Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Blogs Taught Me This Week

I love the early childhood/preschool/kindergarten blogging community. I learn so much - and am reminded about lots of things. I continue to find that I can borrow from the best to improve my teaching and my kids' learning experiences.

Here are 5 things I learned this week from my blogging friends and associates--

1. Plaster of Paris is not evil. Teacher Tom showed me that plaster of Paris can be a great tool for exploration and investigation. As I mentioned to him, I carry on a dislike-hate relationship with plaster of Paris. (I have the same relationship with glitter, but that's another post.) But Tom's fresco has made me reconsider my opinion about it.

2. A trip to Home Depot can be a fun exploration for kids. I ran across this post from Learning Ideas. (I don't remember where I found the link. If it was from you, I apologize for my leaky brain.) Kids found simple and complex machines in Home Depot. This was a new field trip idea for me. While I cannot use this right now, I'm definitely filing it away for later.

3. Yarn and paper plates can be more than lacing cards. Sewing School created some really cool webs with yarn and paper plates. This is a totally new idea for me. I can just picture a room full of these.

4. Sometimes a homemade toy is just a matter of putting the pieces together. Quirky Momma posted a link to Momtastic's post about making your own painted block puzzle. I've seen (and loved) purchased versions of block puzzles but, for some reason, the thought of making my own never sprung to mind - even when I saw the blocks in the craft store. I'm thinking that painting shapes or decoupaging pictures on each side would make some fun puzzles.

5. I'm growing great learning resources in my yard. Kiboomu used dandelions to make great prints. I always say that you can paint with just about anything but this surprised me. I knew that dandelions had to have a purpose...well, more than just fun to blow when they get all puffy.

Thanks for all the great ideas this week. What great ideas have you discovered?


  1. Oh wow! Now who would have thought "The Home Depot" store could be so exciting after all?! I like the block puzzle. We did something similar last year - pop sticks puzzles, but this is a new take on that idea. And as for those dandelions ... so that's why God put them on the earth!!! I've often wondered about their purpose!
    Thank you for introducing me to some terrific new blogs this week Mr. Wiley.
    Donna :) :)

  2. I just saw another great post on dandelions...

    I love how much inspiration is out there :). Thanks for sharing some great links!

  3. Scott. I'd invite you to see my blog post at the moment. It's all about the power of one: one teacher & one book. Disclaimer -- the book is mine. The teacher is a kindergarten teacher who served in the Army, was deployed to Iraq and is now immersed with her K-kiddos in creating a gigantic flag-esque quilt in response to the illustrations I created in my picture book. I'm so proud of Carrie. I'm reaching out to more established blogs to share her efforts.

  4. lovely! thanks for sharing your inspirations of the week!

  5. Ah, Scott- thanks for mentioning Sewing School. As I've told you before, you have brought me so much inspiration this year. While I'm in my room getting all crafty, it's good to be reminded to sit back, watch the kids, and reflect.