Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Biscuits

We made and decorated these yummy Christmas cookies today. It was fantastic to see the pride and delight in the children's faces when they bit into their freshly decorated biscuits. 


Click here for a copy of the recipe we used.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Super Santa Faces

We made these Santa decorations for our Christmas tree yesterday. I had to wait until today to post a picture of them as we used sellotape to hold the hats on while our glue dried.
(You can see our Peg Angels in the background.)

You need; ribbon, polystyrene balls, marker pen, cotton wool balls, red foam paper (I got mine from the $2 Shop), and glue. (Plus a little sellotape.)

We drew on Santa's eyes with our marker pen, glued on the cotton wool ball to make Santa's fluffy white beard, sellotaped the ribbon on the back of Santa's head, and then used glue to attach Santa's red hat (made from a triangle of red foam paper with a small piece of cotton wool ball glued on top). I love how some children carefully drew on Santa's eyelashes.

We will be reading this Christmas poetry before the end of the school year:

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

 We decorated our Christmas tree the other day for our Mountaineers Discovery session. Our block of three classrooms has a big tree that we share and can all admire. The kids had a great time covering it in as many decorations and as much tinsel as possible.

On close inspection some branches have three or four baubles hanging precariously from them. I loved the care and attention they gave the tree while they were decorating it. Children were working so beautifully together to hang their decorations. 

I also love the carefully wrapped parcels under our tree. We used empty boxes for our presents, and the children had free rein with the wrapping paper and sellotape. 

Every time I see our tree I have to smile, especially at some of the presents missing some much needed tape.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Angels

Look at our fantastic Christmas Angels.

We used those old fashioned pegs, half a paper doily, a pipe-cleaner, some fabric petals, and ribbon. Each day this week we are going to attempt a Christmas craft project, so when school finishes we can take our art home to decorate our own Christmas trees.

But, at the moment some are hanging on our small silver tree in our classroom, the rest are displayed on the wall with some Christmas words from Sparklebox.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Yum - Ice cream!!!

Look at our super cute ice-cream cones. We love ice-cream for summer.

Thanks to this website for the great idea.

First, colour in your ice-cream cone. We used 'Jovi's'.

Cut out your ice-cream cone.

Glue your ice-cream cone on to your paper.

Paint your hand with a delicious ice-cream colour paint. We used strawberry.

Print your hand on the paper so that your fingers create the ice-cream drips running down the cone. You may need to turn the paper around so it is upside down to make the printing easier. We only used one scoop, but if you have time for your art to dry between scoops, you could create two or three scoop cones.

Yum, delicious!

I love creating art that involves using colouring, cutting, and sensory experiences. Colouring and cutting are important skills we like to practice during our Mountaineers Discovery sessions. Holding a pencil or pen or crayon to colour allows me to observe and help foster correct pencil grip (an important skill we need for writing), and colouring in itself is another activity that encourages children to manipulate a writing tool with accuracy -something that they will be doing when they start writing.
Using paint as a sensory experience allows children to explore the coldness and texture of wet paint, and take a risk making a mess. Some children love getting their hands dirty, others find this difficult.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Blast Off

We made these rockets yesterday during our Mountaineers Discovery session. We had so much fun launching them across the classroom.

You need: straws, pencil, tape, and a strip of paper.

Draw windows for your rocket, and write your name on it so you can find it after you launch it.

Roll the paper around the straw.

  Use lots of sellotape to make your paper into a tube. This is your rocket.

 Fold over one end of your rocket and tape it closed.

 Launch your rocket by holding the straw to your mouth and blowing as hard as you can. Don't forget to count backwards to 0 before you blast off.

This activity was great fine motor skills practice, manipulating the paper and tape was quite tricky for some children. They were also able to use practice blowing - using their lips and facial muscles to do this can help children with muscle weaknesses in this area. And watching the rocket (and watching out for other rockets) helps children with eye-tracking, letting them practice this skill to get ready for using it when reading.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

It's Nearly Christmas

The other night Santa's Elves came to decorate the enormous tree outside our classroom.
It's so big I could only photograph the base!

