Long time since a post, but here are some thoughts.
One of the pieces that I have added to my choice time routine is one table that is designated as our Noticing Table. This happens to be the low table (one that has the legs removed so that children sit on the floor), and it is a constant, dependable presence in our choice time.
Every day something new is at the Noticing Table. This child is examining some beeswax, and is discovering that each of the cells is a hexagon. The children examine the material presented, draw it, and label their picture for the Noticing Wall.
These two pictures show the details that children are beginning to notice as they observe the items on the table. This dragon fruit engaged Amani, and her illustration is a clearly detailed picture of the actual fruit.
In the past week that we’ve been back from Christmas, the children have observed and drawn the dragon fruit, coral, a camellia blossom, and a sprig of pine with a pine cone attached. Earlier in the year one of my parents tended to send in items that were perfect for the Noticing Table, such as an acorn squash from her garden or a seed pod from a special plant. There are mornings that I am scrambling to think of something to add to the Noticing Table, but the world is so full of wonderous things that I could never run out of things to notice.
I love this activity, for it brings everyday items into the attention of the children, and they take the time to pause at this center to notice objects that might escape their observation in the business of their days. They love the grown-up trust in using permanent markers for this work, even though there is a measure of clean-up that they aren’t able to take care of. They really look, and look carefully as they think about how they are going to be able to represent this item in their art work. The Noticing Wall is loaded with pictures the children have drawn of the items on the table. Dragon fruit, pine cones, honeycombs, and money plant are all represented on the wall..