Showing posts from October, 2014

Sugar Skulls

These skull tracings were a great way to incorporate some of our recent Halloween day preparations and some fine motor skill practice into our classroom. Using the light table we identified the different features of a human skull and talked about the parts that were missing and not made out of bone, our ears, our nose, our eyes. While looking at the skull we also decided this person must have taken good care of their teeth because there were a lot of them and they are big! To expand on this tracing project we opened a dialogue with the classroom about decorating our skulls similar to those associated with Day of the Dead. We spoke to the class about how in some other countries they celebrate the day of the dead and how it is similar to Halloween but also different. The day of the dead is a special day that many people observe to celebrate and remember the people or pets in their life that were special and passed on. We talked a little bit about death and one child told the class how …


With Halloween fast approaching the preschool has been busy reading books and singing songs about black cats, witches, ghosts and bats. We read the book "Jeremy draws a monster" by Peter McCarty and afterward had a great conversation about monsters.  We asked the question, " What is a monster?" Titus told us, "A monster is whatever it is, and ghosts are just ghosts, and monsters are just monsters." Megan said, "A monster is something very big." Dashiell told us, "A monster is like a tiger." Then we asked the question, " How is a monster like a tiger?" Everyone agreed that tigers have sharp teeth and monsters do too. Then we asked, " Are tigers real?" Everyone agreed that they were. "Are monsters real?" We all agreed they were not. What came next was a productive conversation about the words fact (non-fiction) and fiction.  What better time to have this conversation with our little ones? The scary stuff  i…

Spiders and Webs, It's almost Halloween!

We made creepy crawly spiders using painted paper, newspaper for stuffing and collected twigs for legs.
Ashby wanted his to be a black widow. Using a painted hula-hoop and yarn the children wove a web. On black paper with white pastels we drew spider webs. It was cool to discover that spiders make webs in a circular pattern. Circles really are everywhere. Look for our spiders and web in our red room. They're pretty scary!

Painting with rocks

In this activity we explored rocks in a different way. We used them to paint with! Through several activities we have explored the colors, shapes, and textures of a variety of different rocks.  With rock painting we had the opportunity to revisit some previous discussed ideas while making a few new discoveries. The rocks are very hard and if we pressed down with too much force they would rip the paper.  Paper is no match for rocks! The children were also very interested to see that the texture of certain rocks showed up in their paintings.

Rock Totems

Our class has started talking about rocks. Where do rocks come from? Why do they all look so different? What are they made out of? We set out a variety of rocks for the children to explore. They made beautiful rock totems. The word "balance" came up a lot. We also talked about the words "more", "less" and "order". The children had some great conversations during this activity. Scarlett: I need a steady rock. Erin: What does "steady" mean? Scarlett: The rocks are staying still. Titus: They can be up for a very long time. The children really enjoyed the challenge of seeing how many rocks they could stack. The record holds at 12.

Sensory Rock Activity

We used our hands to sift through mud to find rocks and shells. We talked about the differences in their texture, weight and size.  We used a scale to take our discussion about weight to another level. The scale gave us the opportunity to see which were heaviest and which were lightest. We then "predicted" if there were more rocks or shells. We counted them all and discovered there were 47 rocks and 42 shells!

Counting and Sorting

We sorted, counted and talked about "adding" and "subtracting".
The children put the rocks into three "categories": small, medium, large.
We then arranged them from  smallest to largest.


We used a mirror, our faces and leaves to provoke a conversation about symmetry. We used words like "same" and "similar", "half" and "whole". We gathered fall leaves on our playground and talked about the changing season. During activity time we cut the leaves in half and glued one half to paper.  We asked the the children to draw and color the missing half, paying attention to detail.

Clay Portraits

Using clay we revisited portraits. We set up a provocation with natural materials inviting the children to create  3-d representations of themselves or a family member. Revisiting subjects through different mediums gives opportunity to extend our learning by providing fresh perspectives.

Light,Color,Lines And Shapes

Our class loves using the overhead projector. For this activity we further explored lines and shape. On a transparency each child had a turn to draw with markers and use dropper bottles filled with red, blue and yellow water colors to create a work of art that was projected on the wall.  This activity also provided the opportunity for the children to explore color, using the primary colors and discovering secondary colors.