Sunday, August 30, 2015

Letter Practice and Concentric Circles

I think that five and six-year-olds have a strange desire to destroy's the same desire that makes them want to tear paper into small pieces. As you know, taking things apart and tearing things apart can greatly help the development of a small child's fine motor skills.

As I watched my Pre-K daughter poke holes into a piece of cardboard I came up with an idea for a new kindergarten station for this past week. I returned home that night to cut several pieces of cardboard into manageable-sized pieces. I wrote my students' names on them, and then had them poke holes over the top of each letter in their name as practice for writing them with a capital letter first, followed by lowercase letters.

Poking a pencil into cardboard must provide the same feeling as tearing paper or breaking something (I mean, even I found it appealing), because my kids loved it. I wrote their first names only, twice, on the piece of cardboard. They carefully poked a pencil into the cardboard, tracing their names with small holes. Perfect practice for forming letters, writing names, and fine motor skills. I can't wait to use this practice method with sight words, too!

Kandinsky's original
"Concentric Circles" painting.
Also this week, my teaching partner and I (our kindergarten team at John Rex is phenomenal, by the way) worked together to create a massive piece of kindergarten art. Our classes were studying shapes, and we wanted to do a piece of artwork involving basic shapes, that was similar to a piece of classic artwork. We decided to do a John Rex Kindergarten version of Kandinsky's "Concentric Circles".

We gave each student an 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of watercolor paper and watercolor paints. We showed them Kandinsky's piece, asking them to identify the shapes that they saw. We then asked them to paint one square of the painting, using any colors they wanted. They're five, so their circles weren't perfect, and their painting was messy, which made their individual paintings look so good. We then taped the squares together, making one huge piece (about 3' x 5'). The end result looked so good, and the kids were so proud of what they had created by working together.
"KINDERcentric Circles"

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