Red Room has been doing an ongoing exploration/study on lines and line movement. For the art show we had the children practice their fine motor skills, writing skills, literacy skills, and math skills. Using videos the children observed the motion of lines from an Olympic Ribbon Twirler, a Snake, and a Seismometer (earthquake reader).
The children have also been using small materials to create lines on the light table. The most common line was a straight line but we did challenge them by asking who could create a zig zag line. At first the children hesitated in telling the group what they saw.
After the children observed the line, they began working right away and put so much focus on creating a zig zag line. Taking it one step further, we are now studying physical movement with lines.
Doing various activities, the children have been following and tracing different lines with their feet and bodies. Using chalk, we drew 3 lines on the cement outside for the children to step on the line. They even raced each other to see who could reach the end of the line faster.
The children then slowed down and counted each step that they took and compared which one took the most steps.
Lines have provided our children with various avenues of academics to learn from.
This week in Castle Room our students are exploring cantaloupe! We cut a few slices and spread them out onto the table.
As the children approached the table and began to touch the fruit, the first thing that they noticed was the different textures on the cantaloupe. Using their hands, they discovered that on one side of the cantaloupe was, “smooth” and, “slimy”, while on the other side it was a bit, “rough” and, “scratchy”.
After feeling the cantaloupe the children got to taste it. Most described the fruit as, “sweet” while other’s felt like it was, “juicy”. However, during their taste test one student came across a seed and realized that the cantaloupe had many seeds.
Intrigued, the student wanted to see what was inside of the seed and began to smash it with his hands. His classmates quickly followed, smashing the seeds they found as well. Once successful at cracking the seeds open the students found that the seed was filled with a soft mushy substance.
Once the students had investigated and inspected every inch of the cantaloupe they began to use its pieces to create different things such as, houses, faces, mommies and daddies. They used the cantaloupe slices for features like mouths for faces. They used the seeds for things like eyes, noses, and door knobs. Using cantaloupe as an art material, the children were able to express their creativity and construct objects that matter to them.
The benefits acquired through this experience are many. Exploring with food is a great way for children to gain the full hands on experience of the world around them in a concrete way and building on their sensory skills. Food play also helps the children with their development. Things like texture, color, smells, and taste can all play in developmental roles like math, science, language, literacy, and fine motor control.
The children have been exploring different textures and observing cause and effect by adding different ingredients to certain materials. Some examples are water in dirt and cornstarch in play dough, just to name a few. The goal in this activity was to allow the children to discover the change in texture as they mixed two materials together.
In our school we allow children to explore science topics freely. A table was set up outside with cornstarch and red and blue play dough. The children quickly went to investigate and wasted no time mixing the three together.
They moved the palm of their hands through the cornstarch along the table and putting handfuls of it on the play dough to mix. The children also discussed the color of the play dough and cornstarch as well as how each item felt. Some key words that were used in our conversations were red, blue, white, soft, sticky and smooth.
Children learn best and retain the most when they engage their senses. By giving the children this opportunity to investigate these materials with no preconceived knowledge, we’re helping them develop and refine their cognitive, social and emotional, physical and creative and linguistic skills.
Over the course of the summer, Little Wonders and School of Wonders will be holding two different programs, Creating A City For Wildlife and The Science and Art of Storytelling.
Creating A City For Wildlife is a program created by our director Maryam Lumpkin and local farmer, Mike, that will further enhance knowledge and awareness of social and science topics that are currently happening in our environment. The program is available for children ages 4 and up.
Our other program, The Science and Art of Storytelling, is being held by School of Wonders. The program will allow the children to explore the study of frequencies and wave forms in music with the integration of literacy, art, and physics. The children will be working closely with the classroom teachers, the atelieristas, and audio engineer to create their own films composed of their soundtracks and visual narratives which will be shown at an end of the summer viewing party. The Science and Art of Storytelling is available for children ages 5 and up that have completed one year of elementary education.
Vygotsky states ,that learning awakens in children a variety of internal developmental processes that can operate only when they interact with more component people in their environment and in cooperation with their peers. The social environment is a major contributor to the cognition of children because of the open area of communication that exist that allows them to express and negotiate ideas as well as contribute to each others understanding.
The following video shows one of our students leading a lesson on the letter A and teaching her friends how to write it!
Click the link to watch this video: Student Teachers