With the start of a new school year, a plethora of boxes have appeared at our doorstep. We’ve been talking about ways that we can transform them and were inspired by the presence of our bears. The medium sized box made a lovely tree house. The children that were present on Tuesday afternoon worked together to design and paint it. In the morning, we decided that it needed a door so that the bears could go inside.
The children all wanted a turn inside the house, so we set up a sign in board to keep track of whose turn it was. Using a large white board and a timer, we had a fairly orderly opportunity to practice turn taking, name writing, and problem solving. Most of the children are able to write their names legibly at this time of the year, though not with conventional (adult) print. Providing the children with a variety of reasons to write their names helps them gain practice. Yet, even more importantly, it allows them to experience the importance of using their personal symbols (i.e. their names) for a purpose other than just practice.
On Wednesday, we spent more time discovering the details of our bears. The children commented on some of the commonalities and differences between their bears and realized that they came in multiple sizes. As a team, we decided which order to place the bears in when lining them up from largest to smallest. Later that same day, the children made line drawings of their bears. Some of the children were worried about their ability to draw a bear. However, once we broke the bears down into identifiable shapes, it was not such a daunting task. We will be completing these projects today by adding watercolor paints to the bear portraits.