Getting Smarter

** I receive curriculum from Experience Early Learning (formally known as Mother Goose Time) for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 5th year using Experience Early Learning, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Experience Early Learning.

This week with Experience Early Learning’s curriculum, we are learning about how babies get bigger, stronger, smarter, and braver.

Today was all about how we get smarter. I started the day by giving the students some blocks and some balls. I let them come up with their own ideas for what they wanted to do with the materials. The students divided into 2 different groups and worked together to build a tall castle in their groups. The balls were part of the building’s design. In my mind, when I thought about giving them blocks ad balls, I thought one person would try to make a bowling game. No one did. The buildings were cool though. When it was time to clean up, one student thought it would be fun to knock over the buildings with their balls.

This month, we are learning the letters S, C, and R. We played a game where the students rolled a cube with those letters on it. They identified the letter, then found the letter on their Teddy Bear Mat from Experience Early Learning. They had to recognize the letter and whether that letter was uppercase or lowercase. Then they covered the letter up with a BINGO chip. When their whole mat was full, the game was over.

Today we worked on four simple math problems. The first math problem was a counting problem. The students had to count out three pigs, or cotton balls which is what we used to represent the pigs. This helps me see if the student can count to 3 and if the student can use 1-1 correspondence to count out 3 cotton balls. The second problem was 5 take away 2. The students had to count out 5 cotton balls and take 2 away. They did great. All the students wanted to act out the problem. A few made up a story about where the pigs went after they ran away. The third problem was another subtraction problem, but with bigger numbers. We worked as a class to solve that one. The last word problem was 4 times 5. I helped the students make 4 pig pens and we put 5 pigs in each pen. I was impressed that a few of them did their own math to solve the problem. Instead of just counting the “pigs”, a few students thought out loud how they would solve it. They said, “5 + 5 = 10. So… 10+10=20!”

One last activity we did today was read our “Forest Friends” book that comes in Experience Early Learning’s curriculum box for the month. This month our character trait that we are learning is: fairness. We talked about what it means to be fair. We drew a picture about a time that we were fair and dictated sentences to be written about that time. One student wrote about a time when her sister wasn’t being fair and sharing a toy.

After we talked about fairness, it was free play. I noticed two of my students fighting about who got to wear the fireman outfit. I was pleasantly surprised when all of a sudden they stopped fighting and decided that it would be fair if they both got a little piece of the fireman outfit to play with. They worked it out for what they thought was fair for them and were happily playing together the rest of the time.

This was our last week with our theme: Baby Animals. We had a lot of fun learning about where we got our names, how mamas protect their babies, and how we change as we get older. Next month, the theme is: Nursery Rhymes. I am so excited to get to explore a new nursery rhyme each day

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