Sunday, July 19, 2015

Another Amazing MGT Resource - Content Learning Objectives

I love Mother Goose Time, everyone knows that.  But I still can't help but be surprised when there is yet another tool or resource that I discover or rediscover.  I have seen the pages in the Teacher Guide that describe what we are going to learn that week, but I have never paid much attention.  Some of the other Blog Ambassadors had been talking about this page and it made me see it in a new light.
The part that I think is really cool is the Content Learning Objectives.  It states after completing these lessons, the child will be able to:
  • Identify and describe animals that climb the trees.
  • Describe which parts of the trees can be used for building.
  • Identify things that are made of wood.  
  • Identify the colors found in trees.
  • Identify things that grow on and fall from trees.
  • Describe ways to tell the age of a tree.
  • Identify which parts of trees can be used for writing.
I love this list!  You could type this up and keep it in your pocket or wallet and use this as you go through life to just talk and discuss these things.  Or give this list to the Grandparents or babysitter after you have completed the week so they can ask them about all the things they have learned.  It's just another great tool and part of Mother Goose Time.

They also have this page at the beginning of each week that has three columns.  What we know, what we wonder and what we learned.  This is a chance for you to sit down with your kids at the beginning of the week and ask them what they know about trees (as an example, this weeks topic).  Quickly jot down what they know.  Then ask what they wonder, or what would they like to know.  At the end of the week you can sit down again and ask them what they learned.
Now, I have to say, I am not sure we could have had this in depth of a conversation with a 2 year old but I am currently using this curriculum for my 6 and 4 year old.  This is another example of how the curriculum can grow right along with you.

The exciting part about this page is that you could not more plainly lay out what learning is all about.  Take something you are interested, think about what you know, what you would like to know and then see your hard work pay off by listing all that you have learned.  I can't wait to put this tool to work with my boys in the coming weeks.

So here is a little peak into what we have learned about trees.

First we made Koala puppets and talked about animals and people that climb trees.

We talked about tree rings and how we can count them to find out how old they are.  
 Then Peter cut out a circle and drew 4 rings on it to be as old as he is.
He held it out nice and steady for me to take the picture.  Notice the blur.  I think he had to go potty and was doing the dance.
Every year when we cut down our Christmas tree we cut off a fresh little inch so that it can get water from the stand, just like re-cutting the flower stem when putting it in water.  Jeff gives the tree cutting to us and we count the rings to find out how old our Christmas tree is that year.  This last years tree was 15 years old.  I still had the tree cutting in our science tray and Peter looked at the rings under the magiscope.

The next day we talked about building with trees.  I actually don't have any pictures, but it was such an amazing discussion.  As we sat for lunch we listed all of the things made of wood.  They listed the table, chairs, cabinets, TV stand and so on.  But then I blew their minds when I told them paper was made out of trees.  I mean really, mind blown.

This lead to a new topic.  I asked them if we keep cutting down trees, what will happen?  We will run out.  So how do we make sure not to run out? They struggled to come up with an answer.  Although we did talk a little bit about not wasting paper. I realized, we have just the book to answer this question for them.

I got out Timber!, which is a Mother Goose Time published book that we got with a theme a while back.  It is about a lumberjack who cuts down trees to build his log cabin.  With each house he cuts down an animal loses it's home.  Finally at the last tree the bear yells STOP! and suddenly the lumberjack sees what he has done.  He goes back and plants a new tree in the place of all of those he chopped down.
I asked the question again, what should we do to make sure we don't run out of trees?  Plant new ones!  It was so fun to see them find the answer in a book!

I will be using Mother Goose Time this coming school year for all three of my boys.  They are 6, 4 and a little over 1.  I look forward to seeing all the ways I can extend the curriculum and the topics for my first grader.  These Content Learning Objectives might be the first place to start.  If he will be learning about which parts of trees can be used for building then maybe a natural extension for a first grader would be for him to learn soft woods versus hard woods or to see a video or read a book on how they turn a tree into lumber.  I think a father son field trip might be in order where they can walk through a lumberyard and Jeff can teach him about building with wood.   

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