Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black on White Tracks

Going along with our Shadow talk this week, I placed on the art table white paper, black paint and toy animals that were also white or white with some black on them.  (Well they started out that way.)

Let's make tracks.

Or another idea came up - why not paint the toy animals.
One of the parents commented to this little girl that when she's finished the dog would need to go to the groomer (in regards to our pet store dramatic play area).
But I quickly added a sign at our wash tub.
And that's all it took.
 For the animals to be washed
 over and over again.
It meant we had to change the water often.
But back to the tracks.
I showed them how to make a foot print without using your foot.
And that's all it took.
 For this child to start painting her hands.
 So now she has toy animal prints and
her own fingerprints.

It was a popular spot this morning judging by our drying rack.
This is an amazing drying rack.
Unfortunately it is only temporarily ours.
The school will be using it again
once we move to our permanent room at the end
of this school year.
We'll be back to our little wall mounted rack.

Monday, January 30, 2012


We're leading up to Groundhog Day and it's a great time 
to play with light and shadows.
 I took a few of our toy animals and made silhouettes on a transparency sheet.
Cut them out and placed both toy and silhouette on the light table.
Over the weekend I was browsing Pinterest and saw this 
Shadow Book and inspiration hit.
This morning I asked children to pose or caught them in
unique poses and made silhouettes of them.
I copied the original picture on transparency sheet too so they could match them.

We talked about how a shadow would lay if a light was shining on the person.
Wouldn't it be neat if there was a material to make the silhouettes that would stretch
like a shadow does, depending on where the sun is in the sky.
Hmmm, any ideas?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pete the Cat Literacy Event

Friday was Family Literacy Day 
but all week our school district and local community 
have been offering literacy events.
Our school offered an afternoon event for families
to join in the StrongStart and Kindergarten classes
to have fun with Pete the Cat.  
This book is very popular in our school.  
If you've read previous posts then you know we have been 
having adventures with Pete.
But this event brought in a real live Pete to act out his 
"I Love My White Shoes" story.
Thanks to Beyond the Book Storytimes for the idea.
Here's little Pete and big Pete.
One of the teachers read the story while big Pete acted it out.
 Ready to start the story.
 Boxes represented the coloured piles,
example; red strawberries, blue blueberries, brown mud
 and in the boxes were slippers to match the colour.
 Started with white slippers, then red, then blue, brown
and back to white shoes.
Big Pete didn't cry once.
Because no matter what you step in, it's all good.

If you want to watch the video visit

Untitled from Maureen Wagner on Vimeo.

Here are the activities we did after the story.
Some of them were found at MakingLearningFun.
 Build a word. A coloured card has the word written on it.
Coloured snap blocks have letters written on each.
The children sort and build the word to match the card.
 Roll and colour page.
Roll the die, count the dots or recognize the numeral then colour that spot on the page.
An emergent reader for Pete the Cat that can be coloured according 
to what is happening on each page.
Listening centre.
 Making patterns using potato stamps.
Explaining which pattern he chose - ababab.

We think Pete is great!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tray Play Week #4

This week's trays:
 Pom poms, tray with indents and tongs.
 You have to squeeze the handle to make the tongs open.
Then match one pom pom to one indent.
For a younger child that didn't quite have the grasping hold,
matching the pom poms to the indents was still great pleasure.
 Moon sand and tools.
The children love the feel of the moon sand,
and that it will pack together.
Marbles and what I call a 'marble tree'. 
I found it a thrift store and there are no markings on it 
of where or who made it.
But the children love it.
 You can drop a marble into any hole and listen to it drop,
watching for it to come out.
 It sounds like a rain stick.
From a drip with one marble to a shower with many marbles
Some children prefer starting at the very top 
while others tried in the middle.
The tray sitting on the table was too high for some of the little ones
so we placed it on a stool for easier access.
Sorting cats and dogs into their baskets.
Not as popular as the other three trays.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Therapy Dog Visits

We've been talking and playing with animals at StrongStart.
Today we invited a Therapy Dog, Samara, into visit.
We learned a lot about how Therapy Dogs help people;
seniors, people in hospitals and children who have difficulty reading.
We learned how to approach a dog.
First by letting her smell our hand before petting her.
 And she got lots of pats,
 and strokes.
 She felt very soft.
We had a chance to ask questions too.
And Samara sat patiently the whole time.
She can count to 5 and 10.
Samara also loves to give hugs.
Children who have never had an opportunity to pet a dog did today.
Their parents were quite happy to see that their reactions were very