“I Can Read” Books

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Each month with Mother Goose Time, we receive an “I can Read” book. During OCean Commotion, the book was called “What am I?”

 

 
The teachers read the book a few times as the children followed along. As the teacher read the story, the children enjoyed looking at the animal that was hiding and guessing what it was.

 

After the teacher was done reading, the children got the chance to read the book back to the teacher. The teacher worked with the children to sound out any words that they did not know. At the end of the story they got to draw their favorite ocean animal.33095537_10155603123636527_119866240809304064_n (1) The teacher wrote the name of the animal for them and they worked on tracing over the letters. Some of the older students were able to write the name of the ocean animal themselves. This was a fun way to combine writing and reading.

This is only one example of how the “I Can Read” books have been used in the classroom. Sometimes we hunt for letter/words, sometimes we practice following directions with underlining or circling. The most important part is that interaction between the child and the words.

We really enjoy the “I Can Read” books. The children get to take their books home and read it to their parents. Many parents mention how their children have the book memorized and how excited they are to be reading!

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Taking Space

One of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children is the awareness of their own emotional state. Each month with mother Goose Time, we focus on a different character trait, such as Being Kind, Patient, Loving, etc., and sometimes we need space to be those things for ourselves. In our Preschool/Pre-K classroom, we have been working on the development of a space for children to be when the world just feels too big. Permission is given to all children to visit our “Quiet Cubby” anytime, and if they are particularly upset, a teacher can go with him/her. 32350152_10155581850481527_7576405177243009024_n32257782_10155581849841527_4288560480399654912_n

32293806_10155581849771527_1931148726575824896_nOn the shelves, we placed a variety of items to use as tools for calming/comfort. We found car wash mits at the Dollar Tree that are great for soft sensory. There are things to squish, thinking putty, mini calming jars that can be shaken and then watch as the glitter all settles. We made a weighted pad out of some soft fabric and rice.

One of our favorite tools is “Smell the Flower, Blow out the Candle”. This strategy comes from the Applebaum Training Institute, and if you haven’t been to one of their trainings, I highly recommend you do. We added a little “Stress Away” essential oil blend from Young Living to our Dollar Store flowers and the battery-operated candle is extra fun.

When introducing something new that is for everyone, but specifically designed for one or two children in particular, we begin by allowing everyone to check it all out. This reduces the stigma and creates an atmosphere where everyone is safe.

When the excitement begins to fade, we set a timer and allowed children time to explore one at a time. This is a great chance to explain the purpose with those it is intended to help, but what is good for one is good and available to all. This way the child who needs it is more likely to use it.

Now we are entering the second week with this new space, and it is working beautifully. Children are taking time to visit the quiet cubby, play with some thinking putty with the rice pack on their laps, and they love it. The classroom is more calm and productive. We love having a safe space where we can talk about our feelings, use calming strategies, and seek comfort when needed. Time-Out is not a term we use, but it is completely acceptable and encouraged to take space for ourselves. Hopefully these children will grow into adults that have a better understanding of how to handle emotions appropriately and safely.

For more information about this technique and how we handle guidance and discipline at Wonders, please follow the link!

Field Trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium

We are so fortunate to live less than and hour from the ocean. Although it was a big adventure, it was worth it to give our children a hands-on ocean experience, rainy day and all!

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Each child had a different favorite- from the sharks, the sea lions, otters, the touch pool, or even getting to ride the big bus. Thanks to Mother Goose Time for developing such a fun Ocean Commotion unit. Our children learned so much and it was really neat to hear all the things they remembered during our day at the aquarium.

Creative Arts in Space!

When I think of space, I think of Science and Technology. But Science and Technology wouldn’t be anything without creative thinking and artistic minds who ventured outside the box. We have had so much fun this month with paint and sensory experiences, but we have also enjoyed our Dramatic Play adventures and creative building projects as we explored Space with Mother Goose Time!

