Sunday, 2 December 2012

Is There Room For Santa In School?

It's December 2nd! Already?! Can you even believe that?

I'm having a hard time believing it myself. I mean, 3 whole months of school-gone. Wow.

This is without a doubt-the most exciting time of the year for me. It is in part because I am ridiculously child-like. There is nothing that excites me like Christmas time. I can be in a foul mood-and walk into a mall that has Christmas music blasting, too many people per square foot and sparkly lights and 30 foot Christmas trees throughout-and I am instantly in a good mood. I love it.

During this season there are several things that are a give in for me. They are:

3. I will bake. I am not a baker, normally. I love to cook-baking is just not really my thing. For one-if I bake it I eat it, and I try not to eat too much of it but that just doesn't fly. I have no self control.

2. Hanson's Christmas album. Ha. You read that right. No need to re-read. It's called "Snowed In" and it makes me feel about 13 years old. Do you remember how exciting Christmas was for you at 13? Really stinking exciting. I had a very public love affair with Taylor Hanson-and listening to their Christmas album is just gonna happen for me. Every. Single. Year.

1. I'm gonna rub my Happy Christmas Attitude all over the place. Yep. I am. It excites me. Much of this excitement comes from the fact that I have 2 young kids. 5 1/2 and 3. Christmas is exciting for them. We have created wonderful, fun, festive traditions in our family-and I wait 11 months of the year to be able to see them come to life. Not much ruins that for me. Not even a Grinch.

With all of that being said. Here is my disclaimer.

Tomorrow-in our class, really awesome stuff is going to happen. Before school even started this year-each of our children's parents were asked what celebrations they celebrate and if there is anything they DO NOT celebrate. NOT ONE indicated that they don't Celebrate Christmas. Furthermore-upon intense investigation of my own-each of the children in our class mentioned being excited about Santa coming. This news really got me ready.

I know how completely lame this all must be for those of you who couldn't care less about the old guy, and it couldn't be more annoying for those of you who don't celebrate the same way as I do-BUT. This is why I titled this blog post "Is there room for Santa in School?"

I get excited about Santa because I feel like children grow up too fast. I love the opportunity for children to use their imaginations, and believe that something truly magical is happening in a world where they hear, and often feel bad things happening. I think that most of the toys on the market today-have robbed our children of being able to truly use their imaginations. I believe that society's pressures for children to be seen and not heard-has robbed them of good old giddy childhood. I believe that no matter what our religious beliefs, no matter our stance on "lying to our children"-imagination is something to be respected. It is something to be encouraged-and in our world today-it is something to be celebrated.

I must tell you. My 5 1/2 year old has one of the biggest imaginations known to man kind. I know that sounds ridiculous but I say it and truly believe it. He can take a kleenex and turn it into something that occupies him for an hour. I constantly hear him telling his sister "No Amelia-it's not real. You have to imagination it". :) When given the opportunity to watch tv-he normally lasts 7 minutes-and quickly leaves to go to his bedroom to build something fantastic with his lego. He is continuously thinking of new things to build with his lego. He never needs to be told "Build a house. Build an air plane" He just has the imagination required to pick up the blocks and construct. He also has a teacher this year that I can tell really encourages his enthusiasm for using his imagination. I am grateful.

This was so wordy. I would love to hear your opinions. I know we will all share different views on this-so when you voice them-know that I respect yours. Whatever they are-and whatever the reasons. I do respect them.

I will follow up tomorrow with some photos of what goes down.

Here's a hint: Our class brainstormed new ideas for our dramatic play center last week and it is now closed for construction. Here is what they decided:

 
 


Thursday, 22 November 2012

So About Those Math Bins....

Alright. I got tremendous response in regards to the math bins. I got many emails saying 'Rah, Rah we toot the math bin horn too!' and 1 email that said 'you blow. and so do the math bins'.

Ha. Well those were my words but you get my drift? Lots of positive. 1 negative. That's okay. I respect a different opinion, and I welcome your opinions.

I did have many people ask if I could post about some of the different bins we do. So I will.


