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Paw Prints

We are  having fun in Week 3, Lessons 11-15 in January’s Baby Animalsunit with Experience Early Learning.

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This week is all about ‘Keeping Babies Safe.’ In Lesson 11 the children learned about a Veterinarian Visit. During our Creative Corner activity, we made a Paw Prints collage. In the Teacher Guide, the goals they are working on are listed, and you can easily find what benchmarks match up to the goals with the table in the back of the guide. For instance, with the Paw Print activity, the goals listed were Visual Arts 32.2 and Fine Motor 5.2. When looking at the benchmark table (pages 22-23 in the Teacher Guidebook) you’ll see that 5.2 says “Uses drawing/writing tools.” The teacher can make note of this and observe how the children are using the writing tools- for this project they were observed using paintbrushes.

We love that these goals and benchmarks are listed in the Guidebook with each activity and each lesson. Having them easy to reference makes assessments go smoothly. Early Childhood Development is so important. This is where children learn physical, social and cognitive skills that set them up for success later in life. While it looks like they are “just playing”, there is critical learning happening. We love that Experience Early Learning exposes children to a variety of skills, and makes it easy for our teachers to be sure that children are meeting important milestones in their development.

Experience Early Learning provides most of the materials – which means our teachers don’t have to worry about gathering much. All that we needed to supply for the Paw Print activity was the paint – super easy! Experience Early Learning provided us with the Title Display, Inspiration Photo, as well as the stencil and paper for each child. The children looked at the Inspiration Photo to decide what animal the paw prints belonged to. We compared the paw prints to our own hands and fingers. These paw prints turned out super cute and were very colorful. The teacher is going to put a frame around them to make them complete!

We are happy to blog about what is happening in our classrooms with the Experience Early Learning Program. In return for our blogging efforts, we receive a portion of free curriculum materials for our classrooms.

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Welcome Back!

We welcomed back our students from Winter Break with new classrooms. Sharing a space (we share the building with a Church) means trying to use every bit of it in a way that makes sense for each class. The building has two classrooms – and we have 5, so this means we have to get creative. Our teachers came in on the last day of their break to rearrange the classrooms. Because switching rooms is always a busy task and it takes time to get settled, we were even more thankful for the curriculum from Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) this month. Having curriculum ready meant our teachers didn’t have to spend much time planning and it made the transition back on Monday easier.


This month is all about Baby Animals. The theme for the Experience Toddler
curriculum this first week is The Lion and The Beetle. Our Toddler teacher went to
the Dollar Tree and found crowns and a toy beetle that went along perfectly with
the lessons this week!

 

The curriculum book is laid out nicely and makes planning very easy. This month the cards were included as part of the lesson book, and that made everything much easier to keep track of. They made their own dramatic play prop this week with the activity ‘Lion Mask Roar.’

 

With the ‘L is for Lion’ activity the children got to dip a pompom in orange paint and stamp over the masking tape (creating the first letter of their name). They discovered that the paint felt cold and squishy!


‘Waiting for Babies’ was the theme this week for our Experience Preschool
curriculum. In the lessons this week the children have learned about Mammal
Moms, Oviparous Animals, Helper Dads, Birthdays and Adoption. When making
their nametags this month they took a look at the Theme Poster that Experience
Early Learning includes in the curriculum. They chose their favorite baby animal
from the poster and after writing their first name, they got to write the animal as
their last name. For example, “Rowan Giraffe.” The children have been busy
working on their fine motor skills this week as well as having fun with art,
counting, and writing.
We are looking forward to continuing our lessons with Experience Early
Learning’s Baby Animals curriculum.

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Dramatic Play and Sensory Fun

This week’s theme in Experience Early Learning’s Toddler curriculum was Baby Animals. We love that Experience Early Learning includes ideas each week for Dramatic Play. Because they were learning about Baby Animals, the idea this week was to set up a Baby Animal Vet clinic. The teacher made a sign, put it in a frame and hung it on the wall above the Dramatic Play center. The children got to be veterinarians and it was precious!

Dramatic Play is important in the early childhood classroom. It allows the children to use their imagination, they gain social interaction skills and it helps their language development. It is fun to see how the children use the materials provided. It is priceless watching their imaginations go to work.

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The Sensory/Science idea this week was called Tweezer Feathers. The teacher adapted a “Sticky Bird” activity for this. The teacher used contact paper with a bird cut-out and the children got to stick feathers to the bird. This was a great idea! We even saw some teamwork among the Toddlers to give the bird some feathers.

