Monday, March 21, 2011

colors colors everywhere

Big apologies for the two week hiatus, there is of course a good explanation. Our classroom was lucky enough to get a new Flip video, a scanner, and color printer two weeks ago. Needless to say documentation has kind of jumped to the next level and I have yet to figure out how to balance the classroom documentation and the blog. A difference might be the audience I write to on the blog. I am spending so much time now documenting our projects and creating books and panels for families and children that posting here seems...well redundant.

What I have to navigate is who the audience is I am writing to on here. I find such inspiration from early childhood teachers and homeschoolers in the blogworld that I'm thinking I may shift to using this as more of a tool for reflection and call for ideas from all of the other wonderful professionals in the early childhood world. We shall see.

In visiting other Reggio inspired schools I have wondered how they implement multiple projects simultaneously. Well, we've been going with the flow and really letting the children lead the way and I've discovered it can be done. The study of bird/reptile homes has steadily progressed along with an exploration of ramps and color. I still have a long way to go but I finally feel like I am beginning to feel more at ease with an emergent or Reggio inspired approach. A big part of my discomfort is that I like to do things the "right" way and as I have been teaching myself the Reggio philosophy through books only, this left me questioning myself often. As I have allowed myself to let go a bit of feeling in control - things have progressed. I am a huge fan of feedback and ideas so please let me know anything your thinking, leave comments!

A study of color has begun. Exploration of color has been a natural part of the classroom since September but now Mrs. Lee and I are trying to capture children's hypotheses about color theory. They are engaging in color exploration and planned activities with our guidance. Have you engaged in a study of color? What are some of the ideas that emerged?

here is our beginning...

The sketchbooks of many in class have become filled with pages of layered oil pastel colors. Children have reveled in asking others to touch their pages to feel how soft the layers become. Later, they made the discovery that scratching the oil pastel layer on the surface reveals a rainbow of colors below.

We set up a guided discovery which held similar intrigue for a small group of children as they layered paint and explored what happens as they scratch the surface layer.

During outdoor play we now bring out paper, clipboards, and writing/coloring materials. A qustion I ask as a child pulls a clipboard is "what colors do you see around you?" Sometimes this leads to drawing and inquiry and sometimes it doesn't and wither is okay.

Another guided discovery of primary and secondary color mixing. We record the conversation between peers and ask questions to understand the beginning color theories children have.

This was an exploration that we intended to show color separation. I read that dropping small amounts of the mixed colors into cornstarch would separate the colors but this didn't seem to occur. A good reason to remember always try the experiment first! In the end this turned into a table of Oobleck, which is also great fun.

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