Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Green Beans!

Finally, today we were able to eat our very own green beans!  The kiddos helped to plant the beans way back when it was still cold out, and we've been watching as the plants have grown.  A couple of weeks ago we found flowers - and we know the reason for a flower is to make seeds.  Sure enough, when the petals dried up and fell away, there were tiny baby green beans there.  The kiddos wanted to pick them and eat them last week, but they weren't quite big enough.  Today they were! 
Look how many there were!  Of course, the best thing to do with freshly picked green beans is to eat them!  Almost everyone wanted to taste them, and then taste them again, and again.


 After everyone had eaten 3 or 4 green beans each, I suggested I would put the rest in the fridge, and we could have them with our lunch tomorrow.  One of the kiddos looked at my lap, and said, "But there's still more!"  Now that's a child who knows a good thing when she sees it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jackson Pollock and Spiders

Welcome to my first blog!  I've started this as a way to share some of our learning activities, mostly for parents of my students.  We have a lot of fun at Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten, and we do a lot of learning too!
Painting like Jackson Pollock

Today we learned about American artist, Jackson Pollock.  I showed the kiddos a print of one of his paintings, and then we watched a short video put out by the Museum of Modern Art in NYC about how Pollock painted.  You can check it out here: How Pollock painted.  We moved our bodies along with the artist on the video - standing, stooping, flinging and flicking with imaginary brushes.  Then we understood why Pollock's art is considered "action art".  It's also abstract art, and we imagined images in the print.

In the video, the narrator pointed out that Pollock painted with very fluid paint, so we talked about fluid vs viscous.  We checked out some liquids we had on hand, and decided if they were viscous (hair gel, liquid soap, honey, chocolate syrup) or very fluid (water, milk, the paint I had out for today).  Later in the day, when we ate pancakes, one of the kiddos pointed out that the syrup was viscous too!  Great remembering!

The fun part was going outside and making our own abstract, action art.  Check it out!
Painting like Jackson Pollock
Painting like Jackson Pollock
I am so impressed with the paintings the kiddos made!  They look fantastic displayed in our lunch room, and posted to our Artsonia page.
Painting like Jackson Pollock

Painting like Jackson Pollock

Painting like Jackson Pollock
So where do spiders come in to all this?  I've created a summer curriculum called Nature In My Backyard, and we're learning about many different animals and plants that we can find right here, in our own yards.  We learned a lot about worms and snails last week, and this week we've been learning about spiders.

We know spiders have 2 body parts, and 8 legs, which all come off the cephalothorax.  We know that most spiders are venomous, but only 2 here in Texas are really dangerous: the black widow, and the brown recluse.  We've read both fiction and non-fiction books about spiders, and enjoyed comparing two very different versions of I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.  To end the week, the children made spiders for snack!  Okay, not real spiders, but it sure is fun to tell mom and dad that we ate spiders at snack time!  While the kiddos built their spider snacks, we reviewed what we know about spiders.  Check out these yummy treats!