Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Transportation Theme

Continuing with our Transportation theme this week.  I'll share two of the many activities we did today.
Clip It!
This activity was a planned math activity, which also includes good fine motor practice. 
These are dollar store word strips.  You can use any theme of stickers.  I encourage children to clip the clothespins onto the card (fine motor and 1:1 correspondence), count how many stickers are on each card, talk about more/less and odd/even, and seriate the cards.  You can use longer strips (use sentence vs. word strips) to encourage counting higher, you can use pairs of objects stickers to encourage counting by 2s, you can create patterns with your stickers or have them create patterns with their clothespins.  You can also use these strips to encourage vocabulary, for example, one of my students didn't know the name of all of the vehicles so we were able to build on the knowledge he already had.  Simple and inexpensive to create and with a wide variety of options!

Transportation Printing
This kind of paper is what I put under the category of "imagination paper".  Imagination paper is just paper that has been tweaked just a bit to change the child's thinking a little.  It's so interesting to see how children react to the various types of paper.  I've used various shapes, sometimes a shape cut out of the paper. I've glue on theme related cut outs, used large shapes and lines of primary colors. I've made a large X in the middle of a paper once.  The key is to create the paper before you give it to the children.  You do not want to "draw" on their work after they have started.  I chose this paper for our printing because last week we did a land, water, air transportation sort and I wanted to see how they would respond to their imagination paper.  Obviously, my adult thinking was, light blue-sky, green-land, dark blue-water.  However, with open-ended art, we don't tell the children that nor do we tell them they have to print the air vehicles on the top, the land vehicles in the center, and the water vehicles at the bottom.  We just provide the paper, paint, and printing tools.  If we had told them they had to print the certain way, it would no longer have been art but a math activity.  But, what does this piece of artwork tell us?  We wouldn't want to "assess their knowledge" by this piece of artwork, would we?  It shows he doesn't understand, right?  Wrong!!!  The key is to listen to the child when they are working.  What a story we had about the rocket taking off from land and the truck that had an accident and fell in the water.  :-)  So just wanted to remind you that art work can be a great way to practice verbal language as well as remember that when using art as an assessment tool, be sure you are there observing and listening to what the child is saying.  And if they don't say anything (some children are very verbal and others are very quiet) remember to use open-ended statements and questions at the end.  "Tell me about your work."  :-)  Please respect those "quiet artists" and wait until the end.  Sometimes they are concentrating and when you speak to them they lose their train of thought and it's hard to get it back.  I've known some children who will stop working when an adult starts to talk to them about their work.  So know your child and their tendencies.  :-)

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