This was one of the child directed bins. There were materials and numeral papers in the basket-they decorated their numbers. Very hands on. They loved it. The materials were ones that we didn't have in our art center at that point in time, so they were exciting and fresh!

 
This was a memory game. Number concentration if you will.
 
This was the other child directed bin that week. So we had the Grab A Handful bin, the memory bin, the decorate your number bin, and the other teacher directed bin was a trace the hands or paint the hands bin. Each child traced or painted their hands onto paper, and then had to stick one sticker on for each finger. Ta-Da! Math Bins made easy and engaging.
 
 
This week-our Math focus is Patterning. We are trying to assess whether or not the children can copy, create, extend and ID a pattern. It is going well! These math bins are a huge teaching tool for me. As in-I am learning so much from them and am so glad my new teaching partner brought this to the table.
 
 
About patterns--
 
 
This is the teacher directed bin that I am using to assess this week. The children are using dyed pasta to create pasta pattern necklaces. This is going over really well. I`m not sure who wouldn`t want to make a necklace. Not me.
 
 
There are obviously 3 more bins this week-but I haven't taken pictures of them yet. I`ll get around to it.
 
 
BTW. Do you all know how to dye pasta or riceÉ (and while you`re at it, do you know how to shut off the french on my laptopÉ, because I am really tired of seeing that É instead of a question mark).
 
 
FYI
 
 
I did not colour that pasta. My teacher did. I am not sure how she did hers, I think I heard her say vinegar but will check on that. I have always done mine like so:
 
 
bunch of pasta or rice in a ziploc bag.
2 tablespoons of food colouring.
1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.
 
 
Shake that bag up. Lay it out on wax paper, on a cookie sheet to dry (the rubbing alcohol helps speed this process along), and VOILA! coloured pasta or rice, and the experience I have had with this recipe-the colour never bleeds onto skin or clothes! Yay!
 
 
Chat Soon :)


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Getting In Touch With Our Feelings

I'm sorry.

No good relationship can be sustained on this little communication. I've been a bad blogger.

tisk. tisk.

Seriously though. I've not been here in almost 2 weeks. That's a record for me. Not one I'm proud of-and I promise I have thought of it 113 times per day-since I've been away-I just, exhausted myself and needed to take a pause.

Pause is over.

I'm here with a cute little something something we did with our class 2 weeks ago. We had kind of put some focus on discussing feelings, and being special and individuals. We read some books, we had some discussions. We read "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. What a super book. This was my first experience with the book-and it's a little wordy-but they sat still for it-and they got it.

My new teaching partner (I am not sure when I will stop calling her "my new teaching partner") had the book, and she read it to the class. I love it. Good read.

We also read a couple of other books about feelings, and being special. We talked about these things in a circle, and then we put out my iphone at the easel with some music playing. We told the kids to paint what the music made them feel. This is always an interesting activity that can be done several times through the year, with different types of music.

Here are some great ones: (excuse the crappy iphone photography. I promise one day soon I will start remembering to act like I know how to take pictures again.)

 
Yep. You read that right.
Swiss Cheese.
That's why my job rocks.
 
 
Tis the season.
Smart kid-since I had on Hanson's Christmas Album (Snowed In) at the time she painted this.
And yes. Hanson. Mmmbop.
 
 
CHECK THIS SONG OUT I made the mistake of mentioning the movie this was from while this girl was painting. I only say it was a mistake because I like to let them figure it out on their own. Makes for better art. But nonetheless I didn't and she painted the character from the movie. :)
 
Great movie. Better message.
 
I suggest to take your easel to a new level of interest-you add music. I know many classes have music playing in them at other times, but I suggest special music near the easel, to entice the children to paint something. Rather then just filling a paper from edge to edge with colour.
 
 
I'll be back soon don't worry.
 
 

 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Math Bins.........

Okay, I said the dirty words.

Math bins.

I don't like the way it tastes in my mouth either-so if you gasped when you read the title of this entry, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

If you didn't gasp, and you said "ooooooh, gotta click this linky dink, to gather me some ideas to stuff into my math bins" Give yourself a fancy pat on the back.

