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Pumpkins and preschoolers

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

Hi readers, I can't wait to introduce you to Miss Maggie Stella a preservice teacher at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I have been following Maggie, a dual major in Early Grades Preparation and Special Education on Instagram for a while. You can find her here. Maggie did a super cute pumpkin activity with her preschoolers and I just had to share it with you all. So here she is Maggie Stella (round of applause).

Hi everyone! I am currently working at an Extended School Year program during my summers, and it is where I have developed a passion for special education. I am currently in a field course at a Goddard Preschool every Monday and Wednesday. I did a pumpkin activity with them just recently and it turned out better than expected! Read more to find out more about what we did.

As I said before I am currently in a Goddard Preschool, and just recently I was asked to create my own center activity for the students. My activity was for the students to create a Jack-O-Lantern using an orange paper plate and pre-cut shapes. They each got to pick out shapes for the eyes and nose, but they had to tell me what shape they chose for shape identification, with a choice of a squares, triangles, and circles. Then I would give them all the same mouth shape for them to glue on. This was a great activity for shape recognition and student creativity.

My main goal was to get the students to all create different looking Jack-O-Lanterns, and I definitely accomplished that. A component that was included in the activity, that I didn’t expect, was their collaboration. They would help each other out, even when I wanted some students to identify shapes individually, but it was really nice to see all the students wanting to help their friends. The main way I got them engaged was just being excited about the activity, if there is anything I have learned from this field course is that preschoolers feed off of our energy. They are truly sponges in school, they absorb everything around them, and I think this made the activity run smoother!

An unexpected bump in the road that I hit was the pace that students went. Every student worked at different speeds, and when running the center I learned quickly how to adapt. Some children could easily identify shapes, and began to go glue happily, but once the next group rotated in I learned to explain to them to wait for me to tell them what to do next. Whereas other students needed more of my attention and support when identifying shapes and gluing. This was definitely one of my biggest takeaways, because I learned how to quickly adapt my instruction and to create clearer directions in the future. Overall the activity went really well and we all had a lot of fun making the Jack-O-Lanterns!

During this activity Maggie learned about the importance of putting energy into a lesson and how to adapt for students' needs. A great learning experience for all!

Now what? Comment below and share your spooky Halloween ideas.

Remember friends, you have the EduMagic in YOU!

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