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Category: Blogs

MIBF 2019 Ticket

Download and print your free tickets for the Manila International Book Fair!

Please present a copy of your printed ticket at the entrance of the book fair. Black-and-white tickets will be accepted.

Drop by our booth on the second floor of the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

You can use any of the two designs below.

To download the ticket:

  1. Right click the image of the ticket.
  2. Choose “Save Image As”
  3. Save the file.
  4. Print the downloaded file.

Curriculum Planning

Curriculum Planning

Planning Your Curriculum

✦ Step back and get an overview of the school year’s schedule of activities.

✦ Create loose timelines and set your learning goals.

✦ Remember that your main objective, which is to foster learning, supersedes the importance of watching the clock. You must balance the two priorities of sticking to the schedule and honoring your learning goals.

Before School Starts

✦ Examine the learning competencies in your Restructured Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC).

✦ Look at the number of units in your textbooks or curriculum materials and determine how much time to allow for each unit over the course of the year.

✦ Count the number of chapters within each unit, merging those units that are identical, and determine how much time you can spend on each. Project the dates when you will probably begin a new chapter in the first unit.

✦ Determine how much time to allot for the lessons that will cover the contents.

✦ Jot down the learning activities you will plan within a sample day and within a sample week.

At the End of the First Week

✦ After the first few days of school, you may feelbetter able to estimate the length of time needed to complete the activities in your lesson plans. Assess whether you can stay on target given the time you allocated for each chapter.

✦ Factor in daily activities and special events as you prepare for each new week. Record in your plan book any upcoming school activities or other interruptions you should anticipate.

At the End of the First Unit

✦ Assess the effectiveness of your timeline again. Map out the chapters for the entire semester and the start dates in your plan book.

At the End of the First Semester

✦ Complete the process for the remainder of the year, noting down the start dates for each chapter.

 

✦ You could team up with a co-teacher to develop the schedule; you could discuss weight priorities, and check which of the competencies have not been sufficiently covered and which ones have been over studied.

For 25 years, St. Matthew’s Publishing Corporation has served more than 10,000 educational institutions nationwide as a true partner of educators and parents in nurturing young minds.

Join us as we celebrate 25 years of service at the 36th Manila International Book Fair this September 16-20, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Find us at Booth 81-82 at the end of Aisle Q. Learn about our new books and avail of special promos!

We’ve got your ticket covered for you!

Just download your free ticket here and bring a printed copy of it when you enter.

Print in any size, black and white or colored and you’re good to go!

 

Fun Spelling Games For Kids

SPELLING GAMES FOR CHILDREN

The ability to spell well is a sign of literacy. Spelling is a skill of constructing words rather than memorizing them. A good speller predicts how a word is spelled based on knowledge of what is probable in English. Sadly, spelling is one of the most neglected subjects of study.

Spelling instruction is reinforced through activities that:

  • Apply spelling words to daily reading and writing
  • Build phonemic awareness and phonics skills
  • Emphasize basic spelling patterns and generalizations
  • Promote word analysis and build vocabularies
  • Help students correct common spelling errors
  • Develop student interest

A worthwhile spelling program includes the following characteristics:

  • About fifteen minutes of daily instruction, five days a week
  • Lists of spelling words based on spelling patterns or similar structures
  • Use of pretest-study-test format
  • A self-corrected test procedure
  • A word-study strategy that is both visual and auditory
  • Teaching words as whole units, not as parts
  • An emphasis on teaching how words are spelled rather than on teaching rules

Immediate reinforcement, specifically self-correction, is essential. In fact, self-correction is the single greatest factor in learning to spell.

Enhancing spelling instruction with games sparks students’ interest. Although games do not involve real-world reading and writing, they serve to focus the players’ attention on the structure of words. This, in turn, helps to create visual images of the words, which students will then use as they read and write. Playing games fosters a positive attitude towards spelling, which is critical to improving spelling skills.

Spelling Games

  1. Keep Climbing
    Materials:
  • Keep Climbing game board
  • pencils and erasers
  • list of spelling words that progress from easy to more difficult

Preparation:

  • Make a copy of the game board for each student.

