April 30, 2012

Painting with Marbles

Painting with marbles is another great activity for preschool. As we are exploring primary and secondary colors, we have decided as a group to use primary colors for our finger paint and secondary colors for the marble paint.

April 28, 2012

Favorite Color Graph

Children love to make handprints and this is another project that uses handprints and a great way to graph favorite colors.

Ask each child to choose a favorite color.
Trace the child’s hand and ask the child to color the hand. Most of my students chose the “rubbing crayon" technique.

After all the hands were ready I placed them on a table to see the kids reaction in the morning of the next day. The children were looking for their handprints, placing their hands on them, comparing hand sizes and talking about the colors. I decided to leave the handprints there during the day for the kids to explore.

Later when I looked at the table this is what I saw. They had sorted the hands by color. They were also counting them.

 At last the graph is ready! 

April 27, 2012

Finger Paint

Today was a great messy day! It was finger paint day! This is a great project for preschoolers as the process is so much fun. We decided to use only the primary colors. It was also a good way to review what color we get when we mixed two primary colors. Investigating color is such a magical thing for young children. 

April 25, 2012

Snail Artists!!!

This week we had unusual artists painting in our classroom, SNAILS! It’s true! I saw this on a blog a long time ago and I thought it was so cool. Thanks Filth Wizardry for this idea! Here is the link to the original idea on Filthy Wizardry blog. http://www.filthwizardry.com/2008/05/snail-painting.html 

April 20, 2012

Paper Collage

There are so many art mediums to do collage but as this week we are exploring ‘colours’ we decided to use coloured paper as the sole art medium for our collages.

April 19, 2012

Making Clouds

Yesterday I read the book “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw. It is a great book to spark imagination as we wonder about shapes that we see in clouds.

April 18, 2012


Differentiating between numbers and letters is a great skill to develop in preschool. Here are some activities I do with my students.

Initially I work with the whole group with flash cards. I show a number or a letter and ask the children to tell me which one it is. If it is a number they will jump or clap the number, if it is a letter they will tell me something that start with that letter sound and act it out if appropriate.

On a different day I use the white board. I bluetack two circles (or draw) on the board, one for numbers and one for letters. Then I write a letter or a number outside the circles and the students tell me where to write it.

Then I erase it and write it in the correct circle. I do as many letters and numbers as I judge appropriate. This is also a good formative assessment tool.

As an individual activity I give each student a paper with two ‘cans’ drawn on it, one for numbers and one for letters. I also give them a strip of paper with numbers and letters mixed so they need to cut and paste in the correct can. You can also ask the students to find numbers and letters in old magazines.
Students were instructed to cut all letters and numbers before pasting them. They had a little container to place the bits of paper. I believe we need to teach students how to organize their work.
All students got one number or letter randomly from their little container to glue on the paper but this student in particular made a point of looking for all the numbers and glue them first and then he glued the letters.

The work below is from a student who glued all the numbers in order. She separated the numbers from the letters first then she got the smallest number, pasted it on the paper and added the others subsequently. 

Again it is fascinating for me to observe how each child carry on with the task. 

 Click on the picture below to download the worksheet.

If you are not using magazines like me assessment is the key to know which letters and numbers we give the students for this activity. After assessing my students I chose numbers 6, 9 the letter b, as well as the number 5 and the letter s. You need to assess the students to choose the right challenge for them. Every student at every level needs to be challenged but the task cannot be too difficult or it will be overwhelming.  I was happy to verify that my assessment was accurate and the students were up for the task.

April 16, 2012

Spray Paint Fun

We have been exploring art mediums and here is one simple idea that creates great results for any age. A spray bottle with watered down tempera paint and paper. You can use only one paint color like we did, or you can have the children use different colors. You can do it as an individual project or get a big paper and do it as a group project. Children can mix colors to create another color.

April 14, 2012

Pegs and Pegboard

Practicing fine motor skills is essential in Preschool. One of my students’ favorite materials/activities is “Pegs and Pegboards”.

We can learn a lot about the student’s fine motor, visual perception and organizational skills by observing how they organize and carry on with their work.

Some students like to work as a group and they take each piece from the tray, as they need them.

Others like to work by themselves.
This boy likes to select pegs place them in one hand then get one by one with the other hand and place it on the board.

This other boy likes to place the tray close to the board and get one peg at a time.

This one likes to previously separate pegs by color (sorting) and use them as he needs them.

It is fascinating to observe how each child has different ways of doing an activity. Unless the child is having difficulties, like dropping too many pegs on the floor and it is not learning through mistakes then I interfere to help the child be aware on how organizing the work space and materials is important. But I never impose one way or another.

One point I made this time is to have them think about the benefits of working with pegs and pegboards.

Some of the answers I got are:
“It is good for your fingers.”

“It helps you hold the pencil better.” (we have been talking about pencil grip and exercising our fingers)
“It is good for your brain.”
“You use your eyes and hands and even your nails.”

They know it all!

Note: I can no longer find those pegs and pegboards in catalogs. See the comments below for a substitute.

April 12, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk

We are beginning to investigate about "art medium". 

We first defined art medium as things we can use to create an artwork.

We brainstormed everything we had in the classroom that we could use to create art. As the students came up with an idea they would get the object/material, place it on the mat and I would write on a word web.

The picture below shows all the art medium we have in our classroom. 

April 11, 2012

Accidental Counting

Letting the students’ interests guide their learning experiences is one of the best ways for them to learn. Here is an example.

Today during recess there were many millipedes walking around the playground. The children were fascinated by them.

One of the boys got a bucket from the sand pit and began collecting them. Soon enough lots of children joined in.

Young Ones.

Older ones

“How many?” one child asked

“Toooooo many” the boy said
“So let’s get more”, another added.
“Yeahhh”, they all said. And they continued to collect millipedes.

The constant movement of the millipedes in the bucket was fascinating.

“Can I take them home?” the boy with the bucket asked.
“Sure” I said, “but you have to ask your mother if it is ok. Maybe we can do something with them after recess?”

“We can count them!” someone said.
Counting interesting things is a favorite activity in EC.

We passed the jar around and guessed how many millipedes were there.

I asked how we could count them. They said, “One by one”.

We decided to place them in a tray and the boy who started collecting them volunteered to get them one by one and place in the bucket as we counted.

When we got to 45 I thought the children would loose interest but they kept their focus the whole time.

Guess how many? One Hundred and Four Millipedes! A number quite abstract for early childhood students, but they loved it. Well, they know one hundred is a lot!

The millipedes are now back in the garden. By dismissal time the boy did not want to take them home anymore. I think his mother was quite happy about that.