Come to the Preschool Fair!

We are off to a great start for 2016!  

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If you are a family with young children ready for preschool please check out the link below. ¬†Preschools from all over the Clark County area will be at the 2016 Preschool Fair! ¬†So check out their information and come join us! ūüôā

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1636476286606893/

 

 

 

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT  The Marigold School of Early Learning cropped-cropped-100_8035.jpg

Dress for the Weather

Just a reminder for all of the families out there with young children.  You probably already know this information, but I always like reminders.

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*Remember that small, young children warm up quickly indoors and cool off even quicker outdoors.  Keep your child bundled from head to toe literally.  

  • Have your young child wear a warm hat to prevent heat loss from the top of their heads
  • ear muffs to protect their little ears from the cold
  • mittens to keep their tiny hands and fingers warm
  • a child size scarf around their necks to prevent the cool air from getting inside their shirts
  • a warm coat to keep their body heat in
  • and thick warm socks for their feet.
  • rain-boots or other boots that are well¬†insulated¬†and have good¬†traction will also prevent heat loss from their feet.
  • ¬†Also make sure their shirts and pants are thicker for these colder months. ¬†The outerwear is great, but regular clothes should not be the same as what they wear during the summer months.
  • When your young child comes back indoors make sure all of the outdoor warm clothes come off so the indoor heat can reach their bodies and they can acclimate to the warmer indoor¬†environment. ¬†

*Also make sure to hydrate your young child. ¬†We often forget to drink as much water as we do in the warmer months. ¬†Children need to keep hydrated year round, so make sure you encourage them to drink water, juice, milk and yes, hot cocoa! ūüôā

 

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT  The Marigold School of Early Learning                                                                                                                                                                          download

Play Based Learning

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Cars and Blocks! ūüôā ¬†A three year old child decided that cars and blocks go nicely together and so began construction of a large one story building and some nice parking spots for cars. ¬†And some cars park upside down.¬†

2008-01-01 12.34.42¬†¬†I absolutely love how this child decided the parking spots should be on tall polls! ¬†What do you think, is this the future of parking? ¬†Maybe when cars fly like on the “Jetsons”? ūüôā ¬†Again mathematics and yes, physics are happening here. ¬†This child put those cars on the pulls many times because gravity and balance claimed them. ¬†Finally with much persistence they stayed put. ¬†

2008-01-08 12.32.22¬†Moving along from cars and blocks, we find that using scissors to cut play dough is a great way to practice¬†proper¬†form and to¬†strengthen¬†our fine motor skills. This child follows a normal developmental pattern of going back and forth between using two hands to open and close the scissors and using one hand to cut and one to hold the object needing cutting. ¬†As a mentor and guide in this situation, I modeled it once and let her try. ¬†I encouraged her to keep trying when she felt it was too hard. ¬†And she did¬†wonderfully¬†on her own! ūüôā ¬†The next time we used scissors for paper and for play dough she allowed me to model it once and she tried it until she felt satisfied. ¬†

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Heidi Scott, BA & MIT ¬†The Marigold School of Early Learning ūüôā¬†

 

Come join us at The Marigold School of Early Learning!  We would love to play with new friends and together plan many exciting and new projects!

Following the Interest of a Child

Before we went on winter break I captured these pictures from the morning preschool sessions. ūüôā

 

2015-12-08 08.08.34¬†Using puzzle pieces and a small wooden bowl I set up a provocation for the morning. ūüôā

2015-12-08 08.08.50  Here is  a small example of emergent curriculum.  I based this provocation off of what I saw happening in class.  The week before a three year old child used dominoes and cars to create pictures, so I thought why not try the same idea using puzzle pieces.  Again, I do not expect and am not crushed if a child does not take interest in a provocation, it is a learning process for both myself and the students.

