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Science & Nature

Wild Snails, Shells, Spirals and Slime | Animal Math, Science, Art & Play-Based Learning for Kindergarten & Preschool

Use open-ended art, story-telling, experiments & hands-on play to discover the maths of spirals, the science of habitats, concepts of friction, and other wonders in the world of the humble garden snail with our friends. Taught in English.
Alice Campbell | MTeach., MPlayTherapy., BNursing
134 total reviews for this teacher
4 reviews for this class
Completed by 12 learners
40 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 5 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a โ€œMulti-Dayโ€ course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time
This teacher may live in a different time zone.
๐Ÿ”ฅ This class is in high demand! 1 of 12 classes have sold out.

Thu Aug 25

Aug 25 - Sep 22 (5 weeks)
3am - 3:40am
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
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Thu Aug 25

Aug 25 - Sep 22 (5 weeks)
9:15am - 9:55am
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Sat Aug 27

Aug 27 - Sep 24 (5 weeks)
8pm - 8:40pm
1 learner enrolled

Fri Oct 14

Oct 14 - Nov 11 (5 weeks)
8:30am - 9:10am
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Sat Oct 15

Oct 15 - Nov 12 (5 weeks)
10pm - 10:40pm
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
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Fri Nov 18

Nov 18 - Dec 16 (5 weeks)
3am - 3:40am
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
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Fri Nov 18

Nov 18 - Dec 16 (5 weeks)
9pm - 9:40pm
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Fri Feb 3, 2023

Feb 3, 2023 - Mar 3, 2023 (5 weeks)
6am - 6:40am
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Sat Feb 4, 2023

Feb 4, 2023 - Mar 4, 2023 (5 weeks)
8pm - 8:40pm
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Wed Mar 8, 2023

Mar 8, 2023 - Apr 5, 2023 (5 weeks)
11pm - 11:40pm
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
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Fri Mar 10, 2023

Mar 10, 2023 - Apr 7, 2023 (5 weeks)
5am - 5:40am
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.
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Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
The intended learning outcomes for this class are aligned with the Australian and UK early years curricula. They are also consistent with the preschool/ early years curricula for NZ, China, Korea, and most European countries. This class utilises the Michigan Essential Literacy Practices Framework, and the Mathematics Learning Trajectories. 

1. I can play, explore, infer, predict and hypothesise to develop an increasing knowledge of, respect for, and connection with my environment. 
2. I can use a range of materials, and media in art and play to investigate, explore, express, experiment with, imagine and communicate my ideas. 
3. I can use texts, relationships, conversations, play, reflection and investigation to solve problems and generate meaning.

1. What is the difference between you and a snail? What similarities do you have with a snail?
2. Does a garden belong to a snail, or to a person? 

~ Animals are adapted to a particular ecology.
~ The structure of something influences its function. 
~ Animals have senses which allow them to understand the world. 

~ Counting.
~ Subitising.
~ Comparing number.
~ Adding/ subtracting.
~ Composing numbers.
~ Patterns, structure and algebraic thinking.
~ 2D shapes.
~ Composing 2D shapes.
~ Disembedding shapes.
~ 3D shapes.
~ Composing 3D shapes.
~ Spatial visualisation and imagery.
~ Spatial orientation. 
~ Measurement (length).
~ Measurement (area).
~ Measurement (volume)
~ Measurement (angle and turn).

This class will provide a setting for children to develop and practice their vocabulary and speech relating to the content, concepts, and activities we are exploring. The words we will be using will include nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. 

โ€‹Vocabulary (or knowledge of words) includes understanding their structure (morphology), use (grammar) and meanings (semantics). It also includes understanding how one word links to other words (word/semantic relationships). Oral and aural vocabulary skills (or, for non-speaking children, visual vocabulary skills) are absolutely crucial to later development of literacy decoding and reading comprehension and fluency. 

Because this is such an important skill gained in early childhood, I use a strong evidence-based and developmentally appropriate approach to vocabulary and speech development. This includes: 

๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฉ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
Explicit vocabulary discussion means that, in this class we not only use words, but we may also sometimes talk about them. We might discuss, for example:
~ what does this word mean?
~ what words would communicate what we want? 
~ what other words can we use for this?

While these discussions are explicit, they are not a discrete part of our classes or delivered as a "lesson". Instead, we weave these into our organic discussions while we play, create and tell stories. I do not choose or have a "list" of specific words that children "must" learn. My approach is to respond to children's interests by offering explicit vocabulary discussion that is purposeful, and which helps each child engage with their goals, interests and motivations. This means that children are developing their vocabulary (and self-awareness of it) in a meaningful, relevant and active way. 

๐—˜๐˜…๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
While it may seem "efficient" to get children to memorise, or rote learn, words - this approach has been shown to have no real value in speech/ language development generally, including vocabulary development. Rather, evidence confirms that the critical requirement for strong vocabulary and speech development is sufficient opportunity for children to engage in meaningful, two-way conversations that are interesting to them. 