We had three different Rocket Tents in our classrooms. One teacher put Space Shuttles and such in there and they had so much fun playing in their own little world. Another teachers turned hers into the Reading Rocket and they loved using flashlights to read and cast images on the ceiling of the tent. And the third put old calculators and radios in there as controls, and they had great adventures blasting off! As we came to different planets during the unit, the teacher would combine Dramatic Play and the Theme Poster to go to that planet and talk about what they saw, how it felt, etc.

The telescopes we made were a big hit, and continued to be long after Astronomer day! Provided in the Mother Goose Time Kit for that day was short cardboard tubes and stickers. The children were asked to design their own telescope, but the fun didn’t end there. One of our teachers made a large poster of constellations and they used their telescopes to search for pictures in the sky. Creative Arts isn’t just finished artwork, but a mindset of seeing things in a new way and children are naturals!

Neptune is swirled and covered in ice. We had small foil sheets in the daily kit and we used sparkly paint and glue to create our Neptune Art!

Jupiter came with a few ideas. Our Preschool/Pre-K class used marbles and swirled it around like a tornado. Then they added a red sticker (provided) because Jupiter’s red spot, or eye, is actually a giant storm.

Our younger kiddos had a different technique to create their Jupiter Art. They helped to squeeze a few dots of paint onto their paper and then they covered it in plastic wrap. They squished it around and when the wrap was pulled off, the print left behind was really nice.

We used shaving cream and liquid watercolor to make Earth prints. We talked about what the colors represented (land and water). One class added a little glue to the mixture, which made the puff stay up, while another group scraped it off with the edge of a ruler, for a more marbled effect.28826939_10155471949311527_5610348190362832522_o-e1521678172338.jpg

 

We like to post the Daily Theme Poster after the lesson is complete to help communicate to parents what we learned about that day.big_6F252D93-5A16-43F5-92AE-351488E40E1A

 

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One of our favorite building materials this month has been these Magnetic Shapes! They have been Rockets, Space Stations, Rovers, etc. They have worked together and independently- worth every penny!

These Kiddos are so creative!

We are really enjoying “Blast Off to Space” with Mother Goose Time! The Lesson plan books have so many fun activities and a lot of helpful information (in the event that you are not an astronomer yourself).

We have sang songs and danced like different planets with the Mother Goose Time CD (word of caution… they will get stuck in your head!) “Ice, Rock Ice, Spinning in a ring…”, “Spider in Space…” “3,2,1, Blast off, hold on tight…”

We have read books, gone on adventures, and made art together. Mother Goose Time inspires our creativity and gives us the tools we need to make sure our children are learning and having fun!

Babies in Space!

When talking about creative work with our precious babies, we have to start with the keepsake artwork that our teachers help create for their parents! It is so fun to see little hands and feet in themed art, even if the kids don’t find it as amusing as the adults. Work like this communicates to parents that we did something today and they have it to hang at home. These little hands and feet will never be this small again, so we should take every opportunity to capture them.

Now, on to the real work these little ones do everyday with Mother Goose Time- Experience Baby!

This month, we received this fun set of sensory balls (Planets) as part of the Experience baby kit. They are easily washable and they love them! They are fun to feel, chew on and chase, and they are the perfect size for little hands. These balls have been a big part of the activities this month.

We have been testing gravity, playing hide and seek, learning to follow simple directions, learning color and shape recognition, practicing our fine motor skills, taking turns, and having so much fun!big_IMG_20180320_112051 We even did some color mixing with our Space Goo activity.

We love that Mother Goose Time- Experience Baby gives so many fun ideas to help teach Creative Arts to our youngest students!

Our Community is Blasting Off to Space!

We have a large bulletin board at each center that we call our “Community Board”. Each month, we take a theme (usually our topic of study from Mother Goose Time), and we involve all of our children to create a fun display. The boards for “Blast Off to Space” (March 2018) turned out very cute!

