Thursday, 17 January 2013

Number Combinations

The SK students have been thinking about numbers in a different way this week. 

The Problem:
Grandma Sandy wants to knit gloves for her grandchildren. She has more than two grandchildren and she wants to make the gloves all different. But, she only has two colours of yarn (green and orange). How many different gloves can grandma knit?

Here are some of the combinations the children came up with:

Counting Beautiful Materials

The JK children have been focusing on identifying the numbers 1 - 10. The JKs have also been working on one-to-one correspondence using materials at the Hands-on Thinking center. 

A Supportive Learning Community 

C.L. SK student helping L.C. JK student
to count out natural materials on the counting mat. 

C.L. practicing her counting skills. 

The Colour of Us Portraits

A few months ago our class began to explore self-portraits and facial features. After exploring facial features and sketching self-portraits, the children mixed paint to create another self-portrait. 

We read the book, "The Colour of Us" which describes all of the different shades of brown we are such as, creamy peanut butter, hot coco and cinnamon etc. 

The painting easel

Conversations at the Easel

The painting easel is a space for the children to explore and experiment. The children's creations show what they know, wonder and dream about. Recently, we have been noticing that the painting easel has become a space for the children to converse about their creations. The children have been sharing with one another their ideas and feelings conveyed in their paintings while painting at the easel. The painting easel has become an authentic way for children to develop their oral language skills as it is a space in our class that the children feel safe and confident to share their ideas and feelings with each other. 

The Light Table

The light table is a more recent addition to our 

The light center table invites children to 

experiment with light. The lights source shines 

underneath the children’s faces from below rather 

than above and creates a new relationship with light.

C.L.placing her drawing on the light table and
using glass beads to recreate the drawing in a
new medium. 

I.G. and B.Y. collaborating to create a story
about a flower and snowflakes. 

T. using exploring characteristics of shapes and
creating a castle. 

M.T. using the materials at the light table to 
create a picture of a flower and snowflakes 
which inspired a short story.

What I Am

"Ms. P we love this song." JK and SK students

We are currently engaged in an inquiry about "Beauty". I will be posting some of our inquiry process later this week.

One of the songs we have begun to learn that the children "love" is a song by Will and the Muppets. Many of the children have asked that I email this song to their parents so that they can hear it at home. I have provided the link to the song below as well as the song lyrics.

The children will be thinking about something that they do beautifully and our Media Literacy/Computer teacher Mrs. Piteo will be putting together a video that we will share once it has been completed.

What I Am by Will

What I Am (Will Sesame Street)

If what I am is what's in me Then I'll stay strong - that's who I'll be and I will always be the best "me" that I can be.
There's only one me, I am it have a dream I'll follow it It's up to me to try.
Oh! I'm a keep my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit I'll be getting stronger.
And nothing's gonna bring me down (no!)
Never gonna stop, gotta go. Because I know I'll keep getting stronger.
And what I am is thoughtful
what I am is musical
what I am is smart
and what I am is brave
what I am is helpful
what I am is special
There's nothing I can't achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh...
Gonna keep our heads up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit Just keep getting stronger.
And nothing's gonna bring us down (no!)
Never give it up, gotta go.
Because I know I'll keep getting stronger.

What I am is super
what I am is proud
what I am is friendly
what I am is grouchy
what you are is magical
what you are is special
There's nothing I can't achieve.
Because in myself I believe in oh...

Gonna hold my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna stop I'll be getting stronger.

Nothing's gonna bring me down (no!)
Never give it up gotta go, oh... yeah...
I'll keep getting strong--er.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pablo Picasso Inspired

Pablo Picasso was often inspired by the same 
subjects, for example, goats. His art exhibits showcase many of his paintings of the same subject and inspiration. Just like the artist Pablo Picasso a few of the children have been drawing inspiration from one object and then recreating the subject exploring various paint colours, painting techniques, materials and how to transfer these ideas in different forms (ie., the light table).

This is really important because the children have 
selected a subject or idea that interests them and sparks inspiration. They then use these interests and inspirations to explore different mediums and techniques. In this process they are developing important skills and strategies as they make decisions, problem solve, communicate and reflect. Through this process the children also gain confidence and expertise.

