Simple lessons make for big results! Little learners are captivated by things we adults overlook.
Leaves, eggs, trees, clouds, a piece of yarn........
These provoke questions. They provoke thought. Sometimes they drive us nutty with the, "Why?"
It is here that preschool teachers make magic.
It is in the simple that we find wonder.
We talk about everything. They ask questions. I answer them.
We had been discussing "oviparous" animals and insects this week. Everything that lays an egg is "oviparous." While we play outside they ask, "Is a butterfly obipus?" "YES!" I say.
"Is a mommy oviparous?" asked little M.
"Well....let's think about that." I said. "Do mommies lay eggs or have live babies?"
"THEY HAVE BABIES!!!" they squealed with glee!
Being able to answer questions is a BIG DEAL in pre-k land!
In the this day's lesson we had been happily playing with our plastic octopus, whales, and fish in the water tables outside and the questions started again. "Ms. Donna, is a fish a mammal or oviparous?" There is NOTHING I love more than hearing them use their new words. This means learning is happening! Vocabularies are building. Concepts are sticking! (be still my beating heart!!!)
This is science in action. S.T.E.M. is happening organically through play...
"They lay eggs." I replied with a smile.
The questions continued with the octopus, the whale, the stingray, the frogs. "What about this?" "Does this lay eggs?" "YES!" older children would chime in while younger children ran off to grab another creature and ask another question.
Mixed age learning is amazing! (but that's another subject) read about the benefits here
We brought the "oviparous" theme inside for arts and crafts time.
With a mix aged group, everything becomes an opportunity for learning. Since we were discussing fish and eggs, we decided to make our own fish laying eggs!
I cut out ovals and triangles for the younger ones.
The older children wanted to cut out their own (yay!).
As I passed out the glue sticks we brought our conversations about egg laying animals back to life.
"What is an "oviparous" animal that swims in the water and lays their eggs in a the water?" I asked.
"FISH!" several children exclaimed.
"That's right!!" I smiled...
"Le'ts make a fish laying eggs!" I said.
"YAY!!!" they yelled. They LOVE glue!
We layed out our ovals as I asked what shapes they had to work with. "Oval!" "Triangle!" (pre-math)
We quickly worked.
Once all the little ovals bodies and triangle tails were in place I passed out the paint and explained that we were going to help our fish lay eggs with one finger. We used our little finger tips to make dots for eggs. We counted, We pressed. We painted. Some smeared. (Creative arts)
We observed that some of our fish laid many eggs and some laid few (math concepts and vocabulary).
We weren't done discussing "oviparous" animals and eggs, but we were done with Creative Arts, so we moved to Music and Movement with Dancing Beats by Mother Goose Time.
They LOVE to dance....so we bring science to dance with Dancing Beats by Mother Goose Time.
But that's not the only song we danced and sang to this week...
Simple, fun, easy to mimic, great beat! Our preschoolers LOVED this one!!! It was repeated over and over!!
During our many story times we read books about "oviparous" animals!
Aesop's Fables for Preschoolers from Mother Goose Time was a popular choice (as always) and I love anything that introduces classic literature to little learners. We read the stories we continued to ask which animals laid eggs and which animals were mammals? We answered. We asked. We read. Classic tales are an important part of Language Arts in Preschool. They teach life lessons. They introduce new words. They provoke thought about who we are in the world and who we are becoming.
The study "Children’s understanding of Aesop’s fables: relations to reading comprehension and theory of mind" discusses the value of children's exposure to fables and the importance of being able to dissect the meaning of the story in relation to life principals and lessons.
This starts young. The more exposure they have to complex theories made simple, the better their reading comprehension and logic become in more complex themes in later academic years.
Simple lessons span Science, Math, Creative Arts, Music and Movement and Language Arts! They create a fun and learning rich environment that allow for PLAY!
When we follow the play of young children we discover their interests.
When we promote activities that help them further explore those interests deep learning takes place in an organic, fun filled day.
That is what I want them to truly remember about preschool. The "Pre."
As always....I wish you well and I 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