Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planning

Two weeks off gave me a great opportunity to plan. This year I've tried to plan a month in advance, generally for art and story ideas, keeping in mind that it could change at any given time depending on what is happening around us.
So here are my plans for January thus far;

January 2011 Crafts

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closed

Spin art mittens – hang from tree branch

Animal stamps on a mitten shape

Mitten prints – wear a pair of mittens to make a painted print

‘knit” mittens

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Bubble wrap snow painting

Confetti snow art

Cupcake liner snowflakes

Pringle container black and white painting

Screen painting

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Potato masher snowmen

Paper plate snowmen

Melting snowmen with puffy paint

Potluck

Torn tissue paper collage with shades of whites and blues

White glue blob snowmen

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Collage materials to build trees

Family Literacy Day

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Watercolour and salt painting


January 2011 Stories

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Story - 3 Little Kittens

Sign of the week – cat

Song – A Mitten

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The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohm

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone

Jill

Colourful Mittens

One Mitten by Kristine O’connell

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Song – Itsy Bitsy Snowflake

Fairytale – The Princess and the Pea

Sign of the week - snow

Mouse’s first snow by Lauren Thompson

The Princess and the Pea

When Will It Snow

By Marty Crisp

Snow Dance

By Lezlie Evans

Mama, will it snow tonight? By Nancy White Carlstrom

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

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Song – I Wish I Was A Snowman

Sign of the week – hat

Story -

All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle

Snow Friends by M. Christina Butler

Hello, Snow by Hope Vestergaard

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler

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Fairytale – Why the Evergreens Never Lose their Leaves

Sign of the week – tree

Song -

In the Tree by Zoe Sharp

Log Hotel by Anne Schreiber

We planted a tree by Diane Muldrow

The Tree House by Marije Tolman

The Little Green Pea by Alison Barber

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Fairytale – Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Story - The Blue Coat

video
This past year I've been working on learning more oral stories and improving my telling techniques. I find it interesting what can interfere with the telling of a story. But I've learned to keep going. You'll see a few interruptions in the video below.

Today's story is a Jewish story called "The Blue Coat". I heard this story told different ways, the one most people might know is a book called "Something from Nothing" by Phoebe Gilman. I like "The Blue Coat" because it's nicely suited for children to become involved.

I also added a visual component and cut each piece of clothing from a piece of paper.

The Blue Coat

Once there was a boy name Tom.
Once there was a boy name Tom who had grown too big for his coat.

"Oh dear, oh dear" said his mother. I'll have to make you a new one. So his mother went to the store and bought a length of blue fabric. She brought it home, laid it on the table and set to work.
All day she worked, cutting and shaping, fitting one piece to another until she made Tom a beautiful blue coat.

Tom was so pleased with his coat that he wore it everywhere.
He wore it in the sun and rain, the wind and the snow.
He wore it when he ran and jumped and splashed and rolled.

Till the day his mom looked him up and down and said, "Oh dear, oh dear. That coat is tattered and torn beyond repair."

She laid it on the table and looked at it. "Hmmm" she thought and set to work. She worked all day cutting out the good pieces and shaping them together, fitting one piece to another until she made a vest.

Tom was so pleased with his vest that he wore everywhere.
He wore it in the sun and rain, the wind and the snow.
He wore it when he ran and jumped and splashed and rolled.

Till the day his mom looked him up and down and said, "Oh dear, oh dear. That vest is tattered and torn beyond repair."

She laid it on the table and looked at it. "Hmmm" she thought and set to work. She worked all day cutting out the good pieces and shaping them together, fitting one piece to another until she made a hat.

Tom was so pleased with his hat that he wore everywhere.
He wore it in the sun and rain, the wind and the snow.
He wore it when he ran and jumped and splashed and rolled.

Till the day his mom looked him up and down and said, "Oh dear, oh dear. That hat is tattered and torn beyond repair."

She laid it on the table and looked at it. "Hmmm" she thought and set to work. She worked all day cutting out the good pieces and shaping them together, fitting one piece to another until she made a bow tie.

Tom was so pleased with his bow tie that he wore it everywhere.
He wore it in the sun and rain, the wind and the snow.
He wore it when he ran and jumped and splashed and rolled.

Till the day his mom looked him up and down and said, "Oh dear, oh dear. That bow tie is tattered and torn beyond repair."

She laid it on the table and looked at it. "Hmmm" she thought and set to work. She worked all day cutting out the good pieces and shaping them together, fitting one piece to another until she made a button.

Tom was so please with the button that he wore it everywhere.
He wore it in the sun and rain, the wind and the snow.
He wore it when he ran and jumped and splashed and rolled.

Till the day his mom looked him up and down and said, "Oh dear, oh dear. That button is tattered and torn beyond repair."

She laid it on the table and looked at it. "Hmmm" she thought and set to work. She worked all day cutting out the good pieces and shaping them together, fitting one piece to another until she made a....story.
She made this story of Tom's blue coat.

And I just shared the story of The Blue Coat with you so you can share it with someone else.
And that is the end of that story.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Story Time

At our StrongStart centre story time always start with the families reading to their own children. Then I join them to start a group circle time.
I use my hand drum and sing a song about putting their books away. The sound of the drum draws the children's attention instantly and they respond wonderfully.

This story time happened at one of our evening sessions (we offer one a month). The theme was pizza and pajama party. Thus the reason I'm wearing my pajamas.

Our hello and goodbye songs are always the same. I love watching even the youngest child learn the actions (which they do long before they say the words). Here are the words...
Hands go up, down
Turn around
Touch the sky
And touch the ground.
Wiggle your fingers
Wiggle your toes.
Wiggle your shoulders
And say Hello.

