"The child is in me still...and sometimes not so still."
Fred Rogers

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exploring Color, Sorting and Patterning

On Monday morning, our classroom went to visit Mme. Marianne's Grade 4 classroom to see the murals that they made together, from the inspiration of "International Dot Day" and the spark of creativity! Very inspiring...our classroom can do something like this too......

The children have been exploring with detail about sorting, with rich discussions about same and different. There are many ways to sort and categorize materials. This will lead in nicely to our introduction of "Beautiful Stuff" later in October. More details to follow!

We introduced two new centers for arrival routines for mornings. The children are signing in for attendance with finding their name cards and spelling their own names. Several of the children are pleased to be signing in with their last names also. We have had many discussions about our names. I will be sending home a little homework this week about "your child's name" and how they got their name. We look forward to hearing everyone's story.

We have been reinforcing name recognition with many name games, literacy activities and self-regulation of their work day with name recognition for each child to find where they will be working by using the planning board.

We discovered this week....several things about color! We found out how purple is made! I had placed three primary colors (yellow, red and blue) of water with eye droppers and coffee filters out. As color was dripped onto the coffee filter, the colors flowed into each other. One of the children said, "Look, red and blue make purple!" At the easel the children discovered not just how to make purple...but green and orange.....and a color that looks black when you mix all the colors together, they said.

With that discovery, we moved forward to revisiting our recipe book to make purple playdough. We did an awesome job!

Here's our recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
red and blue food coloring added to 2 cups of boiling water (Adult needs to pour water)
or you can add unsweetened kool-aid , as it adds color and smell

Stir and knead

Add more flour as texture needs. Keep in an air tight container.

Cameron's Johnny came to circle on Friday! What a wonderful time! The children were very excited! We learned that Johnny's guitar has 6 strings. And that the sounds of the alphabet are on his guitar...A, B, C, D, E, F, G. He had us listening, clapping, dancing and singing along. What a great visit!

Enjoy this site, to encourage your child's interest, excitement and hand development for print and writing continues! Have Fun!!!!  I just found it today....


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dot Day and Name Adventures!

This week the children made preparations for "International Dot Day" for Thursday!  We did a lot of color work preparations with talking about different colors, how to take care of painting supplies and ensuring true clear colors by washing paint brushes and drying them on paper toweling before choosing a new color.  Within the discoveries of care, the children can discover differences through mixing colors.  We painted our "Dot Day" water color paintings on small paper and framed them for our bulletin board.  We discovered that within small paper, we can still paint big and little dots.  We counted our dots and saw how many of each color we painted.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we painted our Dot Day t-shirts.  The children have lots of variety and helped each other in creating dots on their t-shirts.  I saw some really nice teamwork happening!  On Thursday, we had our Dot Day Celebrations in class with our T-shirt parade, dot face painting and dot day show and tell.  This is the children's first show and tell.  They demonstrated very good listening to each other.  In our class,
Listening has three steps that is posted on a visual chart for the children as a reminder.  The steps are:
1.  Look.
2.  Stay still.
3.  Think.
(Skillstreaming in Early Childhood, by Ellen McGinnis and Arnold P. Goldstein)
We are working very hard with patience, knowing that by raising our hand, we will get a turn to talk to ask a question to our show and tell participant.  Great job!

We explored one of my favorite alphabet books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom this week.  We did it as a read-a-loud one day, and then as a group chant the next day.  The children then placed their name coconuts on the coconut tree as we read the chant together and worked on name recognition.  We are learning that letters make words.  That words tell us something.  That reading and printing starts from left to right.  Reading is fun!  With cube links, we created our names again this week and discovered who has the shortest name; who has the longest name; who have names the same size.  Interesting discoveries.  With cube links we also made the letter of our first name.  Our letters do not all have the same shape.  Interesting.
We are creating our first book.  It is a recipe book.  Based on last week's interests, we cooked pancakes...and since I did not have blueberries this week, the children thought chocolate chips would do.  The children shared their thoughts about the properties of chocolate chips and heat....and they were right....they melt.  Yummy! 
We made red playdough, but  we decided not to make purple yet.  The children are not exactly sure what colors mixed together make purple.  Next week, we will have colored water for them to experiment the properties of color.  I wonder what we will discover!