Wednesday, November 24, 2010

we're going on a wheel hunt!

Since my parents ordered so many books from Scholastic Book Clubs, I received $60 in free books for the classrom. One of the books I ordered was, What do Wheels do all Day? by April Jones Prince. The book talks about the different jobs that wheels do. After reading the book to the class I asked if they wanted to go on a wheel hunt. They quickly agreed and we took off first discovering wheels in the classroom. We then expanded our seach to different wheels across the center.

Here are some of the wheels we saw and some of the things the children had to say about wheels:

M: Wheels Roll

A: Wheels play.

 A: Wheels spin.
K: The wheels on the chair roll.

Wheels push (technically wheels pull, but we'll explore that later):

A:Wheels pedal.
 We quickly discovered that whiles wheels roll, not all things that roll are wheels.

K: Pumpkins roll
Ms. Erin: Are pumpkins wheels?
K: No.

Cups roll, but they are not wheels:

These observations led to a discussion on the difference between wheels and things that roll, specifically balls. To facilitate this discussion we created a Venn diagram.
The children stated that 
-wheels are round on the outside only/ balls are round everywhere
-wheels can be seen on cars, wagons, bikes, and scooters while balls are seen outside
-both wheels and balls roll, are round, are circles, and can run out of air.

Bravo children!

The end!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

grinding corn with the mortar and pestles

We received a gift of corn kernels from Ms. Kelly and Ms. Beth after they were finished using them in their room. Score! We poured them in our sensory table and added some for grinding in the mortars. We quickly discovered that the less kernals in the mortar the easier it is to grind. 

The end!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rockstar costumes and t-shirt designs

A certain group of children in the morning class love to use the rhythm sticks on pillows to pretend they are in a band called the Rockstar Band. They line up all the chairs for their audience, create tickets for the show time (6:30), and invite everyone to come and watch.

The most recent extension of their dramatic play experience was to create costumes. Two boys started by using a stencil to trace a star. They cut them out and taped them to their T-shirts.

The 'stars':

Some Rockstars chose different design for their shirts:

Other children not participating in the band thought this was a great idea and created designs for their shirts too:

The end!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

baking soda and vinegar experiment

Ah, science experiments. What's not to love? 

I set this experiment up in three stations on the long table. At one end I added baking soda to a tray and set out cups of vinegar with pipettes so the children could work as a group. 

At the other end I set up individual cups of vinegar and baking soda.

I also set up bottles of vinegar as well. 

After the children began using the pipettes I added watercolor to the vinegar so they could see the reaction better. The colors were lovely, but in retrospect I would have used only one color so they could focus on the reaction.

Some of their thoughts:

A: It's like pop cuz it gots bubbles.
K: It reminds me of the color of paper
E: It's bubbling up.
M: It's burning.
K: It doesn't work any more.
S: Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

self portraits- part one

For our study on identity this year, I decided to focus on self portraits. To begin I encouraged all the children draw a picture of themselves from memory (some refused). 

 (J's initial self portrait)

Next I had the children who were really interested draw another self portrait this time using a mirror as reference and pointing out some basic features. I photocopied their drawings onto watercolor paper and then they painted them.

 (J's watercolor)

Some of their words:
My eyebrows look like feathers
I love this picture, I look like an old man.

My picture is cool, I have a British voice.
My mom combs my hair and it hurts a little bit but I don't cry.
This one doesn't look like me, can I do it again?

After this we explored  how our drawings looked on wood (still using mirrors):

And finally (for this installment anyway) we added three dimensional objects to our portraits to represent out features:

(J's self portrait in middle)

The end!

marble painting

This activity was nice because we had the opportunity to make individual marble painting and group marble paintings.I gathered up some cardboard beverage trays from our recycle room and the children added their paper. They used spoons to fish out the marbles from the paint trays. In retrospect I think I added too much paint to the trays. Regardless they had a lot of fun with this activity.

The group marble tray was made of wood and it required some gross motor skill and steep tipping:

The final group product:

The end! 

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