Monday, August 1, 2011

Active learning through play in summer preschool program

Highlights on active learning through play in the DCM summer preschool program this week: Our theme this week was Color, Light and Shadow.

What would you expect from some paint and curious mice? With this “feet-on” activity the children were able to be actively engaged with the concept of color as they listened to the story Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. The children walked along the paper with red, yellow or blue paint in order to see what colors THEY could make. What a wonderful way to experience the process of making new colors with your friends and your FEET!

Light and Shadow:
The power of connecting light and shadow to ME! To provide our campers with real opportunities to play with light and shadow, we used a projector to cast a shadow of each child on butcher paper. The children were then able to take their paper back to the table to draw all of their unique features and characteristics.

Many times during the course of our planned activities, the children will start on their own course, making sense of the topic in their own way. This picture shows the product of this child’s idea of making a shadow puppet to bring with her as her shadow was captured by her teacher. When we encourage children to pursue their ideas, we make the way for powerful learning!

Color and Shadow---TOGETHER!
What a simple way to give children choices in their investigations with color and light! Simply using paper cups with the ends replaced with colored cellophane gave these campers the power to change the color of the light coming out of their flashlights. This activity gave them another opportunity to discover the ways that light and color work.

Volunteers Support Emergent Literacy:
Some of the most powerful learning moments in our lives come from simple moments like the one captured here. The simple act of reading with a child is one of the most important things we can do as caregivers. This moment was provided by one of our valuable Museum volunteers. These volunteers make so many learning opportunities possible every day at the Museum. Thank you!!

Submitted by Carrie Abbott-Walk, Master Early Learning Educator and Sue Kessler, Play Coordinator

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