Sunday, November 22, 2015

Clean Energy, Engineering, and Fine Motor Skills

Our November On The Go from MGT has layers and layers of learning opportunities in all areas. I have several students, one in particular, that I could easily see, even at 4-5 yrs old, pursuing some sort of engineering career in the future. I see the most advanced planning, team work, and creative problem solving in un-structured free play time at the beginning of each day. This kind of play requires not only cognitive skills, but also steady hands, so as not to topple everything over (unless that is ultimately the intention, which it sometimes is).

Roads & Bridges & Ramps (and Service Stations)

So many vehicles waiting in line at the service station!

The car craft had science embedded in it, and even language/vocabulary building with a discussion about clean gasoline made from corn (ethanol - they loved that big word!) They used big and small muscles to pound the corn, and then pinch it to place it on the glue after they colored the car. It's a bit tricky to punch the die-cut shapes out of the paper without tearing the important pieces, but the kids are learning to pay special attention to their strength when doing so, and we only had one minor tear.

Some children chose to color the car before they punched it out, and thus wanted to keep the "windows, so we taped them on one side, enabling them to be "up" or "down". 

Centers featured car related fine-motor activities including play-dough and molds, "driving" through colored ink pads to make tire tracks on paper, and writing the letter "C" in their little journals. We used the hands on letters to trace big "C" and little C". Some students decided to make finger print cars, while others filled the letters with lots of colors. 

Looking so studious, tracing swirly lines

With each day's lesson, they continue to build on to their existing knowledge and skills sets, and they are always so excited to discover how all of it is "works" together!

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