On Tuesday, we went to Fulton River Park before snack. Ms. Wilson and I are impressed with our children's gross motor skills!
After coming back from the park, we built a farm for the farm animals. Ms. Wilson and children went out to find some materials in the TinkerLab.
We hope to see you at the last day of school picnic!
We created collages by using real flower petals. This idea was derived from their interests and learning experiences of plants and flowers. We planted bean seeds and watch them grow. We learned plants and flowers need water like we do. A Bambini child asked about the parts of plant and flower: Leaves, petals, stems and roots. As one way of investigating flower parts further, we created collages with real flower petals. The process of collage making with real petals provided the children with the opportunity to explore flowers in an unique way in which children actually pulled petals off a flower, touching, smelling and manipulating many pieces of petals.
Come by our classroom to see their collages. They are posted on the wall outside the classroom by the door.
When we were creating flower collages, the children were very interested in contact sheets ("Sticky papers") that I was using. So, we decided to use sticky contact sheets again on Thursday to create different type of art. This time, we placed a sheet of contact paper on the easel with several different colors of tissue papers. As a result, it became like a stained glass.
Ditch Your Lawn Mower?
Bambini children practiced using scissors by trimming sod grass. If you have the lawn to mow at home, give your child a pair of scissors. He/she will be happy to trim them with scissors for you!
We had a quite busy week. On Thursday, Bambini children practiced a tornado drill with whole school. As soon as we heard Ms. Cicchelli's hand bell, we quietly lined up by the door and evacuated to the indoor play space. We kneeled down facing the wall with our head tucked under our hands, like a ball. We are very proud of all the Bambini children for being able to follow teachers' instructions without any practice ahead. Ask your child about Tornado drill- your child may not mention the tornado drill, but remembers 'a little mouse is sleeping' pose that we did.
Child Directed Play
As you can see in the pictures, each child deeply engages in what they are interested in in our classroom. Unlike the environment where teachers tell the students what to do collectively, our children get to select the activities that they want to do. In other words, they use their planning and organizational skills to think what they want to play with, and execute their plans by choosing materials, bringing them to available space (table, rug, etc.) and putting their ideas into actions.
On the next school day, we painted over the taped canvas.
This week, we peeled the tapes off.
Voila! The children noticed there were many white lines showed up when they peeled the tapes off.
Alas, It's already May! Bambini children have been engaging in the activities that they decide to do, deeper and longer each day.
Children's play is spontaneous, child-initiated activity. It invites and involves social interactions with others. Throughout the process, they ask for and receive support from teachers and other peers. Many of Bambini children have also began to collaborate each other at play. Their developing language and social skills facilitate this meaningful, purposeful play for a longer period of time.
Play provides not only fun experiences, but also teaches important skills to children. When children run into problems, they learn how to cope with frustrations. They also work through the problems by using critical thinking and creativity.
On Tuesday at the end of indoor exploration time, a few children brought all different types of loose materials from the art shelf to the art table: pom-poms, assorted buttons, dyed pastas, tissue papers and corks. So, on Thursday, we decided to create collages with the materials they had selected. Children used glue to attach the various materials onto a piece of fabric samples found in Tinkerlab.
Using loose pieces of materials provided the children with infinite opportunities to be creative and to enhance their engagement with art activities. Creating art with loose pieces also encouraged the children to use symbolic representational skills by allowing them to transfer their ideas and thoughts into tangible art.
“I want green” "Dada “Yellow and green, and here comes white and pink."
“This is mommy (blue). This is daddy (yellow). They are in a tunnel”
The toddler years are characterized with a growing sense of autonomy. In our classroom, children receive opportunities to practice their self-care skills. Their increasing fine motor abilities allow the children to be independent. This also help them build their confidence.
It was truly wonderful seeing all the children returned with big smiles after break. This week, we tried some new activities. One is Gak. it was messy but the children enjoyed stretching, poking and molding it in anyway they wished.
As they played, we encouraged them to express their experience in words. When we asked what they felt in their hands, some said, "Cold," "Heavy," "What's this?," "Yuk" "Look, I have longer one than you," and "Sticky".
Teachers intentionally described the experience by using many different descriptive words, such as stretchy, elastic, and "wraps around your hand," "You have more than he does," and "Let's divide it into half".
Fort and Flashlights
A few weeks ago we explored the concept of light and shadow by using an overhead projector. Knowing that many children like crawling under furnitures and making their own cozy space, I decided to create a fort for Bambini children to spark their imagination and their interest in light and shadow.
Some children became more interested in the functions of flashlights than anything. They discovered the buttons to switch the modes of flashlights (on, blinking, and off).
Another child built a "house" for a flashlight, by lining the blocks in an enclosed form.
Another child came over and said, "We are in a cave." He put a translucent block against his face and shone the light through to see how it looked like.
One of the children played with a shadow of his hand projected on the wall. "It's a lion. Here is his eyes."
We cannot wait to see how Bambini children are going to take this activity for the next few weeks.
Bambini children worked on a collaborative art in Tinker lab this week. I came up with the idea of painting with corks when I was looking for creative ways of exploring colors with one of their favorite activities, painting. Using corks was not only fun and different from using a paint brush, but also helped strengthen the three fingers that require for a good pencil grip.
When I was reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle with a child on Tuesday, he pointed to one of the illustrations and said "Many Candies." I invited him to make 'candies' with corks and paints himself.
He called his painting " A donut. A little donut" after he finished stamping many little circles on a paper.
This artwork is in progress and we will continue to work on it this coming week. I am very curious how other children will respond to the Carle's illustration and how each child will use the new medium.