Adrian 44 months Feed

๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study

There is something fascinating, captivating and intriguing about the Universe! Although Cosmos appears empty and dark, it sparkles with thousands of mysterious glittering lights. Also, while purportedly having an infinite nature, the universe keeps expanding! It holds billions of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, and although the space between stars and galaxies is largely empty, it contains particles of dust, radiation (e.g. light and heat), as well as magnetic fields and high energy particles (e.g. cosmic rays).

DSC_0002What we are reading/using:

  • Julia is holding In the Sky My First Discoveries: Torchlight (buy here). Discover a torchlight which brings empty black pages to live revealing images and messages!
  • There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (buy here) delivers content in a fun rhyming way.
  • The Visual Dictionary of the Universe Eyewitness Visual Dictionaries (buy here) is a comprehensive edition which will keep your preschooler as well as elementary child totally captivated.
  • [on the right] Ravensburger Outer Space Puzzle, 60 Piece, (buy here) with its bright illustration of our Solar system and astronauts entices Adrian to assemble it over and over again (Adrian first assembled it at 44 months).
  • [middle] Round Kids' Puzzle of the Solar System, 50 Piece, (buy here) also features the Milky Way, galaxies, quasars, asteroids, and more. The color of each planet's elliptical orbit matches the color of the planet to enhance the educational experience.

 

DSC_0029This puzzle (buy herefeatures an astonishing 2x3 feet illustration of our Solar System.

Read here about this Solar System floor jigsaw puzzle in a "National Puzzle Day" post where Adrian assembled this puzzle for the first time.

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Children also love reading National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Space (buy here). This book, with its colorful illustrations and simple text, introduces young children to the wonders of Space, explaining basic concepts of the universe, beginning with what is most familiar and expanding out into the cosmos.

DSC_0024These flash cards about Outer Space (buy here) are amazing! They feature full-color photographs, many taken from NASA's own spacecraft. The back of each card offers young space explorers easy-to-understand facts about planets, stars and spaceships in our Solar System.

DSC_0029Our "Solar system"  - what does it mean? "Solar" means "of the Sun," and a "system" is a collection of objects that interact with one another to form a whole - that is the fundamental interaction for each object being the one it has with the Sun. There are many different types of objects found in the solar system: a star (our Sun), planets, moons, dwarf planets, asteroids,comets, dust and gas. The Sun comprises over 99.8% of the Solar System mass (being the biggest object in our system), with Jupiter (The Gas Giant) accounting for most of the remaining mass. All objects in our Solar System orbit the Sun - that is move around in elliptical paths. The Sun exerts enormous gravitation pull, keeping orbits of these objects, called the ecliptic planes, roughly the same, thus preventing collision or any object going astray.

DSC_0013The Universe is incomprehensibly huge: it would take a modern jet fighter more than a million years to reach the star nearest to the Sun. And, traveling at the speed of light (300,000 km per second), it would take 100,000 years to cross our Milky Way galaxy alone. Adrian used Imagination Magnets (buy here) to assemble a rocket ship. The set contains colorful pattern cards which are numbered in progressive order of difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert. As each pattern becomes more challenging, patience and confidence is gained through trial and error. (See here a post "Imaginets, Magnetic Pattern Geometric Shape Blocks & HAPE Wooden Mosaic Puzzle.")
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This hand-crafted โœจSolar System set (buy here) has been children's favorite hands-on material to go along any solar system discussion! These needle felted planets, made from wool and organic cotton, are proportionally sized to each other with names embroidered on the back. Adrian loves how ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปhands-on COSMOS study can be! He can basically hold the Solar System in his hands.

 
DSC_0024We also talked about terrestrial (rocky) planets (1-4) and gas giants (5-8), and the asteroid belt that separates the two.

Adrian also explored the Cosmos sensorially ....
IMG_6640See here the post  โœจThe Universe ๐Ÿ‘‹๐ŸปSensory Bin (๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study).

