Friday, April 19, 2013

Picasso One of the Most Influential People of the Last Century

Our Sk classes have begun a study of the hundred most influential people of the last century.
One of the teachers sent me this experience today. Picasso is the first person they are studying and although the art work is beautiful it was not the only thing that caught the teacher's attention.
Note how the younger child watches her older peer, carefully studying her technique before she attempts her own Picasso rendition. This was a wonderful way to document how children learn from each other.

Monday, April 15, 2013

They Heard a Sound!

If weather permitted and we could move our classrooms outdoors, imagine the possibilities.
This group of toddlers took a morning walk into our neighborhood "forest" and made and interesting discovery.
"Sounds are Everywhere"
In the bark of the tree trunk.

On the ground as she taps her sticks.

The sound is louder when friends join in.
Up high as they shake the tree trunk and rustle the leaves.

Could they in turn offer their own sounds to the forest?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Castles & Dragons-a Perfect Pair

Much of children's story telling finds its roots in fantasy. All we have to do its take those stories and bring them to life. These types of experiences can enrich a classroom for months.
This was a child's sketch of a Casa Loma, the dragons and the knights.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Teaching is a Leap Of Faith

Teaching is a leap of faith, especially when we work with the youngest of children, who rarely even remember us.
So what is our gain because isn't it a truth that we all like to see results, both long term and short?
Is it enough to for us to know that if we give the children the best of ourselves as teachers and people we will leave a small imprint?
I think that elementary school teachers, and more so private school teachers, who sometimes have the children from kindergarten to grade twelve are so fortunate. Imagine the wonderful journey they share as they watch the children grow not only as students but also as citizens of the world.
So I offer this.
Never let a day go where you don't appreciate your students.
Respect them.
Cherish the memories you create together for even if you are not remembered by the mind, you will be remembered by the soul.
Laugh often, give freely, find the child inside yourself.
Be kind.
Never come empty handed instead fill your arms with incredible resources.
Know each child, they are all different and cannot be crowded under the umbrella of just being
Not every day will be a perfect day most often they will be fraught with the ordinary. Even in the ordinary amazing things happen.
Share your ideas, knowledge, resources, and thoughts, with other teachers. Teaching is not a race to the finish line, nor a competition for recognition. Teachers transform the world. Remember, it is in this sharing that we create the storm of change.
Have an extraordinary day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Let them Draw!

We know that children move through many stages of drawing from scribbling to representational drawings that demonstrate theories, thoughts, fears, dream, ideas, concepts. In fact children are extremely proficient drawers. 
The question is, can we assist them to move through the various stages? Or do they have to stay in that stage until they are READY?
What exactly does ready mean?
Drawing Number 1
Child draws a representation of herself.
Drawing Number 2

The teacher prompts her to take a closer look at herself in the mirror.
Look in the mirror. What shape are your eyes.
What about your nose and mouth, your hair, what shape are they? Are they close together?
Let's think about your body.
Are your arms  that thin are are they thicker?
The child then considers the discussion and makes changes to her drawing (2).
The next day the teacher wonders if the child will revert to her first form of drawing or will she continue to draw using the newer skill set.

This is the drawing she did the next day. 
Drawing Number 3