We had a great day at preschool today...what a good feeling it is to see the children all working and then putting their work away and choosing something else... They are all becoming accustomed to the way the classroom works, and it is a relief on my part to see the pieces falling into place. Not that school will ever run perfectly smoothly, but today I realized how good it can be, and WILL be:)
Two new works were on the shelves today- crayon rubbing and breaking styrofoam. I had been wanting to put crayon rubbing out for a while now, since we have a bunch of chunky crayons that don't have labels on them and would be put to good use, and I would also like to have the children rub over leaves pretty soon. I put out a piece of rough sandpaper(very rough- the kind that is used to attach to a floor-sander) and the children chose a piece of paper to put on top and then rubbed a crayon over the paper.
The pictures that resulted had a lot of dark dots, and then lighter dots and splotches...not extremely beautiful, but I'll see if there is more interest before putting out some leaves.
The breaking styrofoam work is having a trial run on the shelf, and may be pulled and replaced with something else. We got some styrofoam peanuts in the mail the other day, and I thought the children would enjoy a chance to break something apart (making a neat sound in the process) in a controlled activity. I planned to use the small pieces in a pasting activity (maybe making snowmen in the winter). However, it became obvious rather quickly that when the pieces were broken into extremely small pieces, they were hard to get in the bowl (static cling!), and eventually there were small peanut pieces ALL over the table and floor. So, we'll see.
Here are some other new works that have been put out recently:
Putting rubber bands on a dowel gives the children good practice at using rubber bands. They have to open them up wide enough to fit over the end of the dowel, and then scoot them down so that more will fit on. A fairly popular work...and once they master this, they can go on to doing work that requires putting a rubber band onto a pack of picture or word cards.
Spooning rice looked enticing to the children, and a couple of them tried it, but it was hard to keep on the spoon, and even harder to pick up all the individual pieces of rice. So next to it I placed:
Spooning beads- The beads are larger and easier to pick up when spilled. When a child masters this work, they will then be ready to try spooning rice again. Until then, it can rest mess-free on the shelf.
The pasting tray has offered a great opportunity for the children to practice their pasting...and they are getting rather good at it. There are cardboard circles (roughtly 6-8 inches diameter) under the basked of shapes, and the paste is in the jar with the white lid. A child can choose a q-tip, dip it in the paste, and then brush it on a shape before applying it to the cardboard. A popular work, that has been used almost every day.
These are some examples of the pasting that has been done so far. There have also been projects with many shapes all of the same color.
Geno working on a pasting project.
This is "cylinder block #1", and it is basically a puzzle. Match the cylinders to their holes in the block. There are a total of 4 cylinder blocks, with cylinders ranging from thick to thin (#1), tall to short (#2), large to small (#3) and I can't describe #4...the first cylinder is tall and skinny and the last is short and fat... There are lots of activities to do with the cylinder blocks, and my favorites so far involve using more than one block and mixing all the cylinders up, and then trying to find the respective holes without any mistakes. This generally appeals to 2 year olds, but the older children have also shown interest.
Norah has enjoyed working with the bean bowl...she chooses it at some point almost every day.
What a good week. We have had 14 days of preschool so far...I can't wait to see what we do in the next month!