How to play:

  1. Ask for a volunteer to be the caller and give him or her the word list.
  2. The caller reads out each word and uses it in a sentence.
  3. As the caller reads the words, the players write them on the lines of their game board, starting at the bottom of the page.
  4. After the players have written each word, the caller writes the word on the chalkboard so that the players could self-check. If incorrect, the players self-correct.
  5. When the caller reads the next word, the players write it on the next line, or, if the last word had been spelled incorrectly, on the same line.
  6. Play continues in this manner until one player reaches the top.
  1. Word Detective

Materials:

  • letter cards
  • list of spelling words

Preparation:

  • Copy a set of letter cards, making multiple cards for vowels and other letters that appear more than once in a spelling word.

How to play:

  1. Use letter cards to build a spelling word, or ask a volunteer to build a word.
  2. Have the players read the word and then have them turn around.
  3. Remove a letter.
  4. Have the players turn back around. Have them identify the missing letter and tell where it belongs. A volunteer may replace the letter.
  5. You may have each player write a sentence that uses the word.
  1. Copycat Words

Materials:

  • word strips cut out into cards, each one approximately six inches long
  • pencils
  • scissors
  • list of spelling words
  • chalkboard and chalk

How to play:

  1. Write a spelling word on the chalkboard.
  2. Ask the students to copy the word onto a strip. Check their spelling.
  3. Have the students say the word and spell it. Invite volunteers to use the word in a sentence.
  4. Cover up the word on the chalkboard, and ask the students to cut apart each letter.
  5. Have them say the word again and visualize how to spell it. Then have them rebuild the word using their letters.
  6. Reveal the word on the chalkboard so that the students can check their work.
  1. Pass the Pad

Materials:

  • pad of paper and pencil
  • paper bag
  • music player
  • index cards
  • marker

Preparation:

  • Write spelling words on cards, or have the children write the words. Place the word cards in a paper bag.

How to play:

  1. Invite the students to sit in a circle. Play music while the students pass the paper and pencil around the circle.
  2. Periodically stop the music and choose a word from the bag. Read the word aloud.
  3. The player who is holding the pad when the music stops writes the word that you read.
  4. The player displays the word and confirms its spelling with the word card. If the word is spelled correctly, he or she remains in the circle. If not, the player corrects the spelling and leaves the circle. He or she reads the spelling word the next time the music stops.
  5. Continue playing until all the words have been spelled or until just one player remains in the circle.

Other Games

  • Move and Form a Word
  • Roll It, Say It, Spell It
  • Hidden Words
  • ABC Hop

Communication means interacting with others to promote understanding and achieve a result of some kind.

There are three areas that matter in communication:

  • words – what we say
  • tone – how we say it
  • body language – how we look when we are saying it

Advantages of Face-to-face Communication

  • People can “see what you mean.”
  • Eye contact helps you establish if the other person is listening and understanding.
  • Your body language can help him believe what you are saying.

Disadvantages of Face-to-face Communication

  • You can give away your true feelings.
  • You might “wear your heart on your sleeve.”
  • The other person may not understand the words you use.
  • He may not like the way you are saying the words.

Tips on Listening

  • Give your full attention.
  • Do not assume what the other person is going to say.
  • Do not waste listening time formulating what your response will be.
  • Show by eye contact and an interested expression that you are paying attention.
  • When listening on the telephone, do not allow distractions in the room to interfere with your listening abilities.
  • When on the phone, let your caller know you are listening by making verbal indications such as “M-mm, yes, okay . . . .”
  • Make notes if appropriate; when on the telephone, for example.

Types of Questions

  1. Open questions – These questions will help you the most. Who, what, when, where, and why are the opening words to questions that will give you specific information. You cannot answer Yes or No to an open question.
  2. Closed questions – These questions will give you the answer Yes or No. They begin with Can you, Will you, Did you, etc.
  3. Specific questions – These questions clarify facts. These are often used to get numbers, dates, addresses, etc. (For example: Your address is . . . ? and Is the number . . . ?)

Tips on Receiving Calls

  • Cultivate a pleasant and interesting telephone voice.
  • Greet your caller with “Good morning/afternoon!,” state your name, then ask “How may I help you?”
  • Make your caller feel “wanted” by making him aware of who is speaking and by asking him his name—we all like the sound of our own names!

Tips on Taking Messages

  • It may be that the person your caller wants is not available. First ask him if you can help. If you can’t, offer to take a message.
  • When telling your caller that you will take a message, you should do just that! Say, “I will see that . . . gets the message,” or, “I will pass the message to . . . ,” not “I will get him/her to phone you back.”

