How XY Learning Center Inspires Curiosity in STEM Through AWIM PreK
The most powerful STEM learning experiences for preschool students happen when they’re able to make connections between what they’re learning in the classroom and at home.
With help from SAE’s A World In Motion® (AWIM®) Preschool Exploration Series (AWIM PreK), children at XY Learning Center (XYLC) in Bozeman, MT are now going home excited to share their AWIM notebooks filled with their drawings and thoughts about what they’ve learned, and to complete Home Activities related to what they’re doing in the classroom, with their families and caregivers.
“Parents can sometimes feel drained by the end of the workday and struggle to find ways to make the evening home life fun and exciting. Having these notebooks sparked discussions at home and even led to activities parents completed with the kids creating stronger relationships at home and excitement for learning,” shared Kelly Limberg, Director of XY Learning Center.
XYLC began their journey with AWIM in 2023 with teachers implementing three PreK Explorations into their lesson plans and activities. Through AWIM notebooks, Home Activity Sheets, and group journals, students could express a summary of their day through their personal work and creativity. They also had the chance to play the role of teacher, presenting their group notebook to their classmates—an activity the students thoroughly enjoy.
Using AWIM’s We Explore Weather, PreK students practiced cloud-watching to learn about the water cycle. Together, they shared an “Aha!” moment in making the connection that all the water from rain and snow is held in the same clouds we see in the sky. A student even made a connection from a rocket-shaped cloud she saw in the sky to a book on rockets that she read with her parents at home. She began to draw the rocket cloud on the sidewalk and educated the other students on her findings and what she knew about rockets. Students were then inspired to do their own cloud-watching while sharing what they saw with each other.
Being able to teach their peers and present what they learned was one of the highlights of AWIM for students. Each activity includes whole group discussion and class predictions, small group exploration and observation, and whole group opportunities to share and reflect on findings. Students at XYLC shared their discoveries through group journaling and storytelling.
At the end of each day, the students documented what they had learned in their own AWIM notebooks and extended the learning at home with Home Activity pages. By using their creativity through words and drawings, each student worked on their fine motor skills and independently created their summary of the school day.
“Parent feedback has been outstanding…The parents were so excited to see the kids’ artwork and writing skills portrayed through the notebooks,” said Limberg.
Now, parents and students both benefit from AWIM. Through home connection pages, parents learn what is being explored in school and can build on those activities at home. Through hands-on activities, students at XYLC have a better understanding of subjects like weather and seasons while making connections in the world around them as they prepare for Kindergarten.
If you’re interested in the A World in Motion program and its impact in the classroom, click HERE to learn more!