Thursday, February 22, 2018

Preschool STEAM Station: Sedimentary Rocks

We are on a wirlwind adventure this month as we study different destinations all over the world in our Small World box from Mother Goose Time.

One of Avaleigh's most favorite activities happened this week when we "visited" the Grand Canyon, and it just so happened to be a STEAM station activity.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. 
(so glad they included Art... it used to be called STEM a few years ago)

The Grand Canyon activity we did really focused on SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, and ART.

Sedimentary rocks are formed from the compaction of layers upon layers of sediment, which are evident in the rows of colors we observe in the Grand Canyon.  The picture MGT sent was perfect to catch the idea of layers.

So how do you get this idea of layers of sediment forming rocks to preschoolers?
You break out the play dough.
Through the use of kitchen tools (technology), Avaleigh pressed and rolled out an assortment of colored play dough into thin rectangular layers.  We discussed the colors she had and she picked which color would go next in her layer stack (art).

Once her layers were done, she pressed them together using the pressure of her hands (compaction).  Then it was time to cut into the rock.... I mean play dough ;) 

Using more tools from her kitchen (knives), Avaleigh cut and cut into the playdough rock to reveal a rainbow of layers.

Isn't that beautiful!?!

Of course afterwards, she wanted to press all the colors together and form a ball, but it didn't turn into a glob of gross brown color immediately like I thought it would.
It turned into this rainbow mix.
Still lovely.

This STEAM station reminded me of one of my favorite labs I did with my 6th graders- a ROCK CYCLE lab, which you can read about here (rock cycle rap included).
Understanding big concepts like sedimentary rock formation doesn't start in 6th grade.  
It starts right here in preschool.  

That's what I am doing right now each and everyday with our Mother Goose Time curriculum...
laying out the foundation for understanding hard concepts.

Want to read more preschool STEAM ideas? Click here.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

File Folder Games with Mother Goose Time

Hi, my name is Leslie and I am a former public school educator (8 years).
Currently, I home school our little preschooler, Avaleigh, who is 3.5 years old using 
Mother Goose Time- a prepackaged curriculum unit study for preschoolers.
The quality of the things we receieve are TOP NOTCH and as a teacher, I REALLY struggle in throwing this stuff away when were are done. But my house just can not handle keeping all the stuff.
There are some things we get every month though that I do keep- one of those being the 

I turn these into file folder games and store them in a filing crate.

Here's how I do it:

First I find out where the board game is using the Supplied Core Tools list and dig it out of the box, and then I get the supplies I need: a file folder, small snack bag, pieces, and glue.

First I open the snack bag and staple it to the back of the file folder.  This allows the bag to open completely and makes storing the pieces easy.

Then, I glue the game board to the inside.  I like to do this with the file folder almost closed that way the middle creases line up and there are no air pockets.

Then I look at the lesson and read through the directions on how to play together. 
I also look at the learning goals that are listed underneath the title.  In this case the goals are:
Patters and Sorting 18.2
Self-Direction 2.2

I then look at the back of my Teacher Guide and see what exactly are the expectations.
Self-direction 2.2 is about maintaining attention and repeating an activity until success.

Pattern and Sorting 18.2 is about matching, sorting and charting. 
During the game the child is expected to match colors.

I write these goals and expectations on the front of my file folder, and write the title of the game and whether it is Math or Reading related.  

Now if Avaleigh needs help in a certain area, I can easily find the game to help reinforce those skills.

If I had a class, I would let parents check these games out and play them at home with their preschoolers.  As an educator, you do not just educate the child, but also the parent.  Parents want to help their kids, but some just don't know what to do or where to begin.  As a teacher, you can assess the needs of the child and equip the parent at home with games that the child is already familiar with.    Mother Goose Time makes it possible to share the fun of learning at home- 
creating fun memories in the process.

A win win for everyone.
And all I had to do was glue it in a folder.

Happy Learning friends!


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