Monday, April 4, 2011

Enjoying the start of Spring

Spring is arriving slowly here in Saskatchewan. The temperature rises abit to cause melting of snow, and then goes down again for a few days. This creates days of differing character, with lots of variety.

This morning our play yard was quite icy, with areas of dirt, leaves and sand showing through.

The children found several puddles which had just a thin ice cover, and this was so much fun to stand on and hear the crackling.

One lovely, magical area, was a sand play area, surrounding one tree, and the ice had frozen over thick and clear, allowing us to look down on small leaves, twigs, and maple seeds. Art created by nature as only nature can!

I've been following several very wonderful and creative blogs over the past two months, and subtly have noticed my teaching change and grow.As an example, this morning I felt just content to allow my children to discover what they might in the play yard, and what nature had provided, rather than pointing things out to them.

Stepping back, rather than overtly teaching.

A way of giving the children the time to make their own discoveries, of honouring their view of their world

Off and on over the past two weeks we've stayed indoors, due to high wind, or overly icy walks, and so have also been busy with art, and I used several ideas I've read about from so many wonderful, creative people in the blogging world.

- we made several rice "I spy" bottles (using pom poms and white rice), and they were fun to make and also to play with;

- we made coffee filter art (using food colouring and q-tips, because I couldn't find eye droppers), and we put them up on the window where they look glorious,  (this was fun to do, and the q-tips worked fine);

- we made birds using the shapes from Melissa at The Chocolate Muffin Tree. We used pretty, origami paper in pastel Japanese prints instead of printing with paint, and I put them on a brown construction paper tree shape on another window, where they look like a bit of Spring, (I'd planned on doing some origami, but we haven't got into that yet;

Other activities we've been into are making flubber, with a recipe from Lisa Murphy the Ooey Gooey lady, it is interesting to make as the children see the result of the borax forming the white glue and water into a blog, so instantaneously - science and creative fun mixed up into one. My children are enjoying flubber as an alternitive to play dough for the past 2 weeks. (Although they have the play dough as well.)

And one of our parents picked up for us a LARGE refrigerator box - which is just so much fun. Presently I have it flat on the long side so that the kids can all fit in together. But soon I'll turn it up and cut a door in one side, so that it can be a small quiet place for 1 or 2 children. We've started decorating the house with small rectangles of wonderful glittery sticker paper. One of my parents donated a box filled with rolls of this paper in beautiful colours - such a treasure, the children enjoy the process of peeling the sticker from the backing for each small piece, and then placing their rectangle just so on our  box.

Well, that's it for now although I know I'm forgetting to mention other activiites.

I do know that my work with my children is richer for my time reading the posts of so many creative, and generous people - both on the ouside and inside.Change often happens slowly, incrementally - and sometimes without us noticing I think. A little like Spring in Saskatchewan!


Stacey said...

Happy Spring! Love to see your teaching style changing. I'm finding mine doing the same. The internet is really something. :)

MullenAvenueWorkshop said...

Thanks Stacy for your comment. Yes, I think I've learned so much in the last two months, and I think because it is coming from fellow teachers that it is making a dramatic influence on my teaching. Others share their experiences, and show that wonderful work can be done!

Geraldine said...

It's interesting that you've noticed a change in your work, since you started following several blogs Brenda. I hope it's been fun to join the blog-world too, that's a big part of what it should be all about too, at least I think so. When blogging becomes a chore or boring, it's time to call it a day. But when it's fresh and interesting, it's a great addition to one's "real" life.

Happy Spring, G