Sensory materials and curriculum

101_5800 Young children learn naturally through exploration and manipulation through a physical connection.  For young concrete mind’s it is important to support their need to explore and interact physically with their environment. Sensory materials provide the insatiable need to learn for understanding. The above materials are just one example of how versatile sensory materials can be when used as open-ended learning tools. Using a jar, a cup and two painting pallets children can sort either the rocks or the dried peas.  

101_5768 Fine motor skills are being utilized while mathematics is being explored.  Sorting, grouping, and counting are all done as a way to gather information and form meaning.  Attention to detail while noticing the slight variances with each rock is also something young children do naturally. Allowing children to explore means that I also notice and recognize when they are paying close attention to the things that we as adults take for granted.  A lot of these fine details are what we want children to notice and question as they enter elementary school, so let preschoolers do what they innately can do and build their foundations for learning and understanding, strong.

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My role as an Early Learning Teacher is to always support, extend, inspire and challenge my preschool students.  I want to make sure each leaves preschool with the abilities needed to be successful once they enter elementary school.  The way in which I feel that is done best is by teaching children through developmentally appropriate methods.  The curriculum I design and implement is derived from aspects of Constructivist learning theories which include, Piaget, Vygotsky, the Reggio Emilia approach and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory.  I enjoy combining what I see as the most valuable aspects of each to help guide and support the emergent curriculum that I implement.  So my curriculum will always be changing with the students that enter and leave through the years.  I do not follow any type of “cookie cutter” approach because a curriculum without creativity, individuality, and aspects that encourage consistent questioning and challenges is not a curriculum in which young minds hungry to learn, require.  They need a curriculum that supports their natural abilities and prepares them for the future.

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Heidi Scott, BA & MIT  *  The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂

 

Week 7 Beans

101_5746 Growing beans indoors was a fun experiment even though the life of the plants was shortened by their deprivation of the great outdoors. 🙂 :(.  However, there is some positive news to report!  I found tiny baby beans forming off the lovely purple blossoms! 🙂

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 Sometimes I’m not very observant because I was just about to write a blog post on how my beans died, but as I was inserting the pictures I noticed the baby beans!  So I am pleased that even without bees to pollinate the plants, the vegetables still grew!

Growing plants indoors will always be my favorite way to introduce and challenge preschool children in the area of science.  And this lovely bean plant is great inspiration for creative artists too!  Not to mention the math and new vocabulary that just falls from this plant!  I could go on about all the great learning stemming from this very plant and all the ideas derived from it, but I don’t want to bore you too much. 🙂  

101_5748 101_5750 I do believe the bottom leaves are turning white before they would if they’d been given the chance to grow and flourish outdoors, but that is okay as long as the process as a whole inspired learning. I will keep you updated on how big these baby beans get and if they taste good when picked.  Stay tuned! 🙂

If you have tried any indoor planting experiments please let us know! 🙂

 

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning!

 

Indoor Marigolds

101_5708 These are tall marigolds and I think I will be transplanting them into one of my flowerbeds soon. 🙂

101_5709 They’ve been growing for some time now and they seem to really like this pot and the window they are stationed at.  I am hopeful when I transplant them they don’t die upon planting! 😦

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It really is fun to watch tiny seeds burst into each stage of their development! 🙂  Plants are one of the best ways to introduce young children to science and a great way to continue to challenge them!

Please share some of your indoor plant experiments too! 🙂

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

 

 

Week 6 Beans!

101_5705 Week 6 blogging is a bit late.  Sorry about that, I was a tiny bit busy. 🙂  I really am enjoying the pretty purple flowers on this bean plant!  The bottom leaves are loosing their color too soon in my opinion, so I added some fertilizer.  I realize I have no bees to pollinate, but I’m still hopeful this plant may produce one bean!

