Tuesday, 23 May 2017

National Simultaneous Storytime

Today at 11 am around half a million children in schools all around Australia listened to the wonderful story The Cow Tripped Over the Moon... 
It's a beautiful story that celebrates perseverance, laughing at mistakes, and supportive friendship. 
We shared a discussion about perseverance, about goals and about supporting your friends. 
After we listened to a piece of music and thought about ways to dance and mime the main ideas in the story. We have been learning about dancing and gymnastics in our PE lessons. Last week we learnt about dancing to imagery and in gym we were practising springing and landing. There were lots of cows springing and leaping and landing. There were some dishes swirling and spoons twirling. 
The boys and girls practised their cutting out and then drew a moon and a cow. 
It's so exciting to know that children all around Australia have been sharing this story together today. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Autumn Leaves

I  had a lovely time on the weekend with my son in the parks around Camden collecting autumn leaves and crunching them under our feet... even hiding under them.

We have been making observations about the thjngs we notice changing in the weather and the signs that season is changing. If your child has noticed autumn leaves around the area you live in, perhaps they could collect some and bring them in.   
Some of the children have been treating leaf pictures and 'leaf men', like he one in the story 'Leaf Man,' by Lois Elhert. 

Beginning a Vegetable Garden

Following our visit to the farm, the children were invited to plant some seeds to grow some vegetables. The children had a choice from a variety of options, as well as some marigold seeds. Some of the children really want to plant tomatoes, so we will try and plant some as well. Parents are welcome to sendin any seeds their children are inter stem in. 

Still Life Painting

Inspired by the book Handa's Surprise and artworks depicting fruit bowls by some famous artists, some of the children made their own attempts at still life drawings of a fruit bowl. They used oil pastels. We did not have all the same fruit in the basket as Handa, but we made sure there seven pieces.     
I was really struck by the way this child overlaid the fruit he drew onto of each other. This is actually a very realistic representation of the perspective as he shows that he could only see parts of the fruit and some pieces were in front of other pieces. 

This child drew their pieces of fruit overlapping the basket, which again was accurate to what she could see, as the pieces of fruit were slightly visible thorough the weaving. 
Thanks to families who have responded to our call for flowers to be brought in. We used these as a stimulus for further exploration of still life, this time with water paint. 

Henry asked "how do I paint leaves?" Mrs Vella modelled using a fine brush and making small thin lines. Teachers try to sit with children and paint alongside them to model the processes, encouraging children to make their own explorations and interpretations. They might say "I would do this... how would you do it?" Or "epidote you like to paint it a different way?" We want children to actually develop the skills and understandings that support their expression, but retain their own creativity and original expression. We avoid praising, but rather give feedback about the processes they've used. For example, "I noticed you used a thin brush to create thin lines here. I can see the purple paint overlapping the green paint. It looks kind of see-through."   
The children practise washing the brush before changing colours whilst still exploring the nature of water paint to blend and remain transparent. They explored using paints coloured to look like the object they were depicting. 
always appreciate how differently children interpret what they see and make different explorations of the materials and the processes. Henry was excited to see how the paint dribbled and ran when the paper was held up. He also enjoyed exploring making droplets by flicking a heavily loaded paint brush. 
Another opportunity to explore some different art making processes... 
The children became inter stem in actually painting the rocks as well... 
And leaves and bark... 
Once the background is dry, the children begin a new process to develop the flowers into the picture...