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At our main center, we gave each class a different piece- we had Astronauts, Shooting Stars (Which the children corrected when they learned that “shooting stars” are actually not stars), Aliens, and Rockets. We try to get a picture of each child for the board every month because it is so fun to see how much they grow throughout the year.29472965_10155471327191527_1644770619595495722_n

At our second location, everyone was an astronaut, but we incorporated the order of the planets. The children got to decorate their piece and put it on the board however they liked. I think they turned out so fun and I can’t wait to see what we come up with for next month- Ocean Commotion!

Evergreen Space Museum Field Trip

Last Friday, we were lucky enough to take 33 children to the Evergreen Space Museum for a field trip, as part of our “Blast Off to Space” unit with Mother Goose Time! A few of those 33 were siblings because the Corvallis School district was closed for conferences, and we were so glad to have a few bigger kids, as well as a number of parents, to help us on the adventure. The tour was mostly about the “Space Race” and things we learned from the moon landing. There were plenty of stops for hand-on fun and the mission control room is always a highlight. The staff at Evergreen was amazing! They presented everything in a way that we all enjoyed and could learn from. It was busy, but from the bus, to the playground, the tour, and lunch, it was a great day! I highly recommend checking it out if you are in the area!

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Field trip tips!

  1. Have plenty of helpful adults! (not all parents are actually helpful on field trips, either because they aren’t sure what to do, or their child behaves differently for them, then they would for a teacher.)
  2. Have special field trip shirts so they are easy to spot and everyone can tell you are all together.
  3. Name tags for everyone! We put emergency info on the children’s, so if something were to go very badly, we could hand someone that child’s sticker, and his/her parents could be contacted. We label who is a “Parent Volunteer” and who is “Staff”. We also put a little picture on it (Sun, Moon, Rockets, etc.) so each small group has their own and when we do a roll call, we can be sure everyone is accounted for quickly. For example, I simply say, “Where are my Stars?” and that adult can tell me they have the 1-3 children they are responsible for.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time! We did well on our time budget getting to the museum, but we were having so much fun, that we should give ourselves more time for the return trip next time.
  5. Pack a bag/box of all the Extras! Extra shirts, extra name tags, changes of clothes, First Aid kit, tissues, wipes, etc. A fold able wagon to carry the extra stuff and lunches is a great idea!
  6. Have trip activities and snacks! Just like when you travel with your own children, be prepared. Even if they had snack 15 minutes before loading the bus, they will be hungry. We had bags of snack with paper souffle cups for the chaperones to divide up as they saw necessary. We also had Magnetic Doodle pads, coloring books/crayons, and books all about Space to pass the time on the bus (this trip was about an hour each way for us and they did great!)
  7. Be flexible, organized, and have fun!29496277_10155471327156527_7740170970109942506_n

“Experience Baby” does STEAM!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

Our program begins as early as 6 weeks of age- does STEAM really apply? Absolutely! Do infants and wobblers really need curriculum? What are they learning anyway?  Glad you asked!

We love that the “Experience Baby” curriculum set understands the variety of skills and abilities for these tiniest of students. Having activities planned allows the teachers to focus on the care of the children and not so much on planning. It also guarantees that our little ones have quality, engaging activities designed for their development.

“Experience Baby”, from Mother Goose Time, is set up a little differently from the basic curriculum, because the skills of a 3 month old are drastically different from a 12 month old. The lesson plans come in three colors (content areas) and they are numbered. For example, they might do Orange, Purple, and Green, number 1 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, and 3 on Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday, they can do any of those that they didn’t get to, didn’t go well and want to try again, or were favorites. The cards outline what supplies we will need, a basic plan, and then what to expect from different ages and stages. The teachers are able to track how the child approached the activity and communicate to parents what we did that day. The set comes with a book for each child to go between home and school- such a valuable tool for those who cannot yet communicate! This is not an extensive run down of Experience Baby, but I highly recommend it for any program that offers infant/Wobbler care!

