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.
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.