2008-01-07 13.12.45¬†¬†What ended up happening is the puzzle pieces were moved to a piece of fabric in the Reading Corner and buttons were added to the bowl. ¬†And that is when a child’s imagination took over! ūüôā ¬†The puzzle pieces and buttons became cat food! ¬†And as I was documenting this emergent process I also observed a strong interest in cats. ¬†This particular child has a pet cat, so no surprise with the interest. ¬†This is leading me to adding a few more cat books to our Reading Corner and non-fiction ones as well. ¬†

school pics 023¬†¬†Here is an example of ¬†little bear and a cat book. ¬†Since interest in cat behavior is showing up in play so strongly, I am going to incorporate facts about cats and see what types of provocations I can set up to¬†entice¬†young children’s interests in cats or other animals. ¬†The content areas that will be covered will include literacy, art, and science. ¬†How interested the children are in the topic will determine how deep we go into the content areas, but I can tell you from years of experience that when young children are interested in a topic, deep and meaningful learning experiences are the result. ¬†And the wonderful thing about it is that is all stems from the children and is not topics forced onto them by the Teacher. ūüôā

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT

The Marigold School of Early Learning

Provocation and a Child’s Interest

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I’ve talked before about how young children sometimes will be curious about a provocation or not. ¬†I’ve also talked about how using the materials you have is a great way to incorporate recycling into your curriculum. ¬†Above I had set up a small provocation using boxes, blocks and wooden dolls, our fairies. ¬†And I used a piece of fabric to place them all onto. ¬†I had no idea if this would be an interest or not, but I tried anyway. ¬†

It turned out that one of my students chose to remove the blocks from the table and take them to the construction/ block interest area to build with. ¬†The boxes, dolls and fabric were all left behind. ¬†So I decided to follow this child and put the boxes and dolls in the construction/ block area too. ¬†At first block building dominated and no interaction with the dolls took place. ¬†However, just as I was about to give up on my provocation entirely, this student decided the dolls needed furniture. ūüôā

2008-01-01 12.27.51¬†¬†It turns out that the provocation wasn’t a fail as I thought it was. ¬†This child made it her own and took it in the direction she wanted. ¬†She moved the blocks to an area she could build, then she used the blocks to make furniture for the dolls. ¬†She explored, constructed and planned using her own timing and ideas. ¬†I mentioned the word “planned” second because often times young minds construct first and formulate ideas and plans as they go. ¬†Constructing knowledge as they engage in hands-on projects enables their young minds to experiment with the many ideas running through their heads.

Sometimes it can be very difficult as a Teacher to sit back and wait. ¬†Sometimes it is important to follow the child’s lead and then step back again. ¬†Waiting, watching and listening are all part of ¬†the documentation process and of being a Teacher, Mentor and Facilitator.

100_8294  As this child started to story tell about the dolls/ fairies she used our wooden tool bench, tools, and alphabet puzzle pieces and incorporated them into her story.  This child was also integrating the content areas such as mathematics when building, for example, measuring, comparing sizes, shapes and balancing each block.  She also entered into literacy development when she started story telling. Allowing young children to express their individual ideas and creative thoughts is all a part of a strong learning foundation.  This simple example is what enables children to take risks with their learning as they grow older.  We want children to have confidence and the ability to make difficult decisions as they grow into adulthood and become responsible citizens.  It all starts in the early years of development.

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT ūüôā

The Marigold School of Early Learning

Fabic Pieces and Interest Areas

The Marigold School of Early Learning is a morning preschool for young minds aged three to five years. ¬†School resumes the week of¬†January¬†4th through 8th, 2016. ¬†We are ready to jump into learning fun at 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., so come join us so you can enjoy learning too! ūüôā

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Using fabric pieces, interest areas can move about the school or be more visible to young children’s eyes. ¬†When I first bought the fabric scraps I knew I would use them for something, I just didn’t know exactly what. And then it hit me! ¬†Portable interest areas or provocations with a similar concept to movable centers. ¬†

In the Construction/ Block Interest area there is a rather busy carpet. ¬†Some children actually do use the roads on the carpet while most do not. ¬†So since it was such a busy background I put down one piece of fabric and moved the lacing cards to the Construction/Block Interest area. ¬†The lacing cards were more visible and it freed up our table for play dough fun! ūüôā

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We also found that the same piece of fabric could be used as a table cloth on our kitchen table. ¬†So it turned out I had plenty of uses for my pile of fabric scraps. ūüôā ¬†Not only did using the fabric for multiple things work, we discovered how easy it can be to gather materials and put them in their proper place when they are on fabric that can be easily and quickly turned into a makeshift bag. ¬†Of course we made sure all four corners were up and tied together before moving the materials.