What a great surprise to come to school and see the tree decorated for Christmas and listen to Christmas carols every morning before school.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Five Big Elephants

We have been reading our 'Five Big Elephants' poem all week, and now that we are experts at reading it we made our own elephants. I used this website for inspiration.

I have really been enjoying doing some art and craft with my lovely children this year. It has been a pleasure to see their cutting, painting, gluing, and other fine motor skills develop over the year.

First - paint some pegs gray (two pegs for each elephant). We painted ours earlier in the week so were dry when we needed them.

Cut out an elephant body and ears. We folded silver paper in half so we could save time by cutting only once around for the body and ear.

Glue a half a pipe cleaner on one body shape for the trunk, and a small piece of pipe cleaner (or wool) on for the tail.

Glue on the other body shape and the ears, one on each side. Don't forget googly eyes.

Use your pegs for the legs of your elephant, it should stand up.

We lined our elephants on the window-sill, so that we can see them when we eat lunch.

As part of our 'Absolutely Amazing Animals' inquiry learning theme this term we also looked at mammals this week (because we decided that elephants were mammals). 

We learned that:
  • Mammals have live babies come out of their tummies.
  • Mammals drink their mothers milk.
  • Mammals breathe air.

 We have also been writing reports about elephants. We were able to share lots of information with each other.

Here are some of our reports:

'Elephants are mammals. Elephants have big ears for flapping to cool down. They are big.'

'An elephant is an animal. They are mammals. Elephants wash their face with their trunk. They can make big sounds because they are big. They have grey bodies with grey skin. Elephants are special.'

'An elephant is a mammal. Elephants are afraid of mice. Elephants can run. Sometimes you see elephants at the zoo. They have big legs and they are ginormous. They have big ears. Elephants have long trunks.'

'Elephants are mammals. They are big. Elephants have trunks. They are cool.'

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

At the Circus

We have been discovering the circus this week for our Mountaineers Discovery session.

We made clown hats decorated with foam shapes for our circus. Peeling and sticking stickers or shapes uses the same fine motor skills that we use when manipulating a pencil for writing.

We cut out and folded up circus animals from this website.

 We made happy or sad clown faces, using a paper plate, tissue paper, and pompoms.

We practiced our acrobat and clown skills. We used our PMP equipment as part of our circus training.

PMP is a programme which aims to develop the child's perceptions and understandings of himself or herself in relation to her/his world, through movement/motor experiences. It aims to develop perceptions of height and space, the pattern and order of the child's natural world, the laws and limitations that govern the human body. Above all it aims to give the child confidence to manipulate him/herself in their world to suit her or his own best interests.
We dressed up as circus clowns and animals using these masks from Sparklebox.

We decorated popcorn cups and made popcorn to eat, just like you can eat at the circus.We had lots of fun watching our friends practice their circus tricks while we ate our popcorn.

We sold circus tickets for our circus. I cut the tickets into strips and the children were able to cut individual tickets off the strips. They had lots of fun paying for their tickets with our play money. 

Here are a couple of circus themed poems that we have in our poetry box:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Magic Mobilo

Our fantastic Home and School Association has been hard at work fund-raising and we have been able to use some of this money to purchase Mobilo for our Mountaineers Discovery sessions.

Mobilo is a great tool to for construction play.We have been hard at work creating some amazing creations with our brand new Mobilo. 

The process of creating something using construction materials can help develop a variety of important skills; the ability to manipulate materials, spatial awareness, imagination, turn taking, improvisation, enthusiasm, resilience, and persistence (the ability to try again when things are hard or go wrong). These are all things that are a key part of a child's learning and development.

We also use other materials for construction play; Duplo, Lego, wooden blocks, plastic construction sticks, wood and tools for building, and cardboard boxes.

I'm looking forward to offering the Mobilo at Choosing Time and as one of my reading and writing activities too.