No one knows the exact size of the Universe since we simply cannot see the edge (if indeed there is one). All we know is that the visible Universe is at least 93 billion light-years across. (A light year is the distance light travels in one year โ€“ about 9 trillion km.) However, scientists believe that the Universe was not always the same size. They propose that before the birth of the Universe (the Big Bang which took place nearly 14 billion years ago) time, space and matter did not exist. However, one of the theories is that since the Big Bang, the Universe has been expanding outward at a very high speed, meaning that the area of space we now see is billions of times bigger than it was when the Universe was very young. Such would also imply that the galaxies are also moving further apart as the space between them expands.

DSC_0002See here ๐ŸŒ˜ Solar Eclipse Play Dough Craft DIY Big ๐ŸŒžSun -Small ๐ŸŒ‘Moon Science Experiment.

Stay tuned for more from our  ๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study ...


Montessori ๐Ÿ’— Pink Series ย "e" sound (Language 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡ Curriculum)

About a month ago, at 3 years and 7 months, Adrian started to blend sounds together, and since then, it has been a fascinating journey on the road of reading and blending. Today, we are continuing working with Montessori CVC Pink ๐Ÿ’—Series. After mastering the "a" sound, the next phonetic sound to introduce to an early "blender" according to Montessori pedagogy is an "e" sound.
DSC_0039Pink Series three-letter phonetic words have the same pattern: CVC = Consonant -Vowel -Consonant.  All the words in Pink Series are phonetically decodable, that is all of the letters used retain their phonetic sound that the child recognizes and is used to it. 

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Ask the child to read words, either written on a piece of paper or presented with a movable alphabet, and once the child blends the three CVC letters together, show a corresponding picture or an object.

Once Adrian successfully blends the letters together forming words, Julia would show him a corresponding object to reinforce visual association. (We are using this Montessori Small Movable Alphabet.)

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A subset of phonological awareness, phonemic awareness is child's ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound. Simply said phonemic awareness is child's ability to segment words into their component sounds. For example, separating the word "hen" into three distinct phonemes, /h//e/, and /n/, (that is being able to hear the sounds in the word hen, and not the letter names) requires phonemic awareness. Being a basis for learning phonics, phonemic awareness improves children's word reading and reading comprehension, as well as helps children learn to spell.

DSC_0039Steps towards literacy must be climbed one-by-one, just like when a child is learning how to walk or how to speak. In a Montessori language curriculum, hands-on phonetic approach helps young children to form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. Loving and supporting prepared environment and patience are the key in assuring that your child's road to reading is joyful, desirable and satisfactory. 


โœจThe Universe ๐Ÿ‘‹๐ŸปSensory Bin (๐ŸŒŒCOSMOS Unit Study)

In continuing our ๐ŸŒŒ COSMOS Unit study, today, we are stimulating the tactile sense with our Space-Inspired sensory bin. During the sensorial work, a child -  a "sensorial explorer" - is able to concentrate on the refinement of all the senses, from visual to stereognostic.

Sensory play is extremely important for children since manipulation of different textures and fillers, triggers sensory stimulation, which strengthens neuron-connectivity and spurs neuroplasticity (the production of new connections between neurons and new neurons themselves), which in turn increases brain's agility. Also, the cleanup is minimal since everything is contained in a tray, tub, tin, box, or any other container.

Today, we are stimulating predominantly tactile sense of touch, where the child is free to explore and manipulate different textured objects and fillers contained in this sensory bin.  

DSC_0126What you will need:

  • filler medium (we are using black beans and black shredded paper) to represent the Universe,
  • small different color pom-poms,
  • small different color beads and confetti stars to represent galaxies and stars,
  • a sorting tray,
  • different tongs to promote dexterity (fine-motor control).


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The Universe includes all the physical matter such as planets and living things, stars, galaxies, dust clouds, light, and even time - everything we can potentially touch, feel, sense, measure or detect. So let's explore!


