I love teaching STEAM. It is so much fun at this age. Everything is something new to be experimented with and they are sponges soaking up all the information that you are giving them. STEAM is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. One of the best parts of the new Mother Goose Time lesson plan books, is that at the front of the books there is a STEAM page. This page gives you excellent ideas of things you can do to expand the weekly theme into hands on learning. This is excellent for us teachers who simply run out of time during the day trying to look up STEAM activities that relates back to the learning taking place in the classroom.
I waited so long to write this post because I wanted to have time to go through most of the activities and find one that really opened their minds up and created questions. This turned out to be a fabulous idea because the project that really did that was the day we learned about Ayer Rock. Ayer Rock is a red rock formation located in Australia. The reason the children were so drawn to this project was because of the red of the sand. They loved the bright colors in the picture and asked questions about it that involved research. In my classroom I have introduced using Google to look up information when we have questions and using Alexa. This makes the concept of asking questions that much more real for them and shows them that it is ok to have other questions besides the ones introduced in the project.
The STEAM project for the Ayer Rock theme was making sand. Not just any sand but magnetic sand. I already had some out in the classroom because of the theme of dinosaurs. I did not remove it from the classroom because the children loved it so much and still had dinosaurs buried under the sand.
I should say that I did not have everything I needed to make this sand. The instructions called for 5 cups of sand (INSANE!!!), cornstarch (I swear I thought I had some), dish soap and water. I have those. I mean if I didn’t have dish soap or water that would be terrible since I run a preschool with 6 children in class every day. What I did was first since we were talking about Ayer Rock I used the red sand from the Inspiration to create and I used baking powder. I mixed the sand we got together with the magnetic sand and then set out aluminum foil so that they could use the sand to build their own Ayer Rock. It was interesting to listen to the conversations as they went about building their rocks. They explained to their friends what they were doing and why. They then decided to talk about what animals would live by the red sand. How the red sand got there and what they would do if they lived by red sand. I loved the questions that came from the project and watching how they were able to expand their learning beyond what we were doing. This is the point of STEAM. We want to have children open their minds through hands on exploration of their world. I love that Mother Goose Time has different STEAM activities every week to help expand the minds of the children and I am very happy that we were able to use the red sand while we learned about a great wonder of the world.
Live long and Keep Teaching!!