Sunday, September 13, 2015

First Day of School - Using MGT for Pre-K and 1st Grade

We did things a little backwards on our first day of school.  We did school first and then went out front to take the first day pictures.  I guess that's what you can do when you don't have to go anywhere for school.

Our first day of Mother Goose Time's Friends and Feelings study was about Saying Hello.  I love how each year Mother Goose Time starts with a topic that explores the student and their families and communities.  Last years September topic was Me and My Family.  I believe, at the core of the learning environment, is the feeling of safety and belonging.  So beginning the year by establishing the child in their self concept and teaching them how to care for and respond to others, you are setting a great foundation.

What I love about Mother Goose Time and what makes it so easy to use for the whole family
are the discussions it initiates.  Our first discussion question of the year was, what are different ways to say hello?

Here is Peter's answer.
Next time you see Peter, you now know how to say hello. :)

Everyday we start with an Opening Song or Opening Rhyme.  This year, they put all of them on a ring and make them easy to take with you to your Circle Time.  I love this idea!
Of course, rhyming and music is only good for preschoolers  I mean EVERYONE.  My first grader benefits from these just as much as my Pre-K Peter.  This song was sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques" which I heard Lachlan (6) humming through out the day.

On the first day of every new month we write our names on the name tags.   Lachlan chose to write his last name on the name tag this time. 
A lot can be said about how the educator can extend Mother Goose Time for older children.  But I have found that much of the "extending" happens naturally by the student.  Here Lachlan (6) chose to extend this lesson himself by writing his last name, sweet.  No complaints from me.

Our next task was to work on our Friend Puppets.  We were to create a puppet to look like us and the other to look like our friend.

First we had to dress our puppets.  I told Lachlan to draw what he wanted to cut out first on the paper and then follow the lines to cut it out.  But no, he wanted to freehand.  His freehand just a few years ago would not have been nearly as successful.  I was quite impressed.   Check out the sleeve of that shirt.
 Just finishing up.
 Analyzing his work. 
 Something is missing . . .
 A neck hole of course!
This again is Lachlan, my first grader.  He naturally "extended" this craft to his level.  He cut out a pretty accurate T-shirt and made sure to pay attention to detail.

Next you can see Peter's finished puppets. Again, a series of photos because I just can't cut any of these out.  The clothing on his puppet may be a little less clothing like, but they are extraordinary still.  Just right for Peter.  The shirts are green, his favorite color.  He chose to make Jeffrey (his Dad) and Grandpa Allan (Jeff's Dad). 
He describes his puppets perfectly.  Jeffrey has "gray" hair (I see blue), just like Daddy "because his hair is turning gray" and Grandpa's puppet has "no hair".  Sorry Grandpa, you still have some hair!  Just not your puppet.

I asked him to use his puppets to act out what you would say when you first see a friend.  He said "hi, how are you?"  I chose to do a little extending on my end and taught him to say hi, how are you in Spanish.  So in this photo he is saying the como in "Hola, Como estas?"
 Okay, now it's time to pose with your creations.  Smile!
 Wait, Mommy's camera is not quite in focus.  Smile again!
 And a true non posed smile as he was leaving his photo session. 
Those were the first two out of four lessons for the day.  We played the Global Friends matching game a little later in the day.

Each day I add a little extra to Lachlan's day after we all complete MGT together.  I will write a post specific to that at some point.  But I couldn't help but notice how easily and naturally Lachlan extends the lessons from Mother Goose Time all on his own.

Next, we had to go out front to get our first day of school photos.

Lachlan, first day of first grade.
 "Oh, we are posing for pictures, let me take my place" says Adam if he could talk.
 All 3.

 I am Peter!  First day of Pre-K.
 Had to get a close up of Lachlan too.
 Picture in front of our "school".

 "I've never done this posing for pictures thing." ha!

 Photo assault complete.  Thank you for scrolling!


  1. I love seeing your boys and how much fun they are having with MGT. Kudos to a great curriculum and an amazing mom who makes it happen!

  2. Peter's facial expressions are adorable!