Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Angelina and The Flowers

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. ~William Faulkner

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blocks-A Different Perspective

As educators we are all aware of the benefits of block play. It is rewarding to watch children as they move through the various stages; carrying, stacking, bridging, enclosures and eventually structures. One of the common elements in childrens' structures is the square or rectangular base as well as the tendency to place blocks one directly on top of the other. The structures you see above are a result of what happens when a teacher invites children to look at alternate methods.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Every Classroom Needs an Indoor Garden

To support the Bad Land and Butterfly Story line the teacher and children began growing  this wonderful indoor garden. Some of the plants were grown from seeds and others were purchased. Much to our surprise we were able to actually locate a black flower. This particular experience launched the
implementation of gardens in each of our classrooms.
We continue to add all sorts of plants and accessories. As you can see from the picture, imagination is the key to success.
Happy Planting!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Badland and Black Butterflies

In early May we began our Spring Planting. The children were asked what types of flowers and plants they would like to grow.
This simple question inspired the children’s imagination and led to the following story.

We should plant flowers. Magical flowers for a magical butterfly garden where fairies live. There is a rainbow fairy, a heart fairy and a flower fairy. They are there for the princess. The butterfly garden is a good place.
It's a magical land. There are three paths. The fairies show the princess the sparkly path to the butterfly garden. The other paths lead to the Bad Lands. The fairies help the princess with their magic wands. The flower fairy has flower magic, the rainbow fairy has rainbow magic, and the heart fairy has magic hearts. They use their wands to sprinkle sparkles that show the princess the safe path.
The wrong path will lead to the Prickly Bushes Bad Lands. They will snap the princess and trap her in the Bad Lands for a very long time. One of the Bad Lands has prickly bushes and crazy vines. A dragon lives there. He has fiery breath.
The other land is the Black Land. It is The Evil Land. Black butterflies and dragonflies live there. There are black flowers. The path is tricky. It has butterflies stones with sparkles, but they are black. If the princess takes it she will go to the black scary land. This land is like a jungle and the princess can’t see a thing because it’s dark and spooky.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe- A Rythme through the Ages

Here it is!
That timeless rhyme that we chanted in our childhoods to select that one lucky person who would be "IT".
Whether it was tag or hide and seek, you can rest assured that most of us closed our eyes and prayed that we wouldn't be the one left behind to look for our friends or chase them wildly around the park.
Life is constantly changing but there are "things" that remain timeless, and break through the boundaries of culture and country.  In fact last month, I observed a group of children in Italy use this rhyme to select the child who would be the first to climb a tree.
So how did it happen? How did one rhyme that dates back to 1820 travel the world: before computers and the internet were even a thought?
In this we can turn to traditional forms of print. To those beautiful bound papers that are too often forgotten in a world of technology. And of course let us not forget the process of migration. People may move to new countries but they always keep their traditions close to their hearts.

So for now I say,"You're IT!"

Evereyone offers their foot.
The process of elimination begins.
The last two!
The last man standing-Is he happy to be "IT"?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tubes, Wheeles, Spools, and Stones with a Touch of Light

Finding new "loose materials" for the children is challenging but extremely rewarding. They are always ready to explore the possibilities of invention when they combine the materials with their vast imagination.