What a great week back from vacation!
The Iditarod is on! We are following musher Lance Mackey, who has won the Iditarod 4 times. By Thursday, he had reached the Iditarod checkpoint, about half way through the 1000 mile race, and was in first place. You can find more information and continue to track the mushers at home at Iditarod.com.
The readers in our classroom have been busy! Our sled will be able to go far and fast with all of the dogs pulling it around the room. Thank you for recording all of those great books that you have been reading.
We began tracking and comparing the temperatures in Alaska to the temperatures in Lancaster. We noticed that on Thursday the temperature in Alaska was about twenty degrees lower than here.
A couple of weeks before vacation we started an experiment to help understand why washing hands is important. Everyone touched a pitri dish with their dirty hands. We also took a mouth swab and a nose swab to see why we wash our hands after touching our mouth or nose. On Tuesday we examined the growth and were in unanimous agreement that the germs were disgusting, and hand-washing is a great idea!
At the art table the students practiced their fine motor control by coloring some Dr. Seuss and dog sledding pictures, and tracing some Dr. Seuss stencils. They very carefully colored inside the lines, which is excellent handwriting practicing, and takes quite a bit of concentration and skill to do well. We also did some ice cube painting with the tempera paint ice cubes that we made before vacation.
We celebrated our first birthday of the month on Tuesday. Our birthday student orbited our candle sun five times, the number of times the earth has orbited the sun since he was born. After singing “Happy Birthday” everyone enjoyed delicious blue cupcakes!
Our star of the week shared her book about herself and her favorite doll, whose name is Heart. We saw some great pictures of her with her family, including several with her little sister who is a favorite visitor in our classroom. We learned that she enjoys the rides at Santa’s Village and the Fair, and for Halloween she was a bumble bee.
On Wednesday we were so thrilled to have Kim and Margaret from Jefferson bring five of their sled dogs and one of their sleds to school. We met Cupid, Rosie, Rudy, Wasabi, and Dancer. We learned that several of them are rescued shelter dogs, including Rosie, who is the lead dog and a herding dog, not a typical breed of sled dog. Once the dogs had their harnesses on, they were excited to get hooked up to the line and pull the sled. All of the children had turns riding on the sled and driving it. Kim taught us how to push down on the break, and put down the Emergency Break, a large hook that digs into the snow. It was a truly exciting morning! Thank you so much to Kim and Margaret, the dogs, and our parent contact for setting it up!
On Wednesday afternoon we made rainforest fruit salad with Zeanny. We cut up and added oranges, strawberries, coconut, pineapple, figs, bananas, and mango. It was delicious!
During Spanish Zeanny continued to introduce and review animal names. Some of the new names we learned were elafante (elephant), hipopótamo (hippopotamus), león (lion), ardilla (squirrel), and gusano (worm). On Thursday everyone helped tell a story about the rain forest animals – el mono, iguana, mariposa, and culebra.
Friday students had a great time together. Some of them spent some time identifying and sorting pennies and dimes. They counted ten of each, then pulled handfuls out of the mystery bag and sorted and graphed how many they pulled out. Gerrie Scott read Think Big and then we sang “The Ants Go Marching”, a favorite Friday request, while doing an ant march on hands and knees around the classroom.
We spent quite a while searching for animal tracks down on the big field behind school. We found LOTS of tracks. We identified many trails of dog prints, and some students also thought that they saw some rabbit, fox, and bear. The freshest set of tracks we found matched the skunk footprints in our Animal Tracks of New England guide book. It was pretty exciting to see so many animal trails.
Next week we will be celebrating a second student birthday. We will also be visited by the Cat in the Hat on Thursday at 10:50 in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Family members are welcome to join us.