As a provocation to explore texture, we provided the children with natural materials to use as paintbrushes.
Our children had the opportunity to discover the different textures, designs, and patterns that could be achieved through each style of paintbrush. The importance of playing with texture in early childhood helps develop problem solving, physical and social emotional skills. These are fabulous ways to encourage children to use their imagination and create a masterpiece through texture.
As the children came into the classroom the first thing they did was run to the table with excitement for the materials. They stamped the texture brushes in the paint and onto the white paper. The result was a beautiful composition. The used literary skills by communicating with their classmates by the repeating the different types of colors and texture materials.
By allowing the children to explore texture , they are able to learn about the world around them and build on their verbal communication as they learn to identify with these natural materials.
The Following describes our Food as a Language study this week. We introduced tomatoes! The children look forward to our weekly experience with food. Our main question of focus was…
“What is a tomato?”
Lucas “it’s made out of ketchup”
Nalani “when you cut them, tomato sauce comes out.”
David “If you put it in a bottle it’s going to spread everywhere.”
Peaches “the tomatoes are squirty.”
To incorporate fine motor skills and have our children grow up feeling comfortable in the kitchen, we gave them plastic knives to cut the tomatoes. Most of the children cut the tomatoes without any challenges while a few had to overcome the challenge of the tomatoes slipping. They discovered how to apply pressure on the knife in order to cut the tomato. Sometimes the applied pressure to the tomato caused the juice to squirt out! This was a great opportunity to discuss emotion, being that it upset one of our children. J The children also noticed how inside the tomatoes there are “tiny seeds”, and after cutting the tomatoes open and finding the seeds some of the children began counting the seeds. This math opportunity allowed for our children to reinforce their counting skills.
Next we placed beautiful tomatoes on the vines at a table for the children to create an observational drawing. The children used green, red, and orange chalk pastels for their creation. While doing this the children conversed about the characteristics of a tomato mostly the shape and the color. We discussed the shapes that we found on the tomatoes. Our inquiry ended with a debate on what color the tomato was. Half of the class said tomatoes are orange, while the other half said tomatoes are red. This will be our next provocation in our tomato study.
Learning benefits: Language development, social skills, Cognitive development, Fine motor skills, math skills, Recognizing and writing TOMATO, art experience through chalk pastels, Science skills- observation.
To view more pictures from this study, please view the link: Tomato Study
For the last few weeks, the wonderland and house classroom have been working on explorations together as one.The is one way we provide opportunities for older children to mentor younger children and allow the younger children to learn from the older ones One particular exploration is on sea animals and their movement.
The students began by discussing how sea animals move under water. We observed that the children had more of a difficult time describing the movement using words,instead they used their hands to show us. Along with using with their hands we showed them videos of a shark, seal, octopus and jellyfish in water.We provided several examples of lines as a provocation. After watching the video they were challenged to match a line print with each animal and then try to draw the line themselves.
The younger children from house room identified the movement of the sea animals based by their speed, such as how slow or fast they went. After doing this they also counted the line movement by the wavelength of each line.
The older children from wonderland identified the movement of each animals mainly by the direction instead of focusing on speed (such as back and fourth or up and down). They selected the speed by the thickness of the lines provided to them. The thicker the line the faster or slower the animal moved. They also counted and wrote the line movement as a whole rather then each line or wavelength.
Two classrooms working together as one has been such an amazing experience for both classes that we are continuing to do so. They are learning to work and socialize with new children in ways they normally do not. The older group is also able to help teach the younger group things they may need help on.This inquiry has also provided the children with challenges that make them think in new ways. Here are 4 videos showing movement through the children’s hands.
We will continue to show progress between these two classrooms and this exploration.
Rainbow Room has been exploring reflection with the children these last couple of weeks. The children have shown so much interest in the subject through their play. We provide the class with mirrors to inspire the children to continue their exploration.
The children were very eager to get their hands on the materials laid out before them. The teacher first began by discussing the different parts of the face and where each one was. By using the mirror, they were able to identify with the teacher and see where their eyes, nose, ears, eyebrows, lashes, mouth and teeth were. This discussion led to them being given the materials to create their own face as they saw themselves and continued as the teacher let them pick out each little piece they wanted to add to their clay.
The clay helped them with their fine motor skills, as well as cause and effect in the clay they are learned that their actions have consequences. This encourages children to experiment more.
The children in the Red Room classroom have been busy builders this month. The children spend long periods of time building during the day. The girls love to build kitty houses as they pretend play, while the boys build castles with dragons and boats to drive through the ocean.
They have started to see “sharks” and “alligators” in the water. While on their boats, they sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” out loud as they are building or while they are moving their tubes which they use as oars. They count the materials that they use while they are building and count how many people they have on their boat.
They start to fight off the alligators to help keep their friends safe and have been working together to create amazing structures. We have added curtains and pieces of fabric as a material for them to use. Giving the children different materials for them to use help them explore and expand the way they think when they build. Some children used it to make a kitty bed while other children used it to make the kitty roof.
Allowing them to explore these materials helps them think of different ways that it can be used. It has become a huge hit with the children. The girls use the fabric and curtains to build homes for their kitty’s as well as princess dresses for themselves. They have come across a few complications while building, but working together, they have found ways to make their homes and structures stable and safe for their kitty’s. Letting the children bring their imagination to life helps them understand in their own way how things work and how they can make amazing things out of simple materials by themselves.
From this project we work on our fine motor skills, gross motor skills, writing skills, literacy skills, and our team building skills. Projects like these help the older children teach the younger ones how to do certain tasks that the younger ones found hard to do. They are working on their team building skills together to get a task done and are learning how to communicate with each other more clearly.
We hope that this project will expand by the children using much more challenging materials to use to build and for them to understand the process that they go through to make the structures and be able to explore and build different things. With our “alligators and sharks”, our children have been discussing what the animals eat and how their mouths work. With their hands, they have been practicing their fine motor skills to practice how the alligators mouth moves and how they move through the water. The children got to see a picture of a real alligator with its mouth open and we tried to count how many teeth it had.
They have drawn and painted their alligators and we help them pay close attention to the animals facial features such as how many eyes, where the nose is located, etc. We sing our own version of the Five Little Monkeys with an Alligator before story time every day.