The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

Welcome to our Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Dr. David Suzuki School.

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Open Art Studio

As teachers, we value our open art studio as much as the children do.
The opportunity for undirected activity in the art studio gives the children the ability 
to explore vital parts of who they are.
Community          Culture

Confidence           Critical Thinking

Observation          Revision          Problem Solving

Emotion          Intuition          Creativity

Observation          Revision          Problem Solving

 Mia drew a picture. She coloured with crayons...then decided to do more.
 Quietly working away, Mia moved her drawing to the floor and began to choose pieces of clay from the open materials. She chose a light peach colour and took small bits, pushing them and smoothing them to show her skin colour. Then she began to choose colours for the clothes. Mia took time and considered her drawing, adding details with clay to the things she had drawn.
 Once she had finished, Mia returned to the table and began to colour blue 
all over the page. She glued on a flying creature, which she created with 
card stock, marker and clay.
 Mia's finishing touch was a string. She had made a kite!
She wanted it to fly. Her kite seemed quite heavy.
It was decided that Mia's picture was just perfect for a frame, 
to inspire other friends while they create.
Celebrating the children's choices and processes lets them know that their creativity and ideas are valued.

Encouragement (rather than praise) will give valuable meaning to the learning that is happening. 

Things you could say:
"How did you do this?"
"You seemed to be having fun."
"You were really concentrating."
"What an interesting way to use..."
Talk about the shapes, colours & marks you see.
"What I notice first about your drawing is . . ."
"Isn't it interesting how you've used lots of . . . " 

Promote self-evaluation
"Have you put in everything you want to show?"
"Do all the parts of the picture look like they belong together?"
"Which of your paintings from today do you like best, and why?"

 Encourage effort, enjoyment, & risk-taking.
"It's fun to try it different ways."
"We learn a lot from our mistakes."
"Can you think of other ways to use this tool?"
"Let's try anyway."
"It's okay to get dirty."

A Wikki Sticky Experience

What are wikki stix?
And why are they such a popular year-round activity?
This marvelous, malleable material begins as a piece of yarn.
Then it is coated with a type of wax. The same kind they use in bubble gum!
That way, the Wikki Stix stick and can move any way you choose.
The Wikki Stix stick to each other and to any surface with 
just the light press of a finger.
When you want to make a change to the picture, no problem.
Just pick up the Wikki Stix and change it!
Children collaborate and create.
Story upon story emerges as the children manipulate the Wikki Stix and 
add images, take away, change and add again.
White boards, clear sensory table lids and windows are just some of the places 
that we see Wikki Stix stories.

Can you guess the word that Jun is going to spell?

Swirls of colour give way to growing gardens of flowers.
Then, when they are ready, the children pull the Wikki Stix apart, sort them out and ready their fingers and their materials for more creating.

A Transparent Experience

We offer many materials at the light table. 
The children's ideas always shine through!
What might they do when we offered transparencies and 
thin, black markers?
As always, the children excited us with their ideas.

Isaac took so much time in creating his picture. 
He drew the lines with slow precision.
He had a definite idea of the story his picture would tell.
Luke was inspired to shine the light on all the numbers he knows. 
This inspired Addison to do the same.
Luke was quite pleased with his work! "All the numbers up to 30 and not even one backwards number!"
Harlow decided to stop by the light table and just doodle.
Lewam loves to draw pictures. It was a new experience for her to draw at the light table with only a black marker.
Donovan has practiced his name all year. He was sure to include hair in his picture so he 'wouldn't be bald.'
Kaiden is beginning to make shapes as he draws. Heads and legs and arms are connecting. He is finding a comfortable way to hold his marker and pencil when he is printing and drawing.

Aaiden's people have bodies and emotions!
When children work in the same space, they inspire each other with ideas...
...and abilities.
Many children are drawn to this activity.
  A simple black marker and light. 
Holding their transparencies, they see their work in a different way.
What makes them so intrigued to draw and create in this way?
 Isaac finishes his picture and is ready to share his story. 
"This is the happy alien. See, he is smiling. His hand is in his pocket.
The other guy is a bad guy. He's mean. Those are all his teeth. He has a pirate eye. It's a skeleton patch.
The bad guy has to jump over the candle of fire. It's like a rocket.
That's the dog. He's wearing the hat."

It's transparent to us that this will be a regular activity at the light table!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Creative Designs In Nature

Creativity, art and design are not just for the indoors!
Bringing the natural materials table outside and adding a reflective panel sparked a renewed creative feeling in the children. Moving familiar materials to a new space brings new meaning and vision to them.