Green Apple Cinnamon Play dough

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Apple cinnamon play dough not only smells good, but this batch turned out super smooth and very malleable! Notice the above picture is of a young child starting with a medium sized flat circle of dough and then following it are three small ones with the last being super large.  This child started each piece by rolling each into a ball and then using both elbows, flat hands and her stomach to smash the dough flat.  Comparing the size difference between circles was not a Teacher directed provocation.  This child chose on her own to compare the sizes of the five circles she made herself.  Each time a child creates or constructs he/ she is cognitively and physically forming knowledge about that object and shape.  The young mind takes into account the smell, color, texture and how this medium changes and in what ways.  What better way to really understand shapes than to actually create them from a material designed just for young hands and minds.
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The next day apple cinnamon play dough was of great interest again, but more use was made with the adjoining craft sticks.  This time following a similar theme as above, this child chose to line up the sticks side by side. Comparing the same size and shape of each stick was the purpose.  And it was entirely the child’s idea.  Compare and contrast is also a concept that neatly fits into shape building.  Children explore the world around them by using tactile senses, eyesight, hearing, and movement as well as oral and sign language.  The whole child is engaged and the whole mind constructs the building blocks necessary for further academic learning.

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Small hands formed the letter “O”.  This “O” is for now a representation of my name.  Yes, it is not a letter in my name, but it is a start!  Emergent curriculum happens when young minds show internal interest and motivation to understand.  My job is to make sure to support and draw out the knowledge from within and add to it as we go through our preschool journey.

 

Heidi Scott, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Play Based Learning

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Cars and Blocks! 🙂  A three year old child decided that cars and blocks go nicely together and so began construction of a large one story building and some nice parking spots for cars.  And some cars park upside down. 

2008-01-01 12.34.42  I absolutely love how this child decided the parking spots should be on tall polls!  What do you think, is this the future of parking?  Maybe when cars fly like on the “Jetsons”? 🙂  Again mathematics and yes, physics are happening here.  This child put those cars on the pulls many times because gravity and balance claimed them.  Finally with much persistence they stayed put.  

2008-01-08 12.32.22 Moving along from cars and blocks, we find that using scissors to cut play dough is a great way to practice proper form and to strengthen our fine motor skills. This child follows a normal developmental pattern of going back and forth between using two hands to open and close the scissors and using one hand to cut and one to hold the object needing cutting.  As a mentor and guide in this situation, I modeled it once and let her try.  I encouraged her to keep trying when she felt it was too hard.  And she did wonderfully on her own! 🙂  The next time we used scissors for paper and for play dough she allowed me to model it once and she tried it until she felt satisfied.  

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Heidi Scott, BA & MIT  The Marigold School of Early Learning 🙂 

 

Come join us at The Marigold School of Early Learning!  We would love to play with new friends and together plan many exciting and new projects!

Flower, Paint and Crayon Provocation

This may look daunting, but just wait, I will explain. 🙂

school pics 003      I set up a lavender rhododendron, purple and pink tempera paint (washable), two different paint brushes, green and brown crayons, small rectangular paper and finally blue play dough.  I also made sure there were half filled jars of water with rocks at the bottom for weight. (No tipping 🙂 )

school pics 004  The idea behind this is for the children to explore a provocation with a multiple layer of artistic materials.  Due to there being more materials to work with and the table being much more busy than with just one provocation, I like to have a class meeting to inform the children of items they will use.  Then I like to generate a discussion with the children to find out from them what kinds of ideas they have for those materials.

Here are some ideas we came up with:

* making flowers out of the dough and painting the dough.

* counting the round dough and writing the numbers with the crayons and then painting over the crayon.

*painting the flower and using the dough as a name tag or marker for the kind of flower each person paints.  Then using the crayon to add the stem and leaves.

*making flowers out of the dough and using the paint to outline the flowers.  After that adding the stems and leaves with the crayons.  Asking Ms. Heidi if she would write our words for our pictures. 🙂

*Ms. Heidi can write our words for our stories. 🙂