The Stages of Preparing Your Letter

  1. Planning
    You need to identify your objective in sending the letter. For example, is it:
  • to give information?
  • to promote an action?
  • to clarify something?
  • to rectify a situation?
  • to promote your school?
  1. The Structure of the Letter
  • Letter length should be only one page.
  • Try to keep the length of sentences to not more than twenty words each.
  • Paragraph length should be no more than four sentences each.

Structure your letter around the following:
1. Greeting

  • “Dear Sir/Madam” is used if you do not know the name of the person to whom you are writing.
  • “Dear Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss” is professional and less formal. Ms. is quite correct if you have no indication of marital status.
  1. Introduction
  • In the first introductory paragraph, say why you are writing and mention the date of correspondence received from them, if any (“Thank you for your letter of 10th June 2007.”).
  1. Information
  • This is the main part of the letter when you deal with the subject at hand. Decide on the most logical order of the information. Use paragraphs and, if necessary, use sub-headings for each new subject.
  1. Action
  • Your letter should say what action is required, when it needs to be acted on (give a deadline), and who should take the action
  • Actions should be achievable.
  1. Conclusion
  • This paragraph enables you to personalize your letter.

III. Writing the Letter
Writing your letter should be easy as ABC: Accurate, Brief, and Clear.
1. Accurate

  • Check that your facts are accurate.
  • Make sure names are correctly spelled.
  • Use words accurately and appropriately.
  1. Brief
  • Be brief—keep it short. Your reader’s time is as precious as yours. You don’t want to spend hours writing a letter—he/she doesn’t want to spend hours reading one.
  • Short sentences are easier to understand.
  • 4% of readers understand a 27-word sentence at the first pass.
  • 75% of readers understand a 17-word sentence at the first pass.
  • 95% of readers understand an 8-word sentence at the first pass.
  • Try to keep sentences to less than twenty words.
  • Use short words and phrases. The effect is greater.
  1. Clear
  • Your letter will be clearer if you have used a heading, paragraphed the information in a logical sequence, and used simple language—not jargon.
  1. Punctuation
  • Commas are used to separate nouns in a sentence.
  • Semicolons are not widely used in the modern letter. It is better to start a new sentence.
  • A colon is used when listing information.
  • The apostrophe indicates ownership or is used when one or more letters are omitted.
  1. Layout
  • Develop a “house style” or set of layout rules so that letters from your school will have a uniform appearance and consistent style. You may use different (but still stylistically connected) layouts for different types of letters.
  1. Checking
  • Checking letters for accuracy before presentation for signature is important for the administrator.
  • Check the layout (Does it look attractive? Is it evenly spaced?), the punctuation and spelling (Are they accurate?), and the names/titles/addresses (Are they all correct?)
  • Do not use just your computer’s spelling checker to gauge accuracy. It will not pick up on words that are correctly spelled but wrongly placed.
  • Read the letter aloud or get someone else to read it out to you while you check your own copy. It can be difficult to see errors in letters you have typed yourself.

Make sure you have the correct number of copies.

Writing the letters A to Z may seem difficult to teach among preschool children, but with constant practice and with the correct teaching strategy, this skill will soon be easily assimilated. An effective teacher must include engaging, multisensory activities to help children learn to recognize and write each letter from A to Z correctly—and with ease and fun!

With creative, engaging, hands-on activities, children will easily remember the shape of each letter as they develop into writers and readers.

How Children Learn Letter Formation

  • Students learn letter formation best through active exploration of letter names, the sounds the letters stand for, the letters’ visual characteristics, and the motor movements involved in their formation.

Teaching to All Learning Styles

  • It’s important to know that there is a range of learning styles in the classroom: that visual learners learn best by seeing, tactile learners by touching, kinesthetic learners by doing, and auditory learners by hearing.
  • It’s a good idea to give every child a chance to engage in all kinds of activities; combining modalities often leads to faster learning.

Working with Learning Challenges

  • For students with learning disabilities, we must provide activities that fit a range of learning styles to compensate for limitations. A combination of visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory activities nurtures different learning styles and involves the whole group.
  • Children with learning difficulties face many different issues in handwriting instruction.

Disabilities that Affect Letter Formation

  1. Dysgraphia – It is the lack of control of the handwriting muscles. Children with dysgraphia may:
  • write backward;
  • use heavy pressure, thereby smudging the paper;
  • struggle to maintain consistent spacing within and between words; and/or
  • erase repeatedly.
  1. Fine-motor limitations – Children with these difficulties may:
  • struggle to control writing utensils and scissors;
  • struggle to button and zip clothing; and/or
  • have difficulty copying simple shapes.
  1. Visual memory/discrimination weaknesses – Children with these difficulties may:
  • confuse letter orientation (for instance, b and d, or n and u);
  • reverse a series of letters (for instance, saw and was); and/or
  • confuse “left” with “right”, and “over” with “under.”

