Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Today at Cork Street

We've got pumpkins on the brain right now.  It's hard to believe that we are only a few weeks away from Halloween and all the excitement that comes with that.  We have a fun little project set up at the art table this week.  The children are using plasticine to make their own jack-o-lantern.  I love using plasticine it makes me think of Barbara Reid.  There is a great tutorial on Plasticine and how to use it on her site and I recommend having a look.  Not only does plasticine come in a variety of colors but it lends it's self to a lovely sensory experience for the children.  The children really love to explore 
the clay and it also seems to create a quiet space or time for the child.  Using plasticine isn't easy.  It requires a lot of hand strength and so I see it as a wonderful extension of our art shelf and a continuation of work to prepare the hand as Dr. Montessori would say.

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence,” and “The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself." ~Dr. Maria Montessori

 More hand work by way of Metal Insets in the classroom today.  You can see that this child is using a specific Metal Inset tray to do her work.   Some children don't use this kind of tray.  This tray specifically allows the child to focus on the task of tracing the line around the metal inset and allows for success with the work.  Some children can become very frustrated when their metal inset is sliding round on them on the tray while they focus on tracing.  Metal Inset work is the start of preparing the hand for writing.  I send dozens of these home during the year and I have heard the complaint, "all she does is metal insets".  Thing is, metal insets are super important.

Metal insets help with development of hand eye coordination.  It helps the child to gain mastery over control of small movements and lets them develop control of a pencil (pressure, and steadiness).  In the grand picture it also helps the child to develop a geometric sense and stimulate artistic sensibilities that lead to an ability to plan a design.  
Short Bead Stair work

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