light and shadows


We did a lot of exploration of light and shadows at the beginning of the year, so I wanted to put the projector out again to see what sorts of ideas I could provoke. Also, we have been playing with flash lights and shadows in our “campground” in dramatic play, so I thought this would be a complimentary provocation.

I love this sequence of documentation, and how it packages persistence, curiosity, and motivation, among other things.




color mixing



Our hardware store is open for color matching and mixing.

20130528_100153We are also mixing paint in our art center to match the beautiful colors we see in this rose.

We read Mouse Paint and talked about how adding white makes colors lighter. We compared colors against paint chips and talked about the same and different. We experimented and tested theories, and we made beautiful art work.





pendulum painting


Inspired by the incredible Teacher Tom, pendulum painting is one of my favorite activities to do with my students.  I love watching them explore movement and make connections from the random designs that emerge, and I am always lovingly surprised by how well children work in groups at the pendulum:) They have to work together for the activity to work — one student needs to hold his finger over the bottom paint canister so the paint doesn’t drip out before you can swing it, one student needs to pour the paint into the canister, and the other one gets to swing it (I didn’t enforce these roles on them — they were created by the students).

I made the pendulum out of PVC pipes I picked up at Home Depot (5 pieces of 2-feet pipes, 4 pieces of 1-foot pipes, 6 elbow brackets, and 2 T brackets). The store will even cut the pipe for you if you also live in a small apartment with little room for miter saws… I have a set of clear condiment bottles like these that are always helpful in the classroom. I used an exacto knife to cut the bottom off of one, hole-punched a hole in either side, and then clipped on binder rings (to make it easier to take off for cleaning without taking the string down). The paint needs to be pretty watered down for it to work well (about 2 parts paint to one part water), and I put it in another condiment bottle to make it easy for the kids to squeeze themselves. All in all, it’s about the best 20 dollars I have ever spent on my classroom, and I’m so inspired every time it comes out. (An added bonus of the PVC pipe is how easy it is to take apart for storage).

Before I took the pendulum out again yesterday, we read Old Black Fly. The book itself is really fun (with a refrain the kids really get into), but the illustrations also look very similar to some of the art work that comes out of our pendulum.