Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dr Seuss

I'm a Character!
Transforming Ourselves Into Dr Seuss Characters

The role of author and illustrator can be confusing for many four year olds. Author studies are a good way to make these jobs more concrete.

One of our favorite author / illustrator is Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss. 

Discuss differences and similarities between the different books.
Rhyming Words
Silly Words
Story Message
Real / Make Believe
Character similarities / differences
Repeating color patterns
Uniqueness of Character

Illustrating Pictures:
After reviewing several books the child picks their favorite and begins to investigate the character they are interesting in transforming themselves into.

Adding the title or the name of their character incorporated some writing skills.

The children select the color of paint they will need for their character.

Character Transformation

10 Apples Up On Top / The Cat In The Hat / Daisy-Head Mazzie / The Grinch / Thing 2 / The Lorax

Highlighted Dr Seuss Books

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friendship Color Mixing

Creating A Classroom Community Through Art
Part 1

Red, yellow, and blue are great alone, but when you mix them you create something beautiful.  This is how lasting friendships are formed.  Two individuals coming together to create something beautiful - FRIENDSHIP.

The children pick a friend to work with and were given a large sheet of paper to decorate.

We used tempera paint (red, yellow, blue), flannel sheets, and plastic plates.

We diluted the paint with water to make it easier for it to pass through the flannel sheet.

The children then placed one hand in one of the primary colors, and made handprints on the table.

  • "What does the paint feel like on your hands?"
  • "What do you think will happen if you hold hands and mix your colors?"
  • "Can you create that color again?"
  • "How many different colors can you make?"
  • How can you make that color brighter?"

Holding Hands to Mix Colors

Color Mixing: Yellow + Blue = Green

Color Mixing: Red + Blue = Purple

One of the final art pieces.
This is a working piece of art that the children will continue to add to, and extend their ideas.

More to come very soon!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Classroom Agreements

Classroom Agreements
A Promise We Make To Our Friends

The process of going from a "me" to a "we" based classroom is a slow process.  The children have to know that they are part of something important. They have to know that they make a difference.  They have to know that they belong.  When we belong we know that we are safe. Safe to express ourselves, safe to try new things, and safe to let our guard down.  

As a class we listed things that keep us safe:
1. What can you do to stay safe?
2. What can your friends do to help keep you safe?
3. What will keep your feelings safe?
4. What will keep your ideas safe?

The responses are different from year to year.  This year the responses fell into 5 different broad categories:
1. Respectful Words  2. Kind Hands  3. Listen When People Talk  4. Run Outside  5. Be Safe

Small Group Work
A small group was formed to decide what type of picture would best describe each category and to write out each "classroom agreement."

During morning meeting the group presented the "Classroom Agreements" chart to the class and explained why it was important for everyone to make a promise to keep themselves and their friends safe.

"If you promise to help keep our class safe put your name here."(child pointed to the chart)

Throughout the day the students from the small group went around and invited their friends to go sign the Classroom Agreements.  By the end of the day everyone had signed.

Classroom Agreements have to be reviewed and discussed regularly.  They need to be displayed in a central area and at eye level.  It is visible reminder of what they expect from each other and the promise they made to their friends.