Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Preparing for a new film

Yesterday we added sound to our lego stop motion film... and as much as I really want to share it here NOW, I am not going to... as it is/will be a surprise for the children's parents's in three weeks... also I think I need to tweak it a bit too, but if I don't get the time, it will work wonderfully anyway..

Today a new child started our group... and so that she and her family can feel important at the parent meeting we are making an extra film... today we looked at the film again (we did yesterday too) of their figures on plastic...

check it out







The children could really see what parts they liked and how they could improve their film... some of the children's artwork was hard to see... so we fixed this by using acrylic paint instead of permanent markers to colour in the images (it really has made a difference).

Tomorrow as we do the filming I imagine there will be a difference too... the children were fascinated by how some of the children moved their images as if they changed tracks, or moved on the platform, rather than just random movements... so my prediction is that more children will be moving their image in a more deliberate way... time will tell... but I am very much looking forward to seeing.

Here is a sneak peak at their artwork


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Just because...

Sometimes we do things with the children just because it is fun... and just because you loved it as a child too...

video
We have, in the last few weeks being checking out buildings in Stockholm... the children selected buildings from the internet (a google search) and the ones I did not recognise I checked on the website of the image to confirm that they are in fact in Stockholm... I would like to point out at this stage... despite the fact I checked, it did not mean I gor it right...
This last building was NOT in Stockholm, but for some reason it said on the website that it was located in Värta Port (when the boats for Finland set sail... except they are not sail boats).
As I tired to find the exact address so we could visit... like we had visited the other 7 buildings in Stockholm, I made the discovery (after checking 5-6 web pages) that the building was in fact in Denmark... not even in Sweden, let alone Stockholm... but it was designed by the same archtects that designed the new buildings in Värta Port. So I talked with the children, and we agreed that we would check out these building instead to see if we could see any similarietes with the one that had orginally being selected... BUT I am serioulsy writing at a tangent here...

The building had a glass lift... and I knew as a child I LOVED glass lifts... so we went up and down for no reason at all except to experience the glass lift.

The children also got to play in the sculpture... it looked like there was water for the mermaid to splash into, but it was just very shiney tiles...
The children could play in there as long as their boots did not touch the tiles (my rules, to protect the artwork somewhat... ) Originally the idea was so that the children did not climb into the art work... but they soon worked out that they could play in there with their feet up... OK, I made the rule, and they had worked around it in a creative way... I let them. One child was hesitant... what if someone gets angry at me for playing here... I assured her that it would be my fault and not hers, as I had allowed them to play there... she dived into the play with joy...
I was surprised that none of them thought of taing their boots off... but it was fun watching them squirm around with feet in the air... an elaborate play evolving - mermaids, bad guys, magic... the markings on the floor and the scultpure very much inspiring the play...

In fact it really made me think how important floor/ground surface is... the patterns, texture etc REALLY does impact play...



We were at the City Hall a few weeks ago... and the criss cross patterns of the ground there inspired an complax chasing game based on a labyrinth... you can see the patterns on the image below on the left... This space overlooking the South Island and The Old Town is one the children have asked to return to, as they thought it was so much fun to play there... no playground equipment... just play.


In a way I am so enjoying watching the children making their own play spaces out of what is technically designed for adults...  Just because... they can!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The film-making continues

Today we finished off making the films (actually we worked on it yesterday too... doing the titles and and credits...)

The children are really happy with the film and are looking forward to adding sound to it next week.

This session today also involved the whole group filming at once... and there was a huge difference ebtween the first time we filmed (as a whole group) and this time since they were so much more practised... the filming in small groups had given them enough confidence and awareness of how to make the films that thye could support each other more during the process rather than it being so much of me (even though it does require a LOT more input from me than other projects we do).

Films the children have made individually or in pairs have not needed much guidance from me at all... some of the children are completely independant... but as a whole group (and this is a small group of 8 children) there needs to be my voice added to the mix to enable the film process to remain smooth and also to encourage those children who start to lose focus that staying with it will be worth it in the end... and yes, they agreed, it WAS worth it, when they saw the film scenes played...

video
Here is the final scene from the film... not going to quite reveal what it is all about... but he children had to come up with a title for their film yesterday... and for some reason this one has loaded up rather slow... but all will be fixed before the final viewing where all scenes are put together...

This was an interesting process to follow... as the children started saying random things that sounded good, or that they liked... so it brought us to a great discussion about titles, books and films... and how going to see a film called Spiderman when the film was actually about Batman might be a bit confusing.... or reading a book called the Life of  a Crocodile and the book was actually about how to build a robot would probably be equally confusing... so the children gor thinking again... and said it was tricky.
So I asked if we should watch all the scenes again, and talk about the plan to end the film... this helped them a great deal to remember what the film was about...

WAR and PEACE
is the name of the film.

I think we might explore what thses words mean in the future...


Sunday, 6 March 2016

"Is there bacteria on hands?"

"Is there bacteria on hands?"

Was the shocked exclamation when I mentioned why we wash our hands before meals... after several of the children had been involved in some serious nasal exploration...

So I set up an experiment... one slice of bread that all the children got to handle without washing their hands... and then a control slice that I put in a sealed bag after the children saw me wash and disinfect my hands and also touching the bread as little as possible...

The bags were marked "with hands" and  "without hands" - and taped to the window. Of course with it being winter the window was acting as a fridge... so nothing much was happening... so I moved them to another window (internal one) so that the chill facter would ceaseto slow things down... it then took 24 hrs for mould to appear on the handled bread...


Not much... but enough to see the difference...

I guess now with a weekend allowing the bread to feed the mould that there should be quite some development on both breads...

We also looked at images of bacteria and virus under the microscope... choosing ones that the children had succombed to recently like tummy bugs, colds and ear infections...
We talked about how the white blood cells were heroes and were fighting off the virus/bacteria and that fever, and pain were all part of the battle to get rid of the virus/bacteria that did not belong there...

It was an interesting dialogue that had all the children totally fascinated... me too!

UPDATE: Monday 7th March