DSC_0126Adrian is using spork tongs (buy here) to retrieve pom-poms.
DSC_0126To retrieve tiny confetti, Adrian is using stainless steel mini tongs (buy here).
DSC_0126To retrieve colorful beads, Adrian is also using stainless steel mini tongs (buy here) .

DSC_0126Offer a child to retrieve all the objects using tongs and sort either by color or by types of objects.
DSC_0126Adrian chose to sort all the objects he retrieved by color. 

As a result of this fun sensory exploration: 

  • Adrian stimulated tactile sense of touch by manipulating all the different textures;
  • he also exercised fine-motor control by incorporating practical life skills such as tonging pom-poms, beads and confetti stars (more on tonging here);
  • visual sense of sight was also stimulated through a color sorting activity.

This sensorial invitation to play was a true learning through play experience!

For more on sensory bins, read here "๐ŸŒฝ Corn Sensory Bin with ๐Ÿ”ค Alphabet Letters (Sensorial + Language Activity)," and read here a post "Valentine's inspired Love โค๏ธ๏ธ Sensory Bin," and  here our "Christmas-inspired Shredded Paper Sensory Bin with a Math twist."


๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ 4th of July Inspired โ›ณ Golf Tees ๐Ÿ”จHammering and ๐Ÿ”ดโšช๏ธ๐Ÿ”ต Ball Balancing DIY Activity (Practical Life ๐Ÿ™Œ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series)

This is a fun ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ4th of July inspired DIY Golf Tees Hammering practical life activity for your child to exercise fine as well as gross-motor control.
DSC_0037What you will need:
  • golf tees, 
  • child-size hammer,
  • foam-block,
  • different types of balls to balance on a golf tee,
  • and a tray to define the activity.

A child cautiously hammers golf tees into a foam-block, being vigilant not to hit a finger, and then carefully places different textured balls on the top of a golf tee, trying to balance each ball.

DSC_0037Golf tees need to be hammered straight in order for the child to be able to balance a ball on it. 

DSC_0058-2This activity is a great way to develop dexterity (fine-motor skill) as well as hand-eye coordination, and most importantly, it is fun! Hammering also develops gross motor control and teaches a child a valuable practical life skill! 

DIY Numbers Memory Game ๐ŸŒˆ Color Extension (Montessori ๐Ÿ”ข Math ๐ŸŽฅ Lesson)

Today, we are playing a fun extension to the numbers memory game by incorporating colors into the number-memorization process. This activity is very simple DIY at home: no specialized Montessori material is required. 

DSC_0017What you will need:

  • a box with a lid or a drawstring bag filled with numerals (we are using different colors numbers from this activity),
  • a bowl with different color counters (we are using marbles),
  • an empty basket/bowl for a child to carry the counters from and to.

DSC_0017A child would place a bowl with counters in a different location. Once set up, have the child pick a number from A bag and say it out-loud. Then, leaving the numeral behind, the child while having to remember the numeral just picked, walks to where the bowl with counters is located and gets the exact amount of marbles to bring back. With this extension, a child needs to recall the numeral and the color while walking to and from the bowl with counters. 

Here, Adrian picked blue number eleven, so he had to go and bring back eleven blue marbles.
DSC_0024-2Once the child brings back the counters, count the quantity of marbles to see if what the child brought back matches to the numeral picked in the first place (control-of-error).

DSC_0026Numbers memory game is a fun way to boost memory, reinforce number recognition and quantity to numeral association. This game also provides a child an opportunity for movement!

To see the original Numbers Memory Game, read a post here

For more on math activities, see here a video-post "DIY ๐ŸกPop-Sticks, Clothespins & Dot Stickers ๐Ÿ”ด โž•๐Ÿ”ต Addition Activity (Montessori ๐Ÿ”ข Math ๐ŸŽฅ Lesson)."