Category Archives: Visual Discrimination

Sorting Seeds

This week the preschoolers have been studying seeds in more depth.

Transparencies with pictures of corn, pea, watermelon and pumpkin seeds were set out on the light table.   Boxes containing the same seeds were available for the children to match with the pictures.  Pictures of each plant were taped to the top of the boxes.

The microscope was used to further examine and compare the seeds.

Preschoolers are heavily dependent on their senses for learning, so the seed activity was extended through fingerprinting.  Sesame seeds were added to the paint.

Little Pandas Preschool

Mosaic Art at Preschool

The preschool class has been working on a mosaic art unit during the last month.  At the beginning of the unit children watched a slide show of mosaic art examples and discussed the different pictures and medium used to create the artwork.  Several activities were planned to enable the children to eventually create a nice mosaic picture.

The first project was open ended and permitted the children the freedom to create a mosaic without any constraints.  The children could play with the triangles, choose any colors they wanted and glue them onto the black construction paper in any design they preferred.

An ongoing mosaic activity has been set up at the light table for the duration of the unit.  Several overhead projection transparency sheets were printed with pictures for the children to fill in with different colors of overhead projector circles.  The circles are stored in clear plastic paint buckets.  Children could also view transparencies of real mosaic art pieces.

The children were given sheets printed with simple geometric shapes and directed to glue a different color paper in each section.  The kids were very successful with this.

This week each child chose a picture that will be used in their final project.  They are practicing glueing different colors of paper in each section.  Next week they will begin making their mosaic picture with buttons on canvass.

Little Pandas Preschool

Halloween Zoo Phonics with Magnetic Letters

This is our second year using the Zoo Phonics curriculum.  The kids love it and learn the lower case letters and their sounds fairly quickly.  This year we’re learning letters associated with our science themes and other activities the children are working on. We started the school year in September with “m” for measurement and “b” for ball.  During October the focus has been on “h” for Halloween and “p” for pumpkin.  

I printed Halloween word strips accompanied by a picture onto magnetic sheets. Enough letters for each word were also created. The children were all given a cookie sheet and each chose the Halloween word he or she wanted to work on. Their task was to match the order of the letters on the word strip to form the word.  All of the children were very successful and proud of their work.

This activity is great for continual review of letters we learned in the past and also helps children to recognize that letters are used to create words.

Little Pandas Preschool

Bean Bag Colors

The toddler class played with color today and matched bean bags with construction paper.  

While learning to recognize colors the toddlers are also beginning to learn about teamwork.

After lots of practice matching the bean bags with the construction paper the toddlers were ready to find matching objects in their classroom.

Little Pandas Preschool

Graphing our Ball Collection

The children began bringing balls from home to add to our collection.  Each morning during circle time the children get to tell the class all about their ball. This is a great opportunity for the kids to develop language, speaking, and listening skills.

After circle time the children gathered all the red balls in the gym and talked about their characteristics.  

The children counted an equal amount of red squares to glue onto the color graph which they helped make the day before.

The process was repeated for the blue balls.

The preschoolers will continue to work on this graph for the rest of the week along with other planned activities.  In addition to the math and science skills being developed the children are also learning to count and recognize colors in Chinese!

Little Pandas Preschool

Balls, Balls, and More Balls!

This week the preschoolers began the movement and motion unit study by looking at balls.  During circle time they had a discussion about things that move and determined balls fit in that category.  As the conversation progressed the children talked about different attributes of balls and how they might move.  

After much discussion the children gathered all the balls in the gym to play.

The children are bringing balls from home to add to our collection at school. Over the next few weeks the children will graph the balls by their color, size, texture, and type.  

The children helped to draw the first graph that will be used to gather data about the colors of the balls in our collection.  Helping to draw the graph allows the children to practice the skills that were learned when the class studied measurement. 

Little Pandas Preschool

Giant Balance Info

Some people have expressed an interest in the directions to make the giant balance.  I saw this on another site and asked my husband to build it, so we made some assumptions and with some trial and error this is the finished product.  The height is 35″ and the width of the balance arm is 35.5″.  The post is 34″ tall and 4.5″ wide.  The base is 16″ x 7.25″.   3/4″ birch furniture grade plywood was used to construct the balance.  It was waxed so that we can use it with water as well as other materials

The balance arm sits on an acorn nut which is enclosed  in a metal sleeve.  Wing nuts are used to adjust the balance on the arms.  The clear paint buckets were purchased from Michaels.  They’re actually made out of clear plastic that isn’t very sturdy, but worked well for now until I can find something better.  The heavy duty blue twist ties were found at the local hardware store.   The pink and green plastic balls came from Walmart.  

The balls are a great visual tool for children to begin their first exploration with weight.  The kids can easily see what is happening, count the balls, and adjust the number of balls in the buckets.  After playing with the balls they began exploring other objects and could compare them with the original  balls which became the standard unit of measurement.


Matching Colors in Chinese!

Yesterday Yiwen reviewed colors with the children in Chinese. The children were then given paint sample cards with holes punched in each color. The children’s task was to find objects that match the paint samples by placing the cards on different objects. Yiwen reinforced Chinese vocabulary and at the same time the children practiced using visual discrimination skills. Visual discrimination is an important skill children need as they learn to read and do math. While it may seem that matching colors is pretty basic the children are actually learning to compare objects and look for differences and similarities. The task our kids were engaged in was made a bit more complex as the children had to find which of the four colors on the card best matched the object they were looking at. For further information about visual discrimination and it’s role in education look at this link: Early Childhood Development of Visual Discrimination – School Sparks. To top it all off our children learned Chinese vocabulary while practicing this vital skill!

September is Dinosaur Month!

This month the preschoolers are studying dinosaurs and prehistoric habitats. Later in the fall they will learn about deserts and plains environments. In the winter we will study the arctic and then forests. Oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds will be covered in the spring. Children will also learn about the people and cultures who live in each environment.

Yesterday the children learned about paleontologists and digging for dinosaur bones. To make the concept more concrete dinosaur puzzle pieces were hidden in the sand table. Children had to dig for the puzzle pieces and then take them to the table to figure out how they fit together. This was also a wonderful group activity where the children learned to work together as a team.


Three Year Old Drawings

Today your children and their teachers had their first drawing lesson. We’re using a book that I purchased when I was taking an art class for elementary education teachers in college. Drawing with Children is written by Mona Brookes who founded the Monart Drawing Schools. The premise is that anyone can learn to draw and that young children should be given the opportunity to learn.

Today the children were shown a picture of a house and encouraged to look at all the details and talk about what they saw.This was also a good time to reinforce and build their Chinese vocabulary.After looking at the house the children realized that one wall was really a chain link gate.At that point we went outside to look at and touch the chain link gate in the back yard.When we came back in we talked about who lives in the house.Next the children traced the lines of the house with their fingers and then began drawing what they saw.When they were finished drawing the teachers recorded the children’s comments about their pictures.The pictures were put in the children’s files so that we can watch their growth throughout the year.

You can find examples of children’s drawing at