Letter-practice Procedures

The following steps are a guide to introducing children to each letter of the alphabet:

  1. Preview the letter on the board before having the children write it. Teach the letter name first, so that the children can have a conceptual peg on which to hang their understanding. Slowly demonstrate each letter on the board as you recite the steps in forming the strokes.
  2. Have the children trace each letter in the air as you recite the steps again. Demonstrate how to do this by holding your thumb and first two fingers together, as though gripping a pencil, and forming the letter in the air.
  3. Ask the children to pick up their pencils and try to write one letter on their paper. Circulate around the room and check to see that the children have understood the basic strokes. If they haven’t, take their hands in yours and guide them through the strokes.
  4. Invite the children to complete one row of the letter. For each child, circle the best letter in the row he or she made.

Commonly Confused Letter Pairs

Children recognize letters by visually analyzing the shape and orientation of each letter. However, with so many similarities between letters, it is common even for grade-schoolers to confuse certain letters.

Use the following visual and auditory hints to help children discriminate between these letter pairs:

A vs. O            Like an apple, A has a stem. Like an orange, O does not.

B vs. D           Have the children hold their hands in front of them and form a B with their left hand and a D with their right. Have them move their hands together and help them see the “bed.”

B vs. H           B has a ball that bounces; H has two legs that hop.

C vs. O           C’s mouth is open to eat a cookie. O is closed, like the shape of an orange.

D vs. P           D has a tail that stays above water, like a duck. P has a round peso and a tail that goes down, reaching down to put a peso in your pocket.

P vs. Q          P comes right before Q in the alphabet; so the bat comes before the ball on P, and the bat comes after the ball on Q.

V vs. Y           Y is just like V, but it has a piece of yarn hanging down.

C vs. G           C is wide open, but G has a little Gate, or Garage, at its opening.

I vs. J             J looks like I, but the bottom part of J Jumps up a little.

M vs. W         M looks like two Mountains. W looks like Waves in the Water.

P vs. R            P and R look the same, but R has a Ramp on which you can Race down.

U vs. V            U is the cUp; V is the Vase.

Alphabet Activities

Index Cards

Index cards are a great resource for letter-recognition activities. Make and laminate a set of 26 cards, one for each letter.

  • Give each child an index card with one letter on it. Invite the children to sit in a circle. Play some music and have the children pass the cards in one direction around the circle. When the music stops, each child names the letter on his or her card.
  • Play a letter version of Simon Says. Hold up cards that have the letters Jj, Ww, and Ss on them, and have the children jump when they see Jj, wave when they see Ww, and sit when they see Ss.

Skywriting

Ask one child to stand with his or her back to the group. Have the child trace a large letter in the air with his or her finger while his or her classmates try to guess the letter. Invite the children to take turns “skywriting” letters.

Mystery Bag Guessing Game

Here’s a fun way to introduce each letter. Write the letter on a smooth piece of paper using plain school glue. When the glue dries, put the paper in a “mystery bag.” Have the children put their hands in the bag to feel the paper with their fingers and have them try to guess the letter.

Letter-by-letter Activities

Duck Walk

Children form the letter Dd with their bodies and distinguish between upper-and lowercase letters.

Jumping Jack J’s

Children respond physically to the shapes of letters and rapidly discriminate between similar letters.

Karate Kicks

Children use their whole bodies to form the letter Kk.

The L’s are Lost

Children examine the classroom environment for the lines of an L.

Pin it!

Common Learning Disabilities

What is Learning Disability?

Learning disability is a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities.

TYPES OF LEARNING DISABILITIES

Learning disabilities can be categorized either by the type of information processing that is affected or by the specific difficulties caused by a processing deficit. Information processing deficits. Learning disabilities fall into broad categories based on the four stages of information processing used in learning:

  • Input
  • Integration
  • Storage
  • Output

Specific Learning Disabilities

  1. Reading disability (Dyslexia)
    This type of disorder, also known as dyslexia, is quite widespread and is the most common learning disability. In fact, reading disabilities affect 2 to 8 percent of elementary school children. And, of all students with specific learning disabilities, 70%-80% have deficits in reading.

