Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Snowflake Bentley Co-op

We love our co-op!  Do I say that each time I post about it?  I'm so thankful to be a part of it!  Each time is so much fun!!!  This time is was my turn to co-teach. 

We started with reading the story and then moved to a storytelling game.

We took words from the story and put them on index cards.  Each card had three words on it. 

Each child drew a card and was asked to use at least one (but could use all) of the words on the card.  One child started the story and then we went in a circle with each child adding a bit more to the story.  It was a very creative one - with twists and turns that didn't always please the group.  lol  It was fun to hear what they came up with and how they used their words.

The next activity was an art project.  We did block prints.  Each child was given a square of florist foam in which to carve a picture or design. 

They used a pencil to draw their designs.  What I forgot to tell them was that their print would be the reverse of what they had drawn (my test design was symmetrical).  Some of them figured this out when they tried to write words.

I loved seeing the variety of designs.  Once the design was deep enough, they were ready to paint.

They painted the block with white tempera paint and the pressed the block to the paper.

Sometimes they needed to have more or less paint to get a good print. 

We then took a break for a snack and then another art project.  This time we focused on the photography lesson.  We didn't use cameras though, we used the sun!  Thankfully we had a beautifully sunny day!  This is the type of solar paper we used in case you were interested.

Each child selected some things that they wanted to use - tools, foam shapes, items from nature, etc.  Once this was decided we went into the sun to place the items on the solar paper. 

We had the children shade their papers until they had completely layed out their items.

Then they waited a few minutes as the sun began to fade the paper.  You can see in this picture that the one on the right has been in the sun longer.

After several minutes, they then took the items off of the solar paper and then submerged it into water.  Notice how the color has begun to darken again.

These are Daniel's prints after they have dried and darkened.  Pretty neat, huh?

Our next activity was a game on snow facts.  We thought it would be a fun way to see what they knew as well as to teach them some new things.  Here is how the game was made.  I found some images of the actual pictures Snowflake Bentley took of snowflakes and printed two of them.  One was the base of the game and the other became the pieces.

For the pieces, they were cut in half.  One half had a question on it and the other half the answer. 

Each child was given an answer.  Several were true/false, several were numbers and several were places so that hopefully none of the answers was too obvious.  When a question was asked, the children tried to guess the correct answer.  They were able to see if they were right by seeing if the picture on the back of their card matched the picture on the back of the question.

It's a simple way to learn some facts and an easy way to review things at home.  Hopefully I'll remember to use this technique again.

We ended with a snowball fight - paper - since we clearly had none of the real stuff!

A fun day.  I love learning in a hands-on way and I'm motivated to do some projects for co-op that I might not have the energy to do on my own.  I think it's a great opportunity for me as well as for my children.  Thank you friends for a fun day!  Looking forward to the next one!