Monday, September 29, 2014

Hammering Inside and Outside

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   Last week I provided hammers and golf tees for the children,
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                     knowing that they love this activity.
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    We hammered into paper to make holes, sometimes drawing a design
                                      or name first.
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Then when they finished, if they were interested, they lifted it up towards the light
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                                  and could see through it.

We have tried hammering golf tees into paper, pumpkins and styrofoam so I thought why not take it outside and let them hammer into the ground.
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             The grass makes a suitable canvas for hammering.
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Although the real challenge is getting the tee out of the ground if they
                                happen to hammer it deep.
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                   How else can we extend hammer play?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Grumpy Bird ~ StoryMob

             This week our community performed a second StoryMob. 
We decided to do it on Raise-a-Reader day to help promote literacy in
                                      our community.
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We chose the book Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard because he was the guest author/illustrator at our regional library summer reading program.  We offered a few pre-mob activities leading up to the event.
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A story time in a local park was a good opportunity to introduce the book to
                          families who weren’t familiar with it.
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          We practiced copying Grumpy Bird as we walked around the park.

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Also we had a few days where families could attend events to make animal masks.  Our local art gallery opened on a Saturday to run a mask making day too.
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       The day of the event started with building a nest for Grumpy Bird.
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  We gathered our material in front of the art gallery and twisted grapevines
          together to make a circle.  Then we used bamboo to fill it in.
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  The gallery provided some softer material to line the nest making it
                       comfortable for lots of birds to gather.
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  Once all our main characters were assembled we started the story.
                          Bird wakes up grumpy.
     Too grumpy to eat, play and even fly so he goes for a walk.
As he walks he passes some of his friends and they decide to walk along with
                                        him.  
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A young girl, of 8 , painted the above posters to put in business windows.  They provided the narration of the story and some advertisement leading up to our
                                                  event.
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We continued around the city block meeting all the characters in the story
                           making our mob grow larger.
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All the characters followed Grumpy Bird and copied his actions which cheered
                                 Bird until he was happy.
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We flew back to the nest to have a snack of worms (gummy, of course).
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    It was so much fun to share a terrific story with so many people.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bead Tree

Another activity I set up to get to know each other during our first week
                              at school was beading.
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The families gathered around the table and strung beads on wire then hung
                                   them on the tree.
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As they worked on their bead strings they met each other, chatted
                    and became comfortable with new friends.
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While they beaded we chatted about the beads they chose; what shapes,
                         colours and what they liked about them.
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While they beaded I learned about their fine motor and math skills.  How did they handle the beads?  Could they string without assistance?  What shape did they make their strand?  Did they know the letters on the beads they chose?
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I learned if they were able to leave their bead creation on the tree or if they
                                 needed to take it home.
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What we ended with is an art piece to display that we worked together to create.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple Bread

Oh I love this time of season for the apples.  So crisp when they are fresh.  Today we baked Apple Pull-Apart Bread.  I found the recipe at Julie's Eats and Treats.
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                   I made a loaf at home last night. 
It smelled so good that my husband had to try it before I took it to school.
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This recipe offered the children lots of cutting practice.  We used scissors
               and knives to cut the apples into small chunks.
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       Then we added brown sugar and cinnamon to the apples. 
                         Mixing it to coat the apples.
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Next we cut up the bread dough into little pieces.  Sometimes getting help
                                   how to hold the scissors.
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     The bread is assembled in layers and we talked about patterns. 
                A layer of bread, a layer of apples, then repeat.
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Drizzle each layer with melted butter and it’s ready for a warm oven
                                     to rise for an hour.
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      Our classroom filled with a warm, delicious bread smell.
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     Everyone wanted to try and some wanted an extra piece.