Specific Characteristics:

  • inability to distinguish or separate the sounds in spoken words
  • problem sounding out words
  • trouble with rhyming games
  • trouble understanding or remembering new concepts
  • difficulty comprehending words read
  1. Writing disability (Dysgraphia)
    Writing too, involves several brain areas and functions. The brain networks for vocabulary, grammar, hand movement, and memory must all be in good working order. So, a developmental writing disorder may result from problems in any of these areas.
  2. Arithmetic disorder (Dyscalculia)
    Specific Characteristics:
    has difficulty …
  • recognizing numbers and symbols
  • memorizing facts
  • aligning numbers
  • understanding abstract concepts like place value and fractions
  1. Nonverbal learning disability

Nonverbal learning disabilities often manifest in…

  • Motor clumsiness, poor visual skills, problematic social relationships, difficulty with math, and poor organizational skills.
  • These individuals often have specific strengths in the verbal domains, including early speech, large vocabulary, early reading and spelling skills, excellent rote-memory and auditory retention, and eloquent self-expression.
  1. Disorders of speaking and listening
    Difficulties that often co-occur with learning disabilities include difficulty with memory, social skills and executive functions (such as organizational skills and time management).
  2. Auditory processing disorder
    Difficulties processing auditory information include difficulty comprehending more than one task at a time and a relatively stronger ability to learn visually.

COMMON SIGNS OF LEARNING DISABILITIES

Toddlers/Pre-K

  • Speaks later than most children
  • Pronunciation problems
  • Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
  • Difficulty rhyming words
  • Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colors, shapes
  • Extremely restless and easily distracted
  • Trouble interacting with peers
  • Difficulty following directions or routines
  • Fine motor skills slow to develop

Kindergarten

  • Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
  • Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
  • Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
  • Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
  • Slow to remember facts
  • Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
  • Unstable pencil grip
  • Trouble learning about time
  • Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents

Prep

  • Reverses letter sequences (soiled/solid, left/felt)
  • Slow to learn spelling strategies
  • Avoids reading aloud
  • Trouble with word problems
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Awkward, fist-like, or tight pencil grip
  • Avoids writing assignments
  • Slow or poor recall of facts
  • Difficulty making friends

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

The causes for learning disabilities are not well understood, and sometimes there is no apparent cause for a learning disability. However, some causes of neurological impairments include:

  • Heredity – Learning disabilities often run in the family.
  • Problems during pregnancy and birth.
  • Accidents after birth (head injuries, malnutrition, toxic exposure)

EVALUATION

Evaluation depends on an integrated assessment of the child’s functioning in the following domains:

  • cognition – perceptual organization, memory, concept formation, and problem solving
  • communication – speech/language form, content, and use for receptive and expressive purposes
  • emergent literacy – phonological awareness, awareness of print; numeric – number recognition, and number concepts
  • motor functions – gross, fine, and oral motor abilities
  • sensory functions – auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, and visual systems
  • social – emotional adjustment, including behavior, temperament, and social interaction

TREATMENT AND INTERVENTION

Interventions include:
1. Mastery model:

  • Learners work at their own level of mastery.
  • Practice
  • Gain fundamental skills before moving onto the next level.
  1. Direct Instruction:
  • Highly structured, intensive instruction
  • Correcting mistakes immediately
  • Achievement-based grouping
  • Frequent progress assessment
  1. Classroom Adjustments:
  • Special seating assignments
  • Alternative or modified assignments
  • Modified testing procedures
  1. Special Equipment:
  • Electronic spellers and dictionaries
  • Talking alphabet
  • Books on tape
  1. Classroom Assistants:
  • Note-takers
  • Readers
  • Proofreaders
  1. Special Education:
  • Prescribed hours in a special class
  • Placement in special class

Enrollment in a special school for learning disabled students

Rationale

Teachers teach best what they need to learn. The teacher’s responsibility is not just to teach, but to learn, and never cease to learn. It is vital, therefore, that teachers constantly reinvent themselves in order to maintain their effectiveness. Mathematics is often mislabeled as a difficult subject, thus, it has always been a challenge to educators to plan and implement a teaching technique that makes learning enjoyable and engaging for children.

Incorporating fun and integrating mathematics in other subject areas would provide teachers a refreshing way of teaching the basic mathematical concepts.

Weaving a Web of Learning

Integrating Mathematics with other subject areas is one way of assuring that children will enjoy learning, and that learning takes place at its optimum level. Mathematics can be taught across different subject areas such as Science, Music and Creative Dramatics, Arts and Crafts, Speaking, Reading, Writing, P.E. and Health, Values, and even Cooking!

