Showing posts from October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

The children drew jack o lantern faces and the class voted on which face we would carve into our classroom pumpkin. Everyone had the opportunity to scoop out the seeds. We outlined the image using the dot method. This method allowed the children to participate in the carving process. The children poked out the dots using a golf tee. Activities like these are great fine motor skill practice as well as opportunity to improve hand eye coordination.

Marble Roll Painting

We are talking about movement in the preschool. "How can i make it move?"  Using a long cardboard box we set up an activity that required the children to make the marbles move without touching them. They worked together to figure out how to move the box to make the marbles move the way they wanted them to go. They lifted the box up and down and from side to side. They made the marbles go fast and slow. The next day we used smaller boxes that the children could manipulate on their own. We were able to follow the path of their movement and noticed the paths were lines. This provided a great opportunity to revisit the concept of lines and connection.

A Beautiful Autumn Morning

There are signs of Autumn all over our playground. The crisp,cooler mornings have given us many opportunities to talk about seasons and weather changes. The rain tree on our playground shows us its Fall by dropping it's reddish pink seed pods. The children love to collect the pods and harvest their seeds. In our studio we set up a provocation that suggested further observation of the seed pods which led to a great discussion about seeds and how things grow. The children were also encouraged to paint what they observed. They are hanging in our work room next to the back door if you want to take a look. Beautiful! Happy Fall.

Building bridges with loose materials

Creating a provocation with loose materials and examples of different kinds of bridges was a way to expand on what was happening in our red room and bring the children's knowledge of bridges into a new setting. These loose materials allowed the class to problem solve and really think about how bridges are constructed. How can I make my bridge stand up and how can we support long bridges that stretch far distances were some of the questions we tried to answer.

We had a great discussion about how we might get onto our bridges. The idea of a ladder was brought up by one child but was soon dismissed because people can climb ladders but not cars!

Building bridges

In the last few weeks we've noticed the class expressing an interest in things move. Things like trains, planes and cars. The block area has become very popular.  In their building and play the children have begun creating amazing and detailed structures, roads and ramps. The class began making bridges organically as a way for our forest animals to get to the other side and for cars to get over. We realized that this was a great way to build on the concept of connection.  "A bridge connects two sides of a road!" We brought our building materials outside in order to give the children multiple opportunities to explore this idea.


It was easily agreed upon by the class that we all have a birthday. We talked about how this is another thing that we all have In common, like how we all have bones,bodies and families. Through the common things we share we are connected as human beings. We asked the question, "What is a birthday?" Arthur: "It's a day that we grow up." Ashby: "It means you're a number and then you get a cake". We tried to delve a bit deeper to see if we could begin to understand a truer meaning of the word birthday. We tried asking, "What does birth mean?" Theo: "Birth means the first time you come out of your mommy's belly". This led Arlo to tell us, "A birthday is a celebration of the day you were born!" It was a great moment, the proverbial light bulb went on. We love to see how rather than supplying children with answers we can create a richer comprehension by asking questions that lead children to form their own understandin…

Under My Skin

The children did some really cool drawings this week that show how bones are inside our bodies. This activity was inspired by a book that has become a classroom favorite called "Bone Dog" by Eric Rohman. On black paper the class drew skeletons with white china markers. We taped tracing paper on top of their skeleton drawings. The children then colored what is outside of the skeleton body. It was a great way to really see what is bone and what is not.  Our hair, skin, eyes, etc are not bones.  Bone Dog also inspired what might be our next topic of discovery, movement. We were interested by this illustration of skeletons running. How can we tell they are moving? We took this opportunity to talk about how our bodies move, Cooper: "Our muscles make us move". We started looking at other books we have in our classroom that depict movement. We are curious to see where this might lead.

Bone Compositions with Loose Materials

We set up a number of different provocations involving loose materials. The children made compositions using the X-ray of bones as a form. The first provocations prompted the children to pick one bone of their choice. The final provocation suggested that all the bones in their body might be represented.  The seniors traced their friends body on black paper. Everyone had the opportunity to create a large scale composition using the  life size cut out of themselves or a friend.

Making Bones

We asked the question, "What are some materials we can make bones out of?" We got many different answers, "Wood, Paper, Metal". Maya went right to drawing and cutting bones out of paper. A few of her friends followed her lead. We set up a provocation that consisted of photos of bones and balls of clay. The children picked out which bone they wanted to make and set out to create the shapes with their hands. We had a great discussion about the importance of bones. Maya told us, "Bones are awesome, I like the different shapes they have!". We wondered if all animals have bones. Arlo told us "All animals I know of have bones except for jellyfish". We also asked while taking a closer look at the photo of bones, "Why do you think the ends of the bones look like that?". Maya said, "So they can be together". We realized that bones are indeed connected together inside our bodies.