The children came to the easel eager to paint, realizing that the paint needed to be set out. They grabbed ice cube trays, and began assisting the teacher in choosing what colors should be placed in the tray.
The colors chosen provide an opportunity to create secondary colors. As the children began mixing and stirring the paint, they were able to see new colors evolve.
They spent time observing the colors other children were making. This led to the children asking questions like,
“I want that color!”
“How did you make that color?”
These questions provided an opportunity for the children to evaluate what they did.
– What colors did they use to create the secondary color
– How much of the colors did they use. What what the main color, and what was added. We have spent time describing colors as “strong” and “weak”. The weak color, for example yellow or white, only needs a dab of red or blue to change the color to pink or green.
– How do they get the same shade as the previous child
These questions also provided an opportunity for the child who created the color to “explain”, “give directions”, and “describe” HOW to make the color. This is valuable in our curriculum, because our children are growing up in a world where they need to be able to communicate successfully.
As they continued to paint one of the children brought attention to the color she created. She said, “Look! I made this color, but I don’t know what it is called.”
Other children came to join the discussion, and by the end of the conversation, they decided the name was “teal”.
After this discovery, all of the painting she did, was solely with “teal”. This showed her accomplishment! She had pride in her discovery and no other color compared to the “teal” she had just created!
THE ART OF TEACHING IS THE ART OF ASSISTING DISCOVERY – Mark Van Doren
We counted strawberries, read the names of the fruits/vegetables, and then we analyzed the volume of the juices. The children placed them in the order of greatest to least.
Recently the children have been studying and learning about the plant cycle and its structure through hands on experience exploring different parts of the plants and observing the cycle of plant life. Continue reading
We recently had a parent bring in shredded snake skin and we tied this into our hard and soft exploration. The children described the snake skin as soft and bumpy as they took a closer look at the snake skin through a magnifying glass at the light table. This is where they discovered a pattern on the snake’s skin which they identified as line, oval, line oval, etc. This led us to introducing patterns to the children from the snake skin observation. Continue reading
Over the course of a few weeks the children have been juicing different types of vegetables and fruits. One week we picked lemons to juice. Before the juicing process started, we set up the light table as a provocation for the children to explore with the lemons.
The materials used for this project were lemons in different shapes and sizes, thin black sharpies, different types of yellow paints, and paintbrushes. These materials were chosen so the children could create imprints of the lemons and create fractions and math problems.
The teacher observed the children discussing what the lemon looked like on the inside, the smell of it, the color of it, and the size of it.
Some observations and discoveries said by the children:
- “I see seeds!”
- “The lemon is yellow.”
- There is juice inside.”
- “Some of them are all circles and some are not and some are cut up in half and some look like petals.”
- “I see juice on the inside.”
- “I see skin.”
- “I see holes.”
- “Little dots on the skin.”
- “It looks like a sun.”
- “It looks like a star.”
The purpose of this project was to allow the children to use food as a language.
We used lemons as a means to explain and understand mathematical concepts such as fractions. Utilizing food as a material in the classroom daily in more of its real, whole form allows the children to understand where food comes from, the science of food (ex: life cycle, plants) math in cutting, shapes, color, cooking, measuring, volume literacy, names of food, writing food names and reading recipes. Food is a language by any of these means. The children observed and experimented juicing lemons while incorporating fractions successfully, facilitating the children’s cognitive process in their ability to solve problems and think outside of the box intuitively. Taking food out of the kitchen and placing it into another environment provides the children a meaningful opportunity to explore nutrition in an educational way!