This has probably been the messiest theme of the year! And we are loving it so much. The weather has gotten warm rather quickly here in California. This was the perfect theme to usher in the use of our new outdoor classroom. Based on the daily themes I saw within the lesson plan books from Mother Goose Time for the month, bugs and worms are the big draw for my classroom.
I went to the CAAEYC Conference in Pasadena and got some awesome ideas for how to extend the learning of this theme from the Outdoor Classroom Project. One of the best ideas I received was a worm viewer made with materials from Michael's. It cost me 15 dollars to make it and 250 calories. (I drank a soda to put the bottle in the worm viewer). I got the vase on sale and I bought the dirt from Lowe's. After that my husband went to Walmart and got red worms to put in the worm viewer. I decided to set up the worm viewer at the annual Preschool Science fair (future post) and the children loved it! They were able to touch the worms and we went over what made the worms good for gardens. They now sit in the classroom on our science table so the children can view the worms in their home.
We are working with so much dirt and outside materials in this theme that the children are in their element. They have asked questions about the bugs that live in the garden, they have expanded and wanted to know about how other bugs are harmful. We have embraced the outdoors and wanting to learn about where our food comes from. We are planting what is left over of all the seeds given to us from Mother Goose Time. Our garden by the end of month will be filled with so many things, and they will have planted and played in the dirt so much that I think I will have a hard time bringing them back inside. But I have to say so far into this theme, I am really enjoying myself and I look forward to watching the children's faces light up in wonder as they learn a little more about the world around them.
Live Long and Keep Teaching!