Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Play Trays

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The first tray consisted of threading Halloween rings on to a
thick pipe cleaner.
Loved this idea when I saw it at ABC’s of Jess’s house.
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The threading wasn’t the favourite part of this tray. 
It was pulling the rings apart and pushing them back together.

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The next tray had shiny Halloween coloured and shaped acrylic gems.
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I created a sheet with patterns for them to match the pictures and
figure out what would come next.

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The next tray held Jack o’lantern size matching.
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And finally mirror cards.
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I didn’t create these cards,
 they were created by Elaine and shared in a Yahoo group
called Printable Place of Themes.
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The idea is for a child to use the mirror to complete the pictures.
It takes a different way of looking at a picture. 
It’s symmetry.

Hope you had a safe and happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Story –The Teeny Tiny Woman

This is the first time I’ve told a story with the overhead projector.
I was inspired by a post about a family fun Spooky Stories over at Creative Family Fun
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They suggested the book The Teeny Tiny Woman and I happen to have a copy.
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I copied the images from the book and mounted them on black paper
then attached long wooden sticks to the backs.
Except for the gate which was made from mini popsicle sticks.
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On Tuesdays our story time is in the library
so I already had the overhead projector set and ready to go.
It’s not a long story but very easy to learn.

After story time I brought the projector back down to the room
and set it up in our story area so the children could use it.
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A small group of children picked up the shadow puppets and
began to retell the story.
 These girls retold the story fairly true to what I told.
But then they became creative - I love how their storytelling became musical
and how they worked together.
This last video shows a boy, 4 3/4 years old, join in and using the book to try
to retell the story.
He is recognizing patterns in the words and realizes that when the girl says the
same word over and over that it doesn't match the print.
He is understanding some rules in regards to reading;
capitals, long and short vowels, reading from left to right are a few.

I'm so excited to be able to have a parent willing to videotape
and squeeze the time to sit and record some of it myself.

The videos have been wonderful to watch after a very busy and productive day.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fifty Shades of Hallowe’en

No this post isn’t about a certain book but on the many emotions that children
can go through during this spooky season.
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It is also about our role of helping children express their emotions. 
To give them the language to let us know when something is too scary
or that they are happy doing an activity.
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This post will show you some of the activities that are available for children
to explore emotions at my StrongStart centre.

The above two pictures show our sign in question from last week. 
Identifying what an emotion looks like on a face. 
Small mirrors were available for children to look at themselves and
to practice happy, sad, mad, etc.
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This week’s question is more specific to their costume. 
Will it look scary, silly, funny or happy? 
Some don’t know the answer to this,
maybe they haven’t worn it yet and seen people’s reactions.

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Another activity to focus on facial expressions was this large
‘pin the face on the pumpkin’. 
The pumpkin is laminated, the same with all the shapes for the
eyes, mouth and nose.
Rolled tape on the back of the face pieces make it easy to put on and
take off over and over.
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Right beside the pumpkin is a plain sheet of orange paper and a basket of dark markers. 
The child can draw a jack o’lantern with whichever expression they decide.

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The next activity uses fake pumpkins and scary facial pieces. 
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The children loved it and none were even slightly intimidated with the looks.

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We’ve had a lot of fun exploring different eye glasses and how they changed our looks.
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Parents were wonderful trying the glasses with their children. 
For some children it gave them the courage to try the glasses on too.
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Mirrors are important to have available so children can see their own reflection. 
To see themselves with the glasses on and know that they are still the same being.

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Lastly, we have shared many songs and stories that can evoke emotions.
The above is the story “The Great Big Pumpkin” and it has characters that we don’t see everyday; like a ghost, witch, mummy and vampire.  I notice that some children react when I change my voice to match a character.  They show apprehension, nervousness and may move closer to their grown up.

A song that we like to sing (because there's a screaming part) is called
"Sometimes I Walk in the Dark"

Sometimes I like to walk in the dark
I like to shout and scream
I sneak behind someone I know
And 'boo' it's Hallowe'en!

Although now all the children like the screaming part and after hearing it
once they are ready to cover their ears when we scream.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Five Little Pumpkins

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We used potato mashers to make our pumpkins sitting on the gate.

I re-created the poem, adding pictures for key words for the children to
anticipate the words and motivate them to read along.
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I have to admit that I did learn something from my last art table mistake
but only slightly.

I created the painting above but I didn’t leave it on the table. 
I hung it on the wall like a decoration. 
I was much happier with the results.

This child felt free to make many, many pumpkins
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and have them in a pumpkin patch.

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While another made many jack o’lanterns with emotions,
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and her mom labelled them for her.

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Another was very methodical in her creation.
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Adding stems and faces
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before finishing off with the poem.

This child just wished to experiment with the potato mashers and brushes
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that didn't mean she didn't have just as a rich and meaningful experience as the others.

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They were all willing to share their artwork before taking it home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Owl Buddies

Our big buddies created some beautiful art work about owls.

Here are a few pieces.
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That inspired a joint project with us, their little buddies.
Ms. Smith their teacher found a handprint owl idea on Pinterest and
we planned our time together around it.

We started with watching a few of our big buddies act out the story Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

Then we painted each others hand to create our art.
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The children, both young and old, practiced taking turns,
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leading and following each other,
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Even though we have a brief 20 – 25 minutes together, it is full of conversation,
laughter and getting to know each other better.

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Now we have a beautiful owl art gallery in the school hallway.

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