Friday, January 30, 2015

bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish!

As a part of our artist study of Wayne Thiebaud I created a bubblegum machine matching board. The printout came from Paper and the Pea. I printed it out thinking we would use our Dot Markers on it or perhaps practice one-to-one correspondence using stickers but then I spied my markers and laminator and inspiration struck.

We have had our magnetic pompoms for a few years and use them for all sorts of projects. I pulled out matching colors (surprisingly we had no purple) and set this up to see what the kiddos would do.
Individually they will put the pompoms onto the machine every-which-way. Some of the children will color match, some of them will not. Sometimes the gumballs end up in the play kitchen. As a group we sit down and select three gumballs each and place them on their matching gumball. There are all sorts of ways to play!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ice play with a twist

We at the 'do! live in a pretty sunny climate. Our winter temps can get pretty chilly at night but for the most part we can get away without a sweater for much of the year. During our week of The Mitten, I thought it would be fun to fill our outside sensory tub with ice and when I found these awesome ice sphere molds from ZOKU on sale an idea was born!
It took me a few days to freeze about 10 spheres mostly because I kept forgetting to do so and partly because it does take quite a few hours. I played with adding a little and/or a lot of food color for variety and got a kick out of each sphere as I removed them from the molds. Really, it takes very little to please me. I wish I had taken photos of them, they were so pretty!
Just before outside play time, I put a little bit of water into our two sensory bins and separated the ice spheres by cool and warm colors (the food color leached out qucikly enough to tint the water so I thought it would be prettier plus we've been working on cool colors and warm colors in the classroom). The kiddos were very curious and there were shouts of "circle ice! spheres! snow balls!"
It did not take long for the kiddos to realize just how cold the spheres actually were and there was a discussion about how to play with them other than dropping them on the ground to see them break (which did happen rather quickly because ice balls!) After a little debate the children realized mittens would work and after much running around was had, one of the kiddos returned with a single mitten on his hand followed by others, each one bearing only one mitten a piece (or a glove). I loved that...thank you happy thrift store mitten find!
After the mittens got completely soaked, the kiddos returned to the room to retrieve another mitten (I am just now wondering where did all those mittens go?) to continue their investigations.
Play narratives came out, color matching, rich language, songs, math, and science all made an appearance. They had so much fun I think I need to make more...once I remember where I put the mittens...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

an elephant parade

Back in October we did a guided drawing project that I had to do twice because I simply could not cut out these amazing elephants like we did last year. So, they drew their elephants and I swooned and then I had them draw a second elephant that they then added their paint to. I have to find those photos but for now lookie what these wee artists drew!

Friday, January 16, 2015

classroom set up: the mitten

A basket of wool pieces (from thrifted sweaters turned headbands) for exploring and playing with along with a mitten matching game picked up from Oriental Trading last year. Half of the mittens are used for a matching game while the other half was treated to the hole punch to hang on our mitten tree.
Another mitten matching game set up on our fine motor table. The kiddos can match by color, size, and/or number.
A happy little bushel of thrifted mittens in the building area. I wondered if the kiddos would use them as decoration or put them on for building. They did neither but they did use them. Pics and post to come soon.
Chopsticks and a glittery bin of rice with mitten erasers hidden throughout. The kiddos can search for the mittens and match them up if they choose to...or they can do something completely different which is what usually happens. Here is what the bin looked like last year.
Mitten painting. I made these mittens last year from my favorite sweater and a thrifted sweatshirt. I set out glossy fingerprint paper and squirted paint onto trays (one tray held warm colors, one held cool colors) and waited to see what would happen. Some of the children jumped right in while others used their hands and/or got paintbrushes. We had cool wintery colors on the easel which is just to the right of the table here so they had many opportunities for all sorts of painting fun. I picked up the doily platter at Michael's last year but noticed they have them this year as well. We also use the trays to hold play dough and play dough tools.
I made these lacing mittens in a feverish fit of productivity the night before we went back to school. I used a mitten template from Teachers Pay Teachers and cut out pairs of mittens from scrapbook paper that was then hole punched, laminated, and re-hole punched. The shoelaces came from The Dollar Tree. The children can lace up the mittens however they choose though I did tie a few together to see if anyone could lace a double set.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

happy new year!

I'm trying to get back my blogging mojo. For now here is a peek at what's happening in the classroom this week!