Jan 21, 2016

WonderWorks: Comparative Size

Which is bigger? Smaller? Medium-er?

Today's Topic: Comparative Size*
Supplies (these are just for inspiration--look through your own supplies to see what else might work):
Nesting toys (or a set of nesting bowls)
stacking toys
measuring cups
printable nesting dolls (great examples here and here)
bouncy balls in a variety of sizes

  cover art Small smaller smallest / Fletcher, Corina

Jan 16, 2016

Timers: a technology exploration from WonderWorks

Is a minute a long time?

Today's Topic: the technology of timers
--timers of all kinds (sand/hourglass time from board games at my house, electronic timers and analog timers from the dollar store, loaned others from parents, the clock app on our iPad...)

Book:  A minute is a minute / Neasi, Barbara J.

Sadly, I can't find any cover images of this 1988 title online.  Granted, the illustrations are quite dated, BUT they're diverse (racially and there's even a child in a wheelchair playing catch with his dog and a frisbee!) and the book is absolutely PERFECT for this class.  The basic formula for the book is a list of activities that can make a minute seem really long (waiting for your friend) or really short (flying a kite).  After we read the book, in the second class of the day, I set one of the electronic timers for one minute.  Then I asked the kids to predict whether they thought a minute was a long time or a short time.  Once they'd all voted, I pressed start.  That was a verrrrrry long minute, but a perfect demonstration about how long a minute can feel if you're not distracted by something else.

If you can't get your hands on a copy of this gem of a vintage book, try Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales, but you might need to paraphrase it as it's a bit wordy.

Jan 14, 2016

WonderWorks Outreach: playdough + blocks

Wait.... didn't we just do this project?

Today's Topic: Blocks + Playdough, outreach edition!
wooden blocks

 cover art The three little wolves and the big bad pig / Trivizas, Eugenios
Flannel board:
Los Tres Cerditos by Ana Lomba (scroll down to find a recording) using this piggie pattern

Jan 10, 2016

WonderWorks: Blocks + Playdough

Sometimes you need to use a little sticky stuff.

Today's Topic: Exploring Mortar
building blocks of any kind
playdough (I used this recipe because I had the ingredients on hand, but I'd recommend a salt-based dough instead because this recipe doesn't keep for very long and dries out quickly)

 cover art The three little wolves and the big bad pig / Trivizas, Eugenios  

Jan 5, 2016

Freebie Alert! 2016 Early Literacy Calendar

At a loss for what to do?  Are your afternoon activities in a rut?  Print out the free 2016 Early Literacy Calendar (created by Wisconsin librarians for you!) for a daily reminder that early literacy practices can be fun!
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