Here are just a few STEAM Activities happening during “My Small World” unit with our Infants and Toddlers!

Engineering!

Math! They loved these cards so much!

Science! This was a fascinating activity to see how truly engaged they were.

Developing Hand-Eye coordination!

Art! They love to paint and this was their version of the Eiffel Tower.

Science with Jell-o… They loved this! Testing bounce, squish, color mixing!

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And just a little more cuteness! These little ones are so precious and busy. I love that their teachers not only meet their basic needs beautifully, but strive to give them fun and challenging interactions with the world around them. Thanks for all you do Teachers!

STEAM Around the World!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Mother Goose Time provides so many opportunities for these skills to develop naturally. Here are just a few ways that we used STEAM in our classrooms this week with our “Small World” unit!

Swirl World was one of our favorites! There are many options for how to approach this activity, but we opted to play with the shaving cream and then make a marbled print. To do this, we put shaving cream on a plate, added liquid watercolor (green and blue, of course) and then the children gently swirled it. Once it was swirled, but not totally mixed to one color, we put a piece of card stock on top. We used the side of a ruler to scrape off the shaving cream and the most beautiful prints were left behind. We cut them into circles and glued them inside the provided paper plate to hang in the classroom.

The Wooden Airplane activity tested our engineering skills, and they became quite artistic in their design as well. Some children had fun using as much glue as possible to stick the wooden sticks in every which direction, while others studied the photo carefully as they constructed the body, wings, and tail.

On “Rug” day, our older children really enjoyed sewing their own rugs. This type of activity is why we love Mother Goose Time so much. The fabric, string, and plastic needles were individually cut and ready to go

Our younger children had a different variation of the rug activity in the Little Goose Supplement. They used tape to make a design on paper and then painted over it. After the tape was removed, their design showed through. Our preschool and Pre-K children liked that idea, but they got to tape the design themselves.

Mother Goose Time is packed with STEAM opportunities within the basic curriculum. An addition to the weekly lesson plan book this year is STEAM stations. The first couple pages of each book has a variety of ideas for how to incorporate STEAM into the classroom. Thank Mother Goose Time for continuing to improve the education opportunities for our children!

 

 

 

Celebrating Love Around the World

On the first Thursday of each month, our center hosts a Family Night (6:00-7:00) and everyone is invited to participate. One of our wonderful parents volunteered to organize these events and it is such an amazing addition to our school community. We began in December with a pajama story time with milk and cookies. We had a wonderful Storyteller from the community come to share “The Christmas Spider”. Then in January we had a Bilingual (Spanish) story time with a fun craft, organized by one of our Spanish Speaking families.

For the month of February, we learned about traditions surrounding Valentine’s day from around the world, which tied in very nicely to our Mother Goose Time unit, “It’s a Small World”. One of the Pizza restaurants in town was kind enough to donate a few pizzas (Thanks Papa’s Pizza!), so as the families arrived, we fed the children and explained the activity to the parents. Each family was in charge of a country and their job was to teach the others about the traditions from that country. The children worked together to fill in the blanks on their worksheet. When they thought they had them all figured out, they earned a small prize. Then we all sat down and each family got a chance to share about their country while we looked at pictures of children from around the world.

To round out our evening, we had a photo booth for each family to get a Valentine’s picture taken. We had each child make his/her hand prints on a large poster heart. We added the family pictures and the pictures of the children from around the world, and this poster will decorate our classroom.27336683_10155341813251527_4873058863418775222_n

This morning, we took the flags from each country, the traditions that happen in each country, and the Mother Goose Time Map and put them all together. This way we have a reminder of the fun things we learned and it will be part of our study of the world around us this month, (and Valentine’s Day, of course).

Attached are links (hopefully they work) to the activity we used and the Powerpoint with the photos of children around the world.

VALENTINES AROUND THE WORLD

Valentines around the globe

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