Monday, February 17, 2014

Friends and family

In the class the children and I have been spending a lot of time talking about our families. We sure are lucky to all have families who love us so much. Some of us have little siblings (I have two), some have older, and some are only children. But we all found out that although our families are different, we are all lucky to have so many people in our lives who love us.

We also spent this week talking about our friends, who to some of us are just like family. It's so wonderful that Valentines Day and Family Day both take place in the same month.

Along with our friends and family, we enjoyed playing with all of the shapes we know, and learning about some that we didn't know!

We worked together with our friends to make a collaborated art piece to share in our classroom.
The children told me a few shapes that they knew, and I made them out of painters tape. The children described what the shapes looked like, how many corners they had, and how many lines they had.

Once we had 3 shapes, I added crayons for the children to melt with a hair dryer. The experience came with rules, such as where to stand, how to safely hold the blow dryer and how to watch our friends when they took their turn so we didn't get burnt by the hot wax.

We used circles to make "Salad Spinner Art."
The children really enjoyed squeezing the primary colours into the salad spinner. Using their upper body strength they would use the handle to spin it as fast as they could. This is actually very good for their gross motor skills, strengthening their arms, wrists and grasps, supporting an important and strong prewriting skill.

The children found pictures in their art.


"It's a butterfly"

It also was another fantastic way for us to see secondary colours in motion (literally) when the primary colours would mix. We spend time at snack talking about all the colours that we saw on all of the children's art, and which two colours had to mix to make a new colour.

For Valentine's Day we dripped paint from a squeeze bottle onto a heart cut out. Once the heart was decorated with paint we folded it in half to make symmetrical designs on each side. The children were very impressed with how squishing the tiny dots between two pieces of paper would cause the paint would spread (Cause & Effect).

To collect our Valentine's from our friends, we used stickers, crayons, felts and foam hearts to make our own paper bag collages.
Peeling stickers is really supportive for our fine motor skills. By strengthening them, it makes it easier to hold and manipulate the pencil.

We used circles we found in the classroom to draw photos in our journals of our families.We found circles in recyclable materials, and in toys.

Writing Valentine's to our friends with a dry erase marker

We were very excited to join the Jr High kids upstairs to borrow their cooking lab. We all brought in one of our favorite vegetables to make "Friendship Soup."

Peeling potatoes

Cutting celery

We love cutting in playschool. I set out this open ended cutting center for the week, and invited the children to enjoy cutting various materials such as tissue paper, straws and paint pallets. They were placed into a Rubbermaid tub on the floor, to encourage children to cut into the bucket. Often, children rely on tables to anchor their hands while cutting. By cutting into the bucket, children are able to hold their arms as they should when cutting in kindergarten, bent elbows, thumbs up, away from their body.

We also cut in the playdough! We loved the playdough. It was sparkly and smelt like strawberries.

Our sensory bin was a fun filled collection of hearts. There were plush hearts, heart erasers, heart foamies, heart containers! It was great to be able to use various styles of tweezers to pinch the items we wanted to pick up. Small tweezers such as strawberry hullers, encourages children to use their pincer grasp, which is important for holding a pencil correctly.

I introduced the children to a new center, which will be around often through the year - the lacing/sewing center.

I filled the basket with loose objects, plastic needles, and random house hold items which had holes in them, such as place mats and draining mats for the sink. The children used the laces, thread and ribbon to weave. Threading and lacing is so supportive for children in various ways. It offers fine motor opportunities when placing the small threads through the small holes, point and aim which is great for crossing t's and dotting i's, as well as dramatic play. The children were "knitting" as well as creating items to support their play experinces.

I am sad that the photos of the baby center did not turn out. Because we were talking about families, we spent time talking about babies. One day we washed the babies in the water table using baby soap and wipes. The next day the children were offered baby powder, baby wipes and preemie diapers to care for the babies. It is always so wonderful to watch young children care for infants - even just the doll kind.

Caring for babies encourages empathy. We must be sure to really pay attention to what infants are doing in order to understand them. They can not use their words as we do, therefore we need to really stop, listen and watch in order to figure out why the baby is crying, happy, or scared.

My good friend brought in her son for the children to meet. I really wanted a child who was not a sibling to any of our classmates, to ensure an unbias time to spend with a child. We played with him, and the children would tell me why he was acting the way he was, such as he was smiling because he was happy. He smiled at "me" because he liked "me." I asked the children questions such as "why would he cry" and they would tell me because he needed a diaper change, or maybe he was hungry. We also spent time after show and share asking the mom questions about the baby. 

Other exciting events in the class was going into the gym, and doing exercises. It sure made the children tired and hungry after doing burpees, wall push ups, jumping jacks and races.

Celebration Center

We used the opportunity of talking about friends and family to talk about Gods Family Tree.
God is the Trunk to our family tree, and Jesus is the branches. They supply our roots, and keep us grounded. They keep us together and offer us so much. Our personal family make the leaves on each branch, and we are all connected in Gods Family.

We read the story of Ruth & Naomi, and discussed how important it is to be there for our friends and our family. Sometimes we have aunties or uncles who are just our parents best friends. When it comes to love and commitment, we are all family if we take care of one another.

Lastly, we also read about Jesus' friends, his disciples. How loyal they were to him, and how much they loved him. We can be Jesus' best friends too when we spread the word about him and spend time talking to him and praying to him, and God.

Ms Asha

1 comment:

  1. Love all the crafts that were done over the past month - especially the salad spinner one - can't wait to try that one at home!