Showing posts from May, 2013


With graduation around the corner we decided to provoke a conversation about change. We asked "What are some things that change?" The children had answers like; "Caterpillars turn into butterflies","Baby birds turn into grown up birds","Leaves change color","Hair changes color when you get older","Whenever things move they change spots", We then asked the question "What would the earth look like if nothing ever changes?" They said, "It would be a big black world" and "When you come back to places it would be the same".  We ended the conversation with the question,"How can we make things change?" We set out paint and natural materials like leaves,shells,rocks and moss to provide inspiration.

When they were done with their  painting we had them sprinkle it with salt.  Then we waited for it to dry. It was really cool to see how the salt changed the way the paint looked.  We had them look …

Mother's Day 2013

We made finger print pendants and cards for our moms. The children rolled polymer clay into egg shapes,and made a finger print. We baked the clay until it turned hard. The class made beautiful bird cards using various materials. They cut different body parts out of paper and glued them together like a puzzle. Some wrote their cards out by themselves and others wanted help. Everyone wrapped their presents themselves and we taped them to the cards. Happy Mother's Day to all of our awesome mother's!

Bird Mural

Using old ceramic tiles and white China markers the preschoolers set out to create a bird mural.  We talked briefly about making our own individual pictures but once the idea of "having the pieces fit like a puzzle" was provoked the children immediately gravitated toward it. Some drew the ground with a pond where ducks swim and some drew trees where baby owls can live. In the trees are the nests that birds make to keep their eggs safe and to sleep in. Above the nests and eggs are the birds flying in the sky to hunt for food like seeds and mice, or perhaps to visit the lonely mountain.
Though each child worked individually each image works in tandem with the others to create an exceptional piece of art.

Mixed media birds

We outlined  birds with the help of our light projector. One bird was perched,one was flying and one was soaring. Outlining the birds was better than tracing because we could decorate our birds however we wanted instead of having to stay true to the original image. After coloring the birds some preschoolers were not happy with the way their birds looked. Some said "Messy","Empty",and "Dead". We used watercolors and they definitely sprang to life!

What do birds eat?

Not all birds eat the same thing! There are some birds that eat worms, some that eat fish and some that eat berries. Some of the children wondered how birds were able to eat some of the things they do and they soon figured out how important beaks are!
We set out various materials,sunbutter,Cheerios,popsicle sticks, pipecleaners and tp tubes.We asked the children if they could make a bird feeder that hangs in a tree.
This activity was done in a group which provided the opportunity for younger students to emulate the solutions created by the older students rather than teacher directed solutions. It didn't take long before we had varieties of hanging bird feeders.
We hung them in the tree outside the big windows in our red room.

Birds of Clay

The children are learning the skills necessary to become more fluent in different mediums. The greater the mastery of each, the easier it is for the child to communicate through that medium. We set out clay and asked the children if they could make a bird. It tends to come easier for children to represent a 3-D object in a 2-D manner. Clay allows for opportunities to explore concepts like size, ratio and perspective.
They are learning how to manipulate the clay. This is great for strengthening  hand muscles and refining fine motor skills.  Working with clay provides it's own challenges; how do pieces fit together?, how do you add detail?, how do you keep the clay from drying out?
Their birds turned out great!  They were able to create beaks, wings and even feathers.
They are on display in our kitchen on the shelves above the cubbies.
Take a look!

Painting Flowers and Birds

With the beautiful paint colors the children created it seemed  fitting that we paint flowers . As it turned out it actually ended up marking the beginning of our transition into a new line of interest; birds.

 This long term project started out about Spring and there is certainly a connection between the change of seasons and all the birds we are seeing on our playground. We have a great book about Florida birds in our classroom and some of the children have been very interested in learning more about our winged friends. We read the story "the mountain that loved a bird" by Alice McLerran and that day the children began painting birds.

We talked about the things we already knew about birds,
"They live in nests in the trees", "They have wings and fly in the sky",
"There are lots of different kinds of birds".
We asked what they wanted to learn about birds and they answered,
"What do birds eat?  How do birds fly?  Are birds mammals?"