This week was our first real week back with Mother Goose Time. The kids were super excited about working with Mother Goose Time after our summer off. This was the first time we have ever took off for the summer. But as a Family Child Care home in the summer, it is very hard to keep a steady schedule with all the kids going off on summer vacation. I figured that it might also be helpful to take a break for myself and be able to just relax with the kids in my classroom.
One of the new things that has been added is the invitation to create. I absolutely love this! I was already doing this with the art materials from Mother Goose Time for the last 4 years. I would set out materials show the children the example and just let them make it the way they felt it should be made. If an eyeball ended up as the behind of the cow...then that is the way it should be! So with the invitations to create the children are given a picture that we can talk about together and speak about the colors, what is in the pictures. During the talks we shift and talk about maybe what they would want in their pictures. This can open a whole huge area in conversations with children.
The children are able to (with our help) expand their vocabulary as they learn to speak about what a picture makes them feel. What it makes them want to put down on their own pages. Do they NEED to use all the art pieces for their picture to be perfect for them? I have noticed that it is helping them to express themselves better. They are able to tell me if the pictures make them feel happy, what it might remind them of and if it is using their favorite colors. The invitations to create are doing a great job at helping children figure out a way to express their feelings, good or bad, in a creative way. I look forward to watching their emotional development over the course of the year.
Because we are learning about families I decided to expand on the emotional connection the children were having with the art projects by adding in a center that involves taking care of babies. The children worked on learning to care for their babies by feeding them, caring for them when they are sick and making sure they were clean. It was quite eye opening to watch how they individually addressed the care of their babies. I have seriously never had 6 preschoolers be so quiet during centers! It was so scary! I thought they were plotting to turn on me. Turns out the babies were sick and needed quiet. I tried to talk to them during the center and was told I was waking up the babies and I was being mean. It was great! I am so glad that they have learned to care for others this week through the various activities.
This is my favorite picture from the week. Watching as they looked at the picture and decided what they wanted to do, how it made them feel. This picture says everything you need to know about the way Mother Goose Time has retooled their curriculum. You are watching their brains work and come to their own conclusions. Their art is totally their own because they didn't feel the need to compete with their friends to figure out how to make their project look exactly like the picture. Each child looked at the picture and decided what they wanted and worked hard to create it. Mother Goose Time has done an excellent job in creating a curriculum that not only reaches them educationally but also emotionally. I truly can not wait to see what else is involved with the curriculum in the coming weeks.
I will be posting again tomorrow so that you will be able to see the assessment system that I am using that was developed by Mother Goose Time. I am seriously liking the way they have set this up. It's brilliant. But I also adjusted it a bit to fit in with the program I have going, but it's nothing significant. It just makes it easier for me.
Here is a picture of the art display for the week on the front door!
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