Shades of People

At the beginning of the year we started our self investigations. We read a book called Shades of People.

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I’m going to copy and paste that documentation panel i made for this on here so you can see how I write them and what it sounds/looks like. Here goes . . .

 

Shades of People

We read Shades of People, which explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin does not reveal what someone is like on the inside. This prompted a discussion about the different shades of our skin. Right away the kids noticed the differences and similarities in their skin.

“Mine is just like hers!”

“My arm is browner than his.”

“Ours is kinda close, but not really that much.”

I provided skin shade cards and prompted the kids to find a shade that matched themselves.

“Mine and his are the same!”

“Mine isn’t on here.”

“It’s kind of close to that one.”

Later I provided brown, yellow, white and black paint and prompted the children to mix colors together to get their shade of skin color. They started by picking the colors they saw in their skin and adding some to a plate to mix them.

“It’s turning white-brown.”

“I need more brown.”

“I need it darker. More brown.”

“I’m adding yellow because I like bananas.”

“Hey it’s turning my color a little bit. Or maybe pie.”

After they mixed them together they tested the color against their skin to see if they needed to add anything to it. They understood that adding white makes colors lighter and adding darker colors like brown and black makes colors darker.

After mixing the right shade they painted their hands and made hand prints.

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I hope that was helpful! If you have any questions please let me know!!

❤ Ali

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Beautiful Stuff Project

At the beginning of the year we began our beautiful stuff project. The first thing I did was ask the children what they thought beautiful means. Those answers are on the left; the ones on the right are things they thought were beautiful. I particularly like that they think onions and teachers and both beautiful!

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I found some items around the room and outside that I thought were beautiful (ribbon, bead, shiny paper, a leaf, a stick, etc.). I put them in a brown paper bag and took each one out and showed it to the class. Most of the class agreed with me that most of my items were beautiful, but then I brought out the stick. . .

”A stick?”

“That’s not beautiful!”

“*laughter*”

Then came the meaningful conversation about how everyone can find different things beautiful, not everyone finds the same things beautiful and that’s ok.

Then, I gave them a job. They each got their own brown paper bag and were told to take it home and find SMALL things they think are beautiful and fill up the bag. They were all so excited to take their bag home.

They took it home over the weekend and on Monday they each took a turn pouring out their bag on a tray and showing their beautiful finds to the class.

After they all shared, we poured out all the items they brought and sorted them into three groups: art, home, and nature. I split the class into two groups and gave each group half of the items they brought in. They worked together to decided what box them item would go in.

We used the items to make the letters of the alphabet for our wall. Each child got to choose 2 letters to make. I cut black poster board into 6 sections and wrote the letter on it using white crayon. Some things had to be hot glued on because they weren’t staying on with regular glue. Surprisingly the shells and most of the rocks stayed on without any hot glue! They have been up going on 5 months and (KNOCK WOOD!!) nothing has fallen off any of them. OH! Also, I used command Velcro strips to attach the letters to the wall! Taping things to the wall in my classroom and in the hallway almost never works. All our humidity, even in the winter, makes sure of that.

Well, that’s about it. I LOVED this project! We regularly receive compliments about it and the kids love referring to it when they are writing.

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Documentation board for the entire project

We’re learning the letters in sign language too and so each week when we learn a new letter I take a picture of one of my kids making that letter then I print it in black and white and post it above that letter on the wall.

Enjoy!

❤ Ali

Follow Me!!

I’ve started to pin my ideas to my Pinterest board as well! So click HERE to be taken to my Pinterest page. I have tons of Reggio boards! Or you can go to the ABOUT section on here and see the link to it!

Also, I was talking to my best friend about how this blog and pinterest and all and she suggested I start an Instagram page as well! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!?! I’ll be able to share more photos, videos and ideas of what I do in my classroom! So this morning I started it up and already have 2 posts! If you’re interested please follow me @PeaceLoveAndTeaching

THANK YOU!!!

❤ Ali

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Portfolios <3

I have researched Reggio portfolio formats until I was cross eyed. I wanted mine to be set up a certain way to where the kids could look at them and see the work they had done, I wanted the parents to be able to look at them and see the children’s progress and I wanted someone just visiting my room to be able to look at them and see how much my kids have learned and what they are capable of.

That’s a lot to ask of a little binder filled with paper.

First, we decided we wanted each child to have a 1 inch binder for their portfolio. We figured that would be big enough to hold each student’s selected works for the year. We also chose to have their work put in page protectors, that way the kids would be able to look at it without tearing them up.
After we got our binders we each decided on our own covers. I went with a typed page with the child’s name on it ( ____’s Portfolio) and a picture I had taken of them engaged in an activity. Here’s an example:

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I have the portfolios displayed on a shelf in my reading center so when we read books or start a transition the kids can either choose to read a book or look at their portfolio.

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On the inside of the portfolio I try and put pieces of work that are meaningful; a cutting sample, name practices, self-portraits, etc. Their contributions from the calendar also go in here. At the beginning of the year some of the kids needed extra help with their name. Since they liked their portfolios so much i put a name activity in the front to help them practice. They could write their name in the blank space with an expo marker then put their name in order on the bottom of the page. (There is a picture below of this page.) Everything gets dated and I try to put it in the portfolio in chronological order. Also, when I take any documentation down off the walls that has pictures I have taken of them I put those in there as well with a description of the activity we were working on, any specific mention of them in the documentation, and the product of their work (if it fits in the page protector). Some examples are below:

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On the top of my shelf I have our Classroom History Portfolio. That is, obviously, for the entire classroom. The whole group documentation that I do goes in there when I take it down off the wall. The kids really enjoy looking at this one. It really down become a history of our entire classroom.

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If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave me a comment below! I would LOVE to hear from you!

❤ Ali

DOCUMENTATION!!!! (*sing song voice*)

Alrighty! Here comes one of my favorite things to talk about!!!

DOCUMENTATION!!!!

I started documenting with the understanding that I’m not taking pretty pictures of my kids hold up their artwork or standing next to something they built.I want REAL pictures of them in action, exploring things, making discoveries, trying things out. I want to document the process of their thinking. Most of the time I have to be sneaky with my picture taking because once the kids see the camera they either want to pose or go into hiding. Again I got a lot of help from looking on pinterest boards and at other teacher’s blogs. Plus, in the beginning I ran all my documentation by my director and Mrs. Mary (my work best friend) before I posted it.

Documentation is not just pictures of the kids engaged in learning. It’s also writing down the what they are saying. This can be tricky some of the time because you are so in the moment that you forget your camera, you don’t write down what they say and then you forget later (happens to me all the time!). I don’t want to write down what they MEANT to say either. I want their real, authentic words. I have gotten permission from my director to record what the kids are saying so I can go back to it later and make sure I document it correctly.  Here are a few examples of some of my documentation.

This is from our Beautiful Stuff Project at the beginning of the year.The picture below is on a bulletin board and is a documentation panel.

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The next set of documentation is individual documentation. Our letter for this past week was the letter R so we made Rectangle Robots. After each child made their robot I asked them to tell me about their robot. Some of them went right off telling me their name, special powers, what they like to do, etc. Others needed a little more prodding with questions as you can see below. We have a very spacious wall above our cubbies outside so we put some of our documentation in the hallway to entice the parents. 🙂

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In my next post I’ll show you how I include my documentation in the kid’s portfolios and in our class history portfolio!