A few weeks ago we both attended a fantastic professional development at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery with Ben Richardson from Ridgeline Pottery. We experimented with clay creating figures, bowls and plates. We used natural objects such as rocks and sticks to design our pieces. Back at school we gave our students some small balls of clay to create a self portrait in 5 minutes. The results are beautiful.
This weekend I had plenty of time to play! Miss E and I tried a few different new play experiences and had a ball cooking!
We made some soft dough which was magnificent! So soft and smooth and easy to manipulate for a 2 year old.
2 1/4 cups corn flour
1/2 cup shampoo
A few tablespoons of water
Mix together and play
This term our kinder inquiry project is titled ‘What is Underneath?’ We began with a class discussion and drawing of all the things we thought might be under our skin. This was a fantastic insight into their prior knowledge. The children were most interested in bones; how they look and how they move. We borrowed a skeleton from our local high school, which the children named Frank, and did some amazing sketches. We used a variety of materials to create skeletons; foil, clay, pasta and collage. Some of the children finally created a beautiful wire sculpture which is hanging in our kinder. The children then began to discuss how our brains send messages to make our bodies move, and how this relies on the heart to work. We had many theories: that we have an extra bone that is sent around our body, that our legs can read or that we have a special gel that tells us what to do.
At the back of my kinder classroom we have a bag area and some sitting space. This year with a relatively large class I felt that the space was not utilised to its potential! With some guidance from my teaching partner, and 20 minutes after school, we created a beautiful space to play and discover. Next I think we might introduce the book Cat and Fish Go to Sea written by Joan Grant and Neil Curtis.
This week we tried something a little out of the box! My teaching partner assured me that the kids wouldn’t freak out… Me, on the other hand, she could guarantee!!
She brought in some lamb hearts for the children to look at, touch and draw. I felt a little sick touching them but, hey, I find it hard to dice chicken for dinner!! The children had no problem discussing, feeling and exploring the lamb hearts. After we had documented all of the comments they made in small groups, we came back together as a class and looked online at some heart animations. As we watched the animations we came across the sound of a heart beat. The children lay down with their hands on their hearts and listened to the beating of their own heart.
I am lucky enough to have the very talented Mrs B working in the room next door to me. Each week she is determined to create a new and exciting play space for her Kinders and ‘playgroup’. Often the play spaces are left for a few weeks with subtle changes, maybe the animals change or something little is left for the children to discover. This week she focused on frogs but some horses crept in too! For the babies we found some great bead mazes from our local tip shop and pom-poms with cardboard rolls! It is true as early childhood teachers our occupation is play.
This Easter is a little different from others… Because now I have a toddler! Evie is almost 2 and right into anything messy. My aim today was to create a few Easter drawings for her great grandparents. We ventured into painting with brushes and using the most fabulous drawing product I’ve come across, Crayola Twistable Slick Sticks. Painting was great fun but wow it covered me, her and the deck! The crayons were a delight and although a little messy they were so smooth to draw with. The slightest touch and they produced beautiful marks. Crayola suggest using them on all sorts of surfaces. I experimented with them on tin foil and they shimmer; perfect for Rainbow Fish art? Might try that at school.
How do chameleons change colour?
It turns out this question in very complicated! Our students had all sorts of ideas, from what they eat to the colour seeping into their feet… We watched the animation of The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carl and then used Sharpie black markers and Kindergarten Food Dyes to create beautiful chameleons. We chose to use the dyes as they have such vibrant colours and are easy to apply.