Lesson Plan Web

Specifically for this module, a web plan is made for specific themes such as Colors, Shapes, and Numbers. The children will discover the joy of learning new concepts through thematic teaching, which is the natural way to integrate curriculum content areas.

[This article will first discuss Colors as its theme]

COLORS

  1.   This is a no-lose variation of this classic game with your children. Select a piece of white paper and draw a red circle on one side and a green one on the other. Show the paper and see if they have any ideas about what the circles might mean. Help them conclude that the red circle means “stop” and the green one means “go”. Then invite the children to pretend that they are cars: when you hold up the green light, they drive around; when you hold up the red light, they stop. (P.E./Social Studies) 
  2.   Collect a few red (or any color) items and place them in a pillowcase. Seat the children in a group and begin to tell a story. Choose a child to come and select one item from the pillowcase. Incorporate the item into the story. Choose another child and continue until all the items have been selected. (Language)
  3.  Sing to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”:

 

I Like Red 

I like red, I like red

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Red is the color of strawberries

As well as apples and some cherries

Did you ever see such a color, my friend

As red, red, red?

I like blue, I like blue

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Blue is the color of oceans and skies

Brand-new jeans and some birds I spy

Did you ever see such a color so true

As blue, blue, blue?

I like yellow, I like yellow

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Yellow is sunny that’s oh so bright

Yellow’s the color of the moon at night

Yellow shines and yellow glows

That is yellow.

I like green, I like green

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Green is the grass and the leaf of a tree

Lilies and frogs that croak at me

Green is the color of vines with beans

It’s green, green, green.

I like orange, I like orange

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

A carrot is orange and pumpkins, too

The sun in my paper that I drew

A fruit tree with an orange or two.

That is orange.

I like brown, I like brown

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Brown is the color of chocolates

Coffee cups and morning toasts

And what do you think of our skin?

It’s brown, brown, brown.

I like pink, I like pink

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Baby cheeks and tongues are pink

Flowers and cotton candies

And what do you think of powdered cheeks?

Pink, pink, pink.

I like violet, I like violet

Do you like it too? Do you like it too?

Yams and eggplants are violet

Orchids and grapes as well

The color I see when I bruise my thumb

It’s violet, violet.

  1.   Make a simple color graph on a large sheet of paper, enough to fit in a bulletin board or for everyone to see. Cut out small squares from construction paper that matches the colors named on the chart. Have each child paste a square of his or her favorite color on the chart. (Math)

When the chart is complete, discuss the results:

  • Which color is the most popular?
  • Which color is the least popular?
  • Which color(s) is/are not liked by anyone?
  • How many people like each of the colors?
  • How many people like ____ than ____?
  1.   Prepare three large transparent jars, water, red, blue, & yellow coloring, and large spoons or sticks for stirring. Fill the jars with water. Put a few drops of yellow food coloring in the first jar. Take time in doing this as children will enjoy the swirl design the food coloring makes as it mixes with the water. Add red food coloring to the yellow water a few drops at a time until the water is colored orange. Repeat the steps above, mixing red and blue food coloring to make purple, and yellow and blue coloring to make green. (Science)
  2.   Prepare a neighborhood (community) map. Outline streets, buildings, trees, parks, and so on with black marker or crayon. In one corner of the map, create a color key. Let children decide on appropriate colors for landmarks. (Social Studies)

Example:

Streets – gray

Houses – purple

Buildings – yellow

Parks – green

Bodies of water – blue

 

  1.   Prepare plain white paper towels (or white table napkins), bowls, food coloring – 3-4 colors. Put water in each bowl and add enough food coloring to produce an intense color. Fold the paper towel into eighths or sixteenths. Dip each corner of the folded towel into different colors of food coloring. Unfold the paper towel to reveal a beautiful tie-dyed design. When these lovely designs are dry, hang them in the window or on a clothesline strung across the classroom. (Art)
  2.   Using different colors of construction paper, cut out large simple shapes that match the following characters: brown bear, goldfish, red rooster, blue bird, yellow duck, green frog, purple cat, white dog, and black sheep. Include, too, the shapes of little children and a teacher. You may add outlines and a few details on the shapes so the children can recognize them more easily. Each character must be glued on a small white paper sheet or cardboard. Each paper has these familiar words: (Reading and Language)

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?

I see an orange fish looking at me.

Orange fish, orange fish, what do you see?

I see a red rooster looking at me.