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Setting up a provocation using fabric and other materials sparks a young child’s mind into thinking along creative pathways. ¬†Using the materials in endless ways keep the children expanding their thoughts and understandings too. ¬†Fabric is large, small, soft, smooth, rough or bumpy. ¬†Fabric is portable not static and can be used in many different ways to enhance quality learning for young minds. ¬†Children experience color, texture, patterns, size differences and the many uses that come from having fabric as an educational tool. ūüôā

100_8468 This child used puzzle pieces and buttons as cat food.  We put down a piece of fabric in the reading corner.

100_8481¬† Back to the Construction/ Block area we used another piece of fabric to use blocks and mini checkers for sandwiches. ¬†And yes, this was a three year old child’s idea.

100_8524  Another day we used blocks, wooden bowls, geo shape blocks and other fun items to make a picnic!  The imagination of a child never stops and the wonderful part of all of this is the endless learning that is unfolding!

Come join The Marigold School of Early Learning if you want your 3-5 year old child to experience the joy of learning through inquiry, exploration, discoveries and many more developmentally appropriate learning¬†opportunities! ūüôā¬†

100_8527¬†¬†An unopened canned soup made it’s way onto our picnic area! This is all the creative work of a three year old child! ūüôā

 

Heidi Scott, BA and MIT

Halloween Tour!

100_8205  The Marigold School of Early learning is having a tour on Halloween!  Please join us between 3:00-6:00 p.m. for an up close look at the preschool and treat bags!

100_8217  I love teaching young children and if you are looking for a small play-based environment for your child aged three to five years please come and see us rain or shine!

100_8214 You are welcome to come and visit between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 Halloween Night!

100_8122  Artistic expression is a large part of the curriculum, yet so is constructing, dramatic play and science exploration!  Eight young minds can come each morning at 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m to wonder, question, explore and create!

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I look forward to meeting you all  and wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT ¬†¬†The¬†Marigold¬†School¬†of¬†Early¬†Learning! ūüôā

Clay, Buttons and Oil Pastels

100_8083¬†¬†Using clay and buttons as a simple number provocation is another way to incorporate mathematical experiences into your classroom. ¬†Some children will come over and use the oil pastel to try and trace the number and the buttons. ¬†Other children will copy the number and buttons free hand. ¬†And still others may squish the clay and use the buttons to create something entirely different. ¬†Children not so comfortable with textures like clay will push the clay aside and use the oil pastel to draw instead. ¬†These are all things I have seen many children do each time I’ve done this provocation or a similar one. ¬†

100_8084¬†¬†Provocations like these are meant to get the children thinking. ¬†When asked, “what number is this?” ¬†“Zero!” is always the reply. ¬†Zero is also a circle shape, head, eyes, balls etc. ¬†Children will take this as a number symbol or use any of the other forms it takes to create a unique picture. ¬†Sometimes a child will have a lot to say about his/her creation and other times just the moments spent working with clay and allowing themselves to relax before engaging in other areas that require social interaction will be enough. ¬†What each child gains from a provocation is not always up to the Teacher. ¬†Children will stick to the surface or dive deep with their inquiries, explorations and creations. ¬†As a Teacher I am close by to push the child’s thinking a bit further when I can.

100_8087¬†¬†I chose an autumn theme for the colors of clay, buttons and oil pastels, but you could always choose the colors you see and hear your children wearing, choosing and telling you they like. ¬†This was my way of incorporating a seasonal color theme without all the “cookie cutter” close-ended units and lessons. ¬†I find it¬†fascinating¬†to be able to set up a provocation and wait to see how the children interpret the meaning for themselves. ¬†And I love being able to scaffold with each child, building onto and opening doorways in their minds for deeper understanding. ¬†The button alone could spark a brief discussion on the buttons a child has on his/ her shirt or coat. ¬†The child may remember a family member like a Grandfather or Grandmother having buttons to play with when they visit. ¬†Children have rich memories and experiences each brings to the classroom and I never know what provocations will spark special memories. ¬†Memories¬†are worth writing down and appreciating.

