Thursday, November 10, 2011

O is for...

O is for Ovals and Octopus!

Well, didn't have time to post yesterday.  'Twas quite a day.  Anyway, I'll just include two of our oval activities along with some of our octopus activities that we did today.

Quick...change the circle to an oval!
This was a very simple activity that they really got a kick out of.  I added a number component by putting a different number of beads on each pipe cleaner circle.  First we started with talking about the pipe cleaner circles and singing our circle song..."This is a circle, this is a circle, how can you tell, how can you tell?..."  And then I took one circle and quickly pulled it into an oval.  They know what an oval is so it was just reinforcement but that's needed also.

Oval Song
Tune:  Up On the Housetop
I am round, this is true.
But I just might fool you.
One way I'm thin, one way I'm tall.
If you stand me up, I'm sure to fall.
I am an oval, this is true.
I am an oval, did I fool you?
One way I'm thin, one way I'm tall.
If you stand me up, I'm sure to fall.
   Gayle Bittinger
End result, these pipecleaner ovals/circles are perfect for counting.  I will definitely use the bead/pipe cleaner task again because they can move each bead as they are counting.  Perfect!  Love this picture.  The number ten oval is the only one that I created a pattern with.  I'm always trying to slip things like that in to encourage them to look for details.

Oval Frame
Before exploring with circle/oval sponges with painting, I reinforced the shape oval by providing an oval piece of paper to lightly tape on a large rectangle.  She sponge painted around the oval edge and then covered the rest of the paper with paint in order to create a "picture frame".  When dry, K. drew a picture of her "family" inside (which ended up being Grandma, herself, a "new" brother, and a toy octopus  :-D).

Okay, now to Octopus.

5 Little Octopuses
We started out by watching this animated story from www.abctwiggles.com.  I like their animated stories, most of the time.  They do highlight the words as they are reading them.  They are often repetitive which is good also.  Simple stories.  So I printed off the booklet from their sister site (Kids Soup) for the children to cut apart for a scissors task today.

Orange Octopus Playdough Mat
Great for rolling out those "snakes"!  Reinforce the 8 legs fact.  They thought the fact that an octopus can grow back another leg if they lost one was pretty neat.  Of course, they had free exploration with playdough after this task.

Sensory:  Water Play
Well, I forgot to get my octopus from the garage this morning.  Oops.  It was neat to see them use their imagination though.  They turned a globe shaped container into an octopus and a sponge as well.  So turned out well.  Love to see their creative thinking.  Another child used both hands together to be an octopus and wiggled their fingers in the water to make waves.   I think this came from the fact we created a handprint octopus today.  Love to watch them explore!

Handprint Octopus
This is how ours turned out.  I provided oil pastels for them to use for seaweed.  Stickers for the fish.   We had used a sponge to add the blue...oops, it was purple LOL..."texture" to represent water on the paper.  O is for orange so we chose orange paint to print with.  They wanted googly eyes, which they ask for whenever they get a chance.  :-P  Cute.    

We did free exploration on colored fingerpaint paper today as our true art project.  :-)  Actually, I usually use black fingerpaint with this paper because it has more of an effect than other colors.  But!  This was exciting for me...H. is working with the black fingerpaint and said, "Ink! Look this octopus sprayed ink!"  :-D   I hadn't even thought of that!  Yeah!  And of course I wore cream today.  Why, why, why?  Obviously I don't plan my wardrobe around our activities because I could safely say that everytime the kids use black fingerpaint I'm wearing cream or white.  Blah!  LOL

The giant orange octopus.

What's Different Strips
These are so easy to create yourself with clip art.  I love them because it's an easy way to reinforce first/last in a line as well as encourage descriptive language.  I find that many times the children can point out which item is different but when I asked them to tell me why...they have a hard time describing/telling me the reason.  It comes with practice.  Last year K. couldn't tell me the reasons but after a few "what's different strips" this year, she is quick to tell me why they are different.  Making you own allows you to be progressive in the difficulty.  Not sure if you can see it here but the first strip I did had a completely different (including color) octopus.  The second strip was a different octopus but still orange.  The third strip was an upside down octopus.  The fourth strip was a smaller octopus and the fifth strip was a flipped octopus and that one was hard for them.  It was just a very small change...they had to notice the bubbles or the eyes.

Perhaps I'll stop here for now.  Hope you all have/had a lovely day!  We enjoyed watching the short lived snow!  Half day for the boys today...they were bummed that the snow was done by the time they left the school.  But I see more clouds rolling in, they may be in luck.

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