[Red rooster…]

[Blue bird…]

[Yellow duck…]

[Green frog…]

[Purple cat…]

[White dog…]

Black sheep, black sheep, what do you see?

I see a teacher looking at me.

Teacher, teacher, what do you see?

I see boys and girls looking at me!

 

  1.   Give each child a piece of white paper and several blue (or any other color) circle stickers. Let the children attach these stickers to their papers at random. Then let them use blue (that same color) crayons or markers to connect the dots any way they wish. When the children have finished, talk about the various blue (that color) designs they created. (Writing)
  2.   Make a matching game for the children to play. Gather several shades of blue (or any other color) paper. Cut each shade into two, then mix up all the pieces. Let the children take turns sorting the pieces by color into matching games. As a variation, let the children take turns arranging them in order from the lightest to the darkest or vice-versa. (P.E./Math)
  3.   Prepare a white paper cup for each child by drawing a large smiling face on the side of each cup. Fill the cups to the top with potting soil. Then give them to the children along with some mongo or grass seeds. Have each child plant and water the seeds and set their cups in a sunny spot. After their seeds begin to grow, it will look like green hair on top of the smiling cup. (Science)

 

REFERENCES:

Puzzles and Games for Reading and Math, Susan Amerikaner & Kaye Furlong, McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing, 1992

Best of Totline (Teacher Resource), Vol. 4, Compiled by Gayle Bittinger, Totline Publications, 2004

Integrated Activities for Whole Language and Thematic Teaching (Colors), Creative Teaching Press, Inc., 1991

Basic Arts and Crafts for Children

The Growing Skill of Drawing

Drawing moves from simple scribbles and jumbles to more detailed art that can be used within many fun projects.  Remember that young children still have a limited attention span.  There are lots of preparation involved starting up any arts and crafts activity, so it’s sensible to work through two or three mini projects in any single session.  This maintains and sparks their enthusiasm.  If you are planning a drawing session, you could begin by drawing simple shapes and images and challenging your students to copy.  This could progress to an effective introduction to coloring in.

Fill a sheet of blank paper with random squiggles and shapes, and then encourage the child to fill in the pattern with blocks of color.  This arts and crafts idea is an effective way to promote pen control and color design.  The session could end with a game using hands and feet as simple stencils.  Once there is an outline on paper, promote the child’s creativity by using the shapes as a base to create animals or faces.  Suddenly, toes and fingers become horns, manes, or tentacles!

Painting Ideas

Another perfect arts and crafts activity for the younger child is painting.  It is again advisable to have several activities planned.  Simple techniques like blow painting are a great idea.  All you require is thin paint and a straw.  The child spreads the paint by blowing and experimenting with different effects.  Once interest has waned you can resort to exploring other paint techniques using simple items like string or a cotton reel.

Another paint craft idea is the butterfly print.  This never fails to delight the preschool child.  Fold back half of a piece of paper, let the child paint the visible half with lots of appealing colors, then firmly close the paper in on itself using the central fold.  Watch the smiles when the child opens up the paper card to find a glorious butterfly splashed across the page.  If the paint has spread, the child can help you to recreate the butterfly shape using child-sized scissors.

Starting to Cut and Stick

It is important to introduce the child to a range of different arts and crafts.  The easiest and most satisfying craft idea is cutting and sticking.  At this stage, just use old magazines, a sheet of paper and a non-toxic glue stick.  Learning to control scissors, the preschool child loves to choose appealing and exciting pictures and photos to cut and stick into a personal collage.

Simple Building and Modeling

At this age kids can explore simple arts and crafts by building and modeling.  Again, keep it simple and use this craft idea to explore the possibilities offered by simple household items.  Could a plastic milk carton become a car or plane by the simple addition of cardboard wings or wheels?  What about the toilet roll that’s just itching to become a space rocket?  Arts and crafts are the ideal way to reach the child to look at the world with fresh and imaginative eyes.

The world is an exciting place for the growing child which makes their attention very limited at best.  Remember; line up several craft ideas for any arts and crafts sessions.  Above all, continue to keep it simple, don’t bombard the child with lots of sophisticated crafts ideas.  Look at the basic skills and use them to generate ideas in the child’s mind.  The idea at this stage is to confirm that the world is place full of exciting ideas and possibilities.

Skills Typically Developed Through Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts activities can provide each child with wonderful opportunities to create unique forms and pictures as well as explore materials and experiment with the use of various “tools.”  Remember, the experience or process is more important than the product.

