Crayons Count was building a strong foundation for learning on May 9th with second in a series of pilot teacher workshops, this time aimed at four year olds. The ‘Teachers, Tots and Tools’ Interactive Learning Workshop was once again held at the Caenwood Early Childhood Resource Centre where twelve energetic and bright minds were laughing and having fun with the tools. A whooping seventeen schools participated in the workshop and were not disappointed with the lesson. This list of schools included Williams Basic, Holiness Basic, Rising Sun Basic, One Way Education Centre, Hagley Park Prep, Tower Hill Basic, Content Gap Basic, Early Achievers Learning Centre, Chisholm Basic, Tarrant Basic Basic, Promise Learning Centre, Jamaica Evangelistic Centre, Advent Deliverance, Cecil Boswell Facey Basic, Dorothy Webber’s Basic, Westphalia Basic and Hall’s Delight Basic.
Crayons Count again had a wonderful session jam packed with fun, laughter and learning. Who else can say that? Shaanii-Grace Robinson, ECC Development Officer of the Caenwood Resource Centre was again the facilitator for the day as the teachers became students again as they watched and participated in the lesson. The session also hosted a special guest. A videographer from the Ministry of Education was there to record the day’s proceedings. The Learning Lorry
The teachers were first introduced to the learning lorry with a tour of the unit. Deika Morrison explained the many uses of the lorry and the tools. The teachers were visibly impressed with the unit and had high praises. The session was from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with registration, a demonstration lesson with the Crayons Count learning kit, a Power Point presentation on the use of the kit in classrooms and a discussion session with early childhood educators. The Lesson at Hand The theme of the day was ‘People in our community’, with the sub theme being ‘Buildings in my community’. The first activity was Circle Time complete with singing and dancing puppets. Some lines from the song included ‘If your house is made of zinc clap your hands. If your house is made of blocks clap your hands. If your house is made of glass, and your boards are nailed down fast, As long as you have a house, clap your hands.’ After the song, the children were asked three (3) questions related to the song, to tell at least one (1) type of house mentioned in the song and to roll a ball to someone and ask that person a question about the song. Children were able to tell Aunt Grace that houses were made of zinc and board. One little girl replied, “the nails are going to juk you”. Auntie Grace, the teacher started the children off by repeating the initial letters that begins the words ‘community’ and ‘house’. The excitement continued when they were given the task of assembling tall colored pegs to compare the height of different houses. The ‘houses’ were quite tall and gave the children a visual lesson in comparison. They learnt colors that people could paint their houses in and the concept of ‘tall’, ‘taller’ and ‘tallest.’ Next was puzzle time. The children took turns to fit puzzle pieces together and use the given wooden blocks to spell the word house, and then juggle letters to invent new words. The little girls and boys were quick as lightning and were able to identify at least three (3) different colours in which a house can be painted. Shouts of ‘Blue!’ ‘Yellow!’ and ‘Red!’ were heard everywhere. They then each had a chance to paste the missing word on paper. Next was crayon time. The bright sparks, with crayon in hand worked in groups of threes to draw the outline of a house and practice taking turns as they lace the outline with yarn following numbers on the paper. From 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 all created a lovely outline of a house. In the end there were beautiful drawings and great mansions in the making. None of the students were shy about participating. They pinned their drawings to the wall which gave everyone a chance to admire their hard work. Good job guys! They then used the multi-shaped blocks to draw the outline of the shape on the drawing of the house with crayons. The little group aced the task easily and were taught hands on method of identifying different shapes. They even made the letter ‘T’ in the peg boards to represent ‘Teachers, Tots and Tools’. The teachers gave their own lesson plans and shared ideas on how they used the tools in their classroom to maximize learning. Blocks were the next order of business. The children were eager to play and learn with these tools. Blocks were divided and lined up by height and length. After that, the tiny group sorted the blocks by color and number. It seemed like serious work but the caring words and watchful eyes of Aunt Gracie made it so easy and fun, there were no complaints at all. They were too busy learning! Counting, adding and subtracting were the name of the game as the little boys and girls counted the letters in the word ‘community’ and ‘house’. They subtracted differing amounts from the number 9 or 5 which reflected the amount of letters in the words ‘community’ and ‘house’. It was math done right. Play doh was thrown into the mix as every little boy and girl was ready to get their hands messy. Each made a house out of play doh that would put even the greatest architect to shame. Another group was given the fun task of painting a house. Multi-colored houses with funny shaped windows and doors were built and painted. Children develop sensory perception, hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, pleasure and satisfaction, to love of beauty in their own work and work of their friends, and self-expression when working with tools such as play doh and crayons. After a hard day constructing, the children were ready for a break with snacks provided by National Baking Company Limited. The teachers had the floor and were actively involved in the discussion with Ms. Shaanii Grace-Robinson. The lesson was touted as being informative, compact, interesting and engaging. The teachers even cut out the outline of a house which added to the fun. Deika Morrison had an open discussion about the importance of the tools and their purpose. Each participating school was given a supplemental kit at the end of the session which was greatly appreciated. Of course, the evaluation forms were filled with praises for the information and lesson plan ideas.
We don’t have to say it but this workshop was a success! Donate to Crayons Count and help us give the youngest generation the solid foundation they need.
To see more photos from the workshop, visit our Facebook photo album Teachers, Tots & Tools- Four Year Olds