Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sit N Spin art


sit n spin, masking tape, markers, crayons, large sheet of paper, cars / trucks

Introducing the project:

I introduced the project by saying: I wonder if there’s a way we can attach the markers to the sit N spins to create spin art?

The children got to work attaching markers with masking tape in various configurations on the sit N spin. Some placed the markers on the top of the seat horizontally, some dangled them from the top of the steering wheel and others taped markers along the sides. Most of the markers were not in a position to leave a mark so I got to work setting up the second sit N spin with markers on the sides, tips facing down so that they could see the contrast between the position of the markers on each spinner. 

Testing the sit N spins: We set both sit N spins on a large sheet of paper to test them. The children very quickly realized that one of the sit N spins were leaving circles on the paper while the other was not. I asked them if they noticed anything different between the two spinners. At first they couldn’t figure out what the problem was. They took turns spinning on the sit N spins and they tried moving them to different areas see if that would make a difference. After some time, I asked the kids to get off the sit N spins and asked them to watch as the platforms spun. I asked if they noticed anything different about the markers on the sit N spins.

They watched for a few minutes then got to work moving markers around the sides of the sit N spin. As they took turns getting on and off the sit N spins they had to reposition the tape and markers so that the tips were face down. Later Will decided to apply the same concept to attaching markers to trucks. The idea caught on and pretty soon everyone abandoned the sit N spins for the freedom of movement with the trucks.

“Ms. Geraldine don’t worry I can fix this” - Sam when his marker did not leave a mark of the paper. He repositioned it and kept on driving across the paper watching to see the skippy line left behind the paper. As Sam neared the edge of his paper he positioned his marker so that it was pointed up in the air and showed me that he could drive on the wood floor without leaving a mark.

Meanwhile Addie devoted most of her time working on figuring out how to manipulate the sticky tape without twisting it up. She spent the better part of an hour making her way through the cycle of picking the edge of the tape off the roll, slowly peeling back the desired length, attaching it to the table and cutting the dangling ring so that it clonked on the floor. When she was successful, she was rewarded with a single strip of tape to add to her sit N spin tape collage. More often than not, she was unsuccessful and the tape folded in on itself or twisted up as she worked rendering the entire process useless. Addie didn’t mind; she just smoothed her hair out of her eyes, wadded the sticky mess up and tossed it in the trash in a matter of fact way. Then she cheerfully went about starting the whole process over again.

Logan’s focus was on studying the lines behind various vehicles. His favorite seemed to be a truck left a long skippy line that he enjoyed watching over the circular lines of the sit N spin and the solid lines left behind the other trucks. He experimented with adding a marker to a truck and one to a trailer then attached the two together. He was excited to share with us that it left two lines - one skippy and one solid. Logan also initiated a game of following the leader with the cars over lines made by the sit N spin.

As Jackson worked he discovered that if he lifted the markers while he spun they would leave no mark and if he pushed them back into position they would resume leaving huge circles on his paper. He worked with Addie at the taping part of the project, asking for help or offering it to her when the tape became tangled. While Addie worked he held the top of her tape to keep it from slipping off the table. Later Jackson asked Addie to help him work his scissors when they kept sticking to the tape. 

Will initiated the idea of taping markers to trucks. He also experimented with placing tape over the entire body of matchbox cars and noticing that they didn’t roll very well with the wheels covered. He experimented with shifting the angles of markers and dangling them off the back of his truck after watching Sam’s success with that method on his truck.

Carmen was happy to watch. We offered her several turns on the sit N spin but she seemed very unsure of the paper colored floor. She opted instead to watch through the camera screed on my lap. She also had a great time playing her own game of collecting / dumping matchbox cars and rocks in various containers.  

Throughout our play the children learned to wait for a turns with coveted toys and to help each other out. They watched their friends work with materials and used those ideas to adapt their own projects so that they could be successful. They worked together and helped each other manage the sticky tape.

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