A Multiple Intelligence Lifestyle

Exposure Blossoms Curiosity,Curiosity Blossoms Exposure

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seed & Sprout Growth Tracking

On March 11th, we planted seeds for this year's vegetable garden. Yesterday we already started seeing sprouts appear. Both of us were excited :)
Today, as we were doing our daily watering job, we observed many new sprouts.

 I kept thinking, how can we  document &track this emerging project-based lesson? This is our first experience with an extended project due to Em's age. Since she is approaching 4, she is just now entering a developmental stage ready for more project-based studies. When I was teaching, I always used a project-based approach in my curriculum design. In short, project-based studies are concepts studied over time using multiple different experiences, intelligences, and lessons designed with a hands-on emphasis.
By this pic you can tell it is a very gray, cloudy, WET day here in the Pacific Northwest? I need to use flash and indoor lighting...(big sigh)
At least now you can see the sprouts a little better...
To continue on, as Em was watering, I was brainstorming. With primary aged students I've documented growth in science journals. The kids used standard and non-standard forms of measurement(logical-mathematical). For example, rulers are standard,  and found objects like paper clips, caps, marbles, string, etc. are non-standard. This idea is a little past Emery right now. I decided on making a chart( a little spatial intelligence exercise) to track 'how many?'. Em is at the stage where she is counting everything. I love hearing the made up teen numbers: tenteen, twelveteen, twentyteen. Currently she makes it to fourteen, skips over fifteen, then back to sixteen until she gets to nineteen. After that it is all of the previous numbers along with made up numbers. I think this is great! Parents, there is no need to worry about your child's creative number counting, especially in the toddler years. Not until during kindergarten should there be alarm for concern and even then the teen numbers are more difficult to grasp. Remember, just model, don't correct. Sometimes when Em misses fifteen, I'll SUGGEST, counting again. If she agrees, I'll emphasize the fifteen. 

Here is the chart I made. I made this chart right in front of  Em. She helped me pick the colors. 
  I also encouraged her participation by asking her questions along the way. I explained we were going to make a chart to help us keep track of all our sprouts. I drew the t-chart first. I labeled one column, Plant, and the other column, How many? To engage the linguistic intellignce, I asked Emery what letter she thought plant started with? I emphasized to p,p,p. She said "P" and then I wrote a 'p'. I then asked her if she remembered what we were growing? She said "peas" first. I then drew a picture of a pea pod and then wrote the word pea. Pictures are a great visual stimulation for beginning readers. I repeated this for each plant we were growing. For the record, she only remembered the peas, broccoli, and carrots...it kind of figures since that is what she eats..I cook with the herbs :)

After the chart was made, I explained we were going to go count how many sprouts we had. While counting I made it a point to have her observe which plants were sprouting vs. not sprouting. Since only brocolli is sprouting right now, it was a fairly simple observation to make. After she counted 13 using her one-to-one correspondence we went to the chart. One-to-one correspondence is basically when a child is able to point(track) and count objects. We(more me) have been doing this since birth. Remember, I whole-heartedly believe in modeling!!

Once at the chart, I asked if she remembered what plant has sprouted?
  She then started making her 13 tally marks. I referred to our worm walk to help her recall what tally marks were.
Here she is double checking with her one-to-one finger pointing.
Shortly after, Em made her own chart!! O, I love the creativity that stems from projects like these :)

Wondering if it will ever stop POURING down rain here in the Pacific NW..seriously it just started hailing hard,
~M.I. MaMa

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