H-O-O-T Manipulatives

As early childhood education gains more attention on the national level, more attention is being paid to early literacy.

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Early childhood professionals have long recognized the importance of language and literacy in preparing children to succeed in school.

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Early literacy plays a key role in enabling the kind of early learning experiences that research shows are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life.

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In our classroom, we are constantly being exposed to letters.

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With a variety of play experiences, we gain an understanding of letters and their functions, and have fun while doing so!

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For this activity, we used manipulatives to spell the word HOOT.

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Using letters printed on cardstock, students matched the letters to identical letters printed on a mat.

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We discussed the sound each letter made, and then combined the sounds to create a word!

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Collaborative Owl Nests

Three dimensional media occupies space defined through the dimensions of height, weight and depth.

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It includes sculpture, installation and performance art, decorative art and product design.

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Two processes are responsible for all three dimensional art: additive, in which material is built up to create form, and subtractive, where material is removed from an existing mass, such as a chunk of stone, wood, or clay.

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The additive piece that we created involved a few key materials.

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With floor, twigs, feathers, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners, we assembled them to make two items: an owl and it’s nest.

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One great thing about children, is that they are always learning.

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And every experience is a learning opportunity ready to be absorbed.

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For this activity, we talked about opposites, specifically targeting the words, INSIDE, OUTSIDE, TOP, and BOTTOM.

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This activity was also broken up into four different days.

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On the first day, we talked about the anatomy of an owl. 

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We focused on saying that the eyes are “on top” and the legs are “on the bottom” of the owl. 

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We then used play dough, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and feathers to create our very own owls! IMG_20191115_102354891The second day involved us creating individual nests for our owls.

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For this portion of our project, we stuck twigs and hay into play dough.

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We again talked about the words, INSIDE, OUTSIDE, TOP and BOTTOM.

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On the third day we created a large nest made of twigs, twine, wood chips, grass, and hay.

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Students then placed their owls and nests into the larger nest.

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For one last time,Following we visited the words INSIDE, OUTSIDE, TOP and Bottom. During each creation of each day, they were directed to place the materials. To incorporate the mathematical domain into our project, we also counted the total number of owls in the nest. 

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Lastly, they enjoyed displaying their nests for all to see!