Fall is in full swing! Every time a breeze would send leaves falling to the ground, there was a burst of shouting and a race to catch them. The rakes were busy making leaf piles to dump in the garden for compost, to jump in, and to throw in the air. Some newly donated trucks were also busy being filled with sand for construction, and rocks to fill in the hazardous chipmunk holes.
We learned a new song about the four seasons, and recorded our observations about fall. We observed that it is getting colder, the leaves are changing color and falling off the trees, butterflies are going through metamorphosis and flying south, there is less daylight, and plants are starting to die, so we are harvesting the vegetables from our gardens. In honor of this end of summer harvest, we had a celebration on Thursday.
During our harvest celebration we had fun doing sack races, egg spoon races, the beanbag toss, eating special snacks, creating fall vegetable prints, and fall art. It was exciting to have some of the families join us as well.
At the art table the students finished up creating their self portraits, made collages by cutting pictures out of magazines, did lots of water color painting, and created many books and stories.
During Monday Morning Art, we learned about the artist Ashley Goldberg. We observed her use of pen and ink, and in particular her abstract art print using dots. We then made our own dot to dot pictures, creating dots all over our papers, connecting them, then painting in the designs and patterns we made.
One afternoon, some of the children were using the magnifying glasses as doctor’s tools, so we headed to the back storage room to get some more doctor’s instruments. We set up an area with some stethoscopes, a tuning fork, a forehead thermometer, an otoscope, a scale, an eye chart, a height chart, and some posters of parts of the human body. One young doctor requested gloves, so every child received a pair of gloves as well. They have been busy listening to hearts and lungs, examining eyes, ears, and mouths, checking weights, testing hearing and vision, and measuring heights.
When we observed our newest Monarch caterpillar on Monday, we were afraid that is was not doing well, as it was curled up on the side of the tank. We discovered later that it is actually a black swallowtail, not a Monarch after all, and it was forming it’s chrysalis. Unlike Monarch’s, the male and female black swallowtail have different markings, so we will be able to determine its’ gender when it emerges.
The Friday students were excited for science. We read the two stories Just a Little Bit, and Balancing Act, then created our own scales by placing boards on small log block fulcrums. We used bean bags, dominoes, metal cups, marbles, and log blocks as items for balancing. We observed that we needed to have items of similar weight on each end, or they would tip. We also observed that if we moved the fulcrum, the weights could be distributed differently and it would not tip as it would if the fulcrum was set exactly in the center.