I'll tell you why I think "math bins" are dirty words.

Misleading. Those words mislead my brain to think worksheets. lame. uber boring. non-engaging.

You know what they say about ASSuming ;)

I will be honest. My new teaching partner likes her math bins. When she suggested we do them in our class, I died a little inside. BUT. BIG OLD BUT.

Today was our first day using math bins, and let me tell you. I love them.

Here's how it works in our class.

4 different coloured math bins. 4 different coloured peer groups. 2 teacher directed activities, 2 child directed. Math bins last 7-10 minutes.

4 different activities that target our learning focus. Basically, our learning focus is whatever we need to get assessed. Each group does one math bin per day, the following day we rotate activities and after Thursday, everyone has had a turn at every center.

Are our math bins optional? Not really. Are they full of worksheets? NO!

This week we are focusing on Number Sense. 1 to 1 correspondence and I.D. numerals and counting.

So here's the activity I led today.

 
Each child reaches into the basket of squares, closes their eyes and pulls out a handful of tiles. They then count their tiles and record their catch on their paper.
 
 
Did everyone seem engaged? yes. I made it like a game. I got excited about hearing them count to 17 or 8 or whatever they pulled out of the basket. I also encouraged them to "beat their own record".
 
 
Now-I think I like this for the 2 biggest reasons of 1) the activities are engaging. We plan them with that in mind. The kids have to be interested in doing the centers, or they wont be serving a purpose anymore. AND 2) They only have to sit and do them for 7-10 minutes per day. Its a quick little window, that helps them build stamina for sitting at a table, and for allowing us a brief little assessment period per day.
 
The other teacher directed activity this week is hand prints. They stamp their hands on paper, and add one sticker per finger. They count to 10, and it's a great illustrator of whether or not they get the 1 to 1 correspondence.
 
I know this post was a little wordy. I'm sorry.
 
I will keep you posted on some of the different activities that we implement in our math bins. I was not excited about this idea at first, but with a little conversation between my partner and I, I quickly started to see the benefits.
 
Today as we implemented our first math bins session-I REALLY saw the benefits.  Which is why I will pat this ELK program on the back once again.
 
Two minds are better then one. Bouncing ideas off of one another, trying them out and then reflecting as a teacher/DECE team, is absolutely an integral part of this program, and today proved it! :)
 
The program is only as strong as the team implementing it.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Remembrance Day

Always a tough one.

Remembrance Day is one of those that needs to be explained to curious minds. It has to be. They are able to hear it, they are able to ask questions about it-and even if you think you can get away with not explaining it (although I'm not quite sure why you would want to try), they WILL ask why people are wearing red flowers. And yes-you should tell them the truth.

I have a 5 year old of my own. We talked about Remembrance Day quite a bit leading up to Friday. Friday at his school-and at many schools (including the one I am employed at) was the Remembrance Day Assembly. It is meant to be a quiet, and respectful ceremony to honour.

I wanted my own son to be prepared for the silence so I did talk to him about it. We listened to "highway of heros" by the Trews, about 300 times leading up to the day. It is a song he has heard a kajillion times anyways, as I have a slight addiction to the fabulous band. I'm sure you all know it but if not CHECK OUT THE SONG.

We talked about the words and what they meant. He gets it.

In our kindergarten class, we worked on the concept of Remembering people who fought in the war for our freedom. We read this:

 
 
I didn't know how this book would go over. I have seen it in the bookstores for years. I have never bought it so was glad when my partner said she had it! I read it to the class- and wow. They sat still. They listened. They absorbed.
 
 
Great resource to add to my own collection! :) Love trying books on for size before investing!
 
 
We also designed this fantastic wreath to take to our Remembrance Day Assembly. Our reading buddies helped us.
 
 
 


We made it using a poppy pattern, red tissue paper and a black pipe cleaner. The kids love when they get to take a break from reading with their buddies and just have some good old craft time.

I think they did a beautiful job-but perhaps I'm bias.

I also caught some boys in the block center, making connections to real life.

