Thursday, January 13, 2011

Light Discovery and Literacy!

I recently posted about our new light table - a world of possibility opened up, although once it was plugged in, I had no idea what to do with it. Thanks to some really great comments here and collaboration at my school, we have many ideas about how to discover and explore using this wonderful material! 
Here, the children are using their fine motor skills poking holes in black paper (placed on top of styrofoam)  with thumb tacks to make pictures - the holes allow the light to peek through, they turn out to be really beautiful!

Today, we received a new light-giving material in our classroom: an overhead projector. It was really exciting to introduce it to the children; we did it right after morning meeting. Each child wanted to put their hand over the projector to see it on the wall, and we did that, but after a couple of children had gotten the chance, others discovered that if they just stood in front of the wall, they could make shadows of their bodies. It was quite the experience! 

Of course, this would be the center that every child would want to go to at center time, and I worried about how we could organize it without fighting and tantrums. 

I had just been reading about ways to meaningfully incorporate writing into the classroom (as in, not having the students writing their letters for the sole sake of learning how to write their letters, but rather, fostering the love of the writing process and development). So, I took some advice and we made a sign up sheet. 

For the first couple minutes, some of the students either didn't understand the concept of the sign up or didn't care - there was still an overcrowded group around the projector. After a couple of breaths, reminding about the sign up sheet ( showing the students the list and where their names appeared on the list in relation to the students currently at the projector), and redirection to another appealing center while they waited, pretty much everyone was content with our new system. 

There were some students who could NOT wait to get involved in light and shadow play, and  spent their waiting time on the carpet playing with some of the objects for the projector and/or making shadows on the wall. 
This friend was using a star, putting it closer and farther away, watching how the image changes on the wall.

All in all, we made huge strides in our class today: we discovered more about light and shadow, we learned more about sharing, AND we incorporated literacy in a developmentally appropriate, play-based, child directed way (which is something that I continue to work on as I learn about Reggio Emilia and play-based learning. Can't wait to see where this brings us! 

No comments:

Post a Comment