The first week of fall was very autumnal with frosty mornings and sunny days with sightings of robins all puffed up to stay warm in the morning chill surrounded by trees sporting red, orange, yellow, green, and brown leaves.
Monday students continued to explore color with Yves Klein, famous for his paintings in blue. They created monochrome (one color) paintings using varied shades of their chosen color.
We discussed the changing of the seasons by reading books about fall and learned that the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall, means equal night because the day and night are each 12 hours long. The children shared observations about the changes that fall brings, such as shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, dying plants, and colored leaves.
We practiced our first reverse evacuation drill and fire evacuation drill. We pretended a bear was in the area and joked that he was going to eat us but the children reassured us that black bears are afraid of people and wouldn’t eat us. We practiced going inside anyway. Then we practiced coming back out.
Wednesday was our first sign language lesson with Rose. She introduced herself and sign language by signing while she spoke, explaining that she was a teacher for many years and communicated with her students by signing with her hands, as that is the way the deaf community communicates. We learned how to sign the letters a-g, I, love, you, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, and night. Rose showed us how to sing and sign the song Skidamarink and added on a fun ending we were not previously familiar with, which included blowing a kiss at the end. We really enjoyed our first week of sign language!
Kindergarten students continued their number work by counting, tracking, and recording the number of days and finding patterns in the number groups. They worked on ways to identify odd and even. They created C’s out of cones from coniferous trees.
We continued to learn about trees and leaves and had fun singing our tree songs with Susan. We all stood underneath the apple tree and moved backward to measure it, each person finding a branch and standing underneath the furthest end. We then looked all around and realized that the root system underneath was of equal size, under the ground! It was quite a large area!
Thursday was our harvest celebration. The children took turns playing the parts of the lazy, sleepy bear and his neighbor hare and hare’s family while reading the story Tops and Bottoms. The children enjoyed acting out planting, tending, and harvesting the crops as the hare family and snoozing in the rocking chair as bear. During the morning the children enjoyed printing with fruits, vegetables, and leaves, painting mini pumpkins, and pounding golf tees into big pumpkins then pulling them out with a hammer. Each of the students shared their favorite foods that come from plants, including maple syrup, pancakes, apples, cherries, carrots, and potatoes.
Friday students further discussed which parts of the plant different vegetables are. We learned that there are 8 different parts that our vegetables could be; leaves, stem, flowers, fruit, seed, tubers, roots, and bulbs. We got so engaged in our discussion that we ran out of time for our vegetable sorting activity, so we will come back to it next week.
We celebrated our first birthday of the year, though we have one to make up from last week! Our youngest student turned 3, and in honor of his birthday donated the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. It is one of his favorites and it taught us that we should always catch our sneezes and coughs with our elbows so we don’t sneeze down any houses (or spread our germs)! The birthday boy held the globe while he orbited the giant yellow sun ball 3 times, the number of times the earth has orbited the sun since he was born, then we sang the Happy Birthday Song to him. Happy Birthday to our newest 3 year old!