Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July's Art Studio - Days 1 - 5

Don't let this months theme fool you!  It's not all about art, it's 1/3 art, 1/3 finance and 1/3 character building.  Yes really, finance for preschoolers!  The topics may not be split perfectly like that but they are the three main themes of the month.

The CEO of Mother Goose Time came to the company with a background in teaching financial literacy to kids.  She and her husband, who has a career in the financial world, started a program to teach children to not only be wise with money, but to use it as a tool for a greater purpose.  In her view, character building and financial literacy should go hand in hand.  I could not agree more.

Mother Goose Time incorporates little bits of financial wisdom in every months curriculum.  However, the summer curriculum really hones in on it.  So how do you combine art, character and money?  Brilliantly of course because the MGT team is on it!  

Day 1 we set up Falco's nest filled with his feathers.  We started the month by reading Falco's story.  Falco is a bird who finds a gold coin.  He is so in love with this gold coin that he can't get his mind off the idea of finding another one.  So he searches and searches and finds another, he thinks, just one more, I will find just one more.  He continues to search and as he searches his feathers get stuck in rocks and sticks, as he pulls his wing back the feather gets pulled out.  Friends come to play with Falco but he turns them away because he is busy looking for another gold coin.  Finally he has a pile of gold coins, but no friends to play with and no feathers, so he can't fly.  Pretty sad for Falco, but not to worry, we will help him find his feathers all month long. 

Each day starts with putting the calendar piece up and then placing one of the shapes on the Easel Poster.  Day 1 was an orange square.  Each kid has a paint brush they use to tap the orange square and say "orange square."  The Easel Poster has six outlines of shapes on it.  As we complete each "job" through out the day we put a shape up.  When all six shapes are up and all jobs are done each child gets paid for their days work.
This is from Day 5 when we started with placing the pink heart on the poster, then tapped it with our paint brushes while saying "pink heart".   I use the tacky poster stuff to stick things up.  I have just been leaving it on the poster so I can hand the shape to a child and have them go put it up as we complete our jobs.
Next we search for a certain color of feather.  Day one was an orange feather with the word Discipline on it.  I tell them first the definition of the word and then read the scenario on the back. Here is a picture of the back of one of the Discipline feathers.
At the end of every scenario is the question, did Falco lose it or use it?  As in did he use his discipline in this scenario or not?  There are 2 feathers for every color, one scenario he uses it and one he does not. 

The first 2 days were about self portraits.  On Day 2, once they had earned their first days pay, they were required to "buy" their art supplies to use on their self portraits.  At the end of Day 1 they received 5 Fly dollars.  They each have three envelopes, Save, Spend, Give.  Each envelope has a coordinating shape as well.  Save is a triangle, Spend is a circle and Give is a heart.  So even if they can't read, the difference between the three can be learned by this visual cue.  They put 2 Fly dollars in the spend envelope, 1 in the save and 1 in the give.  This left 1 left over for them to choose which envelope to put it in.  Lachlan refused to spread out his Fly dollars and put all 5 in the spend folder.  Since it was Day 1 and this is a process of learning I let him go ahead and do what he wanted.  I figured over time he would start to grasp these concepts.  I did reiterate to him that if he saved his money he could use it down the road to buy a big something instead of spending it all now to buy a little something. 

So on Day 2 they had to pay 1 Fly dollar for their art supplies.  I set out a tray with a variety of items on there. 

This is Lachlan's self portrait.  So cute!
These books that they drew their faces in on the front page had more characters on the inside for them to color.  Then there was a line they cut down the middle that divided their heads from their clothes so you could turn the pages different ways and mix up the heads with the bodies.
Peter was doing awesome at cutting.  He has always just done fringe cutting, one little cut and not really able to follow that cut and keep going.  But on this day he kept following the line all the way across almost perfectly.  I was so proud of him.
As we learn about different forms of art we are also learning about different countries.  So far we have learned about Italy, which is of course a hub of art.  We made this flag of Italy which Lachlan decided to draw a tree house down the middle of.  I love it!  I am sure there is a tree house somewhere in Italy.  We have also played a card game learning about Italy.  For instance, the fact that spaghetti and pizza both came from Italy.  A big hit for the kids. 

Each of these projects is considered a "job" and we put another shape up on the Easel Poster.  At the end of Day 2 they all got paid another 5 Fly dollars.  I am happy to say Lachlan happily divided his dollars correctly and chose to place his extra dollar in his Save envelope.  It's fun to count it out with the little ones as well.  I hand them all 5 dollars as I count them out.  Then I hold their Spend envelope and tell them to put 2 in there.  They count out the two and place it in the envelope, then we move on to the next one.  Good counting practice for the littles. 

One of my other favorite projects was on Day 3 - Printmaking.  This was the type of art we were learning about.  We were given foam shapes to glue on these cardboard lids to create a print plate.  There were 5 kids here on this day, Lachlan, Peter, Lucy, Colton & Riley.  So I wasn't sure how I was going to pull this off.  I thought I would start out with one child and maybe do it one at a time.  However, once everyone saw what was going on they wanted to join.  So we all sat at the counter and took turns.  I decided to make one of my own and do a full presentation of what to do before I began with the others.  That way they could see the process before they began. 
Here is the finished product of my presentation.  Each rectangle painted and then the tag pressed to the printing plate rather than used like a stamp.
Gluing the shapes to the lids.
Riley painting her print plate.
Everybody waiting their turn.  They all did so well with being patient.
Lachlan's finished print.
The big kids went first and then it was the littles turns.  Peter didn't make the print plate but here he is painting it.  Really concentrating.  Every child loved this project and took great care in doing it right.
Pressing the tag to the plate.
Peter's finished tags.

We ended up having a couple tags left over, so Colton painted one and pressed the other to it.  This was all his idea.  I thought it was a great continuation of the concept.
 Now we are on to week 2.  More great adventures ahead.

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