This blog post is meant to give you a sneak peek at our Wonder Wednesday and Thursday's Word Day Programs for Ages 2-5 in Port Colborne, and introduce you to some new programs we would like to get up and running.
YOUR KIDS CAN BE PART OF THE FUN TOO!!
*Please excuse the quality of the pictures…I use my phone to grab quick pics, often while I’m on the move :)
The little ones have very short attention spans (don’t we all!) and so I tend to do a LOT of quick little activities with them.
We kick off the day with a “Question of the Day” that leads to an introduction of the letter and themes of the day. We get to do a little math (early graphing) and a bit of literacy, as I introduce the letter of the day.
I do quick little demos with them…
What do you think would happen if?
This gets them interested in the topics!!
We take a walk around to the different stations and talk about them. The kids are often eager to dive right in!!
Each station has a ‘word’ or theme that starts with the letter of the day. For example, our letter A stations were an Absorption investigation, Apple seed planting, Air blowing, Animal sorting, Ants, etc. For the letter B; Balance the Balls, Build as tall as the Bird Book, Buoyancy with Boats at the Beach, Blue Bubbles, etc.
Many of the stations are designed to be ‘fun’ so that the kids enjoy playing with stuff, and aren’t stressed about learning. It is my belief that the learning will just seep right in to those amazing little brains!
I also try to make the stations very similar from week to week so that, for example, although it might be a new ‘thing' you are sorting, you are still sorting. Familiarizing the kids with the stations enables me to have more time to work with each one individually when they need assistance, or to talk with them about what they are doing. That’s one of the reasons why small class sizes are so beneficial!
After snack we go outside and I usually start them off with a few quick activities to get them wondering, and then set them off for free play with friends. I find that many of them independently choose to return to the activities, or set out on their own discoveries. My favourite part is watching them share their discoveries with each other!!
After some free time outside, we meet again and have story time. We talk about the reading, our experiments, our discoveries and then we head back to try some of the stations they hadn't tried yet...or their favourite ones! When they've had enough, we head outside for an investigation or game.
Lunch is followed by some fitness activities and free time outside.
During quiet time I am able to spend a bit of time with those that aren't napping. They get some free time after that.
Our afternoon meeting begins with a quick review of the day. Next up is the arts, which is started with a song or a video. The letter of the day is incorporated into our art activities. For example for A we did air (blowing) art. That was 2 A's!!
Throughout the day we check on our experiments and investigations.
We fill the rest of the day with impromptu activities and lessons that are derived from our ‘wondering’! They are so curious and want to know more and more!! I love little minds!!
Thursday's Words Day
We start off with graphing...Who has a “ “ in their name?
Then we talk about the letter (Capital, Lower Case, sound, tricky parts, etc). Next up is a sound bin where kids pick out various objects that begin with the letter. We sound out the word. Since we are all antsy at this point, we get a chance to try tracing the letter.
Before we head out for our station tour, we sing a jolly phonics song and practice our alphabet song. They LOVE to sing and act out the songs!!
The stations are designed to take about 3-5 minutes to complete. There are extra stations so the kids are not constrained by the speed of their peers. There are also many options available at each station for the kiddos to choose from. I have several tasks available which cover a range of abilities and needs. For example at the manipulative table I may have a bin of buttons they use to cover a letter b, or some pictures on a magnet board with letters to spell out the words. I even find that some of the younger students try out the ‘harder’ tasks..even if they are just playing with the magnets!! And the older ones have fun playing with buttons too!!
The activities at the stations are meant to keep their attention (painting, using bingo dobbers, play dough, salt trays, using glue and magnets, etc.). They get to play, but meanwhile they are interacting with letters and sounds.
There is plenty of time for outdoor play. I like to get them started with a few quick activities and then let them wonder and discover. Although it's free time, and often they choose to play, as we expect kids to do, many times I find them searching and wondering and experimenting!!
And of course there is always story time and some art!!
My plan is to surround them with knowledge and they will discover it!!
We have space for your child in our programs!!
If you are interested in any of the above, visit
our website at www.evergreenacademy.ca
our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/evergreenacademy.ca
write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (289)273-2283
And please share with anyone you may think would be interested. Thanks for your time! Laura