Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wires & Snow

Wow! I can't believe we're finally getting a winter snow storm in March!! I don't know for sure whether there will be snow tomorrow or a delay or a full day but check my previous blog post about snow day resources to get updates!

We continued with our light representations today with the introduction of wire. It was wonderful to see how the wire fascinated the children-the ways in which they molded it and thought about what it would represent. Wire is also now available in our art studio for future use! The students also had access to the beautiful junk box to add details to their representations.
K.M molding the wire
T.S working with the wire
G.P's wire (the wire is gold-so it may be a bit hard to detect in the photo)
G.A works with the wire
O.S' light representation
J.A adds fruit wrapping to his light representation
While walking around to see the students' work, I noticed that a lot of the students chose the fruit wrappings (like O.S  and J.A above) to add details to their lights. Actually, the fruit wrappings are used often throughout other creations. I wonder if it's the texture or design of these wrappings that draws the students to this beautiful junk item.
O.B folds aluminum foil to add to his light
T.S chose streamers to create a shade for his light
X.I adding bubble wrap to his light--he said the button on his light was to turn the light on
G.P's light representation
A.R wrote the word "on" on her light
If you won't be able to attend our Turn on the Lights celebration this Friday to celebrate the end of our light project--I will be posting photos of all the students' work on the blog this weekend! :)

For word study today, we used words we have learned to put together a sentence. We've worked on labeling a picture of ourselves with our names and the word "me." Today, we used a sentence that the class is familiar with from one of our shared reading poems--"I am me." The students drew a picture to express this and were encouraged to write the sentence to show this.
O.B's writing
 Tomorrow is March! I updated the important dates page for March dates! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The beginnings of our light representations

Today, the Northeast Kidney Foundation came to our classroom to talk to our class about kidney disease in preparation for March being National Kidney Month. They asked our class to help the patients in our area by collecting pennies and other coins to help the community with education and prevention efforts. A letter was sent home in each child's folder explaining this school-wide effort!
Women from the Northeast Kidney Foundation visit our class
Today,  we began our light creations using re-purposed tubes to create the base for our lights and tissue paper to mold our light bulbs.
A.K decorates the base of her light
G.P decorates the base of her light
J.M decorates the base of her light
J.C decorates his base
X.I decorates his base
G.A adding a bulb to her light
Tomorrow, we will be working with wire! Wire is one of the fundamental materials of the Reggio Emilia philosophy (clay is the other!) and I am incredibly excited to have the students work with it tomorrow. It can be a beautiful medium for intricate work! I talked briefly about it today. T.D actually said that wire can be dangerous and I told her while some wires are, the ones we will be using is safe for children. I passed around fun wire for the students to touch and experience. They seemed excited about it so much that many asked about using it today! The students will be using wire to create the wire work seen on many lights. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Returning from Winter break!

Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break! For some reason this break felt long--Kacey and I were both remarking at how tall the kids seem to have gotten (even though we know it's only been a week!) We got right back into school with going over routines and our daily schedule. After breakfast, we went to the museum room where Ms. Ingleston went over magnifying glasses, microscopes and binoculars. Each child got to look through all three!
We also did some shared writing and wrote a thank you card for Home Depot. We passed the card around for the students to each sign.

The note says, "Dear Home Depot, Thank you! It was fun finding and drawing lights! Thank you for letting us see the lights. Thank you Mr. Shane for answering our questions! Love, T.O.A.S.T PreK" 

Tomorrow, we will be picking up where we left off with creating representations of lights. Tomorrow, we will be creating the bases of our lights/lamps. I sent a letter home today in every child's folder containing information about our light project celebration! Please let us know if you'll be able to make it :)
Reminder--please bring back nap blankets for the students to sleep with. We try to keep the room a cool temperature for comfort.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday to my pup, Brian!

We celebrated our dog, Brian's 2nd birthday today! He played with his best friend Sam, munched on his new antler bone, and enjoyed a puppy cuppy from Bettie's Cakes. For his birthday gift, we're taking him to the Paw House Inn, a dedicated doggy bed and breakfast located in Vermont in May! I've never been to Vermont-I'm super excited. I found out about this place from one of my favorite doggy blogs.

Brian chewing on his antler bone
Brian chasing after his best buddy Sam
Brian enjoying his puppy cuppy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

On-site fieldwork at Home Depot

I hope everyone is enjoying their winter break so far! The weather this weekend has been wonderful! I went to New York City this past weekend to visit family and friends! :) It's strange how the hustle and bustle of the city relaxes my mind. I'm back in Albany and I'm excited to share the exciting photos taken from our very first bus field trip and more importantly very first project-based fieldwork trip! We went to the Home Depot on Central Ave with a goal to look at different kinds of lights! Ms. Blanchard's pre-k class also came with us to go on a scavenger hunt for construction items (they are studying construction).

When we first arrived at the Home Depot, we were greeted by several of the employees who were all super friendly and welcoming! The kids all received Home Depot aprons to keep. Equipped with their clipboards, the class walked through the various lighting aisles to look at a variety of lights. As we walked around, I noticed while everyone took notice of the variety of lights-some students also enjoyed looking at the signs and various packaging for the items. They were looking at words and letters. Some students made a variety of connections with items we saw. K.W noticed one light had a "mask" similar to the ones that football players wear. A.R noticed that one kind of light (vanity light) was similar to the one in her bathroom.
Scientists ready with their clipboards!
One of the lighting displays we saw
Mr. Shane, our light expert, tells the class about how the lights work

Mr. Shane was great with the kids-answering their questions and showing them things on the shelf
The class took interest in these color lights. We learned that the yellow one keeps away bugs. I may also be getting the black light for some glow-in-the dark painting!
Ceiling lights
These are the lights that K.W said resembled a football helmet
These LED lights were special because they were cool so the kids were able to touch them
The EXIT lights
Sensory lights-some of the children enjoyed making movements to turn the lights on and off
Sketching their observations
Exploring light switches
The students touch a light switch they picked out from the aisle
Class photo with Mr. Shane
The trip was very successful-it's always great to take students outside the classroom to learn! Flipping through their clipboards-I could tell they took a lot from simply walking through the Home Depot! I'll be printing all the photos from our field trip to have the students view them and talk about things we learned. The photos will also be on display at our light project celebration! Below are some sketches the students made on their clipboards during the trip--
J.A's sketch of a ceiling light-complete with the fan!
J.C's sketches
K.W was interested in the signs by the products
J.M uses shading to depict the light. In fact, many of the students commented on how bright the lights in the store were!
G.A's sketches-there was a neon sign that said OPEN
A.R's sketches-she uses several lines to depict the lights
D.K drew one of the floor lamps-he too uses shading to illustrate the light
Special thanks to our parent chaperone's-J.A's mom and T.S' dad and T.W's mom who met up with us at the Home Depot. And a super big thank you to the staff at Central Ave.'s Home Depot who were accommodating, welcoming, friendly and were wonderful with the children! Shout out to Lynn and Shane, who was our "light expert" for the day! It's been wonderful to make such a great connection to a store in our neighborhood! :)

Friday was also Fuzzy Friends Day and donations were collected for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. The children brought quite a collection of stuffies! Here are some photos I snapped--

Reminder-nap blankets were all sent home on Friday! Also, I sent home a note regarding the next parent-teacher conferences-please make sure you check your child's folder for this to schedule a time for us to meet :) If you have any questions over the break, always feel free to email me! Here is a link of some events for children at various public libraries.