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     SMART START students were introduced to the field of Geology both this and last year. This S.T.E.A.M (Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) related unit primarily focused on the earth's natural structures.

Read below to view what was discovered during 2018 Geology week and 2019 Geology day!

     Future scientists were intrigued by our Geological displays. Exhibited were an assortment of rocks, gemstones, geodes, guides and investigative tools such as, magnifying glasses. Young learners engaged their senses as they explored the materials. 

     The class joined together in our outdoor classroom for an informational storytime. Miss Francesca read from a geology manual while peers passed around various types of earthly matter. All were most fascinated by the volcanic rock and geode. 

Some knowledge acquired during this lesson includes: 
  • Geology is the study of earth and its physical structures/substances
  • gemstones are pieces of mineral
  • earth's crust is the outer layer of the planet
  • there are gemstones assigned to each calendar/birth month
  • volcanic rock is created from erupted lava

  Last year, pupils practiced matching gemstones to their corresponding images in books and charts. This activity worked to reinforce the subject matter. This year, classmates decorated cases to store their own rock collections. All used stick on jewels and name tags to personalize their project. Afterwards, each child selected a few rocks to start off their collection.  

     SMART START geoarchaeologists experienced the great efforts of rock excavation. 
Last year, the crew unearthed stones, minerals and more in the school's sand excavation site. This year, motivated minds worked to extract gems that were encased in individual blocks of plaster. Tools used during excavation included: brushes, picks, sponges, popsicle sticks, and magnifying glasses for further examination. All were amazed and confident in their findings. 


   To complete the excavation process, the group gathered to dig up some candy rocks in ice cream. All thoroughly enjoyed their delicious discoveries and were able to identify what minerals their treats resembled. The favorites were the "ruby" and "emerald" candies. 

     Last year, budding geologists took turns hammering open a geode. All were surprised to witness the sparkling crystals hiding inside the outer layers. This year, preschoolers and prekindergartners partnered together to pan for gold in buckets of water. These hands-on activities provide students the opportunity to experience the subject matter first hand and to comprehend it in a realistic setting.




All About Ava!

     The first "All About Me" poster presenter for September was miss Ava! She patiently waited for this assignment and was eager to showcase her finished project. Ava displayed excellent public speaking skills while explaining facts about herself. Fabulous work, Ava!

Here are some details from Ava's poster:
  • Favorite animal is a horse๐Ÿด
  • Wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up๐Ÿ’‡
  • Enjoys riding her scooter ๐Ÿ›ด
  • Loves to go to the beach๐Ÿ–
  • Favorite food is strawberries ๐Ÿ“

     All enjoyed Ava's 4th birthday celebration at school! She brought in special cupcakes and goody bags to share with friends. Peers gifted Ava with a book and sang "Happy Birthday" to her in English and Spanish.

     Ava has been attending SMART START for almost a year now! She is kind, intelligent and acts as a great role model for our preschoolers. We look forward to witnessing you flourish as a prekindergartner, Ava!




     SMART START traveled back to the prehistoric era both this and last year to learn about dinosaurs! 

Read below to view what we studied during 2018 dinosaur week and 2019 dinosaur day!

  Our dinosaur displays exhibited a variety of related books, dinosaur models, habitat structures, fossils and an encyclopedia. Pupils practiced identifying different species such as, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, ankylosaurus and more. 
Here are additional facts the class learned: 
  •  Dinosaurs were reptiles 
  • All are now extinct 
  • The Spanish translation of dinosaur is: Dinosaurio
  • Some were carnivores/ate meat and others herbivores/ate plants
  • The study of dinosaurs is Paleontology 



      Dinosaur enthusiasts used fine motor and problem solving skills to assemble themed puzzles.  In addition, this year the group also worked diligently to match upper case and lower case T-Rex letter cards.


     Young learners dramatic played with dinosaurs throughout the outdoor classroom. They roamed, jumped, stomped and roared around the yard and play structures. Imaginations soared as the  "dinosaurs" relived a day on Earth. Engaging in pretend play yields numerous benefits for children. Some being but not limited to:
  • experience the subject matter 
  • encourage creativity
  • promote literacy 
  • enhance social skills and communication


      The class circled in our outdoor classroom for a Jurassic storytime. All listened intently as information about dinosaurs was read. Our school chickens joined in and assisted with this activity. We discussed how chickens are closely related to dinosaurs, especially the T-Rex!



     Classmates gathered to enjoy their lunch in dinosaur fossil bowls. This mealtime provided students the opportunity to discuss what they have been learning during the unit. Conversations included favorite dinosaur species and wanting to become a paleontologist! 


     Last year, SMART START artists created their own handprint dinosaur. They decorated paper with stickers, painted their hand and made a handprint. Each project was labeled with the child's name and "osaurus." 
     This year, aspiring archaeologists used tools to find artifacts inside a fossil dinosaur egg. All picked and dusted until they managed to crack their egg open. Miniature dinosaurs were discovered inside!



     Peers paired up to use dinosaur rubbing plates. Each covered their plate with paper and colored with pencils until a dinosaur appeared. Pterodactyls and t-rexes were among the creatures created. This craft allowed students to practice holding a pencil in writing position while testing their knowledge on dinosaur species.



     SMART START paleontologists excavated dinosaur fossils that were buried in the sand and outdoor structure mulch. Brushes, picks and other tools were used to unearth the fossils. All used magnifying glasses to inspect the findings up close and attempted to name what skeletal part they thought the fossils were: arm, leg, tail etc.  



     Last year, future engineers put their fine motor skills and hand to eye coordination to work as they built a 3D dinosaur fossil of a Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus. They followed the step-by-step instructions accordingly. Superior building!

     This year, the group constructed their own dinosaur fossil model using fossils they uncovered in the outdoor structure mulch. All cooperated as they arranged and rearranged the skeleton pieces. The
class named the model a SMARTSTARTosaurus!





Erica’s “All About Me” Book and 4th Birthday!

     Miss Erica was the next author to present her "All About Me" book at school. She beamed with pride as she detailed her mini autobiography to the class. All were impressed with the effort Erica put into creating her book, presenting it and answering questions. Astounding work, Erica!

Here are some details from the chapters in Erica’s book:

  • Wants to be a princess when she grows up ๐Ÿ‘‘
  • Favorite colors are purple and pink ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’—
  • Likes to eat vegetables and bagels ๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅฏ
  • Goes to the beach with her brother Max ๐ŸŒŠ
  • She likes to go shopping ๐Ÿ›’

     Everyone was exited to celebrate Erica’s 4th birthday party at school! Erica brought in delicious 
cupcakes and goody favors to share with her peers. Friends gifted Erica with a book and sang “Happy Birthday” to her in English and Spanish. 

     SMART START has loved having Erica as a student for over 2 years! She is lighthearted, intelligent and always eager to learn. We are excited to witness you excel as a prekindergartner, Erica! 

Click below to hear SMART START students singing "Happy Birthday"