101_5703 The vines have really taken off and are almost at the very top of the string I attached.  A nice amount of little purple flowers can be found over most of the plant.  I love this shade of purple, so I’m so happy the flowers are not white, but colored! 🙂

 

You can see here that the vines have been steadily growing.  They just needed a little help when they first started.  I am eager to see how far these little bean plants will grow before saying good night.101_5702

101_5700 If you have ever tried growing beans indoors just for the fun of it let me know how it turned out!  I’m not talking about growing starts for gardens indoors, but just seeing how far your plant flourished inside.  So far my window by my little kitchen area has a lovely window curtain of bean leaves, vines and purple flowers. 🙂

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

 

Cauliflower mashed potatoes

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If your anything like me and food allergies have prevented you from freely eating potatoes, you may want to try mashed cauliflower. I never have liked cauliflower, but once I tried these mock mashed potatoes I was hooked! 🙂

I steamed a head of cauliflower and one zucchini.  Drained it and added it to my blender with some coconut milk.  I then added some daiya pepper jack cheese and blended away.  I then fried an egg till it was pink and put it on top.  YUM! 🙂

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This dish is a lower carb dish and allergy free! 🙂  I sometimes cheat and eat the real deal, but that is not good for my health, so this is much better and safer.  

Let me know if you’ve tried any healthy dishes to pass along.  I would love to try them too! 🙂

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

 

Autumn is Approaching Fast!

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Autumn will be upon us very soon, so if you are looking for a quality early learning program for your young preschool aged child, please come check out The Marigold School of Early Learning. 🙂

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The Marigold School of Early Learning is specifically designed for children in the age range of three to five.  In creating this program I have taken inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach and integrated other constructivist learning theories into an emergent curriculum.  Using a play-based format and heavily focusing on developmentally appropriate practices, I have carefully planned this early learning environment to give young children the opportunity to construct a strong foundation for all future learning.

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The common core has been not only a hot topic of recent years, but a concern to parents of young children entering a “new” educational atmosphere.  Rest assured that common core is not the enemy of education.  Following sound research in the field of education our state and country want to ensure all children have equal and quality access and opportunities to become highly educated and capable people who can then go out into the world and make it a better place for all future generations.  Quality early learning programs have always made sure to put highly trained and educated teachers in their preschool’s to ensure that young children were getting the best and most appropriate foundations for learning.  Those approaches have been diverse due to the many different educational learning theories that are available to us.  Quality only suffered in programs due to the lack of educational requirements that our state and country communicated for decades.  Thankfully that is now changing and our state and many others now realize the importance in equal teacher preparation.  Educators impart knowledge, so it makes sense that early learning teachers be as highly trained as our elementary teachers are.

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At The Marigold School of Early Learning your child will enter a learning environment not only developmentally appropriate, but with a Master level Teacher.  I have both a Bachelor’s in Human Development with a Focus on Early Childhood Education and a Master’s In Teaching.  I have been teaching for almost eighteen years in both elementary schools and private preschools.  I found that I was working for systems that did not value early education and did not value me as an educator with passion and love for my chosen career.  So with a happy heart my sister and I remodeled our home and I opened my own early learning school.  I want to live my life doing what I love and that is teaching!  I want to make sure your child enters a warm, caring and quality program so he/ she will be ready for whatever challenges await throughout their school careers.

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If you are seeking a small environment for your child to learn and grow in please join my small community!  I would love to work with families that want their child to be valued, and respected during their formative years of learning.  I appreciate the many different stages of development children go through during these early years and I want to provide the best foundation for learning that I can.  Please join me this fall for your child’s first formal learning journey.  Together let’s make an impact when this group enters kindergarten! 🙂

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Heidi Scot BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

Tall Marigolds Indoors!

101_5621 The tall marigolds we planted this spring have finally bloomed!  There were only two buds and I think that is in part due to not getting enough fertilizer and sometimes getting too hot in this particular window.  I just love how pretty it is though! 🙂

101_5626 101_5622 These marigolds are nice and tall and at first I thought the flowers would not look as nice as the ones outdoors due to the nutrients they were lacking, but the first one is so pretty.  The second bud is slowly unraveling too! 

101_3125 When they first started to take off we had them in the window where the beans are now, but later I moved them so they could be seen in the front window.  The stems are longer and the leaves are broader than the mini marigolds, but the leaf patterns are the same and the flowers too.  Size is the only real difference. 🙂

101_2204 This is how they first looked when they sprouted.  The tall marigolds were planted back in March along with the mini marigolds and sweet pea flowers.  And finally in July we see some blossoms! 🙂  Every plant has their own time frame for growth and development, much like young children do! 🙂

Please share your planting experiences! 🙂

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