Friday, February 24, 2012

Painting - Calligraphy!

To extend our concept of painting, today we focused on lines – both vertical and horizontal.  We found a Chinese Calligraphy book that showed artists painting line strokes.  The children examined the book first and we talked about the lines the artists were making. 

 We then used black paint to create our own calligraphy. 
The children were very thoughtful in their re-creations of Chinese calligraphy!

Exploring Cups and Funnels

We LOVE playing in water!  Here is what we are learning:

Quantity and volume                  Problem solving

Directionality – flow of water    Making and proving hypothesis

Concept of sink and float           Making/describing observations

Representing motion                  Exploring textures

Exploring and Painting Flowers

Today we explored flowers in many different ways.  We used four out of our five senses to look at, touch, smell and listen to flowers as we thoughtfully pulled them apart and examined them.  We also looked at structure, shape and color as we painted pictures of flowers, using color photos for provocation.    Ms. Camardese brought in a basket of flowers from home for the children to look at.  At group time we talked about the flowers, and she asked the children to think about the different types and colors of the flowers they observed.  During constructive play time the children had the opportunity to join Ms. Szymaszek’s class (who have become experts at examining flowers) to look at the basket.  The children picked out individual flowers and used tweezers, their fingers and magnifying glasses to explore. The children noticed the smell of the flowers; they also noticed some flowers made “crunchy” noises while others were quiet.  Ms. Szymaszek’s children helped the children collect the flower petals and leaves in jars to explore at a later time.

Some other children had the opportunity to go to the art studio with Ms. Eman to paint pictures of flowers, using the new skills we have acquired through our painting exploration.  The children examined the photos, picked the most appealing to them then attempted to match the colors to those in the photos.  Many of the children used careful brush strokes to create different flower shapes on their papers.  We will be exploring more with flowers and looking at some artists who explored flowers through paintings in the upcoming weeks.  If you have flowers or flower photos you would like to share we would be happy to use them in class!

Flattening and Making Rolled Balls of Clay

Many of the children really spent a long time at this center. They took time to try all of the tools for flattening their clay. Most of the children tended to use the plastic plates and the toy hammers repeatedly, yielding their desired outcome quickly. Because the plate and hammer focused the most pressure on the clay ball when pushed down, it quickly made the ball the flattest.

The children enjoyed watching their actions, such as pushing the plate down or swinging the hammer, to create a desired outcome. As many of the children worked to make their clay ball flat, they connected it to familiar things such as cookies, pancakes and pizza!

After we spent some time flattening clay, we worked on doing the reverse - rolling our own balls of clay.  This requried different movements and techniques than previously used.  We are developing many strategies for manipulating clay!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clay Project - Exploring Holes in Clay

While observing the children‘s strategies for manipulating the clay, we chose to build off of their interest on how to make holes in the clay using tools. The children used a variety of items from the classroom to create holes in the tough material. Many of the children used pointed objects such as forks and a pencil, finding it was easiest to push into the clay mass. After forming holes, some of the children used their fingers to make the holes bigger. Other children discovered that by moving their tool left to right or up and down, their movement enlarged the holes they had made.