• I Spy Art Around Me

    A reflection task I Spy ART

    The aim of the task- overview experience about art gained during unit (over 6 weeks).

    The thinking aim- to recognize (elements) art objects in the surrounding. To explain why they think this is the art.

    1. The kids the grouped in to 2 groups. They got a camera and were asked to walk around the school and make pictures of art.

    2. They got a limitation- they could make only 5 pictures.

    3. After a walk around the school we printed out the pictures and represented for others. Kids were trying to explain why they think this is art: because this is a picture, because this is nice, because this is music instrument and etc .

    After we compered the founding. It was surprising, that 3 pictures made by 2 different groups were the same.


  • Implementing Elements of Thinking

    Context:  1.Private classes of English;  ¦A group of 6 children aged 5 - 6,  

    2. A group of 6 children aged 4-6

    Children attend the lessons once a week for 1h


    1. Lesson / task description - before

    TA aim :

    1. To teach the ss identifying elements
    2. To teach ss sorting (seeing and identifying features)
    3. Asking strong questions (to narrow the search field)


    In terms of subject matter:

    1. Teach/ repeat shapes, clothes, colours, food, animals
    2. New vocabulary: drink/eat, cutlery
    3. To asks questions : “Is it…?”


    Materials I am going to use:

    1. Prepared sets of mixed vegetables, fruits, clothes, animals, letters, numbers, maths signs, shapes



    Tasks I am going to use:

    1. While working with shapes: “Give me a small blue triangle”. When working with groups: “A girl in a white skirt, please come to me”. “Please, bring me from the other room something as small (big) as this block; smth of the similar colour; smth  of the same shape”
    2. For 5 y.o.: separate fruits from vegetables, group what you can eat from what you can drink, then further grouping inside the groups; find 5 wild and 5 domestic animals, then further grouping inside the groups; how can you group these shapes? (by colour, shape, size)
    3. To play yes-no with spontaneous materials. This time we had plastic letters, maths signs, numbers


    2. Lesson / task description




    After the routine of greeting each other and finding the pairs by the common features, we set off for adventures. We do the language tasks (in a competitive form, when two teams are struggling to win the most points for the correct name for a given colour, for a correct amount of “golden” beans for a given card with  a number…then each student is given an individual task (but to get this task s/he has to listen carefully, because only a “girl, wearing a white skirt” (green sandals…) can come to me now : to separate fruits from vegetables, what to drink from what to eat, find 5 domestic and wild animals, to group the given shapes. When a child  finishes, s/he says: “I am ready” and I come and check the grouping and give the further task, if the child succeeds. After the children are tired of this, we switch to a different activity.

    Then we play the mysterious game: I whisper to a child what s/he should bring from another room (Please, bring me from the other room something as small (big) as this block; smth of the similar colour; smth  of the same shape).  Then we reveal the founding and compare whether they are chosen correctly or not.

    With the older students we continue to play a Yes-No game (this time there were letters, signs, numbers) with evident removal of unneeded items.


    3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task


    1. Children start to identify the elements of clothes, their features (because I make them hear me and analyse their clothes)
    2. When doing the sorting tasks, I saw that I had to give a hint for 5 year olds, like fruits and vegetables, but it was a poor hint, for it appeared that they do not know what a vegetable is and how to sort it from a fruit. I gave this task for 5 year olds without preparation; I relied on the background knowledge, forgetting that it is my task to build this knowledge. I really should have given the children the reduced amount of cards (say 6) and ask them for grouping without my hints. When the first grouping was done, I asked for the further grouping inside the groups, like “Can you divide these drinks into two groups, because the Birdie will come with his friend”. A girl (6 y.o) noticed, that coffee and tea were in cups, the rest were in glasses. When grouping vegetables, I noticed that a 5 y.o. girl hid the celery root, because it was white and didn’t fit to her grouping. At the moment I couldn’t think of a different grouping that would include this uncomfortable celery and accepted the grouping.
    3. With a 6 y.o. boy we had a chance to play a yes-no game, for he was alone in the group that time and we played with letters, signs, numbers. After excluding the odd, we notice the features within groups, like colour, number of elements.
  • Letter from???

    The aim of the task:

    • to practice the beginning sounds;
    • to repeat what is an address and what it consist from.
    • to use solve a problem- we got a letter, we have no address on it and we can not open the envelope, unless we know for who it belongs.

