teachers and children even more resources to tap into their creativity!