Tag Archives: Hummingbird

Construction Week in Hummingbirds:Robots are Born

"My robot has eyes on the side, and the back and everywhere. You can't outlook it because it has eyes EVERYWHERE!"

"I sit in here so I can blast off!"

This week in our preschool summer camp, construction was our theme. Very early on in the week cardboard boxes were introduced as a material. When the children were asked what they would like to make with them, one of the boys eyes widened as he exclaimed, “LETS MAKE ROBOTS!”… and so it was.  Toiling away, adding wires and more wires, the first robot began to take shape, and it quickly inspired the other children in the class to make their own robots.

Our first robot inventor initially declared, “No one can go inside this because it’s electric!” When his friends asked if he was the only one who could go inside he said, “No, not even me… only people that are made of wires.” But after a few moments passed he seemed to realize the benefits of being able to enter his robot,  so he decided that he could go in his robot. When I asked him about how this was possible, and reminded him that only people who are made of cables are allowed inside, he tells me, “We have cables inside our bodies.'” When i ask him what they do, he tells me that they help him breathe and then further elaborates this point by showing me some wires on the top of his robot, (that he has been referring to as the smoker) and says, “When I breathe, the smoker, it takes the air and then blows it away from my body…” And the issue is quickly resolved with confidence and imagination.  Soon his robot who started off as a happy cooking robot becomes half robot/half spaceship and he’s ready to blast off!

We are eager to watch how all of our robots will evolve and transform in the coming weeks, and to find out a little bit more about the cables inside us.

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Preschool Triple-Post: Plants, City-Planning, AirPlane

Hummingbirds are speedy creatures. They hover near a flower, sip nectar, move on quick to the next…. It’s hard to keep up with the Preschoolers and Teachers in our Hummingbirds Preschool, hence this triple-sized post!

Row by row:

1. The children’s Mother’s Day gift was a potted flower along with a book documenting the flower’s growth through the child’s own drawings, week by week. A major learning experience and a heartfelt gift!

The third photo is of the finished scribble map – This was a few days of free drawing. Click on it to take a closer look – you can feel the movement of the children through the overlapping lines, and see evidence of their visual processing of rivers, coast-line, roads, and even the text boxes.

The learning process can be mysterious. We love, though, when something spins out into a new way of looking at an old project, which takes us to the next row:

2. Mixed-media map-making on cellophane. This is a new stage, combining the levels of learning so far:

– First, years of exposure to real roads, cars, city-scapes, etc.

– Second, play with toy cars

– Third, marker drawings of roads and train tracks on paper for toy cars to drive on, plus collage on top

– Fourth, 3-D construction of a city-scape out of card and paper, including tape roads

– Fifth, interaction with a real map on cellophane with markers

– And now, combining all the above elements: markers, tape roads, 3D construction, cellophane, PLUS a new thing: Road signs! One of our brilliant teachers found a source of realistic, small cardboard traffic signs that were included here. Amazing.

3. One child brought an interest in airplanes to the classroom a long time ago. During the sculpting process with salt dough, he developed a couple different techniques to make an airplane, exploring many of the different parts. Other children were tickled by the idea and we saw other airplanes emerge from the dough – some only briefly.

This week, a cardboard box was brought in because a different child wanted to make a house out of it. But the “stickiness” of the airplane idea was evident – the box got wings, windows, and a tail added, along with a great number of cryptic, creative other bits and pieces.

To provoke deeper exploration of the plane, the children were asked if they wanted some photos printed from the internet. The pics above show them using the photos cooperatively to plan out the airplane parts.

“We forgot the propeller!” one child said. The engines were added underneath the wing following discussion of the different places that an engine could go: behind the nose of certain planes, or under the wing of others.

That’s all for today. Next week might be another double or triple post…

We are starting to see a synergy of idea-sharing happening in our centre, as the children’s and teachers’ interests and competencies blossom. Considering we just opened 6 months ago – Triple cheer for CPCC!

Documentation process: Map-making, aquarium continued

Here are two examples of documentation panels being used to provoke thought about on-going projects.

The first project is a continuation of the map-making in the preschool. We took it into 3 dimensions using glue, tape, card, etc. Here are some of the children’s words spoken during the construction process:

(Using small toys to walk around the model) “Now she’s going to Granville Island with her puppy dog.”

“I’m going to cut so the goose can go on some stairs.”

(Putting on a roof) “When for people get their hair blown (by the wind)”

“I’m putting this so the wind could go nicely from the tape.”

“This is a water pipe.”

“I’m going to add houses.”

The documentation display has a chart for teachers and parents to add any questions that the children ask about cities. We hope to encourage wonder about how they are built, what parts they have, and what infrastructure is required.

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The aquarium project was continued in the Robins room – asking the children what could be put into the aquarium (other than the boats that we made). Many ideas were drawn and discussed before being displayed on a large photo of the aquarium: octopuses, starfish, whales, rocks, fish, water snake, etc.

We will look into getting one of these animals for real! Probably not a whale, though.

Preschool Map-making

Drawing can be used as a tool to learn about our surroundings.

The preschoolers can be seen here making a map of the area – a collaborative project that involved many discoveries. Children included play areas, houses, apartment buildings, schools, and other landmarks with meaning for them.

Learning along the way: Communication, visual-spatial skills, drawing-as-representation, map vocabulary and concepts, neighbourhood familiarity