    The procedure. The class of 4- 5 year old kids has got a letter. They really want to read it, but they can't- the address is not written exact.What to do:

    1st step kids are looking at the envelope. But they can not read it.

    2nd step  they trying to read, but they can only recognize sounds- a, d, a.

    3rd step they come up with idea, that teacher can read it.The teacher reads anda class. For them that makes no meaning.

    4th step they are looking at the envelope again and finds an address on another side of the envelope. They already know, they can ask the teacher to read it. We read- China, Big green forest.

    5th step they come with idea this is for Wang Zhou, because the letter is from China. But in front of the letter we can not find his name.They are stuck again. But they try to play with opportunity- who lives in a forest and they are looking on a footprint on the envelope. The kids thing this letter came from an animal in China.

  • Parameters for Fruits, Animals Sorting

    Parameters for Fruits, Animal Sorting


    Context:  Private classes of English;  a group of 6 children aged 5-6,  children attend the lessons once a week for 1h


    1. Lesson / task description - before

    TA aims :

    1. To let the ss name parameters (or at least features) for fruits
    2. To let the ss practice sorting of animals, adding new parameters (food and drink, animal covering)

    In terms of subject matter:

    1. To repeat food vocabulary, to introduce the parameter of taste (sweet) .

    2. To repeat (teach) animals, to introduce new food items for animals, to introduce animal covering vocabulary (fur, feathers, skin, scales, shell)


    Materials I am going to use:

    1. Prepared sets of mixed vegetables and fruits.
    2. Worksheets with animal coverings, animal food


    Tasks I am going to use:

    1. To form pairs according to colour of clothes. Each pair is given a set of vegetables and fruits. SS should separate fruits from vegetables and say, why they think the chosen items are fruits.
    2. Each student is given 5 or 6 animals (plastic figures). They had to divide them into two groups. And regroup them 2 or three times, each time telling me, why they divided the animals like this.


    2. Lesson / task description


    Procedures: First I told children that we are going to form pairs and we will have different tasks. Each task they should work with a new person. I suggested them to form pairs according to the same parameter – colour). Then I gave each pair a set of vegetables and fruits. I told them that our Birdie is sick. Yesterday he became allergic to fruits and now he cannot eat them. I asked the children to feed the Birdie. Thus they put away all the fruits. Then I asked them, why do they think they are fruits? One girl came up with taste – she said: “They are sweet!” I accepted the answer. Then I had to help – I asked them to think where they are growing. Children told me – on the trees. So the second parameter (place of growth was found). Then I suggested to draw their attention to the structure of the fruits (meaning to name a peel). It was difficult for them. So I had to help, telling what covers the fruits? They guessed the peel and I asked them, whether the fruits they are easily peeled or not? They agreed, that the fruits are easily peeled and that was our third parameter.

    I asked the SS to reflect on the experience. They told me, that as the Birdie was allergic to fruits, they fed him with vegetable soup or a salad. And they guessed that the food  item was fruit, because of its sweet taste, fruits grow on trees and easily peeled.


    Then we went to the ZOO. We named several animals and I gave 5-6 animals to  a pair of students and to a girl, asking them to divide them into 2 groups. I didn’t put the task into the context, because they easily agreed to the task and started fulfilling it. After all the evident features were named (long tales – short tales, smaller size - bigger size, spots – without spots,  blue – green animals…) I asked SS to look at them differently, not only at how do they look like. One 5-year old boy wanted to divide the animals according to what they ate. He knew that tiger ate meat, but lacked knowledge of what ate the other animals. That  was high time for me to give them my prepared worksheets of animal food and after that to introduce a new parameter – animal coverings. We did the matching and sorting activities in the class and I asked to make more sorting at home.



    3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task

    Aim aspect: I was happy when one girl told me that they fruits were sweet.” How smart the children are!” I had to help with the two other parameters, but with a little hint they guessed about the place of growth. Notion of the peel was new to them. What concerns context, I was touched seeing how concerned and helpful children were, when I told that Birdie was allergic to fruits and hungry, Enthusiastically they started to prepare food for him.


    What concerns animal sorting, first the SS named all the features they knew and then I had a chance to teach them something new – food and covering features.   


