Snow, mud, and water were our outdoor mediums this week. Fresh snow covered the playground almost daily, which was perfect for snowmen, snowballs, sledding, and shoveling. The warmth melted it away quickly and water and mud were used for mud soup and mud potions.
On Monday we studied the parts of a plant for science. We carefully removed one of the classroom plants from the pot and shook the soil from the roots. We drew and labeled pictures of the parts of a plant and discussed what job each part has – leaves for breathing and using sunlight to make food, roots for absorbing water and nutrients from the soil, the stem for carrying the water up to the leaves, and the fruit for housing the seeds.
For art we rolled paint onto bubble wrap and printed it onto paper. Each day we chose new colors to try out so we had some variety.
We began to learn about amphibians this week, a class of vertebrates that begin life in water and undergo metamorphosis. They have moist skin and most of them live near water. Amphibians include frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts.
Throughout the year we have been building a kindness chain, a set of paper links that each list a kind act that a friend has performed for another. It has gradually lengthened as children take turns sharing helping or thoughtful things that have been done for them, such as helping to open a snack item, helping clean up someone’s work, comforting someone when hurt, or playing with them when asked. The children share only things that others have done for them, so that we focus on being grateful for what others have done, rather than drawing attention to what we, ourselves have done. They are always excited to share the helpful things that they have witnessed or experienced.
On Thursday, we introduced the Tibetan singing bowl, which we used to draw attention to sound, silence, and actively listening. The children sat silently as we struck the bowl, then listened until we could not hear it any longer. This simple act of focusing our listening is a brief practice in mindfulness, which the Monday/Friday students have been working on over the past couple of months.
The children have become so interested in reading and writing, which is such a complex, multi-aspect process. The kindergarten students have been great motivators for the younger students, who are in different stages of becoming readers. It is fabulous to see so much passion for literacy!
The children were very excited to spend the day with Tammy on Friday while Lyn met with parents to share all of the things that everyone has been doing at school. We have such a fabulous group of children! It has truly been a joy to watch them progress throughout the year and we are looking forward to the last seven weeks of school and all of the things that we will be doing before it ends!