Experience Early Learning provides great ideas, and teachers can have fun putting their own spin on them as well. This curriculum is such an asset to our program!

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Kandinsky Tree

79534172_1449085031933468_4611921468534554624_n (1).jpgThe children’s Kandinsky Tree’s as part of Week 4, Lesson 16 (Experience Preschool– December “Sights and Sounds of Winter”) were so fun to make! The children looked at the inspiration photo that Experience Preschool provided. 80292047_577570249455764_1287886780254650368_n (1)We talked about the shapes and colors that we saw in the tree. We taped this photo on the wall above the art table and the children got to use sequins, paint, sticks, souffle cups, scissors and glue to create their collage. Many of the children chose to use the cups to stamp circles on their tree. Each tree turned out unique and different!

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One of the things that we love about Experience Preschool (formerly Mother Goose Time) is that the projects allow the children to use their creativity and imaginations. It is so fun to see how each child decides to use the materials and how different they all turn out. We observed how the children used their scissors and how they decided to use the souffle cups. We think these little artists did a great job!

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Snowstorm!

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Have you ever been in a Snowstorm?

As part of the “Snowman” Lesson (Day 10-Winter in the Woods) Experience Early Learning provided a memorable experience in our Pre-K class!

 

The lesson was to create a Snowstorm Painting. We were provided with Blue Paper (Background), White Paper (Snow), Black Paper (Trees) and Bubble Wrap for texture. Salt was added on top of the glue for some sparkle. Some children had a little help cutting triangles for their trees, but it was overall a great scissor activity (Authentic Assessment).

Another activity involved making prints in the “snow” (salt). The projects were going so well, until some of the salt fell on the floor.  At this point, the teacher has a choice- Clean it up quickly, or allow the children to have an entirely unplanned and magical experience!

This is what Preschool is all about! Allowing children to experience learning and fun in a way that they can’t do at home. Here where we live, we don’t often get to play in the snow, so this was so fun for them. I truly appreciate that our teachers aren’t afraid to get messy because childhood is precious. We are thankful that Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) inspires creativity and fun in our classrooms and we are thankful for amazing teachers!

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Newsletter!

What better way to keep parents informed then by sending home a weekly newsletter on Mondays that tells the families what their children will be up to for the week? That’s exactly what the Experience Toddler curriculum does. Experience Preschool (formerly Mother Goose Time) includes four weekly themes in the curriculum box, and in each package includes newsletters for the families on what their children will be learning about. Typing out newsletters is one less thing the teachers have to do.

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Experience Preschool sends monthly newsletters in the Preschool curriculum. Parents get these newsletters at the beginning of the month with each new unit. These newsletters include things that the parents can do with their children at home, recommended books, a song, etc. We love that Experience Early Learning is not only supporting our teachers with great activities for the classroom, but supporting the whole family with positive parenting and engagement!

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At our school, we have “Parent Pockets” up by our sign-in desk. Each child has a pocket and they are listed alphabetically. The teachers put the newsletter and any artwork or paperwork that needs to be sent home in their students pockets. Parents can check these quickly as they are on their way in or out the door.

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The newsletters are a great way to inform parents of the topic for the week, which can lead to parents talking to their little ones about what they’re learning. These conversations between parents and their children can get the children excited about their day and what they will be learning!

 

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Bears and Hibernation

Our first week of Experience Early Learning’s “Winter in the Woods” (December) unit is about Forest Animals.

Today, Week 1 Lesson 3 is about Bears. Set up in the creative corner is a Bear Den activity.78474736_452140485494628_2570337729640398848_n.jpg
These are the supplies that Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) provided:
 – Title Display
 – Inspiration Photo
 – Bowls (for each child)
 – Bear Photos (for each child)


All that we needed to supply to complete this project were nature items. The bear dens turned out really cute! We talked about hibernation and why bears hibernate. During their project we talked about the different kinds of bears. Experience Early Learning has a clever way of taking the most simple task and turning it into a fun and engaging educational experience for young children.

Bonus Idea – Teacher Angel Tree

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One of our sweet parents decided to do a Teacher Angel Tree at our school. She provided tags for the teachers and they filled them out with wish list items for either their classrooms or themselves and we hung them on the tree. If the parents want to participate they choose a tag off of the tree and return the wrapped item under the tree. This was a really thoughtful idea, and one that our teachers have really appreciated!