Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shadow Mosaics

Using the shadows we traced out yesterday from the light of the projector, we created shadow mosaics. Using a variety of papers with different textures, students glued them within their own shadows to create a mosaic. Our box of beautiful junk was also available to them as well.
J.M begins her mosaic
G.S adds newspaper clippings to his mosaic
X.I places strips of tissue paper to his mosaic
T.D and T.S work on their mosaics - I noticed a lot of the students liked working with newspaper clippings
A.K chooses to glue bubble wrap to her mosaic
T.W almost done with her mosaic
A.R fills her shadow with different papers
D.K's shadow mosaic
T.D's shadow mosaic
The shadow mosaics are beautiful! A couple of them are on display outside in the hallway and some will be displayed on the bulletin boards by our closets.
The shadow mosaics on display in the hallway
During centers today, I introduced this DIY shadow box for the students to create shadows with and tell stories with. This was made using a large old shoe box and some parchment paper. I cut out a rectangle from the bottom, leaving a frame and taped on some parchment paper to cover the cutout. With some small figurines and toys, the students were able to create stories and notice shadows!
The class really enjoyed the shadow box, so I may have to create more (pending a search for more shoe boxes).
I am hoping tomorrow we'll be able to go outside to discover shadows created from natural light. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

What is a shadow?

Sorry I didn't get to blog over the weekend, I had a lot of errands to run! So I'll start off by sharing what we did on Friday! Friday was hat day and more than half our class donated a dollar that went to a local food pantry--
Our morning message
A.R, K.W, and D.K with their hats
We got to create representations of light switches on Friday using a variety of materials and beautiful junk! Students got to create the switch, the plate, various nuts and bolts as well as various hardware shapes to their light switch representation.
D.K creating his light switch
J.M creates a space for the switch on her light switch plate
J.C displays his light switch representation
J.A shows his light switch representation
O.B adds fruit wrapping to create the hardware for his light switch representation
Here are some of the completed light switch representations--
Our buddy readers came Friday afternoon to teach our class a Lunar new year craft activity-the second graders each taught their buddy readers how to create an accordion dragon.
G.P and her buddy reader color the dragon
J.C and his buddy reader
T.S' buddy reader explains the directions
K.M and her buddy reader working together
By the end of the day, I was also able to complete our outside bulletin board to display some of our project work with lights! If you happen to stop by our classroom, take some time to look at all the hard work the students have put in to learning about lights!
Our new bulletin board in the hallway
Today, we started talking about shadows. Several of the children in the class have expressed interest in shadows especially when I showed them the projector and they realized that placing their hands/bodies in front of the projector created shadows! I wanted to take the class outside to look for shadows and to find their own, but unfortunately it looked like a snow globe outside! So, we switched up the plans and went on to creating our shadow portraits using the light from the projector.
Our shadow chart
K.W stands in front of the projector to see his shadow
I trace out D.K's shadow
K.M's shadow was fun for the kids to see because of her prominent ponytail
Tracing out O.S' shadow
T.S' shadow
G.A's shadow
J.A's shadow
T.D's shadow
X.I's shadow
A.K's shadow
A.R's shadow
T.W's shadow
Special happy birthday to J.A who turned 5 today! 

Tomorrow, we will be (weather pending) going outside to look for shadows and creating shadow mosaics from the shadow portraits we traced out today! 
Also, with February coming up-I have updated the important dates tab. I also added a video about the Reggio Emilia philosophy to education on the Reggio Emilia tab, if you're interested in learning more.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Light switch diagrams

I purchased a bunch of light switches from Home Depot last night and the kids got to look at them closely today and create diagrams.
We discussed what we noticed about the light switches such as the words on some of the switches, some students noticed that one kind of switch was skinny and another was fat. A lot of students noted that they have the round light switch button that can also turn in their own homes. We passed around the variety of switches for the students to flip, press and explore.
I also purchased some light switch plates for the students to see and they were able to fit the light switch under the plate.
Following our discussion, the children had an opportunity to create diagrams of the light switches. They used large white paper, pencils and black permanent markers (to trace afterwards). While creating their diagrams, they got to work with the switches further.

Here are some of the completed diagrams-
G.S' diagram-he draws the circles he sees on the light switch fixture
J.C makes his diagram of the light switch skinny just like the actual fixture
K.M draws the bolts attached to the light switch
K.W adds the words ON and OFF to his diagram
D.K creates the rectangular shape of the light switch
A.K's diagram of the light switch shows the connection from the switch to the light
T.D draws the hardware on the light switch fixture
T.S drew the circle light switch/button
  We also added a sight word to our word wall today-"on." The word is especially relevant now as we are learning about how to turn lights on. Several of the kids added the word to their diagrams. We also practiced writing our new sight word together.
Practicing the word ON
During center time, I placed all the light switches in a basket at the science center for the students to experiment further with. The light switch fixtures also give students hands on experience with real materials without disrupting the lighting in our classroom. :)
A.R flips the light switch on and off
Tomorrow, we will be creating our light switches representations using a variety of materials and beautiful junk. Also, tomorrow is hats for hunger day. For a $1 donation, your child can wear a favorite hat in school tomorrow! MMmmm...a perfect day for reading Caps for Sale!