We tried to spend as much time outside as possible, and the children were moving, moving, moving. They built a tee-pee, dug in the sand box, played baseball, freeze tag, and jump rope. They threw soft footballs, Frisbees, and a boomerang. They examined seed pods from the trees, ant holes, and any insects they could find. The afternoon students had almost daily picnics for lunch. They even brought out paper and markers in the afternoon to extend their outdoor time. It was such a great week to be out!
For Monday art the students made mother’s day flower gardens. Throughout the week, every child had the opportunity to make one or two or three flower gardens for their moms and grandmas. Happy mother’s day to all of the mothers!
We began our final animal unit with our study of insects. We read the book What Are Insects and learned that all insects have three parts – the head, thorax, and abdomen, that they all have six legs, two antennae, and a waterproof exoskeleton. Many of them also have wings which they use to fly.
The science table has been well used this week. Our black swallowtail chrysalis has remained in the tank all winter, and it appears to be darkening, which we hope means that it may still emerge as a butterfly. We have been keeping an eye on it. The children have been enjoying the life cycle of a bee, butterfly, and ladybug models, as well as the many large insect toys at the science table, including a large bee, dragonfly, housefly, stink bug, praying mantis, ladybug, grasshopper, ant, and beetle. They have also been looking through the dragonfly eye viewers to see the way an insect’s eye sees.
For Thursday circle time we introduced the dancing ribbons. As they are attached to sticks, we reviewed the safety rules, then everyone found a spot where they would have plenty of space to be safe, and had fun dancing with the ribbons to some soft harp music then lively multicultural dancing music. It was a lot of fun!
Friday students had several fun science activities. First they placed beans in a cup with a wet paper towel and placed them in the window. We will keep them moist and observe them over the next couple of weeks to see what happens. Next they examined the insect models and drew them, labeling the three parts – head, thorax, and abdomen. Finally, they looked through a microscope at a leaf to see the cells and chloroplasts, which looked like frog freckles.