This week was full of fun and interesting provocations that sought to engage the children's minds and fill them with wonder. Our youngest students painted on paper (on the floor), either sitting up by themselves, or with a little assistance. It is always exciting to see the creation of a young child's first painting! These works of art are frame-worthy and will make great keepsakes for years to come!
In addition to the painting, we did some sensory exploration, using "color trays" which were each filled with interesting items in the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. Blue yarn spilled out of clear containers, yellow scarves flew into the air, and we looked through windows that turned everything red!
With the "big kids", we continued our experimentation in color mixing (or not mixing) by infusing our art lesson with a little science! Using colored oil, and colored water and pipettes, children worked on their fine motor skills, transferring the liquids among different containers. They spent time observing the scientific properties of the substances and quickly learned that oil and water do not mix, but the oil floats on top of the water, and the only color mixing that occurs is between water-soluble or oil-soluble combinations.
Students were invited to paint on easels, and encouraged to mix their colors and try out different combinations and techniques. The works of art that they produced were truly inspired! With increased learning about the properties of color, and how they behave when mixed, the students are able to make works of increasing complexity. And the more art they produce, the more open they are to trying new approaches.
The magna-tiles on the light table are always a hit! Our little engineers had a blast building rockets, castles and more out of the colorful tiles, working on not only their fine-motor skills, but also their understanding of three-dimensional space and geometry. All while having fun!
In our sensory bin this week, we had a special surprise for the kids... ICE! The students thoroughly enjoyed transferring the cold ice cubes into buckets using tongs, helping to build finger strength. For an added treat, we supplied the students with squeeze bottles filled with watercolors, inviting them to spray the ice with color and watch what happens.
In a Little Artists class, the students were asked, "What could we do with a large block of ice? Any ideas??" They discussed some possibilities...
Then they got to work, spraying the block with colors and warm water. They knew that warm water would melt the ice, so they began to make the ordinary ice block into an ICE CAVE for our little penguin friend, who as we know lives in Antarctica.
Unfortunately for our little penguin friend, a fountain of hot "lava" (warm water with red paint) began to form in the corner, making his home quite uninhabitable.
In music class this week, we continued our exploration of the major scale, using the Boomwhackers again, but this time they were arranged from largest to smallest on a rope strung between two easels. Presenting the same objects in a different manner can spark new ideas and approaches! Students had a great time playing the colored tubes with mallets, making the notes of the C major scale.
The "colors" or notes of the major scale were reiterated through singing and signing the major scale, using the Solfege scale (Do, Re, Mi...) and Kodaly hand symbols that accompany the scale. Students were drawn to our colorful visual aid that helps to present these ideas. I was very impressed by how quickly they picked up the hand symbols, and by their beautiful singing voices!
We also practiced Dalcroze Eurhythmics to emphasize rhythmic aspects of music, by dancing to the beat. Sometimes we used colorful scarves, balloons, or feathers, pretending to be light and airy birds, or sometimes heavy plodding elephants, depending on the music playing.
This session, our ongoing theme is "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" set to music! To prepare for our bear hunt, we continued practicing our bear hunt song, on xylophones, a cappella, and on the gathering drum.
And, as always, we went for a boat ride in the upside-down gathering drum, singing "Row, row, row your boat"! This one is always a crowd pleaser!
Please enjoy more great moments from this week in this slideshow!