With our "I Belong" unit wrapping up and after learning about our classroom cultures, we dove in deep into Yayoi Kusama's artwork. She is a Japanese contemporary artist, who was obsessed with pumpkins, dots and mirrors. You can check out her artwork here: http://www.artnet.com/artists/yayoi-kusama/
The kiddos and I studied her art and tried to replicate it in our own artistic way. First we watched a short video on Kusama's life/ art. Then we began using a pumpkin stencil to draw lines and polka dots inside. The stipulation of this art project was that each student had to use three different kinds of lines and at least one kind of polkadot. Here are some picture of our artists hard at work using pencil first!!
Next we went out pencil markings with permanent marker:
After that, we painted over top of our marker with water color paints. The kids were allowed to choose one or two colors to use!
Once they were dry, we pasted them to black paper and hung them up on the bulletin board. We even got a little crazy and decided to create our art piece into an interactive art exhibit by painting black polka dots on real pumpkins!!
October has been busy! We have been working hard at our addition and subtraction facts to 10. We have begun a fun pirate writing unit (the "ar" chunk says arrrr like a pirate!). We are also in the midst of an art project (stay tuned!!). At the end of the day, we always have "explore time" which is an opportunity to explore the centers around the classroom and play while we learn. Check out the centers we have had this month to play with:
Name center: the kiddos find their name (or others!) in the jar. They then spell their name using different letters and then determine how many letters are in their name!
Pumpkin hammering: The kiddos practice safely using tools with hammers and safety glasses. They hammer the golf tee into the pumpkin, then use elastic bands to make various shapes!!
Smelly jars: The kiddos are challenging their sense of smell and math at the same time. They have to find the missing addend by matching the scent in the jar to the appropriate card.
Spider math: At this center, we roll the dice to determine which web we are going to work with. The kiddos are invited to create numbers using different colored spiders. This works on pulling apart numbers, number recognition and representation!
Lock challenge: At this center, the kiddos are challenged to find the key that fits the right lock. They are challenged to listen to the ending sound of each word as the picture on the lock matches the last letter/ sound on the key. After they have found the matching lock and key, they are to write the sounds that they hear in the word on the mirror (ex: f-o-x). This center works on stretching out words that we want to write.
Corn picking: This center is a socialization and fine motor center. The kids are challenged to pick the kernels out of the corn cob with different types of tweezers. This is also an opportunity to engage with organic materials that represent fall.
Book making center: Lately I have noticed that the friends in our class have been obsessed with making their own books!! So, I turned this fascination into an opportunity for them to create their own books. I showed them how to use a picture dictionary and now they use the words they find, as well as the word wall to create sentences in their homemade books!!
Multi-cultural playdough: At the playdough center this month, I have created skin toned playdough. In Social Studies we have been learning about each other's cultures and how they make us unique. This experience allows the kiddos to take pride in themselves as unique individuals by created their own version of themselves via playdough and loose parts!!
This week in math we went "shopping" to represent numbers 6-10. The kiddos maneuver around the classroom from station to station shopping for ways to represent the number of the day. These ways to represent include: bringo dabbing a ten frame, ten strip, penguin ten strip, tally, number bonds, number line, before/ after, Digi blocks and fish tanks representation.
Each "store" has an opportunity for students to engage with a math manipulative to represent the number. They use the object, complete the paper task and then glue it into their notebook. Once they are done the task, they move to the next "store" and complete the task there. These activities are are an opportunity to understand numbers so that we can begin subtracting and adding numbers from 10.
Please continue to practice adding and subtracting numbers from 5 at home. I recommend doing this with basic objects in your home and a whiteboard. Lay out some objects and have them write the math sentence down that you have given them and allow them to solve it. For an example: If you give them 5 cheerios, then take 2 away, how many do they have left? 5-2=3.
Here are some online games that you could try as well:
Addition game: https://www.education.com/game/addition-matching/
Subtraction game: https://www.education.com/game/subtraction-quiz/
This week we began a Social Studies Unit called "I Belong." We kick started the unit by reading a book called "Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes, which is essentially about a mouse who is excited about her first day of school. Her parents wish her well as she embarks on her first day. However, once she gets on the bus, the other children make fun of her because she has a name that no one has ever heard before. Chrysanthemum begins to hate her name and dreads going school everyday. She goes home at night to her loving parents who reassure her that she has a beautiful name! One day, a new, cool teacher, Mrs. Twinkle, comes in to teach their class. All the students admire her. She overhears the students making fun of Chrysanthemum and stops the class to tell her that it is a beautiful name and that she, too, is named after a flower. Mrs. Twinkle's comment helps the students realize that Chrysanthemum's name is different but beautiful.
After reading the book, we began to explore the ways that we too, are unique. Our names, likes and dislikes, the way we dress, speak and look are all things that make us unique. We discussed that even though sometimes people do not look the same or like the same things as we need to respect one another and accept that we have unique differences. We then began exploring our skin color. We used Crayola Multicultural markers to draw self-portraits on the first page of our 'I Belong" book. We wrote, "My name is __________." on the cover.
The following day, we read 'The Family Book" by Todd Parr. Afterwards, we discussed the ways our families make us unique. We talked about who lived with us in our homes, how many parents, siblings, pets and grandparents we had. We discussed all the great things that we do with our families. Each kiddo also got the opportunity to find out what their family name or thier last name was and write it down. We established that first we belong to ourselves, then we belong to our families. We then completed the next page in our book and wrote, "My name is _________. I belong to my family."
After our writing activity, we create a family craft. We drew a picture of our family, then made and decorated a picture frame out of Popsicle sticks! Check out thee awesome artists we have in our room :)
Last Friday, a note was sent home regarding cultural sharing. We will be combining all the grade one classes and presenting our artifacts to one another. I have attached the note to this blog post just in case the note was misplaced. Please send the note and artifact (after practicing reading it!!) by October 17th. The items will be sent back home by the end of the week.
- Ms. Kajati