Monday, May 19, 2008

Photographic Album 6

As I said last week, it is a very busy time of year. I have not even had time to post on my blog as my evenings are filled with end of the year reports and putting together end of the year class projects. Luckily, my assistant Jill is wonderful about running to the store and finding this or that so as to make proposed lessons possible.

She came to class last Thursday with several bags of marshmallows and boxes of toothpicks. We had discussed having the children make constructions from gum drops or sugar cubes as a means of continuing our ongoing work regarding the geometry of place. "Mini marshmallows were on sale at "Stop and Shop" so I bought enough for both classes!" This is her personal magic. She home bakes the cookies for cookie work and she raids her own pantry when we are out of carrots or pickles. I am always thankful for her willingness. Today she cleaned the staff refrigerator. She is going back to be a full time mother next year and I will truly miss her and her yogic mind set.

So here is a sampling of the work done in the class last week. Besides their normal classwork the children were preparing gifts for Parent Night and were busy helping with Planting Day. Yet, as always they gave their best and accomplished so much.

The children worked alongside their parents planting flowers on the school grounds.


I gave a new Practical Life lesson on grating dried lemons for use in soup.


A child brought to school for show and tell a plastic bottle he found at the beach that had a message enclosed inside it. This is truly evidence of coastal living.

Another student brought in a bird's nest for show and tell.


A child designed this cubed wrapping paper and enclosed their parent's Parent Night gift within it.

I used the child's cubed wrapping paper as a spring board into the lesson on constructing shapes with the marshmallows and toothpicks.

Each child was given a sheet of construction paper to work on and a replinishable supply of toothpicks and mini- marshmallows. All of the children were so quiet while they completed their individual projects that it spoke of their enjoyment with and concentration on the work. Interestingly, not one child created a house or made a flower. All of the work was conceptual or abstract in design. Many located geometric shapes embedded within their designs. I thought they looked alot like constellations.


Birthday cupcakes were confectionery sugar dusted by a birthday child.


The head of my school designed this material. He has a home on the Cape and often collects beach stones there. He made three cards: one illustrates a stone with lines, another with spots and a third that is simply smooth without spots or lines. He put several beach stones with these characteristics in a draw string bag. A child removes one stone at a time and places it with the looped string beneath the correct card. This is a sorting material designed around our geographic location - the New England Coast.


A student inspired by an illustration included in Discovery magazine done by a child makes his own using the geometry cabinet's tray of circles.


I gave a lesson on using the geometry cabinet's large circle with the math sticks to create hexagons.

A student asked to give a presentation at circle time. She showed the other students that the fifth cube in the pink tower was identical in size to the cube in the geometric solids.

And one final lesson at the end of the week: labeling the environment. Two of my 5 year-old, afternoon students thought this was so much fun. I was amazed at how well they could read.

There are only twelve more school days. Wow! This year flew by!


Lindart said...

i have really enjoyed your posts and have used several of your ideas in my classroom. I just wanted to say thank you, and I look forward to next year's posts!

Susan Dyer said...

Dear Lindart - I am just saying the year went by fast but I have a few weeks left to write posts about and I am attending a science seminar on soil and insects over the summer that I plan to write posts about - so thank you for your lovely comments but I am not done yet...keep visiting.

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet