18 November, 2017
The winter chill has settled in and we bundled up to stay warm. We moved the logs and blocks to the edge of the yard so they did not freeze in the middle. We raked up more leaves and moved them to the garden to compost. We played running games to warm up. And we started to move the trucks, rakes, and warm weather toys inside.We spent a rainy Thursday recess inside with the inside toys, then we had fun performing the story Silly Sally with puppets and doing some ribbon dancing.For Monday art we read The Boy Who Drew Birds about John. J. Audobon, and The Painter Who Loved Chickens, then we made our own pictures of art using the medium of our choice, mostly pencil & watercolor and pastels. Watercolor painting was then available to use throughout the week.At the art table the children finished up their birds, nests, and eggs, then assembled them and took them home. They really enjoyed creating them and working through all of the steps, from nest building through choosing which type of bird and what color eggs. Some children chose to do realistic representations, while others decided to get creative. We enjoyed having Stacey with us on Tuesday and Wednesday while Susan was out. She helped everyone finish up their bird projects, which kept her quite busy!We celebrated a fourth birthday on Wednesday. As the birthday girl carefully walked around the sun candle with the globe, we named the seasons and counted the years as she aged. After the Happy Birthday song, she blew out the candle and we all enjoyed the tasty popcorn she brought to share. Happy Birthday, birthday girl!The airplane continued to travel to many destinations, flying travelers all around the world.We continued to learn about our bodies, particularly focusing on our muscles and bones. We located many of our bones and named them and continued to sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” but changing the words to skull, clavicle, patella, phalanges. We located our hearts and felt them beating, then did some active moving, including running in place, jumping jacks, and frog hops, then feeling our hearts and observing that they were beating much faster, feeling our muscles strain and begin to feel tired, and noticing that we were breathing faster and heavier as our bodies worked hard.
We watched a short story video of another version of the Stone Soup story and discussed the theme of giving to others and introduced the idea of donating food to those who may not have as much as we do. We will be collecting food items through the second week of December, after which the afternoon students will walk them across the street to the food pantry.
For music on Thursday Susan sang the song Dem Bones with us, changing the words from foot bone, leg bone, etc., to the real names of the bones. She then taught us a very fun song called Father Abraham, a body moving song, which gets harder as different motions are added. Here are the lyrics:
had many sons,
many sons had Father Abraham
And they didn’t laugh,
and they didn’t cry,
all they did was go like this
left arm (move it up and down).
(continue, adding right arm, left leg, right leg, nod your head, turn around)
She then read us several story songs, including Over in the Meadow, Hard Scrabble Harvest (illustrated by students at Aurora school which Susan founded and ran for 20 years), and the food web song There’s a Little Black Bug, Sitting in the Water, also adjusted and illustrated by Aurora students.On Friday we read about and examined eggs. We then did an experiment to test how strong eggs are. We stood them in little cups to stabilize them, then stacked books on top to see how many they could hold before cracking. We counted the books as we stacked them. We piled on 41 books before the eggs broke! We then took turns holding books to see which was stronger – the egg shells or ourselves. The most we were able to hold was 22, so those little egg shells were very strong!! We then started another experiment, which will take a week, though we enjoyed observing some changes right away. We placed an egg in a jar of vinegar. Immediately after placing it in the jar, it was coated in bubbles, which began bubbling up. After a while, the egg floated up to the top. We will continue to observe it over the coming week and will check it out after Thanksgiving break to see how the vinegar changes the egg.