 
Normally I discourage the war play-but given that this took place 5 minutes after our assembly-and they built a tank with soldiers and one boy said "i just want peace" I let it go.


Does everyone agree that they aren't too young to talk about the importance of remembering? How do you help kids remember?


Friday, 9 November 2012

The Opportunities are Endless

So. This is a follow up to the blog I wrote on how annoyed I get with block center problems. You can find that post here if you missed it.

Today in our class (by the way-I have a new permanent teaching partner since all those big changes. I lucked out again with someone fabulous!) the boys got silly with lego-so we brainstormed things we could make. They decided based on the ideas in the book I made-that they would build an office building.

This is the worlds most amazing office building, built by them:


As you can see-they posted some 'stuff' to the outside of the building once it was complete. The 'stuff' was the people and things they said were missing from their building. They knew that office buildings hold things. I asked them what kind of things, they said "people, bosses, money, computers and computer guys"

I encouraged them to make some of these things. They headed to the craft center and got to work.

 


That is a janitor in case you can't tell. Holding a broom.

These pictures really got me happy. First of all-look at that detail. Drawn in blue because the boy who drew it explained to me that our school has a boy janitor so the office building should too. Also-the broom. Awesome.

Second of all: and this is a big second of all:

WRITING.
We want them writing right? a common way of thinking is that they must sit at a table and write journal entries daily. So mythical. Writing is writing is writing is writing. At this age-practice practice practice. So I want to save this? I'll take it all down and glue these bits of writing samples into their journals. We need to get kids interested in writing-how do we do that if we make them write about things they don't engage in.

I love that this center time providing them with the chance to be creative and build. The blocks is their favorite center (or at least it is where they like to spend their time). So why not give them a chance to write about what they want to. Here's some more examples:

 
This is the secretary and the assistant boss.
 
 
I drew a girl and when I asked them who my girl could be they said "the boss" which I loved coming from a bunch of boys! :)
 
Also-thought it was really intelligent that when we placed our people and stuff around the office-they wanted to put the money they drew in the same room as the boss. Genius!
 
 
Anyhow. I am loving the learning going on in this center lately. I love that it is getting them writing. I'm looking for ways to incorporate more math in this center-aside from the obvious ways of counting how many blocks it took to build. Would love your opinions.
 
 

 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Trouble In Paradise

You know I love my job right?

Good. Didn't want you to forget how much I am enjoying my time in the kindergarten room.

Can I tell you that it's not always sweet tea and butterflies?

It can be fun, stimulating, humorous, and it sure can be sweet tea and butterflies-BUT. It can be challenging. It can be tiresome. It can be the sound of wet hands on a balloon. (That's my analogy for really freaking annoying.) That probably sounds harsh. I don't mean it to be, and despite the fact that at times it seems like a little mosquito is buzzing in my ear while I'm in my tent trying to fall asleep-I still don't swat those mosquitoes! :) Instead-redirection is the key. I know that when the play turns to silliness-and we have boys rolling on the ground in the block center-they are secretly screaming "CHALLENGE ME!!!" So. Challenge we do.

The block center is where most things that are annoying in my opinion, happen. These things aren't actually annoying. They are just annoying to me in the moment because I want them to be learning something-and they don't seem to want to do anything but call each other "poo poo head" and make helicopter gun noises. This is where the next idea came in.

We have been struggling in the past 2 weeks with a lot of nonsense going on in the blocks. Lots of gun noises (no weapons at school), lots of name calling in a really silly manner, lots of rolling around, ruining other peoples creations!

We thought this could help solve our problems. (We were right)


 
 
It's a book-full of structures. Many structures from our world (The Eiffel Tower, London Bridge) many structures from our country (Scotiabank Place, The CN Tower), and a few structures from our own community (Our school, our local bank). I found pictures on the Internet, and made a little book. Laminated and did a little binding, and added it to the block center. So far- SOOOO good. They knew automatically what they should do. Look through the book-decide-plan-build! It is really amazing to see what they are coming up with!
 
