Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summer Science Enrichment with Bobby the Scientist

     We were so pleased to welcome back an outstanding visitor as part of our summer enrichment series, Bobby the Scientist! Bobby has graced us with his presence and enthusiasm here at SMART START before and all anticipated his return.  He notoriously captivates our students with his charm and passion for science. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into the world of Bobby the Scientist and his SMART START apprentices.Related image

πŸ₯„ Make Your Own Oobleck πŸ₯„

     Bobby the Scientist set up the essential materials needed for this ooey, gooey, hands-on activity.  All had an individual bowl, lab apron and goggles. Students mixed together cornstarch and water until the right consistency was formed. Eager pupils squished, smooshed and squeezed the fascinating texture. This thrilling sensory experiment is a great way to expose preschoolers to the concept of cause and effect.


⌣ Mealworms ⌣

     Budding scientists gathered around Bobby as he brought out a plastic bin filled with mealworms!  Curious learners looked through magnifying glasses to get a closer look at the different stages of  development. They observed and handled crawling  mealworms, touched cocoons and witnessed the beetles hatching. Bobby shared basic information and answered questions. 



πŸ‰ Lucy the Bearded DragonπŸ‰

     SMART START had it's first ever visit from a bearded dragon! Lucy stole the hearts of the children as she relished in all the attention given from our animal loving class. Bobby allowed our group to pet and feed Lucy. They were utterly overjoyed to interact with Lucy and share in pet keeping responsibility.  What a friendly and interesting creature indeed! A great bonding experience and while confidence soared!
 
πŸƒ Terrariums πŸƒ

     Science in our outdoor classroom was well learned and loved as Bobby taught all about terrariums! He brought supplies for each child to create their very own terrarium. All filled a beaker with rocks, soil and a mint leaf before exploring the backyard for moss and other natures treasures for personal final touches. 

πŸŒ‹ Volcanoes πŸŒ‹

    Next Bobby mesmerized the entire classroom as he created volcanic eruptions! He placed a large green cylinder in the center of the circle and called upon volunteers to assist. Using baking soda, vinegar and red and green dye, classmates made "EXPLOSIONS"! All were fascinated as the "lava" oozed over the top of the "volcano."
  
 
πŸ† Vinegar and Baking Soda πŸ†

     SMART START young learners could hardly wait for the next experiment. Each received a ziplock bag that Bobby filled with vinegar and baking soda.  Eyes widened when the plastic bag inflated as the two ingredients made a chemical reaction! Class pet chickens, Charlotte and Caroline, joined in to witness science at work!  

☁ Cloud Dust ☁
     Raring and ready to go, our inquisitive bunch listened and watched intently as Bobby introduced cloud dust! He explained how cloud dust is made and reactions that can take place. Committed to the experiment and mission,  the children played with the different colored cloud dust.  They used test tubes and droppers to add vinegar which created bubbles and fizz and magnifying glasses to get a closer look. Another fun hand-on activity to stimulate the senses and minds of our preschoolers!

🌎 Planets 🌎

     Fellow scientists took to the arts as they decorated planets! They used Styrofoam balls, blue and green paint, colored tissue paper squares and plastic stars.  Bobby discussed the eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth,  Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and general information about the solar system. Arts and crafts always serves as a catalyst to relate the subject matter in a different fashion, while improving hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and so much more.


Click below for more fun with Bobby the Scientist!






     A very special thank you to Bobby the Scientist for providing our future scientists with an interactive and stimulating science enrichment program. Science is essential and an important part of SMART START curriculum. We are proud to offer these extended units of study and appreciate the support of our parents and caregivers.

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πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Community Worker On-Site Field Trips

     This past academic year, SMART START students were active participants thoroughly enjoying our community workers curriculum! Our themed on-site field trips coincided each month to enhance and enrich our pupils. The children at SMART START embrace and thrive here at school when taught through a hands-on learning approach. Locals from our Andovers welcomed and provided such tutelage as each shared about their careers and how they affect surrounding neighborhoods.  

