Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Colored Mosaic Tiles

Shape sorting

Materials: Colored mosaic tiles, lazy susan, sorting tray, smaller trays, 6 sheets plain white paper, one piece paper for recording the number of tiles in each group

Set up:

  • Place sorting tray in the center of the table on top of the lazy susan and place one mosaic piece in each compartment. 
  • Tape piece of white paper in each work space and set out a marker.
  • Place a small container with a few handfuls of tiles for sorting.

Step one: Sort

We worked together to sort the mosaic pieces according to color and shape. As the children worked, they needed to be patient with peers and take turns to spin the lazy susan to reach the compartment they needed to put their pieces in. We also worked on identifying each color / shape and reconfiguring the shapes to make larger shapes.

Step two: Count

We emptied each collection of tiles into a container and counted them. When we were finished counting, I placed a tile on a piece of paper and wrote the number next to it. As we worked the children made guesses as to which pile contained the most or least numbers of tiles in it.

Step three: Design and Draw

Each child had a piece of paper taped on the table in front of them to create designs and a marker to add details. The theme most of the children chose was “bad guy traps” - a carry over from something they were working on with larger building materials during free play. As they worked a story about bad guys unfolded in which the bad guys needed to be trapped. 

Some of the children had other ideas about things they would like to create with the tiles, but they were interested in the bad guy trap story and asked questions as they worked on their own designs. 

Sam made a fox and a lotus flower.

Carmen sorted her pieces into loose piles around her paper and colored between the tiles. She also worked on naming the colors and shapes on her paper.

Step Four: take a break and revisit

After concentrating for quite a while, the children moved on to jumping, running and dancing around the room. (This is a very important part of their work children because it gives them a chance to process what they already learned so that they can come back to the activity focused and ready to learn more.) 

Later Sam looked interested in building again so I showed him how to build a house using the mosaics. He came up with an alternate plan using one square and one triangle, then he added “driveways” by drawing two parallel lines in front of the “houses” and “garages” on his page.

Step Five: Teach a friend what you know

After watching Sam’s work I called the other children over to see his plan for buildng a house. We talked about how a collection of houses is called a neighborhood. I asked Sam to explain what he was doing so that other people might be able to make houses if they wanted to. Sam walked the other children through the step by step process he used to create his project, then he recreated some houses on the paper of the children who were still confused by the process. After watching Sam’s demonstration, the girls decided to make some houses for themselves. 
Logan, Jackson, Will and Carmen on the other hand, were engrossed in their animal dress up game so they decided they didn’t want to make any more houses. They did stick around to watch as Sam worked with the other children. Later we all took turns counting the houses on each paper and we compared the numbers of houses to see who had drawn the most in their neighborhood.

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