Black and White Week

09 Jan

Our lessons all went well this week. We finished up numbers in Handwriting Without Tears.

For art, I’m using Susan Striker’s Young at Art. This is a fantastic art curriculum…a bit preachy, but very informative and a great, natural way of introducing art to children. This week was black and white week. We used only black and white materials: paper, card, corrugated cardboard, index cards, cotton balls, Styrofoam, pastels, coloured pencils, paints, chalk, crayons, and markers. We made black play dough. I was worried it wouldn’t actually turn out black, and using only food colouring it didn’t, but we also added powdered tempera and it turned out a true black.

We also made black finger paints using a recipe of 1/4 liquid starch and 1 tablespoon powdered tempera, but it was way too runny. I added several tablespoons of flour until it was nice and thick. Fortunately, it did not turn grey. Stiggy’s not really into finger painting, so next week when we do red, we won’t bother with the finger paint.

Each day we explore a different medium: painting, drawing, sculpture, paper, and printing.

We read a book (I was lucky and stumbled upon this in the library) called Black Meets White. This is a great little picture book.

We picked out various things from our surroundings that are black and white. Stiggy got really excited because our cat is black. πŸ™‚

I’d planned a really ambitious week, and was hoping to introduce some French vocabulary words. I’m not planning on teaching Stiggy French just yet, I just want him to learn to say a few French words really well which should help him to learn French later with little accent. We didn’t get around to this…there’s always next week.

We did a great math activity with M&M’s. I poured them into a glass pitcher and asked Stiggy to guess how many there were. I used one of those big bag of M&M’s and I didn’t really expect him to be close because at 5 years old, his concept of numbers isn’t well-developed. He guessed 96, which wasn’t a bad guess; I thought he might say 9 million billion 80 ten… or 12. We then put the M&M’s into a muffin tin, organising them by colour. Stiggy then counted each colour, but before that, I had him guess which colour we had the most and least of. He chose green for the most (which was correct), and red for the least (which was second closest). I asked him how we could figure out how many M&M’s in total we had if we didn’t want to count them all. It took him a while, but he finally figured out that we could add up the totals for each colour. We got the calculator out and he really enjoyed adding the figures up. (There were 275)

We also made a cheerio necklace (fun and yummy prewriting activity).

We did yoga this week. He participated much more than when we did it several months ago; he’s not quite so self-conscious.

A fairly quiet week. We didn’t have any outside activities, which was a nice change. Stiggy’s been enjoying playing ‘restaurant.’ He has a toy kitchen with dishes, play food, and tea set. He’s made a ‘closed’ and ‘open’ sign and he’s draped fairy lights (white Christmas lights) on it (these are only allowed to be on when an adult is in the room. He loves cooking and making tea for us. Sometimes it’s free, sometimes it’s Β£964 for a cup of tea. When I pay, I usually get more money back than what I paid, so it’s a good bargain.

Stiggy’s also been enjoying building train tracks with a set he got from IKEA. We got him an extension this week to give him more building possibilities. It’s amazing the number of different tracks he comes up with. When I try to build one, it won’t end up connecting or I run out of pieces, but Stiggy has no trouble making endless different tracks. Ah, to be 5…


Posted by on January 9, 2009 in Art, Kindergarten, Math, The importance of Play


2 responses to “Black and White Week

  1. Mama B

    January 13, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Greetings! It is the annual delurk day so I’m popping by my regular reads to say “Hi!” and thanks for brightening my days πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the note on the Art curricula you are using. I’m currently looking for one or two or three to help me out πŸ˜€

  2. christinemm

    January 19, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Glad to hear you like Young at Art. I love it. I heard the author speak at a public library in my area and later coordinated her to be a speaker at a La Leche League conference I was in charge of running. She also published a book for parents on parenting toddlers and kids called “Please Touch”. I found it preaching to the choir with me as I was already in the ‘let them explore’ and using some Montessori ideas too and some of the more tolerant parenting methods of attachment parenting. But anyway that one is a good book too.

    Striker left her public school art teacher job to start opening art centers for young kids and doing camp programs using her method, in my area of Connecticut (she lives near me).


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