Here are just a few favorites from September-June





     We are very grateful to the employees of our community for taking the time out of their busy day to come teach and inspire our classroom. Thank you for supplying the next generation with amazing and educational experiences!




πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Pirates and Princesses

      SMART START has been thoroughly enjoying the summer season! While we still focus on our curriculum, it is also the perfect time to introduce a special theme, "Pirates and Princesses". 

Pirates and Princesses both beautiful and brave paraded throughout our kingdom. Phrases such as, "Ahoy Matey", "Aaarrghhhhh", "Walk the plank", "Once Upon a Time", "Make a Wish" and "Let it go"! were shared. Dressed to impress, all had a marvelous time acting out each role as they played with pirate ships, treasure chests, telescopes, maps, gold coins, wands, jewelry and more!



     Dress up is a classic preschool activity that not only brings joy to young children everywhere, but has many additional benefits such as:

  • brain building
  • vocabulary building
  • problem solving
  • emotional development
  • gender exploration
  • imitation
  • empathy




     Most notably, preschoolers dressed up as classic characters from Peter Pan, Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook.  They looked absolutely darling in their costumes as they reenacted scenes from "Never Land" on their pretend pirate ship!




     Our finest crew took to the land for adventures in our outdoor classroom. Coins were buried deep in the sandboxes and activity and water tables. Pirates worked together digging away to reveal these buried treasures. Both water and sand based sensory activities are always sought out by our students. Along with having a swashbuckling good time, there are numerous advantages some being but not limited to:
  • open-ended and investigative play
  • develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination
  • discovery
  • literacy development
  • cooperative play
  • social and emotional development





     While pirates are typically busy on their ships and searching for buried treasures, our SMART START buccaneers continued with their academics.  Each received a themed workbook and chest of tools. Mazes, problem solving, letter sorting and more.  Aaaargghhhh!



     Pirates and princesses combined clever imaginations along with artistic abilities and gathered around our art table to design a spectacular telescope or treasure box. Arts and crafts are crucial to early development and an essential part of SMART START curriculum. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • further development of fine motor skills
  • supports executive functioning
  • raises self-esteem
  • promotes self expression
  • encourages creativity
     



     In addition, creative classmates put together magical wands. After receiving materials, they skillfully drizzled glue, colored with flair and added sparkling jewels for a finishing touch. The wands completed their ensembles and were perfect for sprinkling pixie dust and spreading joy throughout their royal school!


     "Hear ye, hear ye, your castle awaits"! exclaimed our majestic pupils as they embraced dramatic play in our indoor play castle showcasing crowns, gowns and costumes. All had a splendid time in their world of make believe.  



     Our group of mateys searched the outdoor classroom for buried treasure. Miniature treasure chests and gold coins were hidden throughout. They worked both independently and collaboratively gathering all the loot. An exciting exploration!



    "Just Imagine" a song learned this particular week was beautifully sung as all took turns "walking the plank" and jumping into "deep water"


    Other activities during our special themed week included board games, books and puzzles. One favorite was "Pretty Pretty Princess!"  This hands-on game involved spinning the spinner and making your way around the board while dressing up in the finest jewelry.

     We love board games here at school. These are some of the benefits:
  • cooperative play
  • encourages patience and turn taking
  • consider concept of rules
  • practice following rules
  • patterns and skills
  • actions and consequences
  • good sportsmanship






     Academics in our SMART START palace are always a focus. Each member of the court found a pencil, took to their throne and wrote first names to complete the primary step of making a personalized crown. Our older friends are doing excellent with their handwriting skills as are younger students are diligently mastering their pencil grasp and sounds of letters. All proudly beamed wearing their finished crowns!





Click below for more fun Pirate and Princess fun at SMART START!



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         We hoped you enjoyed a look into our imagination filled pirate and princess week! 
πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™