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Showing posts from 2011

Decorating our bodies

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Just like our surroundings people decorate their bodies with colourful clothing and accessories to make themselves beautiful and presentable. We looked at photographs of different cultural groups showing variety of ways people use headdresses, hats, necklaces and clothes to represent who they are and where they are from. The children made the connection between clothing and group identity. We thought of team jerseys and uniforms and as one child pointed out "it helps us sort out the people in their groups". The children were also intrigued with costumes and shirt logos so together we designed a t-shirt to represent the Earth group. Together they decided that a picture of the Earth will best describe their team.

Bedroom Decorations

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Goodnight moon! Goodnight cow jumping over the moon! The children observed that people decorate their surroundings to make it nice and beautiful. Inspired by the story Goodnight Moon by WiseBrown the children transformed the drama area into a nice, cozy bedroom. They thought of their own bedroom decorations like the toys, stickers and patterned sheets, and picture frames which they feel are important things to have in a bedroom. We carefully looked at the illustrations of the story and identifies which ones are decorations and which ones are not. In our discussions we realized that we all have different criteria on what makes a decoration and that we all have our own perspective on what beautiful might mean. www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKqV9uuXa0Y

Black as a decoration

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Decorations are things which are shiny, sparkly, colourful, beautiful. According to the children, black colour in particular, is not a shiny colour therefore cannot be used as a decoration. We challenged this thinking and looked at different art artists like Franz Klein who did a series of work using only the colour black. After many experiences with the colour black some children began to notice it more in our classroom decorations and their clothing. One child even mentioned about decorating her body with something black on her t-shirt.

Cupcake decoration

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What a way to start the new unit... cupcakes galore!! After reading Max and Ruby Bunny Cakes the children got busy and eagerly decorated their own cupcakes. They loved poking the colourful sticks and pretended they were candles and some even made faces using marshmallows and chocolate chips. They were very careful in placing their pieces and were not tempted at all to eat while they worked. One comment was: "I want to decorate my cupcake and make it beautiful."

Drums in different cultures

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The drums is a kind of a percussion instrument that is common in many cultures. The children described the sound of the drum as strong, loud, and powerful. As part of our inquiry and appreciation of music across cultures we listened to 3 different kinds of drums: First Nation's deerskin drum, the African Djembe, and the Irish Bodhran. As they listened to each one the children described how they felt and imagined as well as showed different ways of moving along the sound. With the First Nations the children nodded their heads to the beat. The Djembe made them shake and swing their arms from side-to-side while the Bodhran made them jump and skip. We watched a video about how the different cultural groups use the drums. They observed a common trait among the groups: they used the drum as part of parades and celebrations.

Rhythm and Beat

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The children explored beat and rhythm. We practiced the song "Hot, Cross Buns" to help us hear the difference between the two. The children listened carefully as I first clapped the beat of the song and then the rhythm. They noticed the difference between the two and they described beat as something that sounds "same"and that the rhythm changed sometimes fast and sometimes slow. We thought of different ways to tap the song using our body parts. Then we practiced the song using an idiograph.

Sounds of the forest

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The different sounds we hear can trigger some memories and feelings. Thinking about the sounds we hear in our forest the children thought of feelings of bravery related to climbing tall trees and overcoming the fear of walking in the dark forest. They also thought of the sounds of the trees rustling which reminded them of the falling leaves and the changing season. After reflecting on the sounds they hear, the children danced along to the music called the "Memory of the Forest" by Enya. They listened carefully to the tempo as they moved gracefully with the music. Then they painted images of the forest while the music played.

Sound is Vibration

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Sound is vibration! That's what we discovered the past couple of weeks. The children noticed that you do not only hear sound but you can feel it too. As they played different instruments the children felt the vibrations go through their hands and their whole body. They also observed that sounds can be loud and quiet. Loud sounds can be expressed using big, forceful movements while quiet sounds can be expressed using gentle, slow movements.

New unit: Sound Travels

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What a lovely day to explore musical instruments outside! The children enjoyed making music and played marching band. Our new Unit of Inquiry entitled "Sound Travels" will focus on how sound and music are used to represent people's feelings, ideas and cultures. Today we gathered ideas and questions related to the the following lines of inquiry: - How sounds are created and heard - The different forms of music across cultures. After showing a picture of the inner ear the children became very curious about the mechanics of the different parts and how we hear sound. Some of the questions were: Isaak: How do you hear? Where does it travel (talking about the various parts)? Why do your ears get wet and plugged and gets wax? Olivia: Why do your ears always listen? Anne Why do your ears gt dirty? How do you wash your ear? Then for the part we discussed musical instruments. The children pointed/identified pictures of i

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! By: C Fleming

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Last Friday the children walked to IGA and shopped for ingredients to make vegetable stir-fry. With a list on hand the children carefully looked for the things they needed at the the produce aisle. We had a great time shopping. The children displayed independence and used their thinking skills to identify/match the fruits and vegetables on our list. The story, "Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!" by C Fleming is about a gardener who tries to outwit bunnies and prevent them from wrecking his crops. So to solve this problem he decides to put up walls; wires, and trenches around his garden. Nothing worked; the bunnies still outsmarted him. In our grouptime activities the children talked about food sources, growing vegetables and the importance of farmers in our community. Some of us are city farmers growing things in our gardens but generally we all go to the store to buy the foods we need. Our trip to IGA was the highlight of the week. The children showed great re
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Honey, Honey Lion by Jan Brett is our book study for this week. Our focus are the ideas of cooperation, community, and gratitude. In the story the honey guide bird helps the badger look for honey. As a "thank you" treat the badger shares a portion of the honey to the bird. We used this example to show the importance of working together in order to have a healthy, happy community. To practice these ideals we worked in partners and as a team to solve puzzles together. We also listed different ways we can be helpful at home and at the centre. Attached are videos of amazing partnerships among humans and animals. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=D544WoTj5qI&feature=related (amazing partnership) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6jVvZrxpUs&NR=1 (honey guide & human)

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

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CLoudy with A Chance of Meatballs is our book study for the week. The children explored different cloud movements and imagined how it's like to be floating up high or down low. It sure would be fun to have food showers but then we figured it would also be too sticky and messy. For art we did splatter painting using golf balls and bouncy balls. We pretended they were meatballs falling from the sky. The children noticed the mixing of colours and how the height of where they throw the balls from can change the paint splatters. To end our grouptime we read the story, Little Cloud by Eric Carle. We showed the different cloud shapes and movements in our yoga practice. ENjoy your week. kathryn