It was such a treat to have all of the wonderful ladies in our student’s lives come and visit us for a special afternoon at The Grove School of Cary!
We served refreshments of fresh cut strawberries, ladyfingers and lemonade. Each classroom had a special project planned for the event including planting flowers in recycled baby food jars, recycled jewelry making, recycled sun catchers, and recycled cardboard picture frame decorating. Thank you to all the lovely ladies that attended!
For afternoon snack our friends in the Apple Grove (Pre-K Room 3) were told we would be eating a WHOLE plant!!
We were excited and not quite sure we could eat roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds….Yikes!
We put all the parts together and found out we can do it.
Seeds…shelled and roasted pumpkin seeds
Leaves…lettuce leaves from “our Grove Garden”
and finally roots…baby carrots.
Every month, a classroom at The Grove School of Cary features a book for our monthly book club. For April, the Apple Grove (one of our 4-5 year old classrooms) did a project on Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.
After enjoying the colorful pictures and familiar text of the book, students examined fresh root vegetables like beets, carrots, potatoes and radishes from the Farmer’s Market! Students learned that root vegetables grow beneath the soil. Students then discussed and illustrated the root vegetables they would like to grow this year in our outdoor Grove garden!
A huge THANK YOU to all the Grove teachers and families for your support last Saturday for our Spring Planting Day and potluck! It was a gorgeous day and children and familes enjoyed some outdoor crafts including making garden flags and plant signs. We also successfully planted a green bean tipi, a vine garden, two butterfly gardens, a sensory garden, an herb gardens, a pizza garden and a salsa garden! We can’t wait to watch it all grow!!
A very happy Earth Day from the Grove School of Cary!!
Our third “Outdoor Education in the Grove” entry is brought to you by our 3-4 year old students of the Orange Grove and their teachers Ms. Sarah and Ms. Kenisha.
What’s more fun than digging in dirt? Playing with worms! In addition to the worm farm that the Orange Grove created for their classroom, students discovered worms in our compost and our garden beds and had a blast measuring them all!
Great Grove Families!
Please join us for our annual
“Spring Planting Day” Saturday April 20th 10am-2pm
We look forward to working together to spruce up our outdoor gardens and share a potluck lunch together.
Sign-up sheets for gardening materials are on classroom doors, and a potluck sign-up sheet is in the lobby.
This year we will be planting a pizza garden, a salsa garden, a butterfly garden, and an herb garden!
Please RSVP as soon as possible and we hope to see you all there!!
Our second “Outdoor Education in the Grove” entry is brought to you by our 4-5 year old students of the Apple Grove and their teachers Ms. Alysia and Ms. Sue.
Students began a science experiment outside examining the effects of sun exposure. Students taped various stencils to black paper and hung them up in various locations around our outdoor Grove classroom. The following day, children took down the black paper to discover they had made sun images! These images were made by the sun’s rays fading the exposed areas of the paper. The sun exposure experiment was followed with a conversation on why it is important to be safe in the sun and wear sunscreen!
Staying true to our commitment to provide quality education, both inside our classrooms, and in our outdoor Grove classroom, I will be posting a series of projects and activities titled, “Outdoor Education in the Grove.” This series will highlight all classrooms at The Grove School of Cary and the wonderful outdoor learning that takes place here!
Our first “Outdoor Education in the Grove” entry is brought to you by our 3-4 year old students of the Lemon Grove and their teachers Ms. Deedra and Ms. Katie.
Students worked together to create a mini greenhouse out of a recycled soda bottle. The class took turns filling the bottle up with soil and then planting “mystery seeds.” Each student shared what they thought would happen inside the bottle. “Flowers will grow!” “Lots of plants will grow!” Now they will just have to wait….and watch!
As I have discussed before on this blog, I like to visit the classrooms throughout the day to watch our students actively engaged in their school day. Today I grabbed the Flip camera and walked into Ms. Gina and Ms. Hunter’s preschool class (3 year olds).
The video shows what a 60 second snapshot looked like today in their class. I can tell you, what I captured today on video is what typically takes place in their class every day. Notice how students are engaged in their centers while the teachers are assisting and facilitating, but not directing.
Students were working in the block center, math center, writing center, and at the computer center.
I thought you might like to see what it looks like.
It is well established that three and four year olds need a strong focus on cognitive development along with attention to their social and emotional development to be ready for kindergarten (1, 2). Technology can play a key role in this preparation. Experts confirm that preschool age children are developmentally ready and able to benefit from instruction with technology. The use of educational technology is now known to have a major, positive impact on the social, emotional, language, and cognitive development of children.
It is recommended that many opportunities be given during the preschool years for exploration using technology tools in a playful, supportive environment. Researchers further agree that a number of technology applications have the potential to support and extend learning in the young child through their unique capability to provide excellent instruction in these important developmental areas that are critical for educational success (3-5).
Specifically, research has found that preschoolers who used computers with developmentally appropriate supporting activities for key learning goals, had more gains than children without these computer experiences. Among others, these included increases in knowledge, long-term memory, verbal skills, problem solving, and manual dexterity (3).
A set of studies with low-income children found those who received a computer curriculum had increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores compared to similar children in a regular curriculum (6,7). Recent research published in the journal Pediatrics found that young children who had access to a computer compared to those who did not performed better on measures of cognitive development and school readiness as measured by the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence. The lead author notes that the findings suggest that “computer access before or during the preschool years is associated with the development of preschool concepts and cognition” (8).
The National Association for the Education of Young Children also states that considerable research points to the positive effects of educational technology on children’s learning and development. For these effects to be present, however, educators must monitor that it is appropriate in the areas of age, individual child needs, and culture; and integrate educational technology into the learning environment in ways that support what and how children learn (9).
To read the research studies noted above, here are the references:
References and Sources
1. Eager to Learn: Executive Summary. (2000). (Eds.) B.T. Bowman, S.M. Donovan, & S.M.
Burns. National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
2. Landry, S. & James Baker Institute for Public Policy. (2004). Effective Early Childhood
Programs: Turning Knowledge Into Action. Houston, TX: Rice University.
3. Haugland, S.W. (2000). What role should technology play in young children’s learning? Part 2. Early childhood classrooms in the twenty-first century: Using computers to maximize
learning. Young Children, 55, 12–18.
4. Murphy, K., DePasquale, R., & McNamara, E. (2003). Meaningful connections: Using
technology in primary classrooms. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web.
5. Clements, D.H. 1994. The Uniqueness of the Computer as a Learning Tool: Insights from
Research and Practice. (Eds.) J.L. Wright & D.D. Shade. Young children: Active learners
in a technological age, pp. 31-50. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education
of Young Children.
6. Ainsa, T. (1989). Effects of computers and training in Head Start curriculum. Journal of
Instructional Psychology, 16, 72–78.
7. Ainsa T. (1987). Effects of computers and training in Head Start curriculum. Journal of
Educational Computing Research, 3, 249 –260.
8. Li, X., & Atkins, M.S. (2004). Early childhood computer experience and cognitive and motor development. Pediatrics, 113, 1715-1722.
9. National Association for the Education of Young Children
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