Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Video!

Enjoy these two wonderful children's stories for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Video Trailer!

Two Wonderful Tales-Wake Up the Baby's Coming and Lucinda Queen of Everything!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Old Santa Claus!

Here he is, that magical elf who, once a year, creates such a stir. Is he Santa Claus, St Nicholas, Kris Kringle, or Father Christmas? Just where did his legend begin?  
St Nicholas dates back as far as the third century. Of Greek decent Nicholas was born to a wealthy family. When he was a young boy his parents died in the plague and subsequently he devoted his life to God gifting much of his wealth the needy.

Kris Kringle is of German decent, referring to the Christ Child. He came into homes long after everyone was asleep, leaving tokens to symbolize the gifts of Christianity.

Father Christmas or Old Man Winter was a figure in pagan celebrations around winter. He travelled to peoples homes and in exchange for food and drink he blessed them with a mild winter. 

As as most old legends do, over hundreds of years, they merge together to create new legends. Hence our modern story of Santa Claus.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

The single most amazing thing about the holiday season is that it brings family and friends together. For a short time we all take a break from the madness of life and we celebrate our blessings.

Happy Holidays wherever you may be!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Natural Disasters -How Much do we tell our Children?

Tsunamis. earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, these are just of a few of the natural disasters children hear about.
We often wonder how much information we should share with children, especially JK and SK students, when it comes to the elements. Our first instinct is to shelter them and keep the issues at bay. But the truth is that children are intuitive. The radio in the car, the news on TV, the newspapers and magazines on display, are all sensory input. Children see and listen a lot more than we think and they need to dialogue about this. We should allow them to share their theories, express concerns, and converse with peers.
We find that focusing on how to help victims of natural disasters empowers children.
A bake sale, collecting a jar of coins, food drive, care packages are just a few of the suggestions and contributions the children have made over the last few years.

Mia draws the city as the winds of Hurricane Sandy swirl .

Friday, November 30, 2012

Everyday is a Day to Remember

Young children know little about the wars of the world or the number of soldiers lost. It is never too early to teach them to be grateful for the quality of life they enjoy.

It was John McCrae's poem, In Flanders Fields (1915) that drew attention to the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for soldiers lost in battle. However, the poppy first made its mark as early as the 19th century during the Napoleonic wars when it was noted that fields once barren exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting.

 Three years after McCrae's poem was released Moina Michael, an American woman working in a New York City YMCA canteen, began wearing a poppy in memory of the millions who died on the battlefield.
Madame Guerin, a citizen of France, while visiting the US learned of the custom and took it home using handmade poppies to raise money for the destitute children in war-torn areas of the country.
  Canada saw the first poppy distribution in November of 1921.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Antithesis to the Condition of November

Many November poems fall on the bleakness of the month giving voice to the last fallen leaves, the migration of the birds, the coming of the winter wind. 
But Charlotte refused to be deterred by the condition of this gloomy month, instead she had the perfect remedy.
Using various loose materials, she created flowers, sun, bees and butterflies. 
"Since we don’t see them in the nature anymore, we created our own so that we can enjoy their beauty anytime! "

No shade, no shine
No butterflies, no bees
No fruits, no flowers,
No leaves, no birds,
No sunshine, lots of rain,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Imaginative Abilities of Children

Many of our greatest thinkers locate their capacity for original and profound thought in their imaginative abilities, first developed through creative play in early childhood.
~Sharna Olfman
 Daniel and Bianca designed and executed the building of a this castle to be used for a butterfly festival.  They created a stage where butterflies perform and a ballroom for the dancing butterflies.  When the building was complete, the children joined the butterflies by fluttering in and out of the structure.

Friday, November 9, 2012

In the Light of the Moon

The delightful tale the Hungry Caterpillar takes on a new story line when a group of children decide to write their own rendition. 
In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a sunflower.

One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and pop out of the egg came a tiny and very lonely caterpillar. He was so lonely that he went to go look for other caterpillars to play with.

On Monday, he found one friend to play with and they decided to do a puzzle. On Tuesday, he found two friends to play with and they decided to color a sunflower. On Wednesday, he found three friends to play with and they decided to play Ring Around the Rosy. On Thursday, he found four friends to play with and they decided to  play, What Time is It Mr. Wolf.  On Friday, he found five friends to play with and they decided to sing Skip to My Lou.

On Saturday, the caterpillar and his friends played hide and seek all day. That night his feet hurt and he couldn't move anymore.

The next day was Sunday again and the caterpillar was so tired from playing he decided to rest for the rest of the day. After that he felt much better. Now he wasn't a little caterpillar anymore. He was a big fat caterpillar and he was ready to build a small house called a cocoon.

  He stayed inside for more than two weeks. He nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and...

He was finally a beautiful butterfly.
The End!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kaylie and the Apple Tree

A weekend outing to the Apple Orchard led to the the creation of this wonderful piece of art. The vivid colors actually make you want to bite into a nice red apple!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Child Sees with Clarity the Perfection of Nature

I recently read an article that stated that everyone can learn to draw. I was a little skeptical but as I moved further along in my reading there were several points that caught my attention. Until the age of six children, especially those who are encouraged to draw and paint, are exceptionally skilled. Why? Because they see with clarity, they are not in a hurry nor do they have preconceived notions of what something should look like. They simply draw what they see and hence they are able to produce wonderful representations. As we grow older we are too busy to give attention to details so we draw what we think something should look like. Unhappy with the results we lose interest and become discouraged and hence lose our abilities or they become dormant. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Colors and Textures of the Summer Garden

The garden provides constant inspiration for the children's work.  These students created a vase and platter to capture some of the colors and textures of the herbs and flowers that grew during the summer months.  They used basic techniques for working with clay: flattened, rolled, coiled, smoothed, along with adding details with carving tools. The teacher encouraged them to explore and manipulate the clay.  One of the great qualities of clay is that there’s never a wrong way. The imperfections added uniqueness to the finished product.  After the items dried, they used a variety of painting techniques to capture the rich greens of the rosemary, the deep reds, and fascias of the begonias as well as the soft pinks of the impatiens.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

This is no Ordinary Flower!

Sunflowers,  associated with loyalty and longevity, are certainly the happiest of flowers. Their vibrant color can't help but cheer up the day. Dating as far back as 1000 BC, they have served as religious symbols, a food source and have provided inspiration to many artists.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Facial Expression-The Master of Communication

The amount of information that can be conveyed with simple facial expression is extraordinary; a smile, grimace, twitch of the eye, puckering of the lips goes a long way in letting others knows how we are feeling. Verily facial expressions are a universal form of communication. In particular, the eyes, often referred to as the “windows to the soul” are the masters of the human face.

This is especially true of infants and toddlers who have  limited use of words to communicate how they are feeling about particular events and experiences. As such, teachers must be avid observers, finely tuned to the emotions of the children in their care.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Capturing Dreams!

When a group of children were asked to collaborate on a year end mural, interesting things happened. The piece of art intended to portray, The Hundred Languages of Children by Loris Malguzzi, took on a form of its own as the children added segments that depicted their aspirations for the future,
the places they'd travelled, their school, homes, friendships they'd formed and "dreams for tomorrow".

Monday, August 27, 2012

In the Light, What did I see?

Teachers often ask me how we assess the children in our schools to ensure they are meeting the criteria for development, milestones etc.  Here is a wonderful opportunity for a teacher to check off a few.
What has this child mastered?