Kaleidoscopes

I don’t write much about my work activities but today was such fun that I wanted to share it. I teach Information Technology (otherwise known as Computers) to small children aged from 4-11. I try to make it exciting and sometimes we go off at a tangent if something catches the imagination. Today was a good example of just that. With the smallest children – aged four, five and almost six – we have been using computers to create patterns and had touched on symmetry and repeating patterns last week. I found a splendid online kaleidoscope maker here  http://www.permadi.com/java/spaint/spaint.html and the children loved making new designs -especially on the big interactive whiteboard so the patterns were “huge”. Their fascination with the idea of the kaleidoscope was such that today I took in some “Make your own Kaleidoscope” kits,(http://www.prezzybox.com/build-your-own-kaleidoscope.aspx?gclid=CPX17a6H8LMCFaTMtAodejYATw – are similar) and a heap of beads, sequins, buttons, beads and silk scraps and let each child have a go at creating their own multi-coloured image. The level of excitement was incredible, they were so thrilled to be making something so magical – and to have the freedom to raid my button box was an adventure in itself as apparently none of their mums owns such an exciting box of treasures or at least not one that they are given access to! The choices of buttons and other bits and pieces was fascinating – one little boy chose all the pencil shaped buttons “because we’re at school so its a school kaleidoscope”, another only wanted white and grey pieces as it is winter and he is looking forward to snow! One of the little girls spent ages choosing all the tiniest beads as she wanted a “fine” pattern – she likes to paint with the finest brushes too and is fascinated by microscopes. Others chose all the amber beads, or all the heart shapes, or tried to add something of every colour. Every one was different but every one was beautiful, they all praised each others work and were surprised how different each one was. They then painted pictures on the computers  of what they could see in their own kaleidoscope.

 

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