 
It has been super for teaching cooperation naturally because they all decide on one structure they want to create and work together to make it look like the picture. They also have been asking questions like "What is this one?" I got to explain to them it was an arena in Ottawa-that housed one of our Canadian Hockey Teams! We talked about how long it takes to drive to Ottawa from where we live-and we talked about how mad their dads were that "the hockey players don't want to play hockey unless they make like 150 bucks a game-so they are having a break."
 
Seriously. That happened. I love their interpretations of adult conversations.
 
We also discussed which structure was the biggest. Two kids told me about when they saw the CN tower on TV.
 
I gave my camera out again-and had a child take a picture of the hotel they were designing. There is a picture of a hotel in the book-and they did an amazing job recreating it!
 
 
The hotel in the book was very pyramid-y looking. (That's my own word-but you can borrow it if you see fit). I was amazed at their ability to get that right in their own structure. I'm not sure why I continue to be amazed by these things-because I know that we have a class full of little geniuses!
 
Try it. If you are having annoying problems in your block center-I beg you try this approach. It worked for us-and I'd bet it would work for you too.
 
Can We Build It? the book is mosquito repellent!
 
 
 
 

 


Friday, 2 November 2012

Pumpkin Inquiry PART 2

The initial stages of our pumpkin inquiry were fun-but I'm sure our class would agree if they voted, that the second half was much more fun!


We gathered materials. We actually borrowed them from one of our amazing ECE's at our school who is always prepared with the best stuff ! :)

 
We got into our groups and the teachers job was to cut of the top! Then it was game on! The kids took turns ripping out the insides, with spoons, scoops and their bare hands. Some of them weren't into using their hands (which we guessed) but most of them were.
 
 
 
Next we sorted the seeds from the guts (real technical lingo I'm using here, I know.) We counted the seeds. We had four pumpkins but as a whole class we focused our investigation on one pumpkin in particular. This was the pumpkin who's seeds we counted. 407! 407 seeds!!! It took a while-but we got there.
 
The children made guesses on how many seeds they thought the pumpkin would have-and then we talked about how many it actually had. We discussed reasonable guesses, and that a guess of "one million seeds" in a medium sized pumpkin was not probable.
 
 
Next-in their small groups they got to plan what kind of jack-o-lantern they wanted to carve. They had to agree and it had to be a team effort. They drew their faces, and we carved.
 
 
 
All four of the pumpkins looked different from one another! While we were busy carving the designs-I decided to try something new. I asked one boy in our class if he would take some photos of stuff he thought was important. Here is what he captured.
 
 
 
 
 
 
He took 63 pictures! All of the other one's had children's faces in them so I couldn't use them but it really got me thinking about letting the children use my camera more often. He loved being picked to take pictures-and he was very proud of his work. They see me with a camera in my hand for 90 percent of the day-so I suppose that looks like fun!
 
 
In the last picture-he caught me-trying to take a picture using my phone's camera-so I would have a photo of him capturing all the investigating!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin Inquiry PART 1

Our pumpkin inquiry began like this :


We just started with a bunch of pumpkins and gourds of different shapes and sizes. We set them out with some magnifying glasses and some paper and writing tools in hopes that they would document what they were seeing.

Immediately we had children using the magnifying glasses and exclaiming "whoa-the pumpkins are HUGE!"

We also had kids wanting to paint a picture of the pumpkins.

 
As soon as one of them painted a pumpkin-several others followed.
 
The conversation also quickly turned to talk of how they could carve them.
 
One little girl came to me and said she would carve a happy face and I told her the production table had lots of materials that she could design that.
 
This is what she made:
 
 
 
 
I thought that it was a fantastic representation of what she wanted her jack-o-lantern to look like.
 
 
We also had plenty of opportunity to model vocabulary that can be used when exploring. "It feels like...." "I wonder if...."
 
The children had lots of conversation about the pumpkins and the inquiry has continued into this week. We picked one of the pumpkins to focus on-and we had them make guesses about how many lines were on the outside, and then we counted them. We had them make guesses about how many seeds are on the inside-and we will count them tomorrow when we carve.
 
We documented all of our guesses and findings on a chart-which we will display at the center of a Pumpkin Investigation Bulletin Board out in front of our classroom in the hallway!
 