  • Pre school children look for words



    Pre-school children look for words

    Aim: to develop awareness of mother language (Finnish), to make visible meta-cognitiv awareness of written words, connection between spoken and written words

    for : pre-school children age 6 (4-6 pupils in group)

    Beginning: Teachers usually start pre-school sessions by teaching letters. At school it is sometimes difficult for younger learners to separate words from each other (space between words) when they are writing sentences. That is a problem especially with the children who have difficulties in the mother tongue. That´s why I wanted to try to awake the awareness of whole words. Most of the pre-school pupils couldn`t read yet. We operated in three groups, 20 minutes per group and totally about 4-5 times. First we began with a fairy tale of a character who loves words and needed them to play with…where we could find them?

    1. Examining magazines:

    - What do we have in magazines? Pupils: "Pictures, letters, words…."

    - How do we find words in magazines - could you show me? Pupils: "Easier to find if the words are written in big letters or they are in titles…THERE ARE LETTERS IN WORDS." 

    - How do you know it´s a word? Pupils: "WORDS don´t go on forever. "

    - How do you know the word is ending? Pupils: "Tthere is nothing, a hole, space after the word..."

    2. Cutting off sentences or words in magazines

    Pupils have limited time to cut words from magazines by cutting them with scissors.

    They cut words and word-pairs (it wasn´t so easy to find single words). At the same time I found out their level to find written words.

    3. Now we have words for each group.

    We cut again them off the paper (where I have glued them). We discussed already a little what we could find from words and then pupils sorted them in two groups when finding parameters and again when someone suggested a new parameter. I made ENV-model of the parameters what pupils found. ENV-model presented with pictures and signs and was quite simple because learners were so young.

    -> Why do you sort them like that? Pupils: "Similar letters, colors, length..."

    - > ENV-model                

    E: words

                                N: length of words                           V: short, long

                                    space between words                 V: finger or pencil can be


                                    different letters                            V: alphabets

                                    style of letters                              V: capitals, small letters

                                    punctuation                                  V: full stop,

     (last parameter we found afterwards when we return to written sentences)


    4. We studed and found letters in text by circling them

    5. Afterwards we took one parameter and examined words by using it .

    Here I could individualize the tasks by giving different text or different kinds of words.

    This whole project was worth doing and easier than I thought before. Pupils were keen and we had opportunities to return to study words and to use word tasks. Then I had chance to remind pupils of ENV-model.

  • Sorting Activity ''What is Art"

    Description- in the beginning of a new unit Art is all Around us we prepared pictures from various arts- drama, music, visual arts and etc. We asked the kids to sort things in to 3 groups.

    Aim- to look for various opportunities in arts  (how to express our self's in art). To improve English vocabulary.

    Thinking aim- to look for similarities and differences in art and explain why.

    Results- kids already had experience in sorting activities. Any way it was very difficult for them in the beginning to find something common. But after they found a clue- some pictures had people, some flowers.The kids began to play with opportunities. So the teachers told- we need to look for something conected with art. After a while kids made a gruop of music, art and drama. Some of the pictures- like pictures from the opera and balate were dissuced a lot.The kids find out that somethings can be in all 3 groups. It was not easy to explain the choice- why ballet comes in a group with music and not drama.


  • Sorting autumn leaves

    Sorting autumn leafs

    The aim- to sort autumn leafs in to 2 groups. To improve English language vocabulary  with words: size, color, shape.

    The thinking aim- to analyze what is common and different between leafs (color, size, shape).

    Procedure- the kids are getting a bunch of autumn leafs and they are asked to sort them in to 2 leafs and to explain why.

    Comments- this was the 1st sorting activity for kids (the group was formed from kids who are the second year at school and from the new one). It was not easy to concentrate and make a task. It was more a game of opportunities, then the task. Some of the kids just put the leafs in one group, some made 2 gruops.The group of kids has very different language experience (somebody speaking fluent, some has no English at all).

    Thinking framework- in this activity we used the only thing from Thinking task framework- listing the typical answers.



  • Sorting for SEN

    {jcomments on}Small classroom for children with special needs.   

    Box in the classroom with small toys(figures and all kinds of small objects). The children love to examine the box an play with it.

    I asked two children (age of 7) if it would be possible to sort all the objects in three groups. I provieded three small boxes to sort the toy in.

