Through the Eyes of a Child

So, I tried something a little different with my kids today. I created a new classroom job-the photographer! They have always been interested in taking pictures and of course they all generally come out blurry and either REALLY close up or REALLY far away!

So, I give the photographer for the week a short lesson on the camera; the parts of the camera, how to turn it on, how to take a picture and keeping the camera still so the picture is clear. We talked about not leaving it on ALL DAY and keeping the camera safe so it doesn’t  break. P, the photographer for today, took her job very seriously. I’m pretty sure we got footage of her every move this morning. 🙂

I just went through the pictures she took and it’s just amazing. The things she thought were important enough to take pictures of, the things she noticed in the classroom and outside were amazing. If she didn’t get a good shot she would try again and she experimented with how a picture would look if she did a certain movement or held the camera a certain way.

 

Here are some of her photographs. . .:D

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Making number books
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Working together to organize the blocks shelf

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Snack!
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All organized!!
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Puzzle time

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We found a caterpillar!
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Planting Seeds
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She tried about 7 times before she could get a good picture of the lettuce seeds!
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Covering up the seeds!
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Watering them now 🙂
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Other classes seeds are starting to grow!

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These are daffodils the kids planted a couple weeks ago. Two of them finally bloomed today!!
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On the way to the playground!
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In line to go inside!

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The Golden Leaf!!
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Waffle Blocks!!

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Looking at the buds on the plant by the door.

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NOW–what to do with the pictures she took. . .

I brainstormed with one of my supervisors and she came up with having a display for the “Photographer of the Week”. At the end of the week she could pick 4 color photos and 5 black and white photos that she wanted to display and they would go on the board for everyone to see. And at the end of the next week when the new photographers pictures go up, hers would come down and be put in a photo album to look at later. So, now I am in the process of making the POTW board and figuring out how to organize all of the photos.

I also have a digital photo frame at home that I never use so I was thinking I could put a card in it of all the photos they have taken and hang that above the board.

I can’t wait to see how it all works out!! 😀

 

❤ Ali

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i LAVA you <3

Well, I haven’t posted in a while! The last couple weeks, we have been busy with Valentine’s day and learning about VOLCANOES! SOOOOO much fun! We started the week off with a mentos and diet coke geyser! I got a geyser tube from my cooperating teacher when I graduated, it’s really cool and from Steve Spangler, and i haven’t used it yet! The kids loved it and it was a great way to get them interested in eruptions and volcanoes.

We also watched the Pixar short called “LAVA”. It’s about a volcano that wants someone to “lava” and he has a really catchy song too. You can look it up on YouTube but it’s not the actual video, it’s a music video. The whole thing is in the special features of the movie “Inside Out” I won’t spoil it for you in case you wan to see it, but it’s so cute and sweet. The kids loved it to and even pointed out some of the things we have learned about.

We discussed what a volcano is made of, what comes out of them, and the shape of a volcano: one of my kids described it as a “triangle with the top chopped off“.

After our discussion I introduced them to oil pastels. We talked about the colors we would need to made just the volcano part. They decided to use brown, black and grey. They drew the volcanoes with the pastels and used red, yellow, and orange paint for the lava. They turned out great!

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This is G’s view from the TOP of the volcano.
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I also let them experiment with baking soda, vinegar, and eye droppers. This is always a great go-to science activity. What 4 year old doesn’t like making things fizz up?!

We TRIED to make a volcano out of Legos. . . it didn’t work. It was very hard to get them to stay up and by the time we finished (even with my help) it didn’t look at all like a volcano. So, we decided to just make one out of sand on the playground. Each child had a part (collecting sand, molding the volcano and, adding pop rocks, baking soda, or vinegar). We found the pop rocks didn’t add too much more popping to the eruption but when they landed on the sand they popped in it and made holes. A pretty cool discovery.

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All those holes where the wet sand is are from the Pop rocks!!

That was the end to our Volcano week. I meant to show them the videos of real volcanoes erupting, but we just ran out of time.

Here are some of the books we read to further our knowledge!

Enjoy!

❤ Ali

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

Like I don’t have enough to do already. . .

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I’ve thought about starting a blog for a while now but I keep going back and forth between “Wow! That’s a great idea I should share it with other people.” to “Who in the world wants to read about your life and what you do? I don’t even want to relive it long enough to write it down! Ha ha!”So I decided that, with Christmas break coming up, I would try it out and see how I like it.

Anyways, an intro to ME! My name is Ali and I am a prek teacher from South Carolina! I have a class of 13 4-year-olds this year. There are 2 other teachers in my grade level and they are phenomenal, I don’t know what I would do without my team! We are in transition to a more Reggio inspired classroom and curriculum. We started at the beginning of the year in August and it has been quite an adventure!  Last summer we got a new director for our center (honestly I can’t say enough good things about her) she came to us from a Reggio inspired preschool in SC. Once my team and I heard that she came from a Reggio background we started researching it and fell in love. And once we spoke with her about it we knew we had to start implementing aspects if it as soon as we could!

I don’t claim to be an expert on Reggio by any means but for those who don’t know much about it; it’s a more natural approach to teaching where the classroom is the third teacher (after the parents and you). What you teach goes along with what interests the child. The children are seen as capable learners, which they are. I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to Reggio classroom and got a lot of my info from pins on there.