Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perspectives: Cameras

Using the iPad to Photograph

October 21, 2013

The children were excited to see how the iPad could work as a camera.  They focused both on photographing nature and people.  I have found that they now have more ideas of what to photograph.  In the beginning they would just photograph faces…now they are photographing each other doing things, and photographing items around them.  Sometimes they take far away pictures and sometimes they take close ups.  They were very intrigued that they could take really fast shots with the iPad.  They liked moving it around to watch the world around them on the screen of the camera.


Perspectives: Mirrors

Perspectives: Mirrors Learning Group
Mirrors in the Water Table
Week of October 21, 2013

After working with real mirrors during the first month or so of the semester, last week the children and I spent time exploring other materials which we can also see our reflections in. The children explored how their reflections were different from what they saw in an actual mirror as well as how they changed depending on what material they used (spoons, cds, aluminum foil, etc). I wanted to present the children with the opportunity to explore altered reflections when using actual mirrors, too. This week, I provided the group with mirrors and water to explore how water can affect our reflections. What happens when there is water on the mirrors? How does our reflection change?

While I was setting up the water table, a few of the children were already very excited to explore with the mirrors in the water. Many of them joined me in the hallway to interact with the materials. They noticed their reflections in the mirrors and also how they were changed when the water was moving compared to when it was standing still. Many of the children enjoyed seeing their reflection, splashing in the water and then waiting for it to become calm again to see what their reflections would look like. The children said things like “I move!”, “Sometimes I don’t see me” and “The picture goes away!” when I asked them to tell me about what was happening to their reflections.

I want to continue to focus on our changing reflections with the children. They seem to be interested in how their reflections can change or ‘go away’.  Next week, I plan to use mirrors without any other materials to explore how our reflections looks when there are multiple mirrors to look in. How does the positioning of the mirrors affect what we see when we look into them?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Perspectives: Animals Hiding

Animals Hiding
Week of October 14, 2013
This week I decided to focus on the “hide and seek” game aspect of our explorations.  They really enjoy the process of hiding and finding the animals.  We took the children outside and played hide and seek with them.  They enjoyed hiding from Ms. Camardese, and they especially liked being found! The children realized if they crouched down they could hide better…it would make their bodies less visible.   

On Thursday, we played hide and seek with a big dinosaur and little animals.  We talked about how the little animals wanted to hide from the big dinosaur.  Many of the children hid the animals with a sense of urgency…to protect the small animals from the big scary dinosaur.  Some of the children enjoyed having the dinosaur find the animals… “I found you!” They would exclaim.

Next week…how can we hide something really big???  The children seem to understand that the animals need to be covered to be hidden.  They think that the animals are hidden under the clear containers because they are completely covered.  They have been problem solving what to do when the animal does not fit under the container.  How can we keep it hidden? I want to provide a large picture of an animal and collage materials.  Can we cover the entire animal so that it is completely hidden?

Perspectives: Mirrors

Perspectives: Mirrors Learning Group
Exploring Reflective Materials
Week of October 14, 2013

            During our previous explorations, the children have been using the long flat mirror or the smaller individual mirrors to explore their reflections and the reflections of objects in their environment. This week, I wanted to give the children the opportunity to expand their knowledge about reflections by using other materials they might be able to use like mirrors. Would the children notice their reflections in materials other than mirrors? How would these materials change or alter their reflections, and how would the react?

            I presented the children with a variety of reflective materials placed on the long mirror in the front of the classroom. I provided them with CDs, spoons, aluminum foil, bells and other materials which reflected. The children didn’t seem to know what to do with the materials at first, but once they realized they could see themselves in them, they became very interested. They pointed out their faces in the materials, but also noticed their reflections looked different depending on the material (aluminum foil vs. spoon, for example). They also noticed how these materials altered their reflections. While looking into a CD, Calvin said “Calvin colored!” and Oscar and Carraig noticed their reflections were upside down on one side of the spoon.

Oscar notices his reflection in the spoon and says “I’m upside down!” He then rotated the
spoon and turned it around and said “I’m upside up!”

After our explorations with these materials and observing how they changed the reflections we see, I want to provide the children with actual mirrors and other materials like water to see how reflections can change, even when using a real mirror.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Perspectives: Camera Learning Group

Photographing Nature in Our Hands
October 14, 2013
This week, I wanted to focus on what they can photograph.  They seem to be stuck on the idea of only photographing people and I wanted to extend their ideas of nature.  I decided to do “Nature in our hands” after I saw a similar idea on the internet.  This is where the children decide what to hold in their hands and we focus on photographing just hands.  I thought this was a good balance of photographing people and nature.  They were still able to photograph people, but the focus was shifted to what they were holding in their hands.  The children were very excited to find items.  We held rocks, flowers, grass, leaves and wood chips.  They discussed the differences between the sizes of rocks and the colors of the leaves and flowers.  They were excited to view their pictures after we took photographs of different items in nature.

They were excited to use the iPad…and very curious about how it took pictures.  I want to take the children in to the courtyard next week again and show them how to photograph with the iPad.  I think using the iPad will help them take better photos without worrying about the lenses of the camera.  I want them to focus taking pictures of each other exploring the courtyard.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Perspectives: Shadows

The Giraffe is Blue!”
Week of October 6th, 2013

The children have been continuing their exploration of shadows by discovering different techniques to change the size of shadows. This week we have been exploring what happens when colorful transparent objects are placed onto the projector alongside the solid objects that create shadows. Our big question that we were exploring: Why do some objects produce shadows, while other objects produce color?
We started off by placing a transparent color block onto the projector. The children were very excited about the colors that appeared on the screen and would enthusiastically name each color as they appeared. Many of the children were interested in the effect that the blocks had when they held them up to their eyes and looked around.
After we explored with the new colorful block materials, I began to ask them questions like: “How come this orange dinosaur doesn’t show up orange on our screen? This red block shows red on the screen, why doesn’t the dinosaur?” “What color is your shadow?” As we explored this new concept, they could not yet articulate an answer, however they were obviously thinking hard about the phenomena. Many of them would look back and forth from the object to its shadow or to the color that showed up on the screen. And although they did not verbally communicate their thinking, their nonverbal communication was obvious.

I would like to see how they will explore this concept further by providing another opportunity to solve the question: Why do some objects produce shadows, while other objects produce color?