Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tidbits from the M/W/F group...

We had a nice little group activity using the theme of "pizza", which entailed learning how to glue and use scissors.  Although this may seem like a simple task, it actually entailed using a lot of developing skills. . .

Most of the children are just learning where to put their fingers into the scissors and how to hold the paper to  make it all work.
With the glue, we learn that you put it on, and then stick something on it!  It was fun to do a little art project together and develop a product to take home that they all seemed a bit proud of!

The next step was to make REAL pizzas!  We tackled this pretty simply, but the children really enjoyed it.  Again, it was another great "whole-group" activity where we worked together. . .

First we grated the cheese together, one child holding the grater, the other grating a small piece of cheese.

Then we added the sauce to our "crust" (big buns from Sunflower market). . .

We borrowed a microwave in the church (hoping to get more use of the big kitchen soon) and then we ATE our pizzas!  The children seemed quite voracious and we had few leftovers!

Other activities included the following...We read one of my favorite early childhood books by one of my favorite early childhood authors, Mem Fox's, "Where is the Green Sheep".  Fox's books are aimed at this age group and use fun repetition, simplicity and subjects attractive to young children, like animals and pirates!  We read this and then I produced our own "Green Sheep", who will keep company with Billy Bunny.  We read this book outside in our outdoor fort and then played, Where is the Green Sheep.

Jane holding Green Sheep. . .

Our cuddly outdoor fort!


So I set out two clear pitchers of colored water and a container of salt and told the children we were doing an "experiment".  They were asked to pour some water (not all of it which is hard for them to control, but good to learn) into their bowl and then take one spoonful (again, not easy for them not to want to dump the entire container) of salt and stir it into the water until it disappeared, or dissolved, as we learned.  At one point, one of the children exclaimed, "I'm gonna make a mess!!" and she started to spill her "potion".  I dissuaded her from continuing the mess, by explaining that in a scientific experiment one must follow the directions and be very neat and tidy! This was a good exercise in self control, coordination and following directions.  The children did fabulous and I congratulated them by allowing them then to make a "mess"!

Kaden carefully asserting his pouring skills...

After given permission to do their own exploring, the children combined some of their potions and verbalized the differences they saw as they mixed them together.

Gunnar was quietly focussed individually and created "salt play dough" that all the children soon wanted some of.  He seemed complimented that they liked his particular mixture...

Lilya and Karsten switched potions...this was a fun and productive activity that seemed like it could've gone on all day if I had unlimited amounts of salt and a waterproof floor!

Tuesday/Thursday Tidbits . . .

Much of our activity this week surrounded making pizzas-paper and actual!  As you can see (above) the children were quite proud of their paper products.  We worked very hard on them, sitting all together "using" scissors (we are all learning) and figuring out just what glue is for!  We started by talking about all the layers of a cheese pizza and what they are called and what colors we thought they were.  

Zoe was especially thorough at gluing the cheese on and really enjoyed it!

We made our actual pizzas using big buns from Sunflower as crust.  The children enjoyed spreading the sauce...

In partners, one child held the cheese grater (sorry I didn't get pics of this!) and the other grated a small piece of cheese - great teamwork!  We then sprinkled our pizzas with the cheese and went to the kitchen to borrow the microwave to warm them up!


Other activities this week included an outdoor fort where we read the Mem Fox story, Where is the Green Sheep?  I surprised the children with a stuffed Green Sheep that we hid and found and then played with and cuddled.  He is Billy Bunny's new friend.

Elliott making friends with Green Sheep

Another provocation waiting for the children outside one day was a big, white bucket of water...hmm what to do with that?!

Suddenly they were all sifting, pouring and transferring the water to the sand box.  I could see the wheels really turning when they tried to figure out how to fill a big cup up and then the children copied each other when someone found a good way to do it!  They worked really hard at this, as you can see...I love it when they spontaneously begin working together!

A great week!

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