Here is a listing of the type of skills that can be developed through arts and crafts:

  1. Creative expression
  2. Experimentation
  3. Fine-motor development
  4. Building self-esteem
  5. Using drawing, writing, cutting tools
  6. Learning properties of substances
  7. Following directions
  8. Manipulation of various materials and tools
  9. Pre-literacy skills
  10. Finding new ways to use materials

Communication and Interaction Tips, Activities, and Ideas

  • Materials – Talk about the various materials and how they are used.  For example: “Scissors are sharp for cutting,” “Glue is sticky to keep things together.”
  • Word Lists – Describe how materials feel or what can be done with the materials.  For example: when painting at an easel, show them how to mix the colors red and blue together to change the paint to purple.
  • Label Works of Art – Write the date and child’s name in the upper left hand corner of the paper.  Say the name and letters as you write them.
  • In the Child’s Words – Write down what the child tells you about his or her picture.  It’s best to write the exact words the child uses to describe the picture.
  • Showcase Artworks – Children’s crafts map a child’s development and skills.  This journey through preschool deserves to be proudly exhibited in colorful displays.  Dry or display artworks by using a drying rack or stringing a clothesline across a wall and using clothes pins to attach the artwork.  Artwork should be displayed throughout the school.

Cross Curriculum Lessons, Activities and Resources

Finding ways to incorporate arts and crafts into the everyday classroom is essential.  It’s been proven that early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain. What better way to create excitement in the math, science or history classroom?  Arts and crafts activities help children understand other subjects much more clearly… from math and science, to reading and language arts, and to music and movement.

So go ahead, start incorporating arts and crafts into your everyday teaching. Your students will thank you!

 

*This article was prepared especially for Saint Matthew’s Publishing Corporation.

The Wonders of Arts and Crafts

The Psychology of Arts and Crafts for Children

Arts and crafts activities for children are important elements of preschool education.  It’s vital to remember that preschool isn’t just fun and socialization, or just a way of passing the time but a crucial part of a child’s educational development.  There are so many positive benefits for children if they are encouraged to enjoy the wide range of arts and crafts activities available.

A Creative Problem

Creativity is a challenging process that takes the child on a journey through a whole spectrum of skills.  Arts and crafts activities are a series of problem-solving activities.  Kids are presented with a goal, perhaps a painting or a model.  Using a method and a set of skills, they either recreate this item or design an entirely new piece of artwork.  There is no ‘right’ answer with arts and crafts. Children must find ways to interpret and identify the best way forward from a whole set of ideas.  As they proceed, they are constantly discovering the laws of cause and effect.  The young artist will often have to think laterally and may have their perseverance tested.  In other words, every art and craft project is one big problem to be solved so that it results in a real sense of achievement.

 Quiet Time

Arts and crafts activities may be particularly valuable for more children.  The activities demand patience, and results are only achieved with effort and time.  It means that arts and crafts activities provide a valuable opportunity for concentration and quiet time.

Play as Therapy

Sigmund Freud, a famous psychotherapist, once claimed that play was a direct pathway into a child’s unconscious mind.  Even if you don’t subscribe to this view, it’s easy to spot how it can relate directly to hidden feelings and emotions.  It’s an effective insight into a child’s personality and thought patterns.  The power of arts and crafts activities are demonstrated superbly when it’s used to assist traumatized children as they attempt to come to terms with negative experiences.  There is a whole profession built on the principles of play therapy.  Safe and unrestricted play is used to explore issues that may trouble children and could otherwise be difficult to uncover.

Time Together

Arts and crafts activities often use substances and materials that are harmful to children.  This means it’s usually a shared experience between the teacher and the child.  This shared activity can be a really positive experience. It encourages social skills, speech, language development, and listening skills.  It may be the first time a child starts to develop his ability to work in a team.  It’s also a good chance to learn to negotiate or compromise.  Close co-operation and adult attention makes the child feel valued and boosts his self-esteem and confidence.  Even if the teacher is not present throughout the entire creative process, there will always be a finished product to be admired.

The preschool child learns and absorbs information at an astonishing pace.  You can channel this activity by coming up with fun projects and craft ideas together.  Initially, a teacher’s role is purely supervisory, but arts and crafts for the growing children allow them to learn and explore techniques and ideas more independently.

Download our sample activities here: The Wonders of Arts & Crafts

 

*This article was prepared especially for Saint Matthew’s Publishing Corporation.

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