We had brainstormed at the beginning of our inquiry to see what the kids wanted and thought we could do with our pumpkins. Many ideas were brought to the table including -paint them
                               -count them
                               -feel them
                               -carve them
                               -smell them
                               -make them a hat
 
Yes. You read that right. Make them a hat. So right off the bat-several hats were made for our pumpkins.
 
 
 
Today to build on this (I hoped!) I added a measuring tape to our table of pumpkins and gourds. We immediately had one little guy come on over and ask : "Is this a measuring rod?"
 
 
 
I explained it was a measuring tape- and he right away told me he wanted to measure the pumpkin from top to bottom! (YAY! SILENT CHEER!!!!) He measured 3 of the pumpkins and read the measuring tape correctly each time. I explained to him that he was measuring in centimetres but that there were other ways we could measure things too. Then another girl came up- and stated that we could measure AROUND the pumpkin as well. She walked away. He measured around the 3 pumpkins. He then pointed to each pumpkin and said "fattest...skinniest...and medium" LOVED being part of such a perfect teachable moment!
 
 
Tomorrow-we are carving the pumpkins! Today we provided little cards for each of the children to draw a picture of what they think we should carve our pumpkins like. About 10 of them participated in this and the consensus looks like they want a traditional jack-o-lantern!
 
I can't wait for them to feel the inside of the pumpkins. We have a couple of kids who are claiming to never have carved before-SO SO exciting!
 
I'll be back with follow up photos from tomorrows experience if I am still sane.
{We are experiencing the rain of Hurricane Sandy this week. 1 field trip postponed, and looking like 2 more in the works. (All outdoor trips-and the rain is intense.) }
 
All these indoor recesses are bound to make me batty I'm sure. Would love to hear from anyone with indoor recess suggestions for the kids! We have recess monitors which are responsible grade 8 students, who help out. (I love comments on my blog-but for those of you who don't follow it, I LOVE hearing from you in my facebook inbox! Your messages are always encouraging and full of great ideas!)
 
Ciao!
 
 




Sunday, 21 October 2012

Apples as Math!


These were our apples.

We read a few books about apples as part of our literacy and numeracy circles. Then these apples were discussed by our class.

We posed the question "What could we do with them?"

We got many answers. Eat them was at the top of their list. There were also many more great answers!

Count them.
Feel them.
Pattern with them.
Sort them.

All of these things-skills they have learned from play. Imagine that!?

It is during times like these brainstorming periods that I really silently celebrate how effective this program can be!

While the program can be controversial-there is no disputing that it's doing its job when 1 month into school many of our students in both jk and sk are able to sort, pattern, and count -even though they have not been sitting at tables filling in worksheets. Instead-they have been choosing their play centers themselves. Not being forced to sit through math bins, but being allowed the freedom to learn in dramatic play, to learn in sensory. All of these skills can be incorporated into each center-providing them with MANY opportunities to learn. We have a hands on thinking center, where math based activities are available-but the materials available in our room in other centers-allow them to practice and learn new math skills!

So we counted. We patterned. We sorted, and of course. We taste tested!

 
Patterned.
 
 
Sorted and ready for taste testing!
 
 
We also painted with the apples! Made apple prints and turned them into:
 
 
Pumpkins!!
 
 
The kids also decided that they would examine our apples underneath the magnifying table! :) A new tool in our class that they love to use!
 
 
The conclusion: "Everything gets bigger in this thing!"
 
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Do You Feel What I Feel?

You all know how I love fall? I explained why right here!

So it excites me-that our natural surroundings spark such curiosity in the kids! Our playground has a few trees in it. They shed beautiful maple leaves and oak leaves all over the ground. While on duty and during outdoor play I get to witness this provide them with perfect playing conditions! They build piles-and jump in them. There is no sight that screams childhood more than that.

They pretend it is salad and serve it in their restaurants. They throw leaves in the air and watch them fall. They bury themselves in them. It excites them.

They also, bring oodles and oodles of leaves inside. They all want to add to our discovery center. We allow them to. They examine the leaves and write about them in their science journals.

