Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Trying my hand at blogging...be patient with me
Well...my almost nine year old is in day camp for the next couple of weeks. This week I plan on doing some me activities (although I strained my back this morning) and next week start setting up my classroom. It is only four weeks until the school year starts. I hate that it begins before Labour Day. I always feel very creative at this time of the year. My mind whirls around with plans for a fresh school year.
I have been doing lots of studying about play-based learning because Ontario has recently adopted a new full-day kindergarten curriculum which is play-based. I find it just so challenging and exciting. I hope to make my activities absolutely irresistible for my students.
I have been reading lots of other blogs, mostly from Australian educators who once again seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of us north americans. I have been making some neat things for my classroom and I will now attempt to upload some pictures. Let's see if it works!
These are some crayon pucks I made recycling old yucky crayons from my classroom. I just peeled the crayons, broke them in bits and placed them in old muffin cups. I made tiny ones, medium sized ones and great big ones. I tried to theme base some of them (eg. red and green for Christmas, black and orange for Halloween) and others I just made rainbow or tints and shades of the same colours. Key is to bake them on a low temp 200 degrees until they melt. Wait until they are thoroughly cool before trying to take them out of the muffin cups. I wish I had cool shapes!
I read another idea about using stones to make alphabet stones for your ABC centre. So my son and I went to the beach yesterday and picked a bunch of stones. I then used puffy fabric paint to make alphabet letters. I think they turned out quite nice.
My son wanted to play with them before they were even dry. You could also do this with numbers or sight words or whatever.
I find that every year, I have kids who need lots of kinesthetic stimulation...they are wiggly and need to always be touching or squishing something. I made sensory balloons and gel bags for these learners. I put all sorts of things in the balloons from rice to hair gel. You can basically use anything in your pantry. A funnel comes in handy for filling them. I also made gel bags with hair gel and glitter. You can actually use these to practice writing.
I am totally looking forward to my trip to Fort Frances Ontario on the weekend to see the Ooey Gooey lady. She has a website: Ooey Gooey Lady's Website.
If you go to the handouts section in the resources part, she has recipes for all sorts of sensory activities. I have tried the jelly cake one and the clean mud. The jelly cake was fun, although I didn't have liquid watercolours, so I let my son use tempera. It made a heck of a mess. I did figure out how to make some liquid watercolours thanks to Mrs. Picasso. You simply soak several dried up markers in water and use the water to paint with. Now I need to gather more dried up markers for this activity. I look forward to reading any comments or suggestions. I will try to post my musings and reflections.