This is a guest blog post by Margaret Hufstedler, a veteran teacher of 28 years who has taught kindergarten for the past 22 years. She is an accomplished musician, the owner of Maggie’s Kinder Corner, and co-moderator of #TeacherFriends Chat every Tuesday on Twitter. The following article features ideas for implementing project based learning using a variety of resources in your own classroom.
With the summer months here, it is so much fun to be outside enjoying activities with little ones. I love playing camp out in our washing machine box "cabin," reading great books, and mixing up various concoctions. Combining books and concoctions is one way to make summer letter learning fun!
I recently received a set of Letter Buddies Letter Books from Hameray, so my grandchildren and I spent a lot of time looking at the colorful pages and discussing what the objects on each page had in common. We talked about the shape of each letter, the sound at the beginning of each object name, and how we could write, paint or draw the letters. This led us to a search on Pinterest for recipes on sidewalk paint using corn starch, water and food coloring.
After a brief scramble to find paint brushes, then mixing the "paint" and adding color in each of 12 muffin tins, we went outside! Wonder of wonders! This was the best activity of the summer! I asked the children to try making the first letter of their names, then we tried other letters. The oldest painted the entire alphabet! The best thing about this paint is how it brightened to a beautiful chalky appearance as it dried.
After the fun, we came inside to clean up and look at the books that had letters we had made. We also made letters by arranging beans, cereal, raisins, baby carrots and many more edibles, and everyone had a good time!
Using books as a springboard for learning helps children make permanent connections about important concepts. I encourage you to try the paint and a few other things to create your own summer fun!
Recipe for chalk paint:
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. corn starch
1/4 c. water
bright neon food coloring (color to suit your needs)