Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

112- The students are either finishing their page for the Guide to the Nature Trail or beginning to build their fairy house.  I expect that they will all be finished and working on the fairy house within the next week.

101- We had centers in the atelier for the pre-k today.  One group was at the easels with the provocation, "Can you paint the colors of a flower?" They were given tempera and a laminated color photo of a flower. A second group was working on building a fairy house.  The third group was with me, trying to draw the lines they see in the flower of their birth month.

104- I took four different students to work on the second session of fairy house building. They added chairs and a television made from seashells,  "trees," and a section that looks like a rock climbing wall.  They decided that they wanted monkey bars. They had no problem starting the monkey bar construction, but finding sticks that were the right size for the end of the monkey bars required some thought.  Nairovy took a ruler from the counter and tried to measure the size they would need.  Jordany and Yarilys tried to find broken sticks that were the right size. Sandeiliz tried to break the sticks down to the right size.  The solution ended up being one of Sandeliz's sticks worked and then Jordany was able to find a matching stick.  Their use of a ruler and then other things in the room to measure was pretty awesome.  We'd just had a discussion on this very subject- giving kids the opportunity to measure without making it a specific lesson on the use of rulers and watch the learning take place- and then it happened organically! 

Solving the monkey bar problem. 
Trial and error stick measurement.

The completed monkey bars.

Monkey Bars

Two chairs and a television.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

118- We took a walk to the field down the street to collect items from nature for our fairy houses.  There is an abandoned factory and abandoned train tracks there, so finding natural items amidst the ruins of what was once such an industrial place was fascinating for all of us.

The children running free in the field.

A view of the abandoned train tracks.


The moss was really interesting and grew over the old tracks.

Close-up on this exciting find!

116- The students began their fairy house and it is pretty amazing. The best part is the canopy bed! 

103- The students were inspired by the fairy houses they saw in the room and in some online research.

102- More fairy house fun.  This will be ongoing, I believe, through next week. Then we'll see what stories come about from creating these! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

112- The students continued to work on their guides to the animals of the valley nature trail.  David's fish is almost finished. Marilian has completed her page for the book. I'm hoping to have these finished by next class. Then, it's onto the creation of Fairy Houses.

116- We took the students out to the field behind the school to find grasses, twigs, leaves, and other found materials for their fairy house. The field of tall grass and weeds was really fun to explore. 

120- We began the creation of our first fairy house! The students created a door, window, and lights out of pinecones.  There is a chair for the fairy on top, made from seashells. She has a slide to get down from the top of the house and they are going to build stairs or a ladder next time. 
The door to the fairy house. Also visible are the pine cone lanterns.

A slide for the fairy to get down from the roof. 

102- I continued to work with the students on creating wire sculptures of leaves. 

104- The students began their fairy house.  We read a book about a tiny person (maybe a fairy?) who takes care of seeds.  This book ties in nicely with their study of plants.  We then looked at the illustrations to see how the fairy in the book uses natural materials to create things she needs, like her home, a boat, and lanterns. 

The fairy house has windows, stairs, a slide and a door. 

The fairy has a slide complete with stairs on one side. 

These are stepping stones in case the fairy's wings get wet,
making it hard for her to fly.

Two fairy houses in the works...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

112- The students continued to work on their guide to the valley nature trail.

103- We read a book called, "Miss Maple's Seeds," to introduce the fairy house project.  The book shows a tiny person, perhaps a fairy, as she helps seeds prepare to grow. Her house, boat, and everything she uses is made from objects found in nature.  I show them examples of "fairy houses" created by other people and explain what a blueprint is.  I ask the students if they would like to draw a blueprint for a fairy house designed by their class.  They became very involved in this drawing process and the results are pretty awesome.

This house has a tiny door and a little gnome friend.

The fairies are flying home. 

104- The students finished their wire sculptures of leaves and two students who were really interested in working with the wire attached the leaves to a long stick.  This sculpture will move up to first grade with the class as a reminder of their study of plants in kindergarten. 

The photo doesn't do it justice- it looks really cool in the window.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

120- I brought a group in to glaze their animal sculptures.  We only have two more students who need to finish. I can't wait to see their expressions when they see these pieces after they've been fired.  It's going to be awesome.

After 120, I was able to travel with the first grade classes for a full day field trip to Explore and More Children's Museum.

The students learned about architecture and then spent an hour or so playing in the hands-on exhibits. The employee we spoke with told us about the designs for their new, larger museum, which will be located downtown in Buffalo, close to our school. They are researching the Reggio-Emilia Approach as they design the museum.  I thought that was great.  I saw a lot of Reggio-influenced exhibits in the museum.