Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rainbow fun.

Yesterday, I went to my old school to visit students and colleagues, and I cleaned out the last of the books I had left in the classroom I taught in for seven years (something I should have done a year ago, but I forgot). I think subconsciously, I wanted to leave a piece of me there.

It is always good and hard to go back, because I poured myself into that place for over seven years. I love that school so much; I believe so deeply in the students and the teachers and all that the campus stands for. Also, I don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. Yesterday, I found myself feeling incredibly grateful that after ten years of teaching high school students, I spent the past school year teaching my son.

As our "school year" is coming to an end, I can't help but think back to our "school" time together. Last August, we decided to keep Everett out of preschool this year, because: 1) He was adamantly opposed to going to preschool. 2) I was happy to have him home with Cambria and me. I told him that if he wasn't going to preschool, we would do school at home, not knowing at all what that would look like for a three year old. I bought a preschool curriculum box from Learning Resources, and we started with that. Then, I began planning little fun lessons based on Everett's interests, and that turned into planning units. 

I don't really know anything about early childhood education or homeschool, but one of the most fun parts of this past year for me has been doing "school" with Everett, and I will always look back at all the time we got to spend together this year fondly. 

My planning process for our "school" time has evolved and is now pretty simple. Everett will tell me something he wants to learn more about, I check out as many library books as I can, and we read them over and over throughout our unit. I try to incorporate an art lesson, a food lesson, dressing up, a field trip, and a run through the sprinklers.

These rainbow lessons were inspired by the book Monsters Love Colors, which we had checked out as a part of our monster unit. Everett wanted to paint and learn all about mixing colors, so I planned a little rainbow unit for us. 

Books we enjoyed from the library:

We loved this video: OK Go video about primary colors on Sesame Street 

Dressing up:
First, we read all of the rainbow books and then Everett dressed up as a rainbow superhero.
Painting a rainbow:
After learning more about rainbows and colors from the books. we painted our own rainbows. Everett and Cambria had their own interpretations of what a rainbow looks like. 
Eating the rainbow: 
We were learning about rainbows at the same time we were learning about the body, so this worked well to talk about healthy eating and colors. We read Eat Your ColorsI Can Eat a Rainbow: A Fun Look at Healthy Fruits and Vegetables, and Rainbow Stew. Then, we went to the store, and made sure we had something of every color. When we got home, Everett cut the banana and cucumbers, and lined everything up by color. He and Cambria had a picnic.
Mixing colors:
We read Mix it Up! and Monsters Love Colors, which are both about how the primary colors can be mixed to make new colors. We squeezed finger paint into ziplock bags, and they got to squish the colors together to make new ones. Then they finger painted, which led to a run through the sprinklers. Afterward, we watched the OK Go video on primary colors, which we all loved. 
Rainbow field trip:
We took a "field trip" to one of my favorite buildings in San Diego, which is painted in rainbow colors, and then had a little coffee and bagel date afterward.
Everett's photograph of me. "Mom, go stand over there and do something silly!"
Rainbow art:
Our rainbow field trip was supposed to help inspire us to make rainbow art. We tried two types of rainbow art, both of which ended up being more fun for me than Everett. We made shaving cream marble art, inspired by this tutorial. You squirt shaving cream into a pan, then add drops of acrylic paint, swirl the colors into the shaving cream, place card stock on top of it, and finally, scrape the shaving cream off of the paper with a popsicle stick. Everett enjoyed choosing paint colors, helping squirt the shaving cream and paint into the pan, and swirling the colors into the shaving cream, but he wanted nothing to do with scraping it off. I enjoyed it, though.

Then, we read The Day the Crayons Quit and made melted crayon art by gluing broken crayons to card stock, and then using a blowdryer to melt it. I let Everett choose the colors and where he wanted to glue the crayons. I ended up doing most of the blowdrying, because Everett did not have the patience. I, on the other hand, loved blowdrying the crayons and watching it slowly melt. It was kind of meditative.

Swirling the paint and the shaving cream:
Rainbow art finished products (shaving cream marble art on the left, melted crayon art on the right):
Rainbow crystal:
This was the best tool to teach Everett how the sun can make a rainbow and the colors we see. I bought Everett a crystal to hang in his window to teach him about rainbows. Every afternoon, when the sun begins to shine through his west-facing window, little rainbows are cast throughout this room. So far, each day this has happened, we all get excited, and then he jumps on his bed.

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Brooke! What a wonderful environment with such rich and loving experiences you are giving your children. I am now teaching art at Canyon Hills, so I especially love all the art and creativity you have included. So happy for you❤️