Thursday, June 22, 2017

Snail Garden 2017

For the past several years we have created a garden,
in our classroom,
just to observe snails.
We start with soil in a plastic container with a lid.
The children spend a morning spraying water on the soil 
to make it damp.
Next we sprinkle wheat grass seeds all over,
and spray more water on it.
We put the lid on the container (to act like an incubator) and within 
two days the seeds
begin to sprout.
After 4 or 5 days the grass has grown 
and we spend some time cutting it with scissors.
Finally the garden is ready to welcome some snails.
I found three on my front door step.
It doesn't take the snails long to begin to investigate their new home.
When we are not observing the snails we cover the container
with window screening and use yarn to tie it down.
Even then it's great to watch how they move
across the screen and leave their slime trail behind.
As the snails settle in I move the container to another location
so I could post information about the snails.
We feed them fruits and vegetables to see what they like the most.
They didn't really like apples or watermelon
but really like cucumbers.
Everyday we spray the garden with water to keep it moist.
We keep a close eye on them because they like to escape.
Tomorrow is our last day of StrongStart so we will take the garden outside 
and re-locate the snails.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Painting at the Gardens

Last week at our Picnic in the Gardens
a hedge worked as our easel for painting.
I strung a piece of rope across the front of the hedge
and attached sheets of paper
with clothespegs.
 Pails of water, brushes and cakes of water paint were left on the ground.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Spuds in Tubs Harvest 2017

It's that time of year when we can be in the garden 
and harvest our spuds in tubs.
We had 5 tubs this year to empty and dig in the soil.
As we dug we found the seed potatoes and noticed how 'yucky' 
they are now.
We had a good crop this year.
After digging and laying them all out, we counted everyone.
We have 318 potatoes from the five pots.
Time to take them inside and wash them.
A favourite activity with toothbrushes.
Several parents commented that they will do this at home
as it is a great way to keep their child busy.
The children also had a chance to sort them by size.
Everyday this week we cooked potatoes
and the children were surveyed if they liked it cooked that way or not.
We had boiled, mashed and fried.
Then we made cheddar potato pancakes
and finished with potato candy.
Love harvest time!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Early Years Inquiry Studio

In our community we have many gifted educators.
Two particular educators, Jan and Lesley, have created an Inquiry Studio to help 
educate teachers, early childhood educators, parents and whoever else is interested in learning
about how does the environment become the 'third teacher'.
Lesley and Jan have created a space that is warm and welcoming
with a sense to take your time and discover.
They invited us in to explore and learn along side our children.
The whole room is calm as the families play.
It is full of rich materials that have been reclaimed and recycled.
There are natural materials that the children can manipulate, 
smell and feel.
The children had freedom to explore all the materials.
In this enviroment they are discovering cause and effect, how to move their bodies,
what their hands can do, and so much more.
I love this progressive mobile.
Each group that has visited since the Studio has opened
have added to it.
Pictures frames are left on a table for children to create their own images
using the loose parts on the table and shelves.
What does their art work tell us?
A big photo book is left on the floor for the children to flip through.
Another large table is covered with cloth and a big lump of clay is in the middle.
There are no tools today.
The objective is for the children and adults to explore the clay with their bodies.
A child found a magnifying glass is taking a closer look.
A large sheet of paper is posted on the wall.
A platform offers the children their first physical challenge; to climb it.
Then they use their whole body to draw.
Chalk pastels were available for drawing.
This child discovered that she can use her hand to smear the pastel.
She was excited to see the colour on her fingers
which encouraged her to continue using both her hands.
One other area was for drawing and or making notes.
His focus is intense.
"The Comox Valley Early Years Inquiry Studio strives to cultivate responsive,
flexible and inspiring environments, that provide opportunties for children's explorations of ideas
through engagement with a rich variety of materials, that encourage collaboration and investigation.