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!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

St. Patrick's Day STEAM

How fun that St. Patrick's Day actually fell on a story time day!  We had a LOT of friends show up wearing green, sporting shamrocks, and telling stories about catching leprechauns (or trying to)! 

I wanted to make sure we talked about leprechauns and their pots of gold, so we read  Tomie DePaola's Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato, and Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute.   I was really impressed with how well the children listened and participated, as the books are a little longer.  They did an awesome job - I think their families had prepared them well for some St. Patrick's Day learning.

We always sing Aiken Drum at Thursday's story time - and each child gets a ladle and a stick. As they sing along they "play upon a ladle", just like Aiken Drum!  This week we also sang along to  "Mother Goony Bird", performed by Dr. Jean, and sang a song about the colors in a rainbow.  I used this song as a basis, but modified the words slightly - in the song the last two colors are purple and pink, and I wanted to teach the kiddos two new words, the real rainbow colors: indigo and violet!

Then it was time to explore our fun activities!  For our tactile kiddos we offered some fun homemade green playdough with all kinds of treasure to hide in it.  We actually used this dough the day before as well, for a Play to Grow storytime, and it stood up to all the use really well. 
I looked at so many dough recipes, I can't remember where I finally found this one.  I did cook this dough, and used vinegar to replace cream of tartar in the recipe (substitute 2 parts vinegar for 1 part cream of tartar).  I've found cooked doughs to be nicer and to last longer.

I put shiny green glass shapes, plus green and white pompons, and saw lots of our friends carefully counting them out to match the numbers on the cards. 
I love how some children preferred the smooth glass counters, and others picked out the pompons!

Our last activity followed up the Rainbow song we sang, by making rainbows with tissue paper and glue.
This activity is satisfying in so many ways - it is super simple, so the kiddos can do it themselves, the colors are bright and pretty and quickly fill up the page, we use glue sticks, so we didn't have to wait for the glue to dry, and we offered crayons and pots for the children to color and put at the ends of their rainbows if they wanted to, so of course, many of them also drew details onto their pictures.  The only preparation for this activity is to cut tissue paper into strips that are about 1 1/2 inches wide.  My very favorite part - I use tissue paper that I've saved from gifts, so it is also free and recycled!  If you've attended even a couple of children's birthday parties, you know how much tissue paper is used and discarded - I just ask if it's okay for me to fold it up and use it for crafts, instead of it being thrown away.  Look how much fun our kiddos had making colorful rainbows with this reused resource!

We carried the rainbow theme over to our graph for the week: Which color of the rainbow do you like the best?

Since this post is about St. Patrick's Day, I'll finish with an Irish blessing:

May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those that come true,
The kindness you spread
Keep returning to you!