    Both children have problems with concentration. One of the child has difficulty with communication and they both have problems with cooperation work. Both have a poor vocabulary and they have difficulties with using adjectives to define things.


    The children began working separately. One child decided to pick up from the big box all objects which where round and the other child decided to find all the figures to put in another  box.


    Then the second child decided to create a new group called iron and without asking. The first child agreed and started to work with the second one.


    Troubles began when out of the big box came a thing that both could be iron and a figure.


    They didn´t agree and both could justify their choice very well, using the right words to substantiate their choice. 

    Now there was still something left in the box and the kids were in trouble over how it would be possible to classify the rest, until one child came up with that idea to change the name of the figure box and call it the toy box. Then they put what was left over in that group.


    When the project was finished, the children had been working together . They had exchanged views , and argued for their cases using the appropriate words. They had also maintained concentration throughout the work.


    The aim of the sorting task was to support the children to work together and to interact while they where working.

  • TA What's Similar?


    Private classes of English;  Groups of 6 children aged 6-7, 5 - 6, 4-5. 

    Children attend the lessons once a week for 1h


    1. Lesson / task description - before

    TA aim :

    1. To teach the ss parameters and its features
    2. To teach ss comparing things using at least 1 feature from the common parameter
    3. To teach ss justifying their choice


    In terms of subject matter:

    1. Teach/ repeat shapes, materials, colours, sizes, qualitative characteristics of objects (cold – warm-hot, heavier than – lighter than)
    2. Teach/repeat new vocabulary: furniture, house areas
    3. To teach ss to ask questions : “Is it the…?”
    4. To teach ss to justify their choice by saying: “We are similar, because we are made of…/smaller than this box…/ rectangles in shape…/green…/heavier than this box…


    Materials I am going to use:

    1. Names of stations (Material, Size, Shape, Colour, Quality)
    2. Objects in the room/house



    Tasks I am going to use:

    1. Find a relevant object at each station
    2. You can go through this door only if you say what do you have in common with me. I’m a Door!


    2. Lesson / task description




    After the routine of a TA journey, I stand at the door and say that you can go through, only if you say what you have in common with me. I demonstrate what I expect from the children, using the mediator Bunjie:


    Me: - Now I am a door.

    Bunjie – Ok, I am a table. We are similar, because I am made of wood and you are made of wood!

    Me – Good! That’s a similarity. Go!


    For each student I transformed into a different thing and received the following answers

    Me – I am a door!

    Student A – I am a wall. I’m hard and you are hard.

    Me – Excellent! That’s a similarity. Go!


    Me – I am a lamp!

    Student B – I am a glass. I’m made of glass and you’re made of glass!


    Me – I am a carpet!

    Student C – I am a sofa, because I am made of fabric and you are made of fabric!



    3. Overall reflection on the lesson / task


    1. 75% of all my students could find similarity and justify their choice within 1 parameter. As to the rest 25% - they belong to my youngest students (4-5 year olds). They didn’t really get what I wanted from them. The 6-7 year olds managed the task to 100%.
    2. My expectations for the next lesson are that I give my ss only one object and will ask to find a similar object according to each of 5 parameters we are working with now.
    3. Here I would like to compare the results of my previous experience with the theme “Animals” and the present theme “Objects”.


    Theme /Vocabulary

    Testing of   vocabulary



    Class work



    The vocabulary was present   at the lesson, though there was no regular testing

    Animal covering,

    Food habits,




    Each lesson we   worked at each parameter, though I didn’t feel, that these parameters went   deep into ss’ minds


    No measurement


    Each lesson I gave   my ss a set of words (4-5 to learn) and checked their knowledge before each   lesson. At the end of the month there was an oral test in a playful way.

    Material, Size,   Shape, Colour, Quality of objects



    Here I gave all the   parameters at once and each lesson we practiced each of them one by one in a   TA journey.

    I felt that ss have   a bigger and more complete picture of parameters now.

