PreKin this week: Sid the Science Kid fascination continues

She still has a strong interest in Sid the Science Kid on PBS weekday mornings. After a recent episode about our lungs she wanted to try a couple of the investigations
Here she is blowing bubbles in a bubble/water solution with a straw. This activity was a big hit trying to blow bubbles over the top of the little bowl. 

Blowing bubbles to demonstrate how we blow air out of our lungs.

Blowing bubbles to demonstrate how we blow air out of our lungs.

 

Then she attempted to blow up a balloon. (They warn you not to do this in the investigation, but I wasn’t worried about choking with her while I was supervising. Now, I wouldn’t let my 2y4m old try it!  There was a chance he would suck in instead of blowing out.)  I had to help since even with stretching of the rubber, she couldn’t quite get enough air power to blow it up herself.  Quite a bit of excitement occurred when I showed her and little brother how to let go of a blown-up balloon and it zooms across the room! We also tied them off and batted them around dancing to music later in the day. 

Trying to blow up a balloon.

Trying to blow up a balloon.

We also had a discussion about foot size when I was ordering some new shoes for the kids and decided to use the ruler from her science tray to measure her foot length and the foot length of the other 3 children and compare sizes. 

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We ordered this book and received it this week and she LOVES it. She wants us to read pages to her a couple times per day . There are other great books about the human body for younger children, but I knew she was going to crave more information so I went for the encyclopedia format.  

Our new book.

Our new book.

Some blog readers might wonder why I do so few reading/language activities with her.  She is actually already quite a reader with quite flawless reading at the early second grade level.  So, satisfying her right now seems to be providing some new books as needed at the appropriate reading level and also working on vocabulary. I don’t do anything too formal with her on the vocabulary or sight words.  She seems to have a natural drive toward the very things for which I would offer instruction so I haven’t felt the need to get too formal with her. As far as vocabulary,  she naturally picks up more words every day from just listening in her world.  I would like to do more writing activities with her and have some ideas in my head about that.  She only recently has expressed interest in writing and she tends to resist it, so writing activities that will be of high interest to her are a must. 

So, in the area of Language Arts, I pulled out 4 new books for her. 

4 new reading books

4 new reading books

She also helped to make the Melody Maker described here for a music class assignment this week. The assignment was to make a bell of some kind at home. I felt this might qualify with its metal on metal timbre. This is quite enjoyable. If you want to make it yourself, I must warn you that the supplies cost us around $15 so be prepared for that. We will hang it out on in our musical garden (or banging wall).

Taking the Melody Maker to music class.

Taking the Melody Maker to music class.

Next up: Planting seeds  and I still want to do a charting activity with her. Also, writing of some kind.

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Science with Sid the Science Kid

I’m not a fan of pushing children academically,  But sometimes a child will push you to pursue some learning. This is the way it is with my 4y9m old daughter. She decides what she wants to learn next and takes off after it. I simply follow and facilitate. She makes it easy. She is a very verbal-linguistic child and also somewhat of a perfectionist. She takes in information but won’t attempt something until she feels that she will be reasonably successful. I have now figured this out and I don’t push her. But, she does push me. (She taught herself to read in spite of all my expertise in this area of education. Sigh.)
Recently she insisted that she should have a Science Journal as shown on Sid the Science Kid  and the other science tools, too. So, I grabbed her a spiral-bound notebook and she asked me to turn on the Super Science Tools episode (recorded on the DVR) and she recorded all the science tools with drawings on her first journal page. We then set about collecting the tools and created her science tray.

Science Tools: magnifying glass, chart, ruler, estimation jar, journal

Science Tools: magnifying glass, chart, ruler, estimation jar, journal

 

Science Tray w/journal, estimation jar & plates for counting items, ruler and magnifying glasses

Science Tray w/journal, estimation jar & plates for counting items, ruler and magnifying glasses.

With the science tray in place, she immediately wanted me to put some items into the estimation jar so that she could estimate as the characters demonstrate on the Enough With the Seashells episode. She followed an estimation  process modeled on that particular episode.  Here  is a description of that process.   The first time she counted buttons from her art collage collection and this second time that I documented below she counted corks that I had collected.
Using her Estimation Jar w/corks that she saw modeled on Sid the Science Kid

Using her Estimation Jar w/corks that she saw modeled on Sid the Science Kid

She adores this estimation jar activity and I think it is absolutely marvelous for developing concepts of quantity and volume.  And this is what I really hope to accomplish with her since she loves to count to 100 and I want to make sure she develops an understanding of quantity and not just a rote memorization of the numbers. So we will definitely be repeating it with new items at least weekly.  Hmmmm…she was collecting small rocks in the backyard yesterday so that might be a good thing to put into the jar next.
This PBS show has a wonderful list of cycles and activities to carry out in addition to watching the shows or the clips provided on their site!  She enjoys the songs in the episodes and often asks me to rewind and repeat them for her. She points out things she learned in real life.  For quite awhile she was obsessed with decaying things thanks to the Mushy Banana episode and we actually did complete the Decaying Pumpkin activity  last November. (Ick!) She still talks about that.
How nice to have my science lessons laid out for me and for this TV show to provide all the motivation needed for making these activities happen!  Next up is using charts and given my daughter’s obsession with the weather chart displayed on the morning news (see pic below), we will probably graph the weather. Creating and reading graphs is SUCH a valuable activity for this Prekindergarten age!
4 y.o.'s obsession with weather reports, maps and graphs of all sorts. Thankful for DVR so we can pause and discuss them on her demand.

4 y.o.'s obsession with weather reports, maps and graphs of all sorts. Thankful for DVR so we can pause and discuss them on her demand.

 Then we will move on to meaningful opportunties to use measurement and observation in this Tools & Measurement Cycle.  And as I look over the available cycles  in this program,  I’m thinking that the Transformation & Change cycle looks like another good unit to pursue as we enter the warm summer months and prepare to plant some seeds.  And the Backyard Science cycle would also be a good unit for our warmer months.  The Health and Simple Machines units might be nice for our cooler months when we spend more time inside. Of course, I can plan but we will see what ideas she has in her head driving her forward!