Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Flowers II

Here's a pic of an almost completed "Garden Party" booklet they made yesterday.  They just didn't get their name on it yet.  Not sure how that was missed...but we were running out of time yesterday so that is probably why. 
I love the Mailbox publications "I Can Make It!  I Can Read It!"
This was from their Spring themed book.  Unfortunately, I don't think you can purchase the seasons, preschool-kindergarten, from them anymore.   BOO!  I got mine off of Amazon.com by other sellers.  The only one I don't have is Summer and was contemplating seeing if I can find it.  I also have the Science themed one which is nice.  I think you can still purchase that one.  Not sure.

It's repeated text...ending with a butterfly on the last page (which is blue paper).  Here's an example of a verse.  Great for preschoolers and those exploring with reading.  They use the flowers that are in the row so they know exactly what flower and color to say during the verse.
Hello, red rose.
Who invited you?
A fresh white daisy...
That's who! 

Art: Mosaic
A cute little flower plate from the dollar store makes the materials look more organized and appealing.  Trent was up for the morning so he participated in his own version.  He really got into the gluing, which is very beneficial.  I buy a large amount of liquid glue in summer/fall when it's cheap.  We go through a lot of it.  I love the benefit of using a glue bottle and we do a lot with it.  SQUEEZE=hand strengthening and control.  Sometimes I tighten the lid a bit so they really have to squeeze!  One child actually used the yarn for a stem of a flower.  Another child used green crayon to make a bunch of stems with one shape on the top.  The other two children just placed the wooden shapes where they wish.  And that is okay!  Mosaics/collage really don't keep a lot of interest here and part of the reason, I feel, is because I haven't introduce it through an artist/illustrator that uses that technique.  So that's one of my goals for this fall is to have a more "formal", for the lack of a better term, art program.  They get none of this once they hit Kindergarten at our school  :-(  The little art they do in the classroom would be, on my scale, a 1 or lower.  Seriously.  It's bad news!  But that's my personal opinion.  I loved it when I worked in the public school system down near Detroit.  I shared space with the art teacher...for K-6.  What conversations we had!  What a learning experience.  So I really feel bad that my own kids don't get that opportunity.

On a brighter note...our hand/foot print flowers turned out lovely.  This was more a sensory activity in my eyes.  This would not be considered a very great "art" activity unless they did it on their own and they way they wanted...and they definitely wouldn't have turned out "cute" by any adult perspective. 
You can tell that I've been doing handprinting with them as Trent, not quite two, looked at me funny but came willingly when I asked if I could paint his feet.  Then when it was time to print his hands...he came and plopped himself in my lap, pulled up his sleeves, and with a big smile, held out his hand.  LOL  His is the red one, and yes, he chose that color.  A note about choices, if it seems that your child is unable to "choose" then you are probably giving them too many choices!  If you are new to giving choices...a general thought to keep in mind is a choice for every year in age.  So 2 years, 2 choices, 3 years- 3 choices.  However, once they are accustomed to this decision making...you can do what I do and just plop all the colors there and they do just find with that decision making.   Here's another picture...after someone thought of glitter and they all took off on that tangent.  So glittered we got.  :-)
I had an older Weekly Reader from one of my own boys about plants growing.  So we also talked about the parts of a flower, that the stem is like a straw, that we need a root system, the sequence of a plant and so on.

File Folder Game
They counted the dots on the petals and matched it to the petal on the flower.  A note about file folder games:  These are really nice...especially for the teacher.  Or maybe I should say, mostly for the teacher.  :-)  All nicely contained.  Can be made for so many different skills.  I find that at the preschool stage, they aren't all into them.  I do use them on occasion or as fillers.  I sometimes use them as an assessment tool as well.  But they aren't a favorite amongst my kiddos.   In the picture on the right, I just folded the folder back to only have the petals 1-5 as that's where that particular student is at for counting sets.  There would have been way too many options out there for him.  So keep that in mind when you are creating file folder games.  You want to make it so that you can easily adjust it for a child at a different level.  I find that a lot of file folder games for preschool specifically are too easy, at least for my students, and the Kindergarten ones have a bit too much information and get overwhelming.
 has a few downloadable folder activities.  Beautiful artwork/pictures!!!  I'll be keeping my eye out on this site to see if she posts anymore.  Keep in mind that this is a K teacher creating for K students.

Back at it again today!

Fine Motor: Sewing
We started these today.  Pretty much open-ended.  This type of thing needs to be left out for a few days so they can go back to it and sew in small doses.  I had purchased some burlap-like material but found that my kiddos still needed the stiffer material until I can get enough embroidery rings for them all.  So, plastic canvas in the meantime.  I have the "real" yarn needles...not the plastic ones and they work so much better!

Scissors: Paper Plate Flower
Sorry, these pictures are scary indeed!  I had already plopped them up in the entranceway...which is narrow and not conducive to picture taking.   :-)  But you can get the point.  Cheap activity by the way!  I had them use roller paints (the commercial version of paint in roller deoderant bottles LOL)on the back of a paper plate, because I knew it would be dry enough for them to immediately start cutting.  Other paints, it would have turned into a 2 day project.  You could use crayons/markers I guess...but this is definitely more fun.  They fringe cut around the edges.  Cut their own stems and decided what kind of leaves they wanted...paper or crayon or none.  They all turned out differently, that's for sure.  Simple and easy but good skill practice!

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