Thursday, March 31, 2011

sand on contact paper

I gave the children small containers of different colored sand and showed them how to pinch and sprinkle it on to the contact paper.
Eventually sand piled up in some areas, so I showed them how the sand wasn't going to stick and how to sprinkle it on the uncovered areas. (I notice this is the same phenomena occurs with paint. I wonder why children paint and paint and paint the same little area as opposed to covering the whole paper?)
Here is the art hanging in the door. The contact paper is translucent so it gives the colors a soft, dreamy quality.

I enjoyed watching the children do this so much I forgot to document their words!

The end!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Marble Painting SUPERSIZED

I was talking to Teacher Tom about finding engaging activities for my afternoon class (I have had only about two to four girls attend on average every day. Many of my boys are three, and several just enrolled in the program this month). Anyway, Tom recommended I offer "super-sized" activities to get their attention (among other pearls of wisdom).

Well, it just so happened our center was throwing out a humongous box that was perfect for marble painting. With a little help from my trusty box cutter and my best friend, duct tape, I set to work.

It was very difficult for the children to coordinate their movements en mass. Both sides lifted and lowered at the same time causing the marbles to roll to the middle and stay there.
After about 15 minutes there were only a few children left that persevered. They struggled, adapted, and adjusted their movements until, voila! Sweet success!

video

The end!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

the billy goat's gruff, part I

The Billy Goat's Gruff was one of my favorite stories as a child. My mom says I had it memorized. I've sung the song to the children and read them the story. It seems its a favorite of theirs as well, as I get plenty of requests to read it over and over.

As a provocation one day I set up three blocks in the meeting area and invited the children to pretend it was the bridge from the story. The morning children immediately began to organize themselves by trolls and goats.

The following day I invited the morning children to create their own bridges:


K was very interested in the bridge.
"This is the bridge. This is a big jumble of rocks. The troll lives under the rocks. Under the bridge is rocky."


Ms. Erin: Is there a way we can put the rocks under the bridge?
K: "Yes, like this"

Ms. Erin: "N & V chose to be trolls. Can they fit under there?"
K: "No."
Ms. Erin: "Is there a way we can make the bridge so that they can fit under there?"
K came up with this, using his own body to demonstrate:


Ms. Erin: "Yes, you certainly fit under there. But is is sturdy enough for the goats to climb on?"

K decided it was not sturdy enough. We tried other variations, but could not come up with anything sturdy enough to climb on. I suggested we go for a walk to look for something similar to what Khad built: something strong, with a flat top that a troll could live under.

We didn't go very far when E found a bench in the hallway that was just right. The children tested it out to see if a troll could live under it:

We brought the bridge back to the classroom. When we placed it on the carpet it was evident we needed steps. The children worked to make some steps with my guidance about safety. The first version didn't make the cut:
This was better but it was still slippery:

E said we could tape it and I agreed. After the bridge was set up with steps and the troll plunged to the ground a few times, E decided we needed some water. We looked around for something blue:

The soap was certainly blue, but Ms. Erin nixed the idea of spreading it around the carpet. The children decided smocks would work:

The children couldn't agree on where the water should go so we looked aerial images of bridges on the computer:

E said it looked like an X (which was a good thing because I was tongue-tied to try to explain perpendicular).

Now that everything was set up, Ms. Ri read the story to the children while they acted it out. The children gathered to wait their turn to cross the bridge:

The troll popped out on cue:



After the children played on their own for a while. We left the bridge set up for the afternoon class. They divided themselves into goats and trolls, but mostly they wanted to cross the bridge. M was interested in retelling his version of the Billy Goats Gruff:

"All the billy goats want to go to a green valley. They have to cross a bridge. There's a mean ugly troll under the bridge. He says he'll eat you up to the first, second, and third billy goat. Then the big billy goat comes. He tossed the troll in the river. Then they got to the green grass valley. The end!"

This was day two and it was amazing. I look forward to seeing how they refine their play!

The end!

beans and rice in a seive

I found a good use for our broken salad spinner. It is now serving as a sieve to sift rice and beans.

It was a challenge for the children to shake the spinner over the bowl to keep the rice from spilling all over. But they learned that shaking the spinner caused the smaller grains of rice to fall through the openings...


leaving the larger beans behind:


A way to easily sort/grade different sized particles!

How to climb the monkey bars

T gives instructions on how to climb the monkey bars:

-"Wait in line" (this part was always quite hard for him)

-"Then you go. First you put one hand on one, then another hand. Then 3, 4, 5, 6 hands."

-"Now I show them my tricks! The swinging trick, climbing on the sink, and skip monkey."
Swinging trick:
Climbing on the sink:
Skip monkey:
The end!

How to ride a bike

I found this documentation from a few years ago. N gives instructions on how to ride a bike.

-First you get on ,your feet have to pedal, your hands hold onto the bar so you don't fall.



- Now you have to pedal and your feet have to push so you roll it.


-If you get stuck you have to push so you can roll


-Your hands push so you can turn


When you stop you just stop yuor feet. Or you put your feet on the ground

Ms. Erin: are there rules for bikes?:
N: "No crashing. No getting hurt"
T "No bumping"
N: "When your done you put them in the grass because when you put it on the sidewalk, people crash."

The end!
The end!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

transporting through dividers in the sensory table

I learned about the blog, Sand and Water Tables from Teacher Tom. I was immediately drawn to the idea of creating more three dimensional ways to transport objects.

To begin I created cardboard dividers with doors and windows. They transported rice and beans using shovels and small containers.


Children of all ages were drawn to the table. I always find it challenging to engage my 5-year-olds who have been in the program for three years because they've seen it all. Thrice.



The dividers challenged children to take turns transferring through windows. It encouraged conversation and imaginative play through the doors and windows (knock knock, who is it?). Children had to problem solve when they emptied their quadrant of rice and beans.

This was the initial conversation that ensued:

-I opened the door.
-I want to pour it over the top
-(knocking) Are you there?
- A water fall!
-(knocking) You may not come in!
-Incoming!
-I like this. I'll do it every day. (Indeed he has!)

The end!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

tape cassette spider web

I received a package of cassettes as a gift for our recycle center. Not sure what to do with them, I set them on the table for the children to tinker with. Pretty soon we had wads of cassette ribbon. We cut it up and put it in a basket for the birds to use in their nests.

Then I remembered how some of my fellow bloggers used surveyors flagging tape and thought maybe we could do something similar. I showed the students how to get started and they took off creating "tangles" of "spider webs."




They found interesting places to weave the tapes:
Some of the lab students got sacrificed in the process:


Finally, we discovered a child sneaking around and secretly cutting down the webs with a pair of scissors when we weren't looking, so our webs collapsed. Lucky it was cleanup time anyway!:
The end!
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