An Apple Adventure in The Bridge!

With an emergent curriculum, it is important to our staff that we follow the interests and curiosity of our students….so when students strike up a conversation during snack time about Apples….you follow! In Oregon we are lucky to have beautiful orchards filling our valleys and most of our students eat Apples daily in their classrooms and at home….but often this simple fruit is overlooked and underappreciated. Check out how The Bridge classroom showed the Apple some much needed LOVE!

The Apple Core-er and Peeler is ALWAYS such a hit! Students love getting to help use it and of course eat the different shaped pieces! It’s also a great opporutnity for STEM based conversation…How does it work? What parts are used to create this simple machine? What shapes does it create?
How can you mix colors to make your shade of Apple?! Some of the best conversation starts when children realize that apples come in many different colors….and that most apples, are not just one color. Exploring different shades and tones of colors, and using real apples to inspire the art piece is such an incredible actitivity!
How many apples belong on the tree?
Making Apple Pie outside with just the right ingredients!
Another option for this simple activity…pinching playdough to add apples to the trees! Great fine motor activity that also practices cognitive counting skills!

A Rainbow of Learning in The Den Classroom!

The Den Classroom has been on a Rainbow Aventure that lasted over a month! Each week they explored a different color of the rainbow and spent time studying the different shades and qualities of each. The activities they provided for their students were equal parts beautiful and engaging and helped ignite interest in all of their students. Take a look at this beautiful unit that started with the question…..what is your favorite color?

A beautiful way to document each child’s favorite color!
Asking each child the question, What is your favorite color during circle time!
Raibow Rice Sensory Bin! This table is almost TOO beautiful!
Color Mixing is such an important activity for young students. Providing each student with liquid water colors in the the three primary colors allows them to explore color mixing and sensory play….however, these teachers took it up a notch and added science materials that elevated the play and practiced those fine motor skills.
Explore the rainbow with a colorful mixture of dyed chickpeas, shapes and fruit manipulatives.
Organizing loose parts, building materials and figurines by color, ignites the imagination and completely changes the way students engage with the activity!
Rainbow Sensory Play! Shaving cream with water colors on top……just screams…..PLEASE MIX ME UP! This is always a favorite activity in our classroom!
Here comes the mess!
Can you make a rainbow that jumps off the paper?
Rainbow Bridges!
One of the really amazing activities The Den Classroom did this week were simple monochromatic tables that highlighted a different color each week. Students were able to explore one color at a time in a very intimate way. Each week the materials and color changed encouraging children to look closer at the table and use their imagination!
Rainbow Spagetti and Playdough Scissors! This is a great way to introduce scissor skills to your classroom if your students are not quite ready for scissors. We love using this activity at the beginning of the school year when students are first learning how to use and handle scissors.
More exploration with shaving cream…..How beautiful is this!
I love these small rainbow people figurines combined with blocks!

Recycled Materials in The Garden Classroom!

The Garden Classroom has embraced Recycled Materials in their curriculum this year in a whole new way! By creating this color sorted recycle station families can bring recycled materials from home for children to create and tinker with. By color sorting them, we are elevating the materials from trash to treasure.

Here are a couple ways the Garden Classroom have used their recycled goods so far!

Collaborative Egg Carton Painting! This is such a simple and wonderful activity for children to explore texture, absorbency and color. By only providing a few egg cartons for the group, children were encouraged to share, collaborate and communicated their ideas!

Children were also given the opportunity to fill the egg cartons using bingo markers!

An invitation to create using cardboard boxes and markers! What a wonderful invitation to be greeted with when you walk into your classroom! I love the open ended-ness of this activity and the ability for children to work in small groups to collaborate and create!

And then of course they got to play with their creations!

Recycled Materials can be used to create simple and wonderful activities for children to explore numbers, quantities and numeracy. These egg cartons lend themselves so well to a simple counting activity that can be used in SO many ways!

Busy Bees in The Hive Classroom: An exploration of loose parts

When you give children access to loose parts and extended periods of time to explore and create….you will see amazing things. Year after year I ask my self, why are the students in The Hive Classroom always so engaged with loose parts? What creates this type of success? It is not just having access to wonderful materials…you can’t purchase creativity.

The teachers in The Hive Classroom do an incredible job of providing a variety of materials, quality work space and large periods of uninterrupted time. They carefully introduce each material, slowly and intentionally into the classroom, making sure children are ready to use it safely and properly. This process allows for children to push past the first idea, or the first moment of boredom or the first conflict and explore problem solving skills and deeper levels of innovation.

The students in The Hive have been pushing their creativity with magnetic builders, loose wooden parts, blocks and other interesting loose parts…check out some of their interesting work!

 

What can you make using stumps and other building materials? I love the symmetry and balance that was achieved!
The wooden platform that these children are working on is such an inspirational building space. When children have different levels to work on, their play is instantly changed. I love the combination of wooden blocks, animal figurines and magnetic tiles.
Building zoos, habitats and homes! Aways a popular activity!
Building doesn’t have to happen on the floor! Using vertical spaces for building with magnetics encourages a new type of thinking! Suddenly children have to think about their creation in a new way!
Having a variety of shapes and types of wooden blocks is critical. Different shapes force children to find new ways to create balance and symmetry. Window blocks bring beauty and light. And diffferent types of wood allows us to explore texture and touch.
I love when I see a child build one of these beautiful magnetic “quilts”!
Teamwork tower building!
Adding a light projector to a space with translucent materials is such an incredible way for children to explore light, shadow and color. I love that in order to see their results the children had to build something tall enough for the light to hit it! What a wonderful natural challenge!