Thursday, November 7, 2019

messy math


Maybe? They tried to fit ALL the sandbox toys INTO the center of the tire. It was like a chaotic game of jenga, how high could they add things without toppling something below? 

pumpkin sorting


and stacking, carrying, hiding, selling, eating...oh my! 

Friday, November 1, 2019

emergent pumpkin play


We couldn't find the golf tees so we put out pushpins. One child found a button which prompted a button hunt, which prompted allllll the buttons coming out of storage so the children could poke and place away. A few days later, a rubber band was added, and a whole new curriculum emerged! 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

a little blue, and little yellow collage

Those bead strands? Treasure! They got tucked into pockets, and placed on upper lips, and balanced on heads. The pompoms? More pocket stuffing. Same with the beads. Pockets! Pockets! Pockets! We even saw children making their own pockets when they did not have any on their clothes. 
Some of the bits actually made it to paper. Painted beforehand, and painted after. Let them play! 

Friday, September 27, 2019

a fine motor invitation


Silicone ice cube trays offer up all manner of fine motor fun. They also offer up math skills such as one-to-one correspondence, color sorting, and size differentiation, They also make for a fun hat! 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

a berry fun invitation


The water is tinted with strawberry Kool-Aid, and yes, sometimes it gets transferred to the mouth...but once is enough, it's SO SOUR! 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

the painting branch

Set up outside for discovery, one child decided they wanted to paint it, and then another, and then another, and so on, and so on. Last year, the branch was used in building, this year it is a canvas for art. I LOVE it! Also, classroom tip, save those applesauce cups, they make great paint cups. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

flower investigation: lemon verbena

Lemon verbena is a delightful plant. The leaves are very firm and substantial in texture, while the flowers are very delicate and white. The children felt the flowers were lilac, white, and purple and so we put out those colors for them to use. The children loved that the plant smelled like lemons but had no yellow on it at all. How could that be? Ah, the minds and wonder of children. Along with the oil pastels, we chose skinny black paper to add variety to their floral art, and help the lighter colors pop! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

flower investigation: roses

 A flower is a flower is a flower? Are all flowers the same? I often begin a flower study by asking the children to identify what I am showing them. Generally it is a flower from my garden, and generally all the children will shout "It's a flower!" Some, may even identify the type of flower I am showing them. I then ask "How do you know it's a flower?" Usually I get a few blank stares, along with a lot of hollering and yelling "Because it's a slower!" "I saw one on tv!" "We have them in our garden!" "My grandpa showed me!" 

Once the hullabaloo has quieted down, I pinpoint references to the attributes of the flower and point out which senses are being use. "Oh, your eyes tell you it's a flower because you see petals." or "Your nose can smell its fragrance which tells you it is a flower." and so on. After this, we ask the children if they would like to draw a flower for us. Most often they will and almost always, every single flower they draw is a traditional children's drawing of a flower, the kind that someone, somewhere, "taught" them how to draw. 

But, not all flowers look the same, Not all flowers feel the same. Not all flowers smell the same, so how do we share this information with the children? We explore ALL the flowers! Everyday we showcase a different kind of flower and we do a show and tell. Passing out the flowers to the children we ask them what they can tell us about the flower they are holding. Before this, however, we demonstrate, from the very first day of school, how we use our senses to put information into our brains. We use descriptive words to describe objects, textures, foods, etc. and we always support each child's view of what they are describing, whether it is "correct" or not. 

With each flower that is introduced, we set up a still life study and invite the children to draw, paint, craft, create what they see, and we mix up the materials and invitations for each flower. Here, for this rose study, we have offered oil pastels, liquid watercolors, pencils, pens, and colored pencils in the the color palette of the roses. If a rose is created, hooray! If a car is created, hooray! If an abstract painting is created, hooray! It's all wonder FULL.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

a fine motor tree


To color match, or not to color match, that is the question. The tiny little hair clips really work those pincer muscles. When we set this out, we often find those little clips everywhere, including hair! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

painting with spice paints

A parent made us this nifty batch of spice paints using Chalk paint as the base. We keep them in the fridge so they do not mold or spoil. The children are loving the texture, colors, and scents. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

a makeshift kaleidoscope


Somewhere on the internet someone shared a beautiful floral kaleidoscope and pondered "How can we make this?" We already had flowers in our classroom, all we needed was a little bit more. Flat basket? Check! Lazy Susan? Check! Dollar Store prism viewers? Checkity check check!