The enso is my favorite iconic symbol. I’ve painted many of them, mostly in richly pigmented encaustic waxes. When I saw this translated quote in The Wake by Neil Gaiman, I knew I needed to find a way to present it. This is my first rendition, but I have a feeling there will be many more to come.
The quote is from Ovid and the Latin original is “omnia mutantur, nihil interit” or “everything changes, nothing perishes”. It’s an idea that I mull over regularly, especially when thinking about my students. They are in a constant state of change and growth. Each day I see the excitement in their eyes over learning and discovering their own strength and talents. I can’t wait to see them dye their Easter eggs this week – the color transformations never fail to impress them. We’ll also be planting grass seeds and watching our caterpillars fatten and change to lovely butterflies.
There will be much fun in these last few weeks of school!
This DIY sorting board and cup activity was a response to the plastic cups falling over as the children used them during play. We needed a solution right away and found one that worked like a charm in under 5 minutes! I spied the perfect sized wooden board from the block shelf and grabbed the roll of hook and loop tape (an ESSENTIAL in any special education classroom!) The board was a snap to create: just cut a strip of the looped tape nearly the length of the board and press firmly down the center of the block. Then snip pieces of the hooked tape that were the diameter of the bottom of the cups and press firmly. I gave all of the tape an extra smoosh with my scissor handles to be sure it was really stuck well. Done.
The things I like best about this DIY sorting board and cups is its versatility. I can differentiate the tasks by adding or subtracting the number and color of the cups.
- One cup allows a child who is working on “put in” to have one cup to aim for.
- Two cups set at opposite ends allows sorting and room to cross the midline as she reaches.
- Three or four cups allow for sorting by multiple colors
We’ve used the cups as pictured above to attached same colored plastic clothespins. We’ve also extended the activity to include opening small fabric pouches with colored toys inside and then matching the toys to the color cups. Most preschool classrooms have a wide assortment of small colored manipulatives that can be used in this activity. I’ve tried buttons, beads, counting bears, inch blocks, plastic cubes, etc. You can also sort crayons, colored pencils, decorative erasers, foam ABC letters, marbles, shape blocks, etc. Your students will look around to find all sorts of sorting items and clips.
Have you made any quick DIY materials that solved a problem or saved you some money Let me know in the comments below.
What do you do when you want to teach a 4 year old how to play a card game, but she has trouble holding the cards?
My students are ready to learn card games, but they don’t have enough finger dexterity to hold the cards. So, I looked around for something stable that would assist them and spied the bin of Bristle Blocks. I pulled out all of the long and wide blocks that would hold several rows of cards. The children chose their favorite colors and pushed two blocks together. Ta – dah! Instant DIY card holders!
As they learned the new card game, the children were happy to study their cards without fumbling to keep them in their hands. We also talked about re-purposing what we have and that it isn’t necessary to always buy new things when we can recycle and reuse. It was a great opportunity to talk about our environment in a spontaneous and natural situation.
What ways have you re-purposed classroom supplies for your students? Leave me a comment below with your ideas.
As a fan of the many uses for pool noodles, I keep a stash of them in my classroom. One of my favorite uses have been as over-sized beads for stringing with lengths of cut up jump rope. I simply sliced a variety of colorful pool noodles into two inch sections with an electric knife, toss them into a bin with 18 inch sections of rope and instant stringing activity.
Today during circle we were reviewing numeral identification 1-10 and I wanted the children to arrange the numbered card stock mittens in order. As I looked along the ledge of my white board I noticed a few sections of pool noodles I’d cut in half that a child had placed there during playtime. Inspiration struck, I grabbed scissors and made a shallow slit along the top center for the entire length. I highlighted the cut line with marker and we had an instant card holder!
I’m looking forward to getting this activity laminated and hung on my walls. I think it will be motivating for my 4 year olds to do a “Count around the room” activity. I’ve finished by third version, but our school laminator has been out of commission for so long, so I still can’t put the activity into practice! But today is a great day to get it all together: the laminator works, Sue will be back at school to help me laminate and assemble.
If you are interested in any of my three Count Around the Room activities, please check out these links to my TPT store:
Count Around the Room – Winte