loving life with the little man and an elephant

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother Goose Time Ocean Commotion- Week 3

This weekend we went to visit family for the kids' birthdays. One of the birthday presents they received is a great addition to our Mother Goose Time Circle Time. We got a Tornado bubble machine. During our beginning circle time I put the bubbles on and the kids dance and pop bubbles.

After listening to a few songs on the Circle Time CD we started our calendar time. The kids are getting good at calendar time. Each time we do calendar we also review our letters and numbers of the month. 
Our first activity for the week was from Mother Goose Time's Experience God curriculum. We are still talking about the story of Jonah and the Whale. Today the kids colored the second picture in the series and I read the part of the story where Jonah was swallowed by the whale. 
Our next activity was from day 7:Octopus. We talked about why an octopus has so many arms. We talked about how their legs are used to walk, jump, grab, pull, and push. The kids then put the circle stickers on their windsocks and colored the rest. I then helped the kids put eyes on their octopus. Mason worked on his cutting skills and cut the legs of his octopus. I cut the others' octopus legs. 

We then talked about which sea creatures we would like to see. I then read the I Can Read book to the kids. They caught on quickly to the pattern. They then "read" their own book to me. 

Our last activity for the day was called Ocean Patterns. We talked about how dolphins and other ocean animals move. We then looked at the pattern guide and cards. We said the name of the animals out loud and put the appropriate cards in order. We then made our own patterns.

At the end of the day I put our reusable items in a bucket on top of our cart so the kids can go back to them if they would like. 
"I received curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences in using the curriculum. I applied to be an official Mother Goose Time blogger and will continue to share my experiences throughout the 2014/15 school year."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mother Goose Time "Ocean Commontion"- Ocean Plants, Coral Reef, and Octopus

This week we continued with our workbox method of learning with Mother Goose Time's "Ocean Commotion". I am really enjoying it and Mason is always asking "Can we do another activity?" 

The kids like choosing which activity and I feel like we are covering more information.

This past week we looked at Ocean Plants, the Coral Reef, and Octopus. 

The first activity I am going to tell you about was from day 4: Ocean Plants. We started the activity Ocean Designs by talking about what shapes we see on fish and ocean plants. I then introduced tangrams to the kids. They tried to make different shapes from the tangrams. They then used the tangrams to create fish and plants in the shape design mats. 

The next activity came from day 5: Coral Reef. We started by looking at pictures of sea fans. We talked about what they looked like that we have already seen. 
The kids then tried to make coral reefs with yarn on their plastic canvas. They then laced their yarn through the plastic canvas. They really enjoyed this fine motor activity. 

Our last activity we are showing was from day 7: Octopus. This activity was called Counting Suckers. We talked about how an octopus uses the suckers on its arms. We talked about that they use their suckers to grab things and catch their prey. We then played the counting suckers game by rolling the die and putting that number of bingo chips on the suckers until they were all full. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mother Goose Time Ocean Commotion Week 1 and Workboxes

I have to be honest we have been struggling to do preschool on a regular basis. Part of it is that it is starting to get nicer outside. I also feel like we needed to be better organized. It seemed if the kids saw an activity they could do they wanted to do it. But many times the activities would sit in our school bus box from Mother Goose Time and they would never see it. I started looking into workboxes and came up with a new system for our preschool. 
I started by buying this tower. The top five drawers are for Mason and the bottom five are for Hailey. I choose the activities they can do and put one in each drawer with the supplies they will need to complete them. 
I then put these tags on each of the drawers with two velcro dots on the drawer. When they have finished a drawer they move it from the left to the right. This helps me to know which drawers I need to refill with an activity. At the top I put a bucket of things they can come back to if they want to do the activity again. 
I also redid our circle time area. I had everything up on our wall but it was hard for the kids to reach and it was ruining our walls. So I moved everything to a tri fold board and we can move it anywhere we want to do circle time. 
So this week the kids started with their first drawer from the Experience God curriculum. While they colored their coloring sheet I read the beginning of the story of Jonah and the Whale to them. We then reviewed our memory verse for the month. I like this one! : )

Their next box was from day one- Ocean Water. I wrote the kids' names on their nametags and laminated them. I included an Expo marker in their drawer. Now they can practice write their name over and over again. We talked about how we swim in water. After the kids traced their name we acted like we were diving for our nametag.

While they were writing their names we listened to our very own Ocean Commotion CD.
The final box they chose for today was from day 2: Ocean Floor. We started by talking about shells we have seen. We then talked about how the paper plate from the activity looks like the letter O. The kids then decorated their oyster shell and folded it in half. They then threaded the beads on their pipe cleaners and hid it in the oyster. 

While they did not finished all their boxes I am okay with that. I will refill the ones they have completed and we will get to the others another day. I am hoping this help them to choose what they like to do most and they will see more activities throughout the month. 

"I received curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences in using the curriculum. I applied to be an official Mother Goose Time blogger and will continue to share my experiences throughout the 2014/15 school year."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mother Goose Time's "Ocean Commotion" Book List

Mother Goose Time's April curriculum is called "Ocean Commotion". Here are the suggested books to go along with the unit:

Week 1: How does the ocean look under the surface water?

Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward and T.J. Marsh
The Ocean Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Frank Mazzola, Jr.
Moonlight Ocean by Elizabeth Golding
Seaweed Soup by Stuart J. Murphy

Week 2: What large creatures live in the ocean?

Octopus's Garden by Ringo Starr
Amazing Dolphins! by Sarah L. Thomson
Limu: The Blue Turtle by Kimo Armitage

Week 3:What small creatures live in the ocean?
Floating Jellyfish by Kathleen Martin-James

Week 4:What are different ways we can explore the ocean?

