Goodness, I thought that updating the blog on Tuesdays would work out wonderfully with my schedule! So here I am, sitting at my computer, looking through last week’s photos for a memory jog. Great Googily Moogily! Who knew we’d have so many things to share with you? Using the most logical sequence, we’ll go chronologically.
Early last week, we moved the easel back into our room. Painting is always a popular activity in Pre-K. We love it for its fluid way of including experimentation (color, pressure, design, form, story development), fine and large motor development, and simple joy. Watching the children progress through stages of paint use during the year tells us much about their growth. Many early painters choose to paint large swaths of color, frequently mixing them on the page as they go. Others use the brush to tell a story (also including large “blobs” and lines of color) that can only be truly witnessed once. As the tale progresses, the previous parts become buried in the layers.
As the children gain more experience with paint and grow in their ability to represent their world abstractly, their paintings take on more “realistic” features. Isn’t that odd? As they make the connection between abstract symbols and their world, their pictures become more “lifelike”.
After a successful, if not dry, Applefest, our campus grounds are coated with a nice blanket of hay. This new material has inspired everything from planting, to “feather” coated art projects (using the hay seed stalks), to inspired fairy and dragon egg tending. A single project, however, grabbed the attention of the entire class. One morning, Mrs. Pless and I noticed a few children playing in an area that looked rather nest-like.
Being the inquisitive teachers we are, we asked what kind of nest it was. Lo and behold, it was not a nest! (I bet you guessed that already.) It was a campfire! The bumper around the edge was for leaning against, the logs were for sitting on, and piles of rocks and dirt were added to the middle for the “fire”. Well, I couldn’t let my children experience a campfire without the most important ingredient! I ran off to find some marshmallows (read: cotton balls). A few minutes later, the hunt was on for the perfect roasting stick. We tried fat sticks, short sticks, pieces of grass, parts of corn stalk, two pronged sticks, and even one piece of bark. The children jumped right into “roasting” their marshmallows complete with turning and blowing on them when removed from the fire. It was obvious some of them had had this experience before. Mrs. Pless and I were inspired to pull old camp songs out of our dusty memories to serenade the children with. I’m not sure they were that impressed with our singing, but they sure did enjoy the fire-side atmosphere.
(Disclaimer: Just in case it’s too hard to tell, there is not an actual fire in the middle of this hay pile. And our cotton balls just didn’t taste quite like marshmallows. Take my word for it.)