This beautiful little map with it's cheerful animals has drawn much attention over the past couple of weeks. Our preschoolers gravitate toward it daily and to ask questions about what they observe. The monkeys in South Africa, the buffalo in North America, and the narwhals way at the top capture their eyes.
This map, along with many others, provided to us by our education partners at Mother Goose Time, have prompted conversations and questions.
This is exciting for us teachers because we know that inquisitive little learners are engaged in organic education about the world allllll around them.
And it truly is a wonderful world.....
Sensory and Science
We used shave cream (with close and careful observation) with blue and green to represent land and sea as we swirled and squished and mixed colors around our "globe". This simple little paper plate craft manufactured some, "EWWWWW!" and some "OOOHHHHHH!!!" as our students experimented with q-tips, paintbrushes, fingers, and palms.
No matter their age, they ALL were knee-deep immersed in this Science and Sensory Creative Arts undertaking.
Stories and Songs
Spending our days this month focused on the places, peoples, and animals all around the world is a great big concept for little minds to comprehend, but stories and songs bring it closer to home. "What if Zebra's Lost Their Stripes" has been just one of my new favorites.
"Wonders Around The World" by Leslie Falconer, is a picturesque tour through wonders such as The Grand Canyon, Ayers Rock, and The Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is sprinkled with simple facts that our preschoolers can relate to as it asks questions, "What can you climb?" as it introduces Mt. Everest.
Simple books with beautiful illustrations as these are the perfect way to introduce global concepts. Further, providing rich reading experiences paves the pathways for success as children become emergent readers themselves. This begins at birth and we, as educators, build foundations with books such as these with meaningful content that can be connected to real life. Asking questions during reading "helps children connect the story with their own lives or that help them to compare the book with other books that they have read. Ask questions that help the children to notice what is in the book and ask them to predict what happens next." Wonder Around The World does just that. It provides many opporntunities for questions and follow up as it asks, "What will we wonder next?"
"In the landmark 1986 review Becoming a Nation of Readers, the Commission on Reading, called reading aloud to children "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading." https://www2.ed.gov/teachers/how/early/teachingouryoungest/page_pg5.html
Music and Movement, Rhythm and Rhyme!
Singing familiar songs to instruments we made is even more fun! We made these sweet little drums as part of our "Africa" study and then we sat circle style while tapping to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!
We observed that our drums were cylinders and once we glued the tops on they made a wonderful sound. We proudly displayed these in our classsrooms and were able to take them home to share with family and friends!!
Music in the classroom.
Children learn through music. They are able to retain longer and learn faster when complex concepts are conveyed through music. The music/neural connection is well documented even for adults. We do not let a day go by without "Music and Movement" and this is why...
"Exposing young children to instruments can help to achieve the following:
Besides that, music is just plain fun!!! Check out our favorites!!!
Though these two are completely different, they both provide exposure to movement, rhythm, and body awareness as we move and groove through our preschool days.
Counting our money at the Sushi Shop!
Part of this month's studies is to learn about different cultures and the foods they eat. During this month we have introduced our sushi shop to our Dramatic Play area. This is giving our little learners the opportunity to build and play with foods that look different than what they may find in at their dinner tables.
They have enjoyed wrapping rice rolls and reading from the sushi menus.
We have also learned more about money by purchasing the sushi we have made in our restaurant We carefully count out how many dollars our friends are asking for and counting back the change when we give them "too much.".
We tried Japanese sweet crispy rice too! Not everyone was a fan, but they all gave it two "No Thank You" bites as is our tradition when trying something new!
New foods, new cultures, new stories and songs. It's all in a day of play at Woolsey Academy for Young Learners!
As always, we wish you well and we hope you get to play today.
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