A More In Depth Look at WotYC at MCA

This post will provide a more in-depth look at the Week of the YOUNG CHILD at MCA as well as provide parent resource articles with information, tips, and ideas.

As you know, the Week of the YOUNG CHILD at MCA is April 11-15 and each day will celebrate our early learners and demonstrate our project based learning curriculum.

These are our themes:

Matzah Monday

Tinkering Tuesday

Whimsical Wednesday

Theatrical Thursday

Family Friday

 

HOW DOES PROJECT BASED LEARNING WORK?

Let's use Matzah Monday as an example of how our teachers break down our monthly themes and build a project from it:

 

MATZAH MONDAY

Project: Making Matzah

Early Literacy Objectives:

  • Read books about matzah
  • Understand connection between books & personal experiences
  • Engage in word play
  • Predict Endings
  • Engage in dialogue
  • Beginning sounds

List of Books:

  • Matzah Ball: A Passover Story - Pre-K
  • The Matzo Ball Boy - 3 & up
  • The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah - 3 & up
  • This is the Matzah - 3 & up
  • Matzo Ball Moon - Infant/Toddler & up
  • No Matzah for Me - Infant/Toddler & up
  • Lotsa Matzah - Infant/Toddler

Social Studies objectives:

  • Discuss why we eat matzah during Passover
  • Talk about Passover and its significance

Science objectives: Cooking

  • Predictions of what will happen to the matzah once baked
    • Will it be hard or soft?
    • How will it taste?
  • Discuss cause and effect
  • Discuss chemical reactions
  • Conduct experiments with fermentation, oil and water, etc.
  • Make homemade play dough using flour

Math objectives:

  • Measure the matzah ingredients
  • Compare and contrast measurement tools and increments
  • Discuss size, geometric shape, and attributes of matzah
  • Compare dry ingredients and wet ingredients
  • Talk about the significance of the number 18
  • Count to 18 (Pre-K count by 2s)
  • Graph
    • Who does and doesn’t like matzah
    • Who knows matzah’s shape
  • Sorting pieces by size
  • Guess / estimate the number of holes in a piece of matzah

Art Objectives: Make a matzah cover

Use a white handkerchief and decorate:

  • Paint with watercolors
  • Paint stripes for handwriting practice
  • Cut small pieces of tissue paper, spray with water and let dry on handkerchief, then scrape away the tissue
  • Decorate with markers and spray with alcohol and watch the colors bleed
  • Glue fabric scraps to create a design

Resource for families:

     Article: Children Learn So Much From Cooking!

 

Here’s a glimpse of the rest of the week and how you can incorporate activities at home...

 

Tinkering Tuesday: Build together, work together

When children build together they explore math and science concepts and develop their social and early literacy skills. Children can use any building material--from a fort of branches on the playground to a block city in the classroom, or a hideaway made from couch pillows at home.

Try this: Practice organizing blocks by size! Try building a block tower with large blocks on the bottom and little blocks on top! OR build a fort in the living room!

Resource for families:

     Article: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know about Play

 

Whimsical Wednesday: Let’s be silly together!

Young children have a special preference for silliness! Experts believe that silliness has important developmental benefits for building social skills, cognitive thinking and creativity.  Laughter creates a bond between people.  Stretching the imagination, thinking outside the box, and learning to look at a situation from different angles are other long-term benefits of developing a sense of humor.  Dr. Seuss is the best example of taking silly words and creating meaning with his message!

Try this: Reading Dr. Seuss books, Singing silly songs while in the car, play rhyming game using names

Resource for families:

     Article: Encouraging Your Child's Sense of Humor 

     Book: Pre-School Parenting Secrets: Talking with the Sky by Brian Caswell

 

Theatrical Thursday: Think, problem solve, create

Children develop creativity, social skills and fine motor skills with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands. On Theatrical Thursday celebrate the joy and learning children experience when engaged in creative thinking and art making. Use any materials - from your imaginations to crayons to paint, clay to crafts!

Try this: Take art projects outside!  Offer light and dark paper! Act out scenarios. Create fantastical tales with words randomly chosen by the children and then make a picture book of the story!

Resource for families:

     Article: How Dramatic Play Can Enhance Learning

     Article: Meaningful Art Projects Parents Can Fit Into a Busy Day

 

Family Friday:

Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners. We would like to invite parents to come celebrate a special Tot Shabbat dedicated to family!  Stay after Tot Shabbat and have lunch with your child. 

We would love to end the week with a special Kabbalat K’tan with Ms. Lisa Silver at 6:00 in the sanctuary.  Afterwards, meet us on the playscape for a night at the movies under the stars! 

Try this: Over the weekend, head to the library and check out some books! Make a Cozy Corner at home! Have an indoor picnic!

Resource for families:

     Article: Books Plus Time Equals Happiness

Theresa LePore

Micah Children's Academy, Brentwood, TN 37027