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’m such a bad blogger

I feel like I have been neglecting my blog! (not that people read it) I really am doing a lot with my kids and it’s just hard to find time to sit and write about everything. I find myself posting things to my Instagram more than I am blogging. So, follow me on Instagram @peaceloveandteaching for up to date posts and I’ll continue to blog when I have the time.

BUSY BUSY BUSY (Shadows and Light)

I feel like I haven’t written in so long! Last week we were busy with Groundhog Day and learning about shadows and light. I set up a black light on the wall by my writing table a provided white paper and different color highlighters for the kids to write and draw. They LOVED how the light made the highlighters glow!I had fun playing with it too! 🙂

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Then I recycled a box that had our snack in it and put a piece of white paper inside and lined the height and width of it with unifix cubes. I set out our wild animal basket, some see through colored blocks and 2 flashlights. The kids put an object in the box, shined the light on it to make a shadow and used the cubes on the side to measure how tall it was.

We also were lucky enough to have the use of the school’s mobile light lab; which consists of an overhead projector, 3 flat light boards and different colored and shaped see through objects. I hung white butcher paper from the doorway in my room and had the projector shining light on it and let the kids experiment with making shadows with their bodies.

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It was so beautiful outside last week too, PERFECT for shadows! I had each child pick a block to take outside. Working together they made a tower in the sun. Using colored stones, rocks and wood pieces they filled in the shadow. It took a little explaining before some of them understood what “fill in the shadow” meant. They started by putting the stones on the blocks or on the ground around the blocks. While they filled in the shadow we talked about shadows, can you see through a shadow, can you see your face in your shadow, things like that. After they were done we left everything out and went to the playground for about 30 minutes. We decided to go check on our tower before going inside. In just 30 minutes the shadow had moved about 4 or 5 inches. The kids were amazed! I asked them how they thought the shadow moved.  I got answers like “the wind blowed it!”, “someone moved the rocks!” and “NO! The sun moved!!” We talked more about how light can make a show move and get bigger or smaller and experimented some as well.

We did a few crafts too. I laid out white paper and black paint. The kids were invited to paint shadows. And we also made groundhogs that we used on Thursday to go outside and see if they saw their shadows (unfortunately, they did).I set out pictures of real groundhogs, various sizes or brown circles and ovals, markers and glue. I was so bad with pictures this week that I didn’t get any of these projects!

By the time Friday came around I was going bananas! Never had a heard so much whining, from my class or me! So, after nap I decided to spend our whole afternoon OUTSIDE! It was a beautiful day! Fluffy clouds, the sun shining, 76 degrees-GORGEOUS! So we took our blankets out and had a picnic in the grass. We also took clipboards, markers and paper out and did an activity. They all laid down and covered their eyes and listened. The called out the things they heard-a car, a kid yelling, a train, a bird. Then they opened their eyes and drew one thing they heard.

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I thought that was a pretty ingenious idea. . . the kids however did not. The complaints started “I’m hot!” “The sun’s too bright.” “When are we going to the playground?” “I’m bored.”. . . Me: *in my head*”We are never doing anything fun again.”

We packed everything up and moved to a different spot-in the shade. There I told them they were to find something they could see and draw. I gave them an example of a light on the building next to us. I described the lines on the bottom of it and the circle on the top and the rounded shape of the whole light. If I were drawing the light, that’s what I would draw. I emphasized that I want to be able to tell what the picture is of when I look at it. I didn’t let them tell me what they were drawing either. I had to be able to guess. They surprised me. One had drawn the light I described, one drew a house across the street, one drew the church, and you could pick out certain key aspects of the subject of their drawing and tell what it was. The church had a cross at the top, the house had lines on the side for the siding, they actually paid attention to detail! SUCCESS!! 😀

Then FINALLY they got to go inside and “cool off” before finally going on the playground.

❤ Ali

 

Transitions! Part 2: Before and After

I was going through my pictures on my camera and my phone looking for ones to share on here, and I came across BEFORE pictures of my classroom when I moved into it during the summer! So, I thought I would do a Part 2 to my Transitions! post from last week and do a little “Before and After”!

I “inherited” my classroom from an amazing teacher who had been in that room for many years. She retired and I got to move down the hallway, so I would be closer to the other two 4s classes.

 I rearrange my classroom a lot! Just last week I changed around my art center, and my blocks and housekeeping area. The week before that I switched up my reading center, science area and rearranged my circle area. And right now, I’m thinking I need to switch a couple other things too. I’m writing this on Sunday and I plan on taking after pictures Monday morning and posting this Monday afternoon. I’ll have to let you know if I change anything else after that! (I probably will.)

…..AND I did! The “”AFTER” pictures are what my room looks like now. Excuse the mess in some areas 🙂

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Art Center
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Was Housekeeping but turned it into a bigger blocks area with a STAGE(a regular shelf turned on its front)
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Circle Time! It looks basically the same as the before picture now (just a different carpet and calendar) i forgot to take a picture of after (oops)
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Was a math/puzzle area now it is Housekeeping
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Legos/math and puzzles now (& Meatball-our hamster!)
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Reading corner
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Was blocks now it’s science. I’m going to add some documentation to the wall so it’s not so bare.
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Now that door is not blocked and writing is next to the chalkboard.

I’m not sure why I like to rearrange my room so much. I just see that something doesn’t work well or the kids need more room to move around and I start thinking of a different way to put things. There are some restrictions, like I’m not able to move my blocks shelf (it’s WAY too heavy and the wall behind it is not all that pretty) so it’s pretty much going to be there forever or until I really NEED it to be moved. The kids seem to like coming into the room when I’ve changed things. I always like to see how long it takes them to notice that something is different. Usually, it’s not long! Ha ha!

Anyways, I hope this helps inspire some of you, or at least gives you something to go off of while you are transitioning!

Enjoy!

 

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.