Month: January 2014

Changing Gears

One of the hallmarks, if not THE hallmark, of play-based education and child-driven curriculum is being flexible with daily plans. On Tuesdays we have created a schedule of science activities that we’ve dubbed Science Tuesday (a shout out to my hometown paper, the NYTimes). But Pete Seeger passed away last night and we are HUGE fans of his stories, particularly Abiyoyo, the story of a little boy and his father using magic to make a giant monster disappear. So instead of creating a sound wave activity today, we created our own Abiyoyo by tracing one of the teachers. I think Pete would have been proud.

1-28-abiyoyo-day---pete-seeger-tributWe colored in all his scraggly claws, his matted hair, his ratty clothes, and his gnarly teeth.

1-28-feather-mania-and since we have a TON of feathers that we need to use up, we threw some glue down and had a feather bonanza! Video attached of our giggling:)

1-28-only-in-preschool-can-we-get-awa

So if you thought your child was going to do a certain project today, but this is what happened instead, be grateful. These are the moments that make the dinner table conversation and that’s when you know they’ll remember it for a long time. Chances are they learned a thing or two also:) And if you haven’t read this beautiful South African folk tale, please do yourself a favor and get a copy or check out this video on YouTube.

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Go Big or Go Home

We believe at the Acorn School that in terms of curriculum and exploring topics, it’s Go Big or Go Home. We are studying the United States this year in the PreK class and currently our area of interest is the South East. Rather than just pointing to a map or memorizing state names, we are transforming our room and transporting these little minds to the region.

13f65075221287374cabb3521cdafd0526a2436aWe have the Mississippi river (construction paper version) running all the way through the room

061c3e2e8a6d932715de2cacf7e728c8ff30ead4We made a willow tree (it’s pretty amazing what construction paper can create)

03c5d825221d11ce302c723fec3f285b9e7e0b38We cut out all the states that touch the Mississippi river and attached the regional wildlife to our river

498f55552dc4a64962b9382157974a9084faea75We started making a paddle boat to go down our river

We have been playing blues and country music and are having the local cajun restaurant come by with beignets and fried chicken. Virgin mint juleps and Kentucky Derby hats for a day are planned as well a detailed investigation of the Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk. Football is pretty big down South so that works out well for us Bronco fans and guest speakers are lined up from Georgia with some peach pie hopefully:)

So basically what we’re saying is we don’t do anything halfway around here when we teach – we explore, we discover, we investigate, we transform, we Go Big or Go Home on curriculum!