Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Using MGT Tools Daily

There are so many amazing tools that come with Mother Goose Time and I wasn't taking full advantage.  I would get them out when we opened that day bag, use them according to the instructions in the Teacher Guide for that day and then put them to the side and kind of forget about them.  I think it's easy to do because you get an awesome new tool everyday with Mother Goose Time.

But as I am developing as a home school Mom I am slowly figuring things out.  I have grown a lot by simply reading the posts from the other Blog Ambassadors.  A few of them would talk about their daily routine with some of the MGT tools and it finally clicked.

So here is our day today as we learned about Pluto.  I will also show you how I work in a routine of using the Mother Goose Time Letter Flowers, the More Math and More Literacy Workbooks, the My Little Journal and the I Can Read books.  

We start at the breakfast table.  I start the discussion on the topic of the day and ask the first discussion question.  Today is also St. Patrick's Day so I actually asked them about that topic.  What do you know about St. Patrick's Day?  My kids didn't know much and either did I.  So I looked it up.  We talked about rainbows, leprechauns and St. Patrick himself. 

Next I moved on to the Pluto topic and we got out the first table based project.  Meaning, something we could do while we were sitting down.  This was the Astronaut Portrait.  I showed the boys the picture and asked them what they thought it was.  They both knew it was an astronaut.  Then I removed the center part and stuck my face in the opening.  Look, I'm and astronaut.  They thought that was great and joined in too.
Next I put a piece of white paper behind this astronaut paper frame and they drew a self portrait.  When they were done I put them up in our art frames on the wall.
After this we all took a break.  They really wanted to play and so did Adam.  I had some work to get done.  So it was perfect. 

Adam fell asleep for his morning nap around 10:30 am and I took advantage of that time to call them back to the table for school.  They aren't allowed any screen time until they finish "school", so that is a big motivation.

First we broke the ice by playing the Logic Game that came in today's day bag.  No pictures sorry about that. And then we wrote our letters to Pluto.
Now done with the majority of the Pluto lessons we got started on the rest of our routine.  This is where my handy dandy checklist comes in.  I got this from Heather at Only Passionate Curiosity and it has been a huge help for us.  But Mother Goose Time does give you a planning journal each month that you could do this same thing with.
At first I made this for Lachlan (kindergarten) and now I realize, because I made it so general, it works just fine for Peter (preschool) too.  So that's why I marked some with an L and P for Lachlan and Peter.

Across the top I labeled it MGT.  This I mark off when we complete the four main lessons and circle time for that day.  I am not belittling MGT by giving it just one box.  I am just that confident in MGT that when I mark off that box I know my children have explored many of the 33 skills they teach through out their curriculum.  Including skills in Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Social Studies, Science and Creative Development.  

The additional items I list below MGT fall into the Mathematics and Reasoning and Language and Literacy categories.  Skills with in those categories are addressed daily with MGT in new, fun and creative ways.  This is how Lachlan and Peter have so easily, with out even knowing it, learned their ABCs and 123s.  But now I would like to continue to push their knowledge.  Lachlan is in kindergarten and needs to advance and Peter is just advanced for his age.  He has done MGT along with Lachlan and I for almost two years now, so I attribute his advanced skills to that.  I was happy to discover that I can easily use the MGT tools in order to continue to challenge my boys.  This is part of the design of Mother Goose Time.  It is a program made to adapt to a wide range of skills.  For my boys, the best way is to practice these skills daily in a similar way.

The top item listed separately from MGT on my checklist is "letter flowers".  I hold the Letter Flowers from MGT up, one at a time and have Lachlan tell me the names of the letters.  It's just a quick flashcard review that is really great for Lachlan.  I do the same thing for Peter.

I am also really working on Lachlan's ability to count to 100, so I have the 100 chart listed.  He loves numbers and was really trying to grasp the difference between small and big numbers.  MGT, since it is primarily intended for preschool, maxes out at 20. 
Today, I called out a number and had Lachlan find it.  Here he found 33, although his finger is a little off the mark in the photo. 
The other three topics I have listed are super general (Math, Spelling, Writing) and sometimes I cross them off as we are working through our MGT lessons. For me it's just a little mental checklist to make sure these skills are used on a routine basis in a similar fashion.  For Lachlan (kindergarten) I add in written math equations, use the Hands-On letters to build words (spell) and spend some time in his My Little Journal practicing his writing skills. 
So here is the chart again.  On the right hand side it has the labels Read and Work.  I have written Bob and Phonics under the read section because I was having Lachlan read a page from the Hooked on Phonics workbook and a Bob book.  But now I am having him read the I Can Read book from Mother Goose Time and then one of the other books he was reading before (A Bob book or Phonics book).
In the I Can Read book we first review the site words on the back of the book and then he reads the book itself. 

I am also having Peter read the I Can Read book with me.  He has just recently picked up on reading and site words and shocks me with how fast he knows each word.   For the second reading task in Peter's day I sit down and read a book to him which is also key to learning how to read. 

Under the work section I added MGT WorkbookI have the two columns labeled, Math and Literacy.  This is when we go to the More Math & More Literacy workbooks from Mother Goose Time.  There is one page for everyday in each book and I mark it off when they get it done.
 Here is the workbook page for day 10 in the More Math book.
 This is the day 10 page in the More Literacy workbook. 
Peter is a little harder to pin down on some days to get school done and he is only in Preschool, so I try not to push him too hard.  Here he is doing a workbook page from a day 7. 
This is the More Literacy page from day 8.  It is a fill in the blank alphabet page.  He worked through the page all on his own.  He would sing the alphabet song to himself while pointing to the letters to figure out which one came next.

 Pretty proud of himself when he figured out the next letter was I.

I am super excited that we have found a way to incorporate the I Can Read books, the Letter Flowers, the My Little Journal and the More Math & More Literacy workbooks into our daily routine.

My next goal is to incorporate a daily routine for Peter with all the math and number tools we receive in our MGT kits.  I'm thinking I could review and practice his math and counting skills with the Hands-on Numbers or Counting Cards.  Maybe alternate the Hands-On numbers with the awesome collection of Manipulatives and Math Story Cards we have accumulated over the year. Repetition, repetition. 
Here I took a few steps back to get a full shot of our table as we are hard at work.  You can see both the boys are in a T-shirt and underwear.  Yep, underwear.  That's why I try to get pictures of them from the waist up.  They are kind of hard to keep pants on.

But you can see a table full of MGT tools and the Teacher Guide book mixed with a few other odds and ends.  It amazes me that Mother Goose Time really can be used to carry your child through Kindergarten.  Especially if you take full advantage of the MGT tools and use them to dive deeper into the chore subjects by simply finding a way to incorporate them, along with the day to day MGT lessons, into your daily routine. Repetition is key!

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