Sunday, January 22, 2017

Solving Puzzles - Beginning Breakoutedu

Our big buddy class has been doing Breakouts since the beginning of this school year.
Their teacher Ms Smith has introduced this concept to our staff,
 Parent Advisory Council, her students and slowly to the rest of our
She explained, to our Strongstart families. that it is like Escape Rooms
where you have to solve problems to break out of the room.
The big difference is that it is a box the students are trying to break in to
instead of breaking out of a room.

Ms Smith and I brainstormed on how we can bring this concept to
the preschool age.
There is an active Facebook page where they share ideas
and problem solve.
One post inspired the idea of doing puzzles with under 5 year olds.
To make it relevant to our little ones we decided to take pictures of objects around 
our classrooms and
make them into simple puzzles.
Once they solved the puzzle they had to search the room
to find the object.
The big buddies would sometime give clues to where they might 
find the object then allowing the little buddy to take the lead
and be successful on finding the object.
We split the group into two smaller groups with one half
going to our big buddies room and the other half 
going to our StrongStart room.
Once they found the object of their puzzle they also found a self inking stamp.
When we started the children had been given a small booklet of paper
to use to collect their stamps.

They then went on to do more puzzles and collect more stamps.
The big buddies showed so much patience and encouragement
without taking over the puzzle.
They modeled great team work to our little ones.
Something I noticed was that not speaking the same language
wasn't a barrier for completing this activity.

Our next step will be creating puzzles that will lead
them to finding keys to use to unlock a box.

For more information on Breakoutedu check out their website.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Salad Spinner as a Toy

Last week while thrifting I found a salad spinner.
That's not too exciting as they are easy to find
but this one works differently then the others we have.
To make the bowl spin you have to pump up and down
instead of turning a knob around and around.
And an added bonus is this salad spinner is see-through.
The youngest children loved to see what was inside the spinner.
The older children were intrigued on how to make it work
and watching the coloured pom poms spin.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

More Eruptions at the Art Table

Looking at this picture
can you guess the materials we used at the art table today?
Did you guess glue, baking soda and coloured vinegar!
The children loved it.
It was a challenge to squeeze the glue and wiggle it all around the paper.
Shaking on the baking soda was easy.
So easy that they added more and more.
Figuring out the spray bottles was hard too,
but they figured out different ways to make it happen.
The important thing was that the spray hole point towards the paper
not the face or clothes.
Watching the baking soda react to the vinegar slowed
the process.
The glue helps hold it all in place.