The Monster

Ms. P: Tell me about your monster.

S.T: He has a big blue eye and other colours.

Ms. P: Why did you choose to paint a monster?

S.T: Because, I like how monsters are scary but this one isn’t, it’s a funny monster with big eyes. I 
used four colours.
S.T: Juliet, want me to show you Juliet?


M.T. was inspired by the snowflakes that she saw fall 
earlier that morning and she decided to reproduce this image at the painting easel. 

M.T. was inspired by continued to explore the shape and design of snowflakes at the light table.  
M.T: Snowflakes floating to the ground and floating 

My House

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A Special Thank You

During our school's December Book Fair, we had a special surprise from one of the parents. We used this as an opportunity for an authentic writing activity. The children participated in a shared writing activity by writing a thank you card.  

Materials as Language: Student Explorations

Sharing our Voices through Art

S.T. and C.Z. created Terry Fox. 

C.Z: Terry Fox broke his leg, no his leg is sick, he 
got cancer so he got a plastic one.

Ms. P: Tell me about your thinking.

C.Z: I was thinking I miss Terry Fox.

C.L: Do you miss him, that’s why you maybe make 

it? Why do you miss him?

C.Z: because we don’t want Terry Fox to die. 

Ms. P: C.L., tell me about your art.

C.L: I got a Christmas tree and we decorate it with the lights and it is so beautiful. This is the circle it goes around and the light is coming up. 

Materials as Language

"It is essential to preserve in children (and in ourselves) the feeling of wonder and surprise, because creativity, like knowledge, is a daughter of surprise. Expressivity is an art, a combined construction; that expressivity has motivations, forms, and procedures; contents and the ability to communicate the predictable and the unpredictable. Expressivity finds sources from play, as well as from practice, from study and visual learning.
In fact, drawing, painting (and the use of all languages) are experiences and explorations of life, of the senses, and of meanings…They offer interpretations and intelligence about the events that take place around us. Formulas? There are none. There are only possible strategies. Make sure, above all, that children become familiar in their minds with images; that they know how to keep them alive; that they learn the pleasure of reactivating them, regenerating them, and multiplying them with the maximum amount of personal and creative intervention…Images be meaningful for children…those images will become signs that carry meanings.” 
                          (Conversations from Reggio Emilia, Lella Gandini pg. 8 - 9)

Finding Inspiration

We began by looking at M.T.’s painting of a flower with pink snowflakes. The day M.T. painted her painting, it had snowed. M.T. was inspired by the snowflakes that she saw fall earlier that morning and she decided to reproduce this image at the painting easel.

To emphasize the concept: inspiration can come from anywhere. I began to discuss how I was inspired by the rock garden this morning. I used the natural materials from the art center to create a 3-dimensional piece of art. As I thought –aloud, I was using the materials to represent my thinking and showed the children how I used the art materials to create meaning and to make this meaning visible through art. 

What is “inspiration”?

The children were so eager to get their hands on the materials and begin creating their own meaningful art. The children were asked to think about something they saw that “inspired” them. We chose to create a collaborative piece of art inspired by a flower.

What does it mean to collaborate on a piece of work?

A.C.: Collaborate means you can work together with your friends and help.

Collaborative Art

B.Y. began by using a crayon to draw a 2-D flower.

E.L: I’m making the stem.

C.L: I’m doing the leaves.
A.C: I’m using plasticine for the flower petals.
I.G: Popsicle stick! A big white leaf.

 Ms. P: I wonder why the leaf is white?

C.L: The leaves are changing colour.

M.Y: The snow will make it white.

T.K: This is for the leaf to get water. 
(T.K. uses a blue crayon to fill in some of the 
white canvas space.)

J.M: I like the cork.

Ms. P: Why?

J.M: I just like it.

Ms. P: I wonder what the cork could represent?

M.Y: I think it could be a rock.

R.S: The sky. (R.S. places a piece of twine over 
the flower.)

Our Collaborative piece of art!