What is Multi-Sensory Learning?
Confucius said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” This is the basic concept behind our multi-sensory approach to learning. Our integrated curriculum provides a cohesive unit of study that gives meaning and understanding to young children. To help get a feel for what multi-sensory learning is, here is a peek inside one of our thematic units.
D is for Dinosaur
Learning centers are set up throughout the classroom to provide opportunities for hands on learning, social interaction, and develop fine motor and problem solving skills. In order to keep things interesting, learning centers are always changing. This week our sensory motor tables involve dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are swimming and climbing on ice bergs in the water table, being buried in sand, stomping through play dough and climbing on mountains made of blocks. Our Reading center is full of books about dinosaurs and paleontologists. Children are free to investigate books on their own or bring one to a teacher to read.
In Math centers we are counting, weighing, sorting and creating patterns with dinosaurs. Music time has us learning rhythms and more patterns, singing songs about dinosaurs and wondering what musical instrument we can find that makes a sound like a tyrannosaurus running or a pterodactyl flying. In Dance/Creative Movement, we are the dinosaurs and we get to move like a raptor or swim like elasmosaurus. We place stuffed dinosaurs on a giant parachute and see how many of them become extinct when the earthquake comes and they fall off. Then, we take part in a dinosaur dance.
In Science you will find us burying dinosaur bones in plaster and sand mud, baking brachiosaurs in the kitchen and creating volcanos that erupt. After our plaster sets, we become paleontologists and use brushes and other tools to carefully unearth the dinosaurs.
Our Shape for this week is Oval and we go on a dinosaur egg hunt sorting the different egg colors that we find to get the eggs back to the right dinosaur moms. At Snack we eat our brachiosaurus and we might become leaf eaters as we sample some spinach leaves. In Circle Time, we tell stories, read books, do finger plays and learn rhymes all about dinosaurs. We take turns explaining what item we brought in our bag that start with the letter d. We learn about Manners and being considerate when “Rude Rex” and “Butt in Bronto” come to visit.
At Table Time, we cut and glue dinosaur eggs to help the baby dino’s hatch, and in Art we create a dinosaur habitat out of clay and paint pictures. The teachers ask open ended questions to promote thinking and dialog such as “what do you think the dinosaurs saw every day?” In Reading/Writing we learn how to trace or write the letter D in various textures like sand and shaving cream and learn what sound the letter d makes. For an Active Learning Experience we get a visit from a real paleontologist who tells us all about what he does. To a child it is all fun and play, but the teacher knows they have worked to accomplish many curricular objectives.