The season is a good time to introduce longer patterns. It can be a part of the holiday activities or you can choose any shape. Patterns can be short like on the front of a card. The Sticky Board is set up with colored squares and hearts in pink and red. Talk to the students about their creations and what they are doing. If they say cards, take dictation about why they are making the cards and who they would send them to. If possible, take a snapshot of the board before another student uses it.
Patterns can be long like necklaces. In molecules long patterns are sometimes called polymers. Examples of polymers around us are rubber, silk, wool, and plastic. Cards with premade patterns are fun to match. Blank cards help children be creative. Encourage the students to make their own patterns.
These cards are not limited to this season either. Change the shapes or colors. Use foam from the craft store to make the shapes. The students enjoy this activity and it is an important concept for learning in math.
The trimming of a tree is a tradition in many households around the world in December. There are different views about food, family and gift giving depending on the culture. The tree sticky board allows students to decorate a tree and choose for themselves colors and items to be placed on the tree. This freedom allows not only creativity to grow, it also helps critical thinking skills to develop. Sharing and cooperation go hand and hand when several students participate in this activity together.
A fingerplay acted out on the sticky board helps children to visualize what their fingers are representing. As they hold up fingers to count the candles they can take turns putting candles on the tree:
FIVE LITTLE CANDLES
Five little candles twinkling on the tree.
The first one said, “What do you see?”
The second one said, “I see Santa big and jolly.”
The third one said, “I see Christmas wreathes or holly.”
The fourth one said, “What do you hear?”
The fifth one said, “Children singing loud and clear,”
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Explaining seasons is often a difficult thing to do with preschoolers. Adults sometimes teach misconception that the seasons on the Earth are caused by varying distances of the Earth from the Sun. It is important to note that when it is Summer in the Northern hemisphere it is Winter in the Southern. Our seasons can be more correctly determined by the earth’s equinox and Solstice. This is easier to study with young students if you simply point out the changes that happen around them during each change. Weather helpers, charts and local traditions often help point the way.
Although Autumn started at the end of September this year in the Northern hemisphere, it is easier to SEE the season now. Harvest time has ended and the produce is all around us. Most of us are wearing long sleeves and coats. I start by changing the sticky board to go with the fingerplay Five Little Pumpkins:
Five little pumpkins sitting by the gate
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are leaves in the air.”
The third one said. “We don’t care.”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run, run, run!”
The fifth one said, “This is so much fun!”
Then ooo went the wind and out went the light
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
The students can later build their own fences and arrange the leaves and pumpkins as a center activity.
The Sticky Board is in the classroom’s Library. This month’s theme is Space and I have added shapes to help students explore the theme. It would be expected to have stars, circles and crescents. I also added spaceships, astronauts and a sun shape. Students spend time together or alone playing with the Sticky Board. It is a place use imagination, act out stories, or try to represent things they know about our universe.
The board itself is a recycled dry erase board that has become dull. I tape down a piece of contact paper, sticky side out, and it has a new use! Its sensory experience is quite different from the felt board or the magnetic board. Its stickiness makes it easier to have 3-D props. It is also a story starter for dictation. Students enjoy having pictures taken of their boards and adding them to their stories about Space.
A popular English nursery rhyme helps me create a Sticky Board activity. I make Sticky Boards by taping contact paper, sticky side out, to an old message board (I try to recycle everything). The fish, bubbles, waves and seaweed are made from stiffened felt. This felt doesn’t loose its shape and leaves less fuzz on the contact paper. I will add numbers 1 through 10 next week to make the activity a little more interesting.
One, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.
– Original Author Unknown