One day last week I set a couple leaves out on our science table and covered it in tinfoil. I taped the tinfoil down, and put paper and pencils at the table. I explained to the kids they could explore and make predictions about what it was.

We had many many good guesses.

The children really used their senses. Some of them walked up-felt and quickly recorded what they believed was hiding under the tinfoil.

Some of them explored deeper.

 
Letting her fingers discover. Getting a feel for the texture of the leaves.

 
I loved seeing this happen! This little girl leaned down for a good minute listening so carefully to hear what the mystery items sounded like!!

 
One of the correct guesses documented!
 
Some of our other guesses were: cookies, soft paper towel, a button, and rocks.
 
 
Their minds work sooooo hard to come to these conclusions! The big reveal was super exciting for them! Some of them cheering when they realized they were right!
 
 
We discussed doing this activity more often. They really liked it and it brought some of our kids who aren't typically found in discovery over to see ( and feel) what was going on ! :)
 
 
If you have done this type of activity before-what types of things did you have them explore?
 


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Back With Some Changes

Alright. Sorry for the delay. But I am here. With a new blog post.

It took me longer then I ever planned it to but such is life.

My life in kindergarten changed this past week-and it has taken me a few days to grab a hold of my new reality and embrace it.

Embrace it I will.

I have faith things happen for a reason-and although I don't want to ramble on with details I will say I have a new teaching partner. The one I have currently is supplying-but should I become lucky enough-perhaps she will be more permanent.

Back to square 1 on room set up-displays-center materials etc.

Here's some new stuff!

Monday-my first day with my new teaching partner, kids were WILD! Lots of change for them, a new looking room and a new face in the room. Testing. Testing. Testing.

In the midst of what was truly chaos for me at times-We observed a few of our boys acting like animals in the dramatic play area. (serious. animals.) haha More specifically, cats and dogs.

DING DING DING! They are bored of it being a kitchen. Let's change it up.

We asked them what we could put there that animals could belong in, and an animal doctor was top of the list. And so-our Animal Hospital was born.

 
This is the sign that 2 of our boys designed.
 

Prior to painting-we discussed what would be important to be on the sign. The boys both agreed that animals should be on it.

 
This started as a dog. The boy on the left painted the dog and I asked "What did you paint?" He said "A dog" The boy on the right said "Well that looks like a turtle" and the boy on the left responded with "I know it does."
 
So he changed his mind and is telling his classmates that it is a turtle.
 
 
Writing in dramatic play? YES!
 
 
Scaredy Squirrel getting some TLC.
 
 
 
 
Scaredy Squirrel getting some chest compressions! :)
 
I could have watched them all day long in this center. The creativity that was happening was truly awesome!
 
 
The materials that are in the center were mostly thought up by the class. We did some brainstorming and made a list of things they thought an Animal Hospital would need.
 
 
We have many more ideas in the works to build on this inquiry.
 
I will be back sooner next time. I have many things I've photo documented over the past couple of days and intend on sharing them soon!
 
 
 
 

 
 
                   "Change in all things is sweet"
-Aristotle

 
 
 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Fall All Around!

You all know how important I think sensory experiences are right?

Check out our new sensory bin!

 
It's just a bunch of pasta , some small gourds and pumpkins, some corn, and some silk leaves from the dollar store! Voila!
 
 
 
 
I wrote each of the uppercase and lowercase letters on the leaves. The kids have been busy finding their name letters and our jolly phonics letters while they are playing in the sensory bin! I also threw a couple blank leaves in to see if they would notice. I was approached by one of our girls who said "This one says nothing. Can I make it say my name?" So she wrote her name on it and threw it back in! :)
 
 
The class has been busy discussing the "rough" noodles, and the "hard, smooth" noodles! It's also brought on a few conversations about who has bought pumpkins at their house and who hasn't!
 
Would love to hear what you guys have got going on in your sensory bins right now? Fall or not!
 
 
That's all for me tonight. I cut the heck out of a bunch of laminated goodness tonight-and have some photography stuff to work on still! :) Enjoy!