100_8086  I tried to pick out buttons that were similar in color yet have a different appearance.  Each button is of a different size and has specific surface details.  The picture above has two yellow buttons, yet each is of a different size and has a different number of holes.  The surface textures of both have a different design as well.  These are details I noticed and sometimes the children will notice these on their own and be interested in the differences.  Other times children will not pay attention to these fine details because they do not consider them to be important details.  This is where as a Teacher I can point out and question the children about what they see as being the same and what is different.  Pointing them is a direction I would like them to notice sometimes leads to more questions from the children as to why the buttons are not the same.  It can also spark memories of experiences with other clothing or toy items that are different and the same.  Keep the conversations open and keep them going when you see an opportunity.

100_8085  Color differences are also noticeable between the clay, oil pastel and buttons.  This could lead you to set up more provocations with the color spectrum in mind.  Exploring colors and how color is created could lead the children into a great scientific exploration.  Discuss with the children things in nature that are green and all the different shades of green.  Bring in leaf and grass samples to set up and compare the differences in color.  Since it is Autumn you could also use this time to teach the children about how the leaves turn in the fall and why.  Nothing too heavy because the children are ages three, four and five, but enough scientific information that keeps them asking more questions and keeps the topic open for further investigations.  Let the children lead you in what you add to the curriculum.  Rich learning and strong foundations for further learning happen when we, Teachers and Parents respect the interests and knowledge young children inquire and talk about.

 

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT ¬† The Marigold School of Early Learning! ūüôā

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Fabric and Buttons!

100_8100 Using textures and small manipulatives like buttons for beginning patterning provocations is another way to introduce mathematic concepts to young minds in a non-intrusive way.

100_8096¬†This is an example of how you can display biggest to smallest using buttons. ¬†The idea when setting up provocations like this one with fabric and buttons, is to keep in mind this is an open-ended exploration. ¬†Watch, listen and observe how one or all four children at the table use the materials or choose not to use them. ¬†Revisit this provocation and from the observations and words of the children formulate questions to spark a discussion of possible uses for fabric and buttons. ¬†You may be surprised at what non-conventional ways the children will come up with. ūüôā

100_8097¬†Using different nature based or Autumn colors is another way to stimulate a child’s young mind in terms of creativity. ¬†Here is a cream colored fabric with yellow buttons along with leaf patterns and a star shape. ¬†These small details may be noticed by the children and this could inspire one or more to draw or paint a picture of leaves or stars. ¬†The children may ask for clay to sculpt a flower. ¬†You never know where a young mind will take a provocation.

100_8098¬†¬†Now you may be thinking this is too abstract, not enough information for a young mind. ¬†However, my expectations are for the young mind’s capacity to question, explore ideas and take risks creating things inspired by a provocation like this one. ¬†Conversation and deep discussion can come about from the children for different uses of fabric and buttons. ¬†Sizes, shapes, colors, textures are all a part of the natural and artificial world in which all children live and breath. ¬†Use what you have to provoke deep thought, questioning, exploring and constructing minds of the young children you teach or care for.

100_8099¬†¬†Patters are in real nature and they are in artificial nature. ¬†Here is an example of using the colors in the fabric to create with buttons a red and yellow pattern. ¬†Again this is a provocation which may lead a young child to extend the pattern, or it may inspire them to draw or sculpt. ¬†As a Teacher my ideas and adult expectations have to be put on the back burner. ¬†I have to be patient and wait to see how young three, four and five year old minds will interpret and create with exposure ¬†to a provocation like this one. ¬†The types of questions I ask to further exploration may differ for each age group or I may observe how each child of a different age influences another’s ideas and constructions based on this one provocation.

Give this provocation a try!  See what your young preschool children come up with.  Let me know how it worked out for you.  Let me know if it did not work and how you changed the provocation.  How did your discussions on this provocation unfold and what insights did you gain in terms of how each child interpreted the provocation?  I want to hear from you!  Please like and share!

 

Thank you!

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT ¬†The Marigold School of Early Learning ūüôā