Each day is a day filled with the opportunity for play and learning. It's funny to me that those words are seperate...
Play IS learning and real learning takes place through play.
The following article Want to get your kids into college? Let them play... By Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis is a great example of why play-based, teacher facilitated learning is essential to success.
In my hands ON experience with children I can attest to the following, "Through play, children learn to take turns, delay gratification, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, share goals, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment. By allowing children to imagine walking in another person's shoes, imaginative play also seeds the development of empathy, a key ingredient for intellectual and social-emotional success." Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis
Just some of our "play" today...
In this picture a few of my sweet girls were experiencing the differences of several sensory terms. We observed that the some of our newly made playdough was hot, warm, cool, and cold. We also added gold and emerald glitter allowing each child to choose which color and pointing out the names of each color to add to their white uncolored playdough. We then discussed how to knead the dough.
Following this, since it is St. Patrick's Day week for us, we talked about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and how we might go about finding it. We imagined several ways we might find the pot of gold and what we would do with a pot of gold. We practiced taking turns with the tools, pounded out pots and smushed them down to create something new.
We also learned a new song:
I LOVE this picture we took this morning. The children were all a chatter about building their roads, bridges, ramps, train tracks, and towers. They were excitedly working with us and together. We counted how many "blocks tall" the towers were. We counted how many "blocks long" the roads were. We practiced proactive noticing of one another's accomplishments and how challenging their work was they they "DID IT!" with high fives all around.
The following article confirmed what I already knew; why meaningful play and conversations with the emotionally present and well trained early education professionals in their lives DRAMACTICALLY enhances learning.
Please take a moment to read the link posted. If you child is enrolled with us, it will help explain the term "rigorous cirriculum" and show you real indicators of how we meet that each day.
What is a “Rigorous” Preschool Curriculum?
March 7, 2013 by Irene Sege
When we started talking to the children about what they would like to study about with the letter "J," we came up with LOTS of ideas.
Our first intention was to study dinosaurs of each letter for a while. Their fascination with dinosuars is OFF THE CHARTS! But, as we were discussing LOTS of things that started with "J" we happily landed firmly on JAM!
I knew that there would be lots of questions about jam, since we have a SUPER smart group of kiddos. Soooo, as the questions started I soon realized that we were going to be knee deep in the stuff by the end of the week. They wanted to make jam. Making jam with preschool children seems...well...daunting. BUT, we did it! We made some delicious jam and we also were able to talk about units of measure, ingrediants and how they mix and melt together to create something wonderfully scrumptious!
I researched LOTS of recipes looking for just the right one to try with our young group. We needed something super easy, relatively quick that tasted GREAT! I came across one that simply called for strawberries and sugar. Here is how we did it...
8 cups thawed, sliced strawberries (I used the frozen ones from Sam's)
4 cups sugar
1 package strawberry Jello gelatin
First, we let the strawberries thaw and then we mashed them until they were totally squishy. We then added the fruit and sugar to a big pan and brought the mix to a boil. Once boiling we brought it down to a simmer (uncovered) and gave it a stir every little bit. Mind you, we are in the charge of 10 preschool aged children. This includes diaper changes, potty breaks, snacks, play changes, sharing practice, meals, storytime and the occasional temper tantrum. So, when I say stir "every little bit," this means that you CAN forget about it for 20mins and then suddenly catch an amazing whiff of strawberry in the air and suddenly PANIC that it may be scorching on the stove, run over and give it a stir and yes, it will still be wonderful... this is NOT a sensitive recipe that requires your constant attention.
After it simmered for a couple of hours it was apparent that it was NOT going to thicken like the recipe said it would...think...think...think... So...we decided to give the gelatin a whirl.
Amazingly, it worked! Once cool (ish) we spooned it into our jars and continued to allow it to cool. Once it had set up overnight in in the fridge it was perfect. I meant to do that!?!
The children were SOOOOO excited to showcase their creation to their families. They were delighted to report back to us when they had tried their homemade jam with their family. It's so fun when children get the opportunity to experience new things, create something that makes them feel accomplished, and I get the privledge of being there helping them do it!!!
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