Sunken Treasure by Gail Gibbons
The Berenstain Bears at the Aquarium by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain

Week 1: How does the ocean look under the surface water? - See more at: http://www.mothergoosetime.com/monthly-themes/ocean-commotion/#sthash.CCtKeTO1.dpuf

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inside the "Ocean Commotion" Box

 This past month the kids enjoyed learning outer space through Mother Goose Time's "Blast Off To Space" unit. Mason really loved this unit. I think my favorite part was when I was explaining to Mason that we live on Earth and he asked what planet Grandma lives on. : )

Mother Goose Time's April curriculum is called "Ocean Commotion". I think the kids will really enjoy this unit. They both love animals (mostly fish) and it will help us think more and more about warm weather.

One of my favorite parts of Mother Goose Time's curriculum is the new book you receive with the curriculum every month. This month's book is titled Ocean Animals A to Z and is written by Mother Goose Time's very own Leslie Falconer.

Library-Style Story Time Book, Every Month

We are introduced to this exciting book on day five when we are learning about the Coral Reef. Before reading the book you will discuss what you would and wouldn't like about diving deep into the ocean.  Children will then look through the book and explore the photos. As you read the story aloud children will trace the letters according to the suggestion in the text.

 On day nine students are introduced to sharks. They will use the Little Theatre Script to act out how sharks like to swim and hunt on their own.
On day 16 students will answer the question "What do you think it would be like to live in the ocean?" They then will look back through the storybook and see what they recall from the story. They then will use the character pieces from the Storytelling set and tell a story about his life in the ocean.
125 Active Discovery Tools, Every Month

Children will start off "Ocean Commotion" with the month's Theme Poster. On the first day they will discover how the ocean water tastes through the Discover Science Card: Salty or Sweet. On day six they will discuss how a whale holds their breath. They will try to hold their own breath up to five seconds. They then will try to hold their breath as long as they can and record their answers on the chart.
13+ Art Projects, Every Month

 There are so many exciting art projects this month. Children will start the month by making an oyster with pearls when learning about the ocean floor. They will also have an opportunity to make their own sea fan. When learning about ocean animals they will make their own whale and octopus.
33 Skills Built. Every Month

On day four you will discuss what shapes you see on a fish and ocean plant. Students will then explore the tangrams provided by Mother Goose Time. They will discuss what shapes they can create. Students will then create animals out of the tangrams using the shape design mat. On day 18 students will use the word puzzles to create a variety of words using the hands on letters.
20 Brand New Sing-Along Songs, Every Month

Hear a sample of this month's CD here!

If your child enjoys Mother Goose Time's music CDs provided every month check out Mother Goose Time's Dance n' Beats curriculum. A new series is available every month that goes along with the monthly theme.

Parents Want the Best, Every Month

 Caregivers are provided with a monthly Family Newsletter they can give to parents each month. This month's newsletter introduces parents to this month's book Ocean Animals A to Z and gives a suggested book list. Lastly, it suggests at home activities parents can do with their children outside of preschool. More Family Connect Tools can be found here.

Child-led Exploration, Every Month

 At the bottom of many of the activities there are suggestions on how to simplify or make an activity more challenging. I feel I mostly need to simplify the activities for my 2 year old. I find that Mother Goose Time's Little Goose curriculum is very helpful for finding things I can do with just her while my three year old does the other activities in the curriculum. If you are finding your child needs more of a challenge please check out Mother Goose Time's More Math and Literacy.

Discover Games, Every Month

 On day seven children will play the game Counting Suckers. They will begin by discussing how the octopus uses the suckers on its arms. They will explore sticky objects or suction cups. They then will use a die and place that amount of chips anywhere on the octopus arms.
New My Little Journal, Every Month

 Children will be introduced to their My Little Journal on day three of the study. They will have the chance to discuss what they would like to find hidden in the ocean. They then will look through photos of ocean life in books or magazines. They will have the chance to decorate the cover of their journal with an ocean scene. For more writing practice please check out Mother Goose Time's More Literacy resource.

New I Can Read, Every Month
 Children will work on their reading skill on day eight with their very own I Can Read book. Students will focus on three letters and three sight words throughout the month that are also focused on in the I Can Read book. I keep our letter and sight word flowers close during circle time and we look at them each time we do circle time. Many of the resources I use for our circle time are from Mother Goose Time's Welcome Kit. The kids especially love our Circle Time CD. When it starts to play they know it is time to start the day!

New Letters, Numbers, and Shapes, Every Month! 

This month students will explore the letters O, W, and X , numbers 8 and 18, the color blue, and the shape triangle. Students will visit the letter sets over and over again throughout the month. They are a great long time addition to your learning space also. 

New Friendship Feathers, Every Month

 This month children will focus on being respectful. On day three when learning about ocean caves and crevices we will talk about how we feel when we are in a crowded place. Students will then move around in a circle with each other. They then will discuss how when you are near others you must respect their space and not bump into or hit others.

Monthly Skills Chart, Every Month

 A helpful skills chart and gathering list are included every month. The skills chart is a great piece to hang where parents can see. I refer to the gathering list each week before I go to the grocery store. 

Teacher Guide with Built-in Assessment, Extensions, Every Month

 You can find other resources under Member Resources on Mother Goose Time's website. The member code is included in your Teacher Guide each month.There are many other Teacher Tools included each month that makes the learning more interesting and the planning much easier!!

There is still time to order your very own "Ocean Commotion" or you can join in the fun in May with Mother Goose Time's Growing Gardens curriculum! Not sure if you want to dive all the way in yet? Check out one of Mother Goose Time's samples!!

I received curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences in using the curriculum. I applied to be an official Mother Goose Time blogger and will continue to share my experiences throughout the 2014/15 school year.