February 13, 2013
It’s all about taking opportunities to teach. Sometimes those short lessons get the most across. Today it was all about science lessons that 3′ of snow, blue sky and 40 degree weather allowed.
- Talk about the body parts as trace a body’s shadow
- A little later re-stand at the shadow. Does the tracing still fit? Why or why not? (The shadow is moving and getting smaller. The Sun is moving.)
- We’ve guessed the direction our shadow will be this afternoon (head to the snowbank). We’ll be checking to see if we were right.
Our boots are sinking into the snow as we walk across it.
- What do we need to do to not sink in?
- How do snowshoes work? Our body weight is spread over a larger area of the snow, so we can walk on top of it. Big people sink some even with snowshoes, but not all the way.
- driveway is clear of snow and ice
- little snow sculpture from yesterday is almost gone and the colors are all gone
- ice found is in shadows
January 30, 2013
I love making snowflakes. Have always loved making snowflakes, but it’s not always the easiest project to do with young children with beginning scissor skills. It isn’t always easy with older children that see lacy, involved snowflakes in their mind, but cutting the design is not feasible. Then you have all that paper – scraps, waste? – newspapers or magazine just don’t work the same as white paper. But making snowflakes is part of the experiences we want for our children right? For me the answer is yes.
Here’s where technology has come in handy this year. I found a sight that allows one to design snowflakes for free with the click of a mouse ~ SnowDays – It’s Always Snowing. Now there are other sites online, but this one worked the best for us. Even my 2 yr old enjoyed. I handled the mouse click and she moved my hand where she wanted. She not only had fun controlling my hand, but the excitement as she saw what was developing. I just kept seeing a smile and hearing “Pretty!”
We all made multiple snowflakes, watched many fall, checked out where others that were made were from and even went on a snowflake search.
Don’t worry we gets lots of scissor time here. Making snowflakes is not about scissor time, but that finished lacy snowflake.
January 28, 2013
Using sensory tubs for exploring is a great activity for toddlers and preschoolers. We use them regularly around here, so the kids know to dig right in when one is out in the space. They may not be used for long periods of time, but they are visited repeatedly and always generate interesting language and conversations.
I was looking for a new sensory tub idea when Mountaintop Family Daycare posted about the sensory tub they had made to go along with their reading of The Mitten. This tub was filled with white items. Having never done a solid color sensory tub this appealed to me as a new experience for the kids. Where we were doing our activities around snow, snowflakes, snowmen and had also read The Mitten, I went with all white circles. Had to bury some white mittens to tie in with our literacy work around The Mitten folktale.
January 27, 2013
Last week was not a good one for getting posts on our activities up, but believe me we stayed good and busy inside while the cold raged outside. This post will try to catch up on some of the activities we enjoyed this past week.
It’s been all about snowmen, snowflakes and mittens this month. This week we finally got around to using our class snow storm project as a background for our “construct a snowman challenge”.
|This collage customized with Smilebox
Too cold to make snowmen outside and wanting some “larger” movement means using some of our large sheets of paper and spreading out around the playroom and kitchen for enough floor space. Drawing on large paper is a totally different experience and uses one’s motor skills and muscle groups in a different way.
|Personalize a free photo slideshow
Thought you might enjoy seeing how “school” happens when the school-age are leading the play.
Taking advantage of our earlier darkness and using the light box. Can you tell we have been doing a bit of work with “patterns” recently?
Yes, we get silly (what fun would it be with kids all day if you didn’t get silly?) and it often involves stories we are reading together. Tacky Penguin is a perfect story to get silly with especially on a cold Friday (at the end of a cold week). The kids were having so much fun singing Tacky’s song I thought I’d try to get it on tape. (It was way better without the camera running, but you’ll get the idea.)
With mixed ages it’s also about finding time to be sure the developmental needs of everyone are being met. Placing beads on sticks is great fine motor practice for young ones. What I hadn’t expected was it becoming a birthday cake. Love seeing imagination in action.
We also managed to get in lots of practice with finding similarities and differences or matching between our homemade snowflake and mitten games and some iPad apps. (Postings on these in the speciality blogs in the next few days.)
January 8, 2013
As part of our science and math learning during this snowy month of January we compared 2 versions of the folktale – The Mitten (original inspiration: Golden Gang Kindergarten). We then made a Venn Diagram of these 2 books: The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt and the one we already knew by Jan Brett ~ The children discussed their observations about what was the same and different between these 2 stories. I wrote their observations onto our large white board, placing into the correct sections, as guided by the kids.
During rest-time, I used Wylio.com to find creative commons photos of the characters in each version to make a visual version of our Venn Diagram for The Mitten.
You may notice a part of the Venn Diagram is missing – I left that out for the children to draw in themselves as part of understanding how a Venn Diagram works.
January 5, 2013
February 2, 2012
Well, actually this group decided to be hawks. I have been reading Owl Moon and there were lots of questions about the owl, how it flies, what is sees, how does it catch it’s food….. There’s also snow on the ground, but either icy or fluffy – no snowballs here thus no snowmen.
I have gathered some ideas for snowmen from different perspectives and was hoping to find a way to use one from Anya – Life is What You Make It. This is a snowman from the perspective of being looked down on. We’ve also been discussing textures and Make and Takes had a cute winter animal from shredded paper.
Putting these two project ideas together with our owls (or hawks) flying over head ended up with this -
It’s always fun to see how parents react when they are handed a project. This one raised a few questioning looks. My parents are good though – they knew to ask their children to explain what they have learned or made. Once the children told them about being owls (or hawks) and building snowman, my parents were right there – all about looking down!
Complete lesson is posted in Preschool Lessons. The project started with everyone stamping snow on their ground ~