Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. During these activities children acquire information allowing them to make classifications in their environment. Our PK1 students experienced a lot of different textures in this sensorial course: Sticky, slippery, gooey, rough, soft, bumpy… This was also a fun way to learn French vocabulary in context, associating visual and tactile stimuli.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is omnipresent in SDFAS curriculum and our students practice STEM activities on a daily basis.
Exploring the sand area, identifying simple machines like gears, wheels and pulleys, planning and designing structures, and making patterns are some examples of STEM in Early Childhood
Our approach? We are targeting the “what” instead of the “why”.
“What” questions focus on what is happening, what children are noticing, and what they are doing. By focusing questions on what kids observe and notice, we are helping them not only to develop valuable communication and observation skills, but also to build their confidence by giving them questions they can answer as experts.
Margot, future engineer or architect?
Multisensory learning is learning that involves two or more of the senses within the same activity: auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic.
In PK0, Geraldine is using visual and tactile to work on colors.
In our PK1 class, Alexandra is associating auditory, visual and kinesthetic to work on language with her PK1 students during her circle time. Look how engaged the students are!
Moving through the different stages of pencil grasp development is an important part of Early Childhood Education. At SDFAS, we start in PK0 through a lot of fun gross motor skill activities that will make shoulders and arms stronger, and help your child’s pencil grasp to mature as well.
The final aim is to reach the Dynamic Tripod Grasp. Such a grasp is characterized by holding the writing tool with the ends of the thumb, index and middle finger. The pencil is controlled with finger movement rather than the hand or arm.
And look at our PK2 students, they are already so confident with their pencil control! (Pictures 3&4)
Our PK2 students went camping today! They had their gear ready, and set out for the forest. They then selected the perfect location to set up their sleeping bags. When the sun went down, they listened to the animals to try to identify them. There were so many animals in this forest, from tiny to enormous, from bees to bears. The children even identified a dragon! What a great way to work on sound discrimination and vocabulary.
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein
Our Maternelle students worked for the past weeks with their teachers on a very challenging scientific project.
The PK2 had to build “un arbre à sons/ a musical tree”. They had to follow some guidelines given by the MLF, “Mission Laïque Française”, a network of about 108 schools in 47 different countries to which SDFAS is affiliated:
-They had to create a structure that would make some music or sound and that would be animated by an element, such as wind or water… They could also create a song to sing along with the musical structure.
-They had to use only recycling materials.
-It had to be a team effort and help the students enlarge their vocabulary and solving skills.
The PK2 student’s scientific project took the form of a musical tree that they enjoyed playing to accompany their song.
The PK1 students relied on a similar scientific approach. We were very happy to discover two scarecrows in the 5 senses garden of the Preschool, made by the PK1 students using only recycling materials.
Congratulations to our young scientists!
Please click on one of the picture to start the slideshow.
After taking care of the caterpillars, the students were amazed to see them disappear in a cocoon for a few weeks and to finally hatched into beautiful colored butterflies.
The release of the butterflies happened just after the Spring break. One of the butterflies was curious enough to explore our butterfly house in the preschool playground.
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Thanks to Olinda Rodas, Luke’s mother , the PK2A students experienced with a nice robot that moved around by following colored paths drawn by the students with ordinary markers on a sheet of paper.
Each color on the path is associated with a different command given to the robot: moving slow or fast or like a turbo, go straight or zigzag, spin or move backwards, or jump ahead, turn left or right, or make a U-turn.
No wonder the students were so eager to trace the different colored paths and watch the robots obey to their commands!
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The PK1 students are now in the heart of the science curriculum: “Distinguish between living and nonliving things” and ”Discover the cycle of life of a vegetal: birth, growth, wilting, death”.
When you are 3 years old, identifying what can grow and what cannot grow can be tricky. In class they tried to grow different items such as beads, pasta, buttons, play dough and seeds. They watered the different items and waited for a few days. Soon-after, they witnessed what had grown and what had not grown. Therefore, they were able to fill a chart and come to the conclusion that not everything is alive and can grow!
If you have a chance to step in Kindergarten, you will be surprised to find a snail aquarium in each class. The students have to feed the snails and observe them grow as part of the “Exploring the World” and “Take care and observe the development of an animal” skills.
They now know how to keep them healthy and happy. They studied all the names of their body parts, and could even create a story about the life of a snail.
They observed the snail’s shells and got inspired to create beautiful art!
So well cared, the snails laid some eggs. Let’s be patient and wait for the baby snails!