Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How We Decorate Our World? #5-Decorations tell stories

The Water Group started to explore various decorations from different culture. Last Tuesday, we took a walk to Musqueam to view a modern day Coast Salish monument of The Runner (designed by Debra Sparrow) and a house post carved by Dave Louis Jr. The children learned that the Coast Salish people use these decorations to tell stories. The Runner is to whisper the knowledge and history of the Coast Salish people from generation to generation and the house post is to commemorate an event, person, family or as welcome figures. Then the children made their own welcome figures for their rooms so others feel welcome when they view their rooms.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

How We Decorate Our World? #4-Creating connections with others through our decorations.

Last week, the children have shown understanding that each person's perspective might be different or same when we look at decorations.  The children explored with the concept of how decorations tell human stories and help us know one another (connection). What are the stories associated with our decorations and how do these help us connect with one another?

Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's painting "The Bedroom", the children started to design their own rooms made out of cardboard. The children built furniture out of twigs, decorated their walls and floors with wonderful designs and made blanket or pillows to make their room look comfortable. By looking at each others' rooms, we get to know more about that person. The children made connections by sharing and using designs that they like in their own rooms.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

How We Decorate Our World? #3-Could these picture be decorations?


Mary: Why is picture B a decoration and not picture A?
Owen: Picture A is just black, there is nothing on it.
Serena: Yeah, there are designs on picture B.
Mary: Why is picture B beautiful?
Orin: There's flowers and shapes.
Judy: Picture B is beautiful.
Mary: So if there are shapes, patterns or designs on picture A then would it become a decoration?
Children: Yes

Next, the children created splatter paint using black and white colours. They were very excited to "throw" paint onto the paper. They felt their painting looked very beautiful and should be displayed in the cubbies on the orange wall.

Monday, 14 November 2011

We Decorate Our World #2 - What is a decoration to each of us?

The children tried to understand that people have different perspectives about decorations through the book "Bunny Cakes" by Rosemary Wells. We compared Ruby's and Max's cake for grandma by using a venn diagram. We noticed that Ruby and Max both wanted to make a cake but came up with very different ideas to decorate their cakes. Depending on their preferences, some children like Ruby's cake and some like Max's cake.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New Unit - We Decorate Our World #1

Last week the teachers took the children on a walk in Southlands Elementary and around the neighbourhood to see what they know about decorations. It was interesting to hear what the children think about decoration. Some pointed out things that are colourful are decorations and things that are black and white are not decorations.
Later water group brainstormed through the following:
- Decorations they saw on their walk
- Is Creative Minds decorated?
- Do we need more decorations in Creative Minds?
- Materials needed to decorate Creative Minds


Friday, 14 October 2011

Sound Travels #3 - How does music make us feel?

When the children were playing the sound guessing game, Sebastien suddenly took off his headset and said, "I'm scared." This started our exploration of how music makes us feel.
We listened to two pieces of music. One is from a collection of halloween music and the other "My First Minuet" from Baby Mozart.

It was interesting to see the children's reflections and comparisons after listening to the two pieces of music. Most children from the group thought the halloween song to be scary but Nate liked the music. He thinks it is funny. Most children found "My First Minuet" to be calming. Jack said, "It reminds me of a person dreaming."
Then the children painted while listening to the music. Afterwards, they were asked to describe their feelings and what they have painted.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sound Travels 2- Activities with SeJung

SeJung, our practicum student explored cooking sounds with the children. She played three sound clips (a bacon sizzling in the pan, a blender blending, and someone chopping) on the computer and asked the children to guess. There were guesses like planes, thunderstorm, rocks falling and bikes. They were all quite surprised when the real answers were revealed to them. After the guessing game, SeJung recreated the cooking sounds with the children by making a traditional Korean pancake with them.

Sound Travels 1 - Form of sound

Strumming the elastic bands.
What is sound like? The children explored the concept of the form(recognizable features which can be observed, identified, described and categorized) of sound.

How would sound 'look' like from a xylophone?
The children found the answer to the question through experiments and by watching a video clip. First, the children stretched out an elastic band on their fingers and tried to pluck it. They heard a sound and saw the elastic bands vibrate on their fingers. Next, we wanted to see what would happen if we stop the vibrations. We played a key on the xylophone and immediately put a finger on that key. The children noticed that the sound stopped when the vibration stopped. Together, we concluded that sound is vibration.

Sound waves from a tamborine.
Observing sound waves from their voices.
To further their understanding of sound, we watched a video called Sounds from Brainpop Jr. and the children learned that vibrations can create sound waves. Orin asked, "Is it like waves in the ocean?" I explained to the children that we can't see sound waves but we can hear it. To help the children "see" sounds, we used an App called Wavepad on ipad. They were intrigued when their voices turned into waves on the screen. They noticed that if they talked loudly, their wave length would look bigger and if they talked gently, it would look smaller.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Unit-Sound Travels

Trying different instruments.
The children from Water Group were wonderful at sharing their ideas and questions during our formative assessment week (where we find out the children's knowledge and inquiries of our new unit).

Throughout this unit the children will explore the idea of how sound and music are used to represent people's feelings, ideas and cultures.

Some music makes us feel peaceful.
The children were introduced to instruments from different instrumental groups and here are their opinions. Orin and Becky like the sound that a flute makes. Owen feels happy when he hears the piano. Pauline likes the sound of the horn and Jack likes the happy sound a harmonica makes. Judy thinks it is very tricky to make the sound of a frog (a wood instrument we have at the centre).

Later I played different classical music and one reminded Serena of ballet (and she started to dance).

Using our ears to listen.
Then Becky asked, "Do sound goes in from one ear and out the other ear?" and Owen asked, "Do sound bounce around? Does it bounce from ear to ear?"

What a great start to our new unit!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Group Time week of Aug 2

“The apple of my eye” was how Lorette describes her son in Apple Batter by Deborah Turney Zagw├┐n. What does “the apple of someone’s eye” mean? This week, the children learned apple sayings like “sweet as apple pie” and “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. The children were thinkers trying to figure out the meaning and reason behind each saying.
The children also enjoyed acting out Simple Simon (a nursery rhyme) using finger puppets. They loved the part when Simon tasted the ware because the child having the turn can choose the pie that the pieman is carrying (it’s always their favourite pie).
Tasting the pieman's ware.

"What kind of pie did you taste?"
"It's blueberry pie!" 

Friday, 29 July 2011

Children's inquiries

This week the children explored the book “If you Give a Pig a Pancake” through different activities. During those activities they were inquirers and came up with the following questions:
- How do you make maple syrup?
- How do you make blueberry sauce?
- What makes you sticky?
- Do pigs eat pancakes?
Learning about making maple syrup.
So today, the children watched a video of how to make maple syrup. Here’s the link to the video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WluCeKq_drc. After the video, we made our own blueberry sauce with fresh blueberries, water, sugar and vanilla flavouring (the children’s idea). It turned out great and all the children enjoyed dipping the crackers in the sauce. 
Adding the blueberries.

Boiling the blueberry sauce.
Tasting fresh blueberries.