    75 % of all my   students showed the ability to compare objects within 1 parameter and justify   their choice

  • The land of fairy tales project


    preschool (5-6 years old) 33 students
    Discipline: interdisciplinary
    children are in the third kindergarten year
    Time: 1 week
    Theme: in the land of fairy tales
    Pedagogical goal: The project had several purposes but those for achieve which I used OTSM –TRIZ tools are: to be able to describe a character, to be able to differentiate reality from fantasy, be able to evaluate morally the amount of events and character traits of people (good-bad)
    Type of lesson: mixed ( consolidating and learning)

    OTSM-TRIZ tools: the bank of objects, the passport, the Tower game

  • The qualities of clothing

    {jcomments on}A Group of12 children from age three to five years

    Theaim of thetask: to get the children to understand that the seasons effect on their clothing qualities and why the qualities are important.

    The necessary equipment: the mascot (in this case a teddy bear), a letter and a postcard in an envelope, suitcase, different types of clothing and accessories

    Theprocess: At first I prepared the room. I put the empty suitcase in the middle of the room and different kinds of clothes and accessories around it. When the room was prepared I got the children together and read a letter from Maija the teddy bear. The children were familiar with the teddy bear.

    “Hello children! I have something exiting to tell you. I´m leaving on a holiday with my parents. I can even pack my own suitcase because I´m a big girl. But I have a problem. You see, I have never packed my own suitcase before. That’s why I´m wondering, can you help me? From Maija”

    Step 1. The children started to pack the suitcase.

    Step 2. When the children were ready the mascot came to check up the progress. The mascot was not pleased with the result (shaking it´s head). I asked from the mascot what was wrong and is there something wrong with the suitcase (shaking it´s head). The children started to guess what was wrong with the suitcase. Then the mascot remembers something and started to point at the envelope (where the letter was). I went to look and there were a postcard.

    “Hello children! I forgot to tell you were I´m going on a holiday! We´re going to Lapland to my grandparents’ cottage for a week. You can see a picture of Lapland on the other side of this postcard. Hopefully this will help you! From Maija”

    The children started to go true the clothing. The packing ends when both children and the mascot are happy with the result.

    Step 3. I guided the children to the games. “I wonder.. can you sort the clothing by different kinds of qualities?” I gave the first quality and the children started sorting. The children thought up the rest of the sorting qualities (size, color, season, material, use).

    When the children didn´t thought up any more qualities, I told them about another game we´re going to play. The game was My friends. I told the rules (the children chose one clothing from the suitcase, the teacher starts telling different qualities “My friends are those who´s clothing is/has ..”, if the children´s clothing has this quality can he/she come to the teacher, the teacher tells the way how to come for example jumping or clapping).

    When the game stopped I wondered if the mascot is going to remember what to pack next time she´s going and what kinds of clothes does she need. The children weren´t sure. I asked how could we help the mascot? The children said some ideas and one of them was to make a list. The children draw a list on paper and the teacher dis the same on the board with real pictures. When the list is ready the children put the letter in an envelope and gave it to the mascot.

    Comments: the hole task was really difficult to the children because the method isn´t familiar. I had to guide more than I had anticipated or wanted. Every time there was a time that the children should have understood something or started doing something I had to give them some guidance. Like for example I had to ask after the first packing “what could be wrong in the suitcase” and after that “what if you give Maija some options of what you think is wrong in the suitcase”. Also after the postcard I had to ask “does Maija need all this with her?”. The children liked the games and the list making was quite easy. If the method would have been familiar to the children I think that then the lesson could have worked and been a success.

  • The Second Attempt to Make Art in a Different Way

    The aim of the task:

    • to express ourselves;
    • to create art using different materials;

    The process- during the first attempt to create art with different tools we find out, that we can already make a tasks with limitations. So this time we created a situation: we are going to visit a friend and we want to brink flowers. But we have a problem:

    1. We have now flowers in the classroom. How can we solve it? The kids already had an idea- that we need to go and buy.
    2. Here we came with another limitation- we can not go out of school without mummies and daddies and this is to long to wait till the evening.

    This means we need to look for another solution. And this came the idea- we can create our own flowers. So th kids started to wonder around and come in with different ideas how to make it.

    In this task they had a freedom to come bring everything they wanted. So we got flowers from cotton balls, stones, Play- Doh, pipe cleaners and so on. In this case everybody got opportunity to express idea and to find that art comes from many sources. 

    Coment- this was a step in to using ENV model, but we are still working and developing it.

  • Измерение отрезков

    Рабочий лист используется на этапе рефлексии. Исследуя различные линейки, дети определяют, какой линейкой удобнее всего пользоваться и описывают её.

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