To provide this for your child, I maintain very small class sizes and a child-led approach to learning. This ensures that each child has many opportunities to "chat" and "talk" with me and other learners throughout this class about the things that have captured their interest or that they are discovering. I focus on finding opportunities within these conversations to not only introduce new vocabulary, but to also extend and stretch each child's confidence in using and understanding vocabulary in speech. 
I hold a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) and have specialist skills in designing immersive education programs for very young children. I am a former member of Mensa.
There is no homework in this class. However, children may wish to continue working on their projects after class. I will also provide a handout after each class with suggestions for (optional) activities, play and art to extend children's learning and interests between sessions.  

Children will need assistance from an adult to prepare and set-up prior to each session. This will typically take 5 - 10 minutes.  
ย 1ย file available upon enrollment
Materials needed for each session will vary. A list will be provided at the end of each class, outlining the materials required for the following week. This will ensure you can keep track of what you will need for each week. ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ ๐Ÿญ ๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ~ several sheets of paper for gluing and creating a picture ~ some glue (white/ pva/ Elmer's glue is best for this activity). Most young children find it easiest to use if you pour it into a dish and use a paint brush. ~ ideally pieces of different coloured wool/ acrylic yarn. If you can't get this in time for the first class, you can substitute with scraps of coloured paper (e.g. junk mail brochures) and/ or aluminum foil cut into small squares. ~ a pen ๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐Ÿฎ - ๐Ÿฑ ๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ~ A plastic tray. A (clean/ un-used) pet litter tray or slightly bigger is an ideal size. These can be purchased from most supermarkets, general department or hardware stores for around $4 - $8. Some pet supply stores also sell good sized trays as "chicken scratch" trays. Alternatively, you can use a baking dish or plastic tub. ~ A wet face-washer, some wipes or a bowl of luke-warm water for children to wipe/ wash their hands during art activities. ~ pvc/ white/ Elmerโ€™s/ school glue ~ child-friendly scissors ~ some things to write and draw with - ideally a black sharpie or texta - but whatever your child prefers (pencils, crayons, etc) is fine. ~ paper for drawing/ artworks - printer paper is fine, or you can use butcher's paper, watercolour paper, etc - just use what you have. ~ soap-flakes ~ 2 or 3 objects with different textures (maximum 5). Use what you can find around the place, don't buy anything special. For example, a rock, a bumpy stick, a sheet of plastic, a strip of aluminum foil, an old bit of sandpaper, bubble wrap, etc. - salt dough (I will provide a 2-minute recipe using flour, salt and water) - play dough will work as a back-up if you are unable to make the salt dough. "Fluffy" and cloud dough won't work for this class. You can use polymer (oven-bake) clays if you like - they look fantastic but are more expensive. ~ some air dry clay (usually around $6 - $8 from most craft stores or warehouse shops). ~ an old cardboard box - it needs to be small enough to fit on the table or space where your child will be working, but big enough for the project: roughly a shoe-box or cereal-box size. ~ some cardboard scrap pieces - some things found around the house or garden that can be used in a "snail hotel". A few rocks, twigs, bark, an old cup, etc. Additional OPTIONAL materials - nice to have, but not essential: ~ food colouring/ dye. ~ some washed and dried eggshells (if you do not have chickens, or do not buy eggs, see if a local cafe or restaurant will save a dozen shells for you. ~ a cup or two of clean sand.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I do not use tests or other standardised approaches to assessing children's progress. In this age group, testing it is not developmentally appropriate and in some cases may be psychologically and academically harmful. 

However, as a teacher, I do believe it is important for me to be accountable to both children and parents. I aim to deliver classes that are not just "busy work" or entertainment, but which actively contribute to each child's learning in meaningful and sustainable ways. 

To do this, I use continuous observation of children's activity and conversation. When I make these observations, I am specifically considering the child's development in relation to the learning outcomes of the class (see above). 

I then routinely provide feedback to children. This may consist of: 
~ positive affirmation (e.g. "I really liked the way you communicated your idea with that painting");
~ positive reflection (e.g. "I wonder how you came up with that idea?"); and/ or
~ positive stretching (e.g. "I wonder if you could show that idea in other ways?). 

This is a wholistic approach to assessment. The child's response to my feedback helps me understand of "how far" they have traveled in their learning, and then "what comes next" in their learning. 

I welcome questions and inquiries from parents about their child's learning progress. 
40 minutes per week in class, and no time outside of class.
~ Children will need assistance to prepare and set-up prior to each session. This will typically take 5 - 10 minutes.  

~  This class includes a strong focus on children's hands-on participation and agency. Please be aware that some activities are "messy", and I suggest having a large tray, towel or sheet to ensure easy clean-up following the class. Children should wear clothes that you are comfortable if they get messy or stained.  
This class is inspired by the book: "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating" (by Elisabeth Tova Bailey). 

The following text is directly used in the class, with permission from the copyright holder:
~ Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (Houghton Mifflin Books), by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes. ISBN: 9780547315836.


Alice Campbell | MTeach., MPlayTherapy., BNursing
Lives in Australia
Heart-Based Teaching - Small Personalised Groups - Play-Based & Nature-Based Learning - Humanised Relationships
134 total reviews
245 completed classes

About Me

๐—›๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ! ๐— ๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—”๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ.

I help families from all over the world, who have had trouble finding meaningful alternatives to high-pressure and standardised teaching approaches. An increasing number of parents recognise the unique importance of an...ย 
ยฉ 2022 Outschool, Inc.