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At MU's Reston Center, Preschoolers Go to College

Monday, November 29, 2010
Recycling is fun when you can feed a “monster” that loves eating recycled items or make a car out of toilet paper rolls, straws, bamboo, and plastic caps. Just ask preschoolers in Jackie Baker’s class at Classroom of Discovery in Sterling.

They recently took a field trip to Marymount University’s Reston Center to learn about being earth-friendly and to practice language skills. Master of Education (in Elementary Education) students in Dr. Shannon Melideo’s course on Reading and Language Arts (PK-2) organized stories, songs, crafts, and games around the theme of enjoying nature and taking care of the earth.

While the teachers-in-training worked with the children, Dr. Melideo, assistant professor of Education at Marymount, demonstrated a language activity experience that the parents could use at home. The idea is to have the child dictate the words that describe an activity done together (even something simple like bringing a pomegranate home from the store). The parent writes the words down, asking question that encourage the use of descriptive adjectives. “This creates a readable text that is in the child’s own words,” explains Dr. Melideo. “It’s a written memory of an experience they had together and sets the stage for pre-reading – helping the child to be more observant and building vocabulary.”

The children went home with their newly made tree pictures, recycle monsters, and recycled cars, as well goodie bags filled with Marymount crayons and pads of paper, as well as stickers that said, “I went to college today.” No doubt, they will share recycling advice with their parents, too!

LITERACY RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
www.starfall.com, www.readingrockets.org, www.scholastic.com, www.pbskids.org, www.storylineonline.net, www.doe.virginia.vgov/VDOE/Instruction/Elem_M/FoundationBlocks.pdf

PHOTO CAPTIONS

1- Sofia Gnam sorts trash on a Smart Board with the help of Erin Turner ’13 of Falls Church. (dowloadable photo)

2 – Aidan Huchler makes a tree picture with assistance from Zach Porter ’12 of Arlington. (downloadable photo)

3 – Hannah Hurden watches her recycled car fly down a ramp as Tayler Lyttle ’13 of Arlington looks on. (downloadable photo)

4 – Tyler Kendrick feeds the recycle monster under the watchful eye of Emily Stube’12 of Oakton. (downloadable photo)

5 – Stefanie Fred ’12 of Arlington reads “Home Sweet Home” to (l to r) Riley Devaney, Aidan Huchler, and Charlie Lum.
 (downloadable photo)