This pic was my favorite of the week and shows off our "G" is for ground learning unit perfectly! This week we talked about the ground. It's a natural choice for the children. They have watched the grass grow and fade, the rain fall and be soaked up, and now the snow fall and melt. We have planted seeds and watched them grow. We have harvested our SINGLE surviving vegetable plant...our oddly shaped cucumber that tasted a bit like the ground it came from! We have made mud and watched as the drought browned and scorched the flowers and plants. All of these events have brought lots of questions and now...the GROUND is cold, frozen and hard. So when we came upon the letter "G," once again, and we were discussing different things that started with the letter "G," we determined that the ground would be a fun topic of study. In this picture we have made a worm farm. We talked about the purpose of the worms in the ground. We learned that worms are decomposers and we made up a sweet little worm song. We read about worms and found out what they like to eat and how they move. During this week my little girl came down with the flu as well, sooo...we didn't get to finish all our wormy activities, but not to worry, Spring is right around the corner!
A worm farm? Well...I'm glad you asked!
The first part to any respectable worm farm is, of course, the dirt! And who wouldn't want to bring a bit of the outside INSIDE for some scientific sensory exploration?! We used what's called "organic soil." I found this quite humorous since...really...what soil isn't? BUT, I wanted the BEST for our worm friends and opted to purchase a bag of "organic" soil. We poured about half the bag into our biggest plastic bin (with a lid that had pre-drilled holes for air). For a while we just let the children experience the dirt. The younger ones dug right in. The older ones were curious and just wanted to move onto adding the WORMS! Soooo....we did just that...
Twenty little earthworms...
Since we were talking about the ground and earthworms, we kind of took a divergent path and got in depth about our wormy friends. We learned that eartworms are decomposers, that they help turn dead plants into dirt and help the ground to grow new living things.
We also learned that earthworms only have a sense of feeling. That they move through the ground finding their way around with just how things FEEL to them. We praticed only using our sense of feel. In this lesson we closed our eyes to see if we could tell what was wet and what was dry.
We discussed that we have "senses" and that we were NOT using our sense of sight, or smell, or hearing, but rather, our sense of FEEL. Each child took a turn, eyes closed, stating which cloth was dry or wet. We further observed that we could find our way across the table to the wet cloth just by feeling our way...just like a worm.
Our wormy friends were a BIG hit. We measured their length with "non" conforming standards of measurement. We used paper, blocks, crackers (we didn't eat them!((the worms or crackers!!!)). We decided that the worms were different sizes around and different lengths. We looked at them through our magnifying glasses and we could see their rings. We also made up an earthworm song...
(To the tune, I'm a Little Teapot)
I'm a little earthworm soft and slow,
through the earth I like to go.
I'm a decomposer so you know,
I'll eat the plants from down below!
First...click the title above to see the CUTEST little girls around sing this sweet little song about seeds growing in the ground!
Ok...so we also did (and are still doing) ALOT of study about the ground. This includes seeds. How are the grown, what do they need, how fast will they sprout, can we water them again...why not????
Children LOVE dirt, this is such and EASY topic to hold their attention with. ANYTHING they can water and water and water is going to get LOTS of TLC (maybe a bit much).
However, despite all the GREAT love our preschoolers have shown these beans they are GROWING. We closely examined the roots coming out of the beans. We noticed that the roots were indeed going "DOWN" into the soil and, as of the post...we didn't yet have any stems. We will continue to nurture our plants and update our progress.
This week wasn't connected to any letter and just developed with our children's natural amazement to what Mother Nature brought us to enjoy over the holiday break...SNOW!
Since the windchill was in the teens and twenties and our little babes are quite young and vulnerable we decided to bring the snow IN for some science, discovery and play!
I like to MOVE IT!
Later in the day...and the week...
We do lots and lots of fine motor skills practice that take the shape of many different forms of "play." They don't realize that its learning...it's so organic and self-directed that it doesn't seem like anything other than having a GREAT time.
Here the girls are using scissors and papers to cut out anything they like. The older children asked that I draw different shapes, objects, etc. for them to cut out. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to make every moment count. I drew a butterfly, a heart, a house, a tree. These are simple shapes, but incorporate alot of angles, curves and edges that maintained their focus for quite some time. When they would accidently cut too short or long, we would simply draw again and try again.
Lots of great fine motor practice and fun occurs during simple moments like these....
MY favorite pic of the week!
We decided to make snowmen. This was a lesson in counting, size recognition, color and again...a discussion on seasons and tempurature.
What makes this MY favorite picture of the week is the DETERMINATION on all those little faces. As you can see they each have a FULL bottle of glue and the green light to SQUEEZE!
This is just the way they like it...uninhibited, no rules, no worries, let the mess ensue! It's also a time when you could almost here a pin drop they are so engaged in their "edu" play! We started with the BIG circles, then the medium sized and last, the small circles. We stacked them one upon the next, added some black circles eyes and smiles and then some more scissor practice to cut up scrap paper into LOTS of snow for our snowman pictures. These turned out super sweet, the children were so proud of their accomplishment and ready to show them off to their families upon arrival.
I forgot to mention...
These two books about snow were the class favorites during this week. We read "The Jacket I Wear In The Snow," MANY times each day.
It's a cute little book with a great meter. It talks about all the things we wear when we go out in the snow and concludes with the "tear that fell from my eye," along with "this is the Mommy that wiped the tear that fell from my eye."
We also discussed how snowflakes are frozen rain, which is why snow turns back INTO water when it gets warmer. From this we talked all about snowflakes being "unique." That meant that each one was different, none are the same, just like people.
We practiced making each one of our snowflakes different too with glitter, glue, paints, and stickers. Sure enough, not one of them looked alike!
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com