Hands go up, down
Turn around
Touch the sky
And touch the ground
Tickle your tummy
Blink your eyes
Blow a kiss
And say Goodbye.

I read Sandra Boynton's book Pajama Time. Well I tried to sing it and the children danced.Then I told a story called "The Candle".

The interesting thing about telling a story are the children's possible reactions. This little guy wanted to blow the candle out for me.

The Candle Story

Once upon a time there was a family that lived a long time ago. And in this family there was a mother, father, son, daughter and baby.

This family lived a long time ago before there was electricity. That means that they didn’t use stoves to cook their food, computers, tv, or even lights in their house.

What they used for light was candles and what they used for heat in their house was a fireplace and that what they used to cook their food too.

At night they’d put the fire out then they carry the candle up the stairs (pat-pat on knees slowly) to head to bed. When they’d get to the top of the stairs the mom would say, “Ok someone has to blow out this candle. And this night she said to her little boy – you can blow out this candle –

The only way the little boy could blow was ‘up’ (mock blowing up through lips) No matter how hard he tried he could not blow that candle out.

And she said to the little girl– you can blow the candle out – and the only way the little girl could blow was down – and she went (mock blowing down out of lips) No matter how hard she blew the candle didn’t go out.

So the mother said to her husband – dear you can blow the candle out – and the only way he could blow was out of the left side of his mouth – (mock blowing) No matter how hard he blew the candle did not go out.

So the mother said - ok I’ll blow the candle out tonight – and the only way she could blow was out the right side of her mouth – (mock blowing) But the candle would not go out

Now they could not go to bed with the candle lit because it was too dangerous to have a fire lit all night.

Then they heard footsteps (pat-pat fast on knees) outside the house

Who do you think it is? Fireman – call him (Have families call ‘fireman’ several times) He came running up the stairs ‘yes yes can I help you’

Yes our candles burning and we can’t blow it out

He said I’d be happy to blow it out – and he went whoosh and the candle went out.

Then he said wait it’s too dark – I can’t see to get down the stairs. So they lit the candle again – held it out so he could find his way down the stairs

And here they are again with the candle lit so they all tried to blow it out again

And the little boy blew up (mimic). The little girl blew down (mimic). The father blew to the left (mimic). The mother blew to the right (mimic). They couldn’t get the candle out

They heard some more footsteps outside

Who do you think it is? Cop?? Let’s call him

He came running up the stairs. And said what’s the problem? he said

We can’t blow this candle out

Oh I’d be happy to help and he blew – whoosh – wait it’s too dark, it’ way too dark. I can’t see to get down the stairs. So they lit the candle again – showed him the way down the stairs

They there were with the candle lit again

They didn’t know what to do but to try again. Do you remember how the little boy blew? up. Do you remember how the little girl blew? down. How did the father blow? to the left. And how did the mother blow? to the right. They couldn’t blow the candle out

They didn’t know what to do. They were getting very tired of standing at the top of the stairs - everybody wanted to go to bed

Now do you remember that there was another child in the family? That’s right – the baby. The baby had crawled up the stairs behind everyone. Pulling on his fathers pant leg saying “I can do it” (whisper). Pulling on his mother’s gown saying “I can do it”(louder). But they said ‘you’re too little, you’re too little – we’ll figure this out. But he said “I’ll help, I’ll help’

Finally they said OK maybe you better try it because we’re awfully tired

And they put the candle down in front of him

And the baby went – (big wet blow)

And blew out the candle

And that’s the end of that story.





Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Return of Our Runaway Gingerbread Men

Our Runaway Gingerbread cookies have returned.
It has been a very fun project, receiving emails, post cards and letters from around the world telling us stories of what our Gingerbread men have been doing and seeing.
Our favourite letter arrived in the middle of this week from Santa Claus himself (in Canada you can write to Santa at the North Pole HOH OHO and you'll get a response and ours include a hand written message).
The letter told us not to worry but that one of the Gingerbread Men arrived at his workshop to help the elves make toys for our the girls and boys.
On Wednesday we built a gingerbread house. The idea came from the story "The Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. Thursday morning it was still empty but Friday morning our last day of school before our two week break it was full of gingerbread men.
The decorating began at once.












One child was quite concerned that her cookie would runaway again and was full of "What ifs?"
1. What if he tries to runaway on our way home? Well you can carry him in a ziplock bag.
2. What if it can break a hole in the bag? The plastic is pretty tough, I doubt he could do it
3. What if when we get home and open the bag then have to go out and he follows out? Keep the bag closed at all times.
4. What if when I start to eat him he tries to runaway? (the child responded herself this time - "I'll eat his legs and he won't run!

But she ended up eating his head and he couldn't see!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Puffy Paint Cone Trees

I've seen a craft like this before but most time it was done with icing. And most times the children end up with more in them then on the cone tree. So today I opted to use puff paint instead of icing.
The puff paint is easy to make - equal parts of shaving cream and white glue, plus a few drops of green food colouring. I don't have an electric mixer at work so we use a whisk to fluff it as much as possible. I hot glued the ice cream cones on to old, used greeting cards (so they'd be easy to carry home).

Then paint, paint, paint to cover the cone.

The children then could decorate their trees with sparkles and shaped confetti.

The sparkles fell like snow onto the trees.

And sometimes fell all over the place but we could still use it.So pretty to look at.
Our forest of Christmas trees.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Activities


At the light table this week I cut different shapes from coloured transparent film.

In the sensory tub there are green and silver tinsel with Christmas shaped erasers to dig, find and match.
And Christmas tree decorating.