Saturday, August 18, 2018

Preschool Science: Volume and Water Displacement

I get so tickled when my preschooler does things that I used to teach in 4th and 6th grade.
Understanding VOLUME is a huge concept in both grade levels.

This month with our preschool curriculum we are studying Fables and Folktales; one being 
The Crow and the Pitcher- an Aesop fable.

The story goes that there once was a crow who was so thirsty on a dry, hot, summer day and the only water that could be found was in a pitcher.  However try as he might, his beak could not reach the water.  Using his brain, he determined to drop pebbles in the pitcher causing the water to rise to where he could get drink.  Smart smart crow.

After reading the fable, we did the STEAM experiment that Mother Goose Time suggested in the teacher guide. 

We used a beaker from when we did the Science Lab unit from Mother Goose Time, and a bunch of plastic gems that MGT sent with this unit.  We drew a line with a dry erase marker at the water level and then watched it rise as my girl put more and more beads in the beaker.

"Momma, look!  It's getting higher and higher!"
As the water reached the top of the beaker, my girl tried to take a sip and she could fully understand how the crow was able to drink.  We emptied the beads and did the experiment again, 
and again, and again.
Because preschoolers...and science.  You have to do many tests to make sure the conclusion is valid. 

If I was teaching my 4th and 6th graders, this would be an excellent Engage lesson (5 E Lesson plan)
Using a beaker or graduated cylinder, kids could actually find the volume of a pebble or bead by subtracting the starting volume (water level) from the water level volume after the bead was placed inside. 

My little girl.... already doing big things in science.  Big concepts start early.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Storytelling with a Sensory Bin

It's a new month, and you know that means-- a new unit with our preschool curriculum from Mother Goose Time.  This month it is all about Fables and Folktales, and we just spent the whole first week reading from Aesop's Fables.

One of those fables happened to be about the Ants and the Grasshopper which inspired our monthly sensory bin.  I have been working with my just turned 4 preschooler on how to retell stories, 
and yall.... the struggle is real.
We practiced retelling at home, so that when Daddy came home, my girl could tell him the story about what she learned.  Yall, she could remember the climax, but anything leading to that point, she left out.  She did this with the Lion and the Mouse story, and the Bundle of Sticks story, and still struggled retelling the Ant and Grasshopper on our 3rd day.

I had to make a change to help her retell.
So I decided I would try to make her sensory bin become a retelling bin this month.

What you need:
-food coloring or liquid watercolors
-ziploc bag
-large dish pan or container to set up sensory bin
-plastic ants (we used some from last month's box)
-plastic grasshopper (we had from some bugs I bought at the dollar store a while ago)
-buttons or anything to represent food
-blocks for ant hill and grasshopper

A good shaking gets the green water color to spread out.

Now you have "grass"!  Lay it out flat to dry and place in the sun for a few minutes.  It was completely dry by the time I finished gathering all the rest of my supplies.

My husband cut some wood blocks for the kiddos a few months ago as he got his lumberjack on and took down a few trees in the back yard.  They are perfect for our sensory box!

We combined efforts and retold the story in the video below.
However this box could easily be adapted to be any Aesop fable or book!
Add a mirror, a toy dog, and paper bone and retell the story of the Greedy Dog and His Bone.
Add a toy lion, a toy mouse, and some cloth to be a net and retell the Lion and the Mouse.
Add some frogs, blue rice, and few small pebbles, and retell the story of the Boys and the Frogs.
Add a rabbit and a turtle toy, and maybe some popsicle sticks to create a path to retell the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

The possibilities are endless.
We will definitely change our bin throughout the month as we retell the stories we learn.

Happy learning friends!