Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dragonfly Art and Language Work, Parts of a Flower Extension and Worker Bee Reader...What a Day!

Back at Christmas time, one of the Montessori guide's blogs I follow had posted a work in her classroom. It was a Christmas tree page where you had to match the corresponding color coded chips to the correct letter. Each page covered three letters / letter sounds per page. In the corner of the work, I could see some sort of website info, but it was so tiny that you couldn't see it clearly.
Little Bro loved this work, so I went back to the blog and was able to blow up her photo large enough to read that the work was from a neat website called Prekinders. Great website! Well worth checking out! I am trying to go back through posts to find which lovely blogger had originally posted the Christmas tree if you happen to read this and it was from your blog, please let me know so then I can give you credit and then, I will link back to your blog post for others to see.
The Prekinders website where the Montessori blogger had found her work, has loads of nice materials, some that work well in a Montessori inspired environment.

Well, flash forward to Spring and I thought that maybe it would be fun to somehow make up something similar to this concept for Spring. So, first, we had to find a shape that would work well for the activity. Did a Google Search for various insects and flowers and decided that the dragonfly shape would work the best.
We took the outline of the shape from a clip art, but then, we tweaked it to fit what we needed for the work.
 Dear Hubby helped to make the spaces for each letter.
 We then pulled up the Montessori script and plugged in the letters in the spaces.
Dear Hubby decorated the faces on the dragonflies.
He gave them smiley faces and big eyes...they look so cute, don't ya think?
We then used the same sort of three color scheme for the letters.
We printed them out and then, I colored the dragonflies in with colored pencils.
Then took the little wooden markers that we have from another work and put them in a little ceramic cup and voila!
Good to go!
Little Bro loved it, but the interesting thing is that when Big Bro saw the work, he actually wanted to do it first. He is already well past letter and beginning sound recognition, but he chose the work and said that once he did the work, he would then give a lesson to Little Bro.
So that is just what we did today.

After doing the Dragonfly letter work, I suggested that the boys could try a new sort of art project related to dragonflies if they wanted to do an art project and they both liked the idea, especially when they found out it involved using a cheese grater and an iron.

Little Bro really jumped at the chance to do the art project, as he loves art.

First, he colored and cut out a dragonfly template.
He traced the wings of the dragonfly onto wax paper and then, had to cut those out as well.
Then, he made a pile of his soy crayons and shaved them over the dragonfly. I had him move his dragonfly onto a Silpat, as I was not sure how sticky or messy it would be, as this was the first time we had done a project involving melted soy crayons.
Felt a bit like an experiment along with being an art project, as I really did not know how they would melt.
He grated a few colors and then, placed an old  washcloth over the artwork.
Then, I plugged in the iron. We do not have a child sized iron for crafts, so we used my big one. My iron looked gigantic next to Little Bro's hands, so I made the call to stand and assist with the next step...
Using an iron on the lowest temp possible, and with my constant supervision, we ironed the dragonfly and kept checking to see how the shavings were melting. Definitely different than with regular wax crayons, but they did melt.
He then hung his work on our sliding glass door.
What fun!

Big Bro also made a dragonfly after he saw Little Bro doing it, but he did it rather quickly. He loved grating the crayons and was more focused on that. that part and using the iron delighted him. He viewed it more as a science project than an art project.
He finished the work, but was not as happy with his end results, as he had put so many shavings that it just looked like globs on the wings. He did not want me to take a photo of his work, which I respected his wishes and did not take one. He said that maybe he will choose to do the project again on another day, but with less shavings. Was glad that he made the connection, as that is the point, isn't it?
He needs to make his learning real to himself...
Big Bro is not as into doing art projects as Little Bro.
So, he wrapped up the dragonflies and went back to focus on other work...
He kept himself very busy and engaged with the works he had chosen for the morning...
He started in with coloring and folding a Worker Bee Reader. He enjoyed reading this to himself and then, he read it to Little Bro. He then read it to me. When Dear Hubby got home tonight, Big Bro read it yet again to his daddy.
Then, he worked on some insect riddles.
Again, he chose to make the rounds with sharing his work.
Big Bro then did a chart that works as an extension for the parts of a flower three part card...
It is a chart of Parts of a Flower.
The control of error is on the reverse side.
The chart was yet another great Target find, from the dollar section.
It uses an erasable pen and that is always appealing to Big Bro.
All in all, a very productive day!

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We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!

We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!
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