Sunday, November 12, 2017

Day One of Our Rainforest Adventures

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Day 1 was all about Jaguars.  I set the J is for Jaguar Make & Play craft up at the table for Adam.  But later that day we had a whole bunch of kids over and it started to get kind of loud, so I asked if anyone wanted to make a Jaguar.  Even though they were older kids, they were super excited and soon, it got a lot quieter in my house as they happily worked on their Jaguars.

I also got out the I Can Read book so that Adam and I can read through it all month long.  He often hears me tell his brothers they have to do their reading and he LOVES having his own reading assignment.
Every new theme with Mother Goose Time means they get a new name tag and every month on the first day we write our names.  I write Adam's name with a yellow marker and he traces over it. He was quick to finish his name this month so he decided to flip it over and try his hand at some free hand As.
The older boys were at the other end of the table doing an old fashioned spelling test.  I put a divider up between them, dictated words for them to spell and then we graded it together after.  They were both upset that they didn't get them all correct because that's what we are used to with homeschooling.  I quickly explained to them that getting only one or two wrong is really good!! Mommy used to miss a lot more.  This brought them a lot of relief.
The next lesson was called Circle Spots and the idea was to cover a large paper in circle's like the spots on a Jaguar.  They recommend we cover a tables surface in large pieces of paper and then provide cups and other circle objects to trace. I grabbed what I had handy and used that old printer paper that's all attached in one long sheet.  My husbands previous employer found a case of it in an old office storage area.  Jackpot!
I was very nervous to present this activity to Adam.  I knew he would like it and want to do it but I thought he might get really frustrated by the items sliding as he was tracing.
But here's the thing.  He surprised me again and he was successfully able to hold the items in place as he traced.  If he did have a little hiccup, he didn't get angry, just fixed it and kept going.
These are huge signs of development for Adam.  The social and emotional development to shrug off frustration, and the physical ability to hold an item in place while tracing.

Observing Adam as he works through a project is called Authentic Assessment. I have observed Adam enough times doing various activities using a variety of skills that when he "surprises me", I am actually observing and assessing a leap in his skills and abilities.  As a homeschool Mother in a state where no documentation of work is required for a preschooler I can do this assessing very informally.  But if I were in a state that required documentation, Mother Goose Time would make it so easy!!

In fact, I could look at the developmental continuum under Self Concept and see that under 1.3 Identifies and manages feelings Adam would be right at Benchmark D "Recognizes personal feelings.  Controls impulses with reminders."   Although, this time, he didn't need a reminder and was able to control those emotions on his own.  So maybe he's on his way to Benchmark E!!
Over the last few years I have been taping Adam's name tags to the back of our Circle Time display board.  This is another fun way of assessing Adam's growth.  And not to worry, if you don't know where to start with collecting work samples, Mother Goose Time will take you step by step through that as well.

But if you look closely, the name tags at the top have his name, written by me, and then scribbles all over the place.  As they get towards the bottom you begin to see mostly his name with very few scribbles because he has started to trace directly over the lines. Except of course on the rainforest one.  He seemed to have some fun drawing a few extra lines on that one, maybe they are vines in the jungle.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into a "day" with Mother Goose Time.  We have incorporated it in so many avenues of our life.  Whether it be neighbors coming over to play or serious Preschool learning and work for my little guy so he can be like his big brothers.

I love to use this blog to document Adam's learning adventures.  I feel so blessed to have a record of all that he has done.  But it's also fun to sit down and reflect.  It was in this reflection that I realized these moments when Adam "surprises me" aren't surprises at all, but assessments in disguise.  The only reason I am surprised is because it's a skill or ability Adam was not capable of before, but now he is!  They are in fact observations of skills gained and growth made!

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