Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Writing Table

For our Valentine’s day project we are working with homemade bottle top stampers, paper, markers and hole punches on pink and blue paper. The children made the stampers the other day with foam stickers and milk jug tops, aren’t they cute? We found using bingo dabbers to load the stampers was much more effective than using the stamp pads we usually use because you can really load em’ up with paint. 

As the kids worked on their individual writing projects, Logan decided he wanted to make his paper longer so he asked for some tape. Usually I offer the kids masking tape because it’s a little easier to manipulate but this time I decided to switch it up and offer scotch tape instead. First I demonstrated several times how to pull out just the right amount of tape then tear it off by twisting and pulling downward. 

It took the kids several tries to get some tape off without getting it tangled up. Pretty soon everybody had fallen in love with the challenge of the new tape and wanted a turn to try it. Working with the tape was tricky and the turn taking process was SLOW. They had to be very patient until the tape made it’s way to their workspace. In the meantime the children did lots of peer mentoring and sharing of ideas as they worked with the other materials. 

(Logan's finished attempt at writing his name is in the bottom corner :)

Peer mentoring

  • Addie had pulled off a length of tape and as she worked it picked up bits of hole punch snowflakes. She was delighted with the effect and picked up a few more. Will watched her then scouted around the table for some of his own.

  • Sam watched Logan work and waited patiently for his own turn with the tape. As he watched Logan, he noticed Logan’s name on his paper so Sam asked for a sticker with Logan’s name on it. I watched him as he looked closely and carefully at each letter then he reproduced them on his paper. Logan saw that Sam was writing his name and traded his tape for a marker so he could give it a try. 

  • Logan wasn’t sure how to form one of the letters in his name and he asked me if I could write it for him. I reminded Logan that it was his project and that he needed to figure it out on his own, then I suggested he watch Sam. Sam demonstrated how to make the letter and talked Logan through the process, then Logan did it on his own.  

  • Carmen watched the other children working with tape and wanted to add some to her project too. She also had trouble getting the lids off of her bingo stampers so she asked for help. Sam and Addie helped her by showing her how to twist the lid the correct way. When they had moved on Carmen practiced twisting the lids on and off. 

  • Yoli was working with one of the hole punches. As she worked she kept trying to slip the paper into the back of the punch. The paper crumpled. I demonstrated how to turn the paper around and slip it in the slot. Yoli moved the stamper to several different places on her paper, positioning it correctly each time she punched a hole. Later she made the same mistake so she watched Will and figured out how to turn the hole punch around correctly.
By allowing the children the time and space to work on Valentine's projects in their own way, they learned how to develop their own ideas and look to each other for help. They also learned to be patient while they waited for turns and worked with new materials.

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