Monday, 31 March 2014

Visual Thinking Strategy

Whenever their is talk of developing creativity in children and helping them to think for themselves, it gets me super excited.Unfortunately our education system focuses a lot on academics and a child is considered intelligent only if they score good marks. While i was a student, i was excellent at mugging stuff which got me many scholarships in school and put smiles on my teachers and parents faces. But things like creativity, imagination, thinking out of the box never really figured in my mind or that of my teachers. I understood a bit about creativity only after i started teaching and realized its importance and need in today's world.

I am an essentially a left brainer, not that there is an issue with people who are left brainers but i find artists, musicians, dancers ,writers fascinating. It gives me a great high when i create something and i am constantly looking at ways and means to spark the creative expression in my little ones.

So when i got an opportunity to be part of a three day workshop on art in my school, i was ecstatic.
The workshop was primarily designed for older children but i got many new perspectives and also understood how we can use art to develop many skills in children.

Art1st is a fantastic organization which is developing the art program in our school and they are doing a great job of bringing the aspect of creativity in classrooms.Over the course of three days we did various activities like doodling, ink blot art, learning about a view finder and using shapes to create stories.

Seeing different perspectives with one view finder

Doodling and finding images. The red dancing girl is mine :)

Group mural work. It got some children so excited, they joined in the coloring !

Using shapes to create stories

I am the proud author of 'Dottylicious'

But what caught my attention was the visual thinking strategy which helps develop critical thinking, observation, expression and language in children. I was completely blown away by this simple strategy and what all great things it can do in a classroom.

VTS essentially requires a discussion on art images where the teacher asks her students to observe and tell what's going on in a picture. She also asks students to validate what they say. She would then paraphrase comments by pointing at the area being discussed. It encourages children to think deeply and listen to various perspectives about one art image. You could read more about it by clicking on the link below:

I have identified two great artists whose works i would be using to implement VTS in my class.
Henri Rousseau who was a French post impressionist painter and Badri Narayan who was an eminent Indian artist.

The past week has been fruitful and i am super excited to try all the new things i have learnt, with my kiddos. I am ready to take on the new set of kids this Friday, when the academic year begins for us. And i am already on the way to create things for my of my brand new class will be coming soon. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Its that time of the year when a teacher with a heavy heart has to bid adieu to her little angels whom she has worked with for the whole year. I am always melancholic during this time of the year and when my little sugar plums tell me that they will miss me a lot, it just makes my heart melt. But  i don't want to appear dispirited and want my kiddos to cherish and celebrate their last few days in kindergarten. We have been doing a lot of fun stuff and all of us seem to be having a blast !
We made a countdown chain and recite a chant everyday to remind us how many days are left.

I also hung three balloons for the last three days. 

We will burst one balloon everyday and find simple surprises inside it. Today we had our snack outdoors and played some of our favorite games. We will also have an ice cream party and a movie day with popcorn in the coming days.

Children talked about the things they enjoyed the most in kindergarten and drew their illustrations.

They also made their graduation portrait and expressed what they will miss the most about kindergarten.

I displayed all their portraits on our class door.

I am intending to give them a sweet poem which i downloaded from Pinterest and a chocolate with a message. The poem is wrapped as a scroll.

If you like these activities you could download my graduation pack from TPT store. Click on the link below :

I have altered the countdown chant and  'Things i enjoyed the most in kindergarten' sheet  in my pack. Once you go to my store, you will be able to see the new ones.
I will post some more pictures later. Till then enjoy teaching !