Kids' Korner at Macdonough School

A Before and After School Program of the Northern Middlesex Y

January’s Themed Learning Centers! January 13, 2014

Filed under: Site Happenings — KK @ MacD @ 7:14 pm

January’s Themed Centers!

This month we will be learning about Our Solar System and Outer Space.  Our multi-cultural theme is Asia and Asian Americans which is convenient because of the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday on January 31st.  Our social skill focus for this month is Coping.  The  Independent Learning Centers are available during Homework Enrichment Time, when children have completed their homework and are also available during free-play times throughout the program day.

Math Center: Sorting Station

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The Sorting Station is sporting a plethora of 2D planetary pieces.  Colorful Counting Chips can be sorted in the YELLOW SORTING WHEEL by color singularly or in groups by primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Math Center: “Mother Earth Mathematics”


At the Mother Earth Mathematics Center, the children can do a variety of math problems independently with information about the heavenly bodies in our solar system.  There are questions about rotations and revolutions of planets around the sun as compared to our planet.  Paper and pencils are available for these intricate math problems.  On the other side, there is a place mat that depicts our solar system along with 3D models of each planet, that are to scale with the size of the actual planets.  There are a variety of “Greater Than” and “Less Than” questions to accompany the reference materials.  If you’d like to try the problems at home, here they are:

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The first child to complete all of the Math Problems and bring Miss Chae the answers will receive an INTERGALACTIC INCENTIVE!

Super Science: “Seeing Stars!”


The Super Science Station this month combines Astronomy and Astrology.  There is a constellation chart place mat at the center, along with pictorial representations of the Zodiac Signs that can be seen in our night sky.  The children are being challenged to figure out their own Zodiac Sign (based on their birth-date) and then to locate their star sign on the Constellation Chart.




Also available on the Super Science Center table are instructions on how to view a Magic Eye 3D illusion that has an Outer Space theme.  This picture has many layers and depth if you are able to view it correctly.  Can you see the Magic Eye illusion?  Come try!

Super Science: “Saturn’s Rings-An Inertia Challenge”

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At the Science Center Table, there is a fun Physics experiment that teaches us about Newton’s Law of Motion.  At this center, children must balance one of “Saturn’s Rings” over the mouth of a soda bottle.  On top of the ring, they place a small heavy object, like a penny or a hex nut.  The challenge is to hit the ring in such a way that the object falls directly into the bottle.  It isn’t as easy as it looks, but there is a special way to make it work every time.  Stop by for a try.

Literacy is For Me Center: Themed Book Nook


Our Themed Book Nook is full of books that explore the Universe and teach about Asian Culture.  The children are reading and sharing these books during Homework Time and free time.  Children are also bringing the books to our other centers and reading about what they have learned at the Learning Centers.

Literacy is For Me Center: Creation Station Challenges

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The Creation Station Challenges for this month have been displayed.  One challenge is a Writing Prompt about travelling with space aliens.  The other is to create a diagrammed picture of an alien space ship and alien creatures.  Children can put their entries into the YELLOW CREATION STATION BUCKET and one winner will be picked at the end of the month!

Multicultural Center: “Year of the Horse”


In conjunction with our Super Science “Seeing Stars” center, we have a Chinese Zodiac Center.  Children can use the years provided to figure out what their Chinese Sign is.  Children are encouraged to see how their Astrological Star Sign and their Chinese Star Sign are similar and different.  Here are the traits of the Chinese Zodiac Signs:

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Multicultural Center: “Five Fun Facts about Chopsticks”


At this Multicultural Center, there are pairs of chopsticks and small star-shaped beads.  The children can try their hand at using chopsticks to pick up the small beads and place them back into the bowl.  Also at this center is a list of five “fun facts” about chopsticks that they may or may not have known.

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Themes for February are Arts and Entertainment, Africa and African Americans, and Caring.


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