The summer weather drew us outside for a lot of fresh air time. We used the jump rope and the balls and we played chase, working hard to make our legs strong. We also practiced Frisbee throwing. We pulled the long logs that we used last year back into the playground to build a tee-pee. We found a variety of creatures on our playground as well. We were visited by a pigeon, a cicada, a family of chipmunks, lots of aphids, some worms, a few millipedes, lots of daddy long legs (Harvestmen), a bee, and a variety of beetles. On Monday the students were introduced to monochrome art and the artist Yves Klein, who invented his own color blue. The children all created their own blue art work by cutting and gluing scraps of blue paper. At the easel they used blue, white, and black paint to create monochrome paintings. They observed that adding white to the blue made lighter shades, and adding black created darker shades. During circle we discussed hand washing and limiting our paper towel use. We read the story Trees to Paper about how paper is made and demonstrated how to dry our hands with one or two paper towels to help save trees. On Wednesday we did a handwashing experiment with bread. We placed an untouched piece of bread with a gloved hand into a baggie as the control. We passed another piece to each child in the circle to touch with unwashed hands. We had a student merely rinse her hands in water without using soap or scrubbing then touch a third slice of bread and place it in the bag. Finally, I washed my hands very thoroughly with soap and water, touched a fourth piece, and placed it in a bag. We have been watching the slices of bread very closely all week to see if anything will happen. So far, there has been no change. On Thursday we celebrated our first birthday of the year. The birthday girl requested ribbon dancing for our circle time activity, which everyone very much enjoyed. After thorough hand washing, everyone was anxious to eat the fall cupcakes she brought to share. In a Montessori classroom, the birthday child holds the globe and orbits a candle sun for each year of her life. Our birthday girl orbited the candle six times. Afterwards, she was serenaded with the birthday song and the eating commenced! For Friday Science the students took off their slippers, then divided into two groups, each with a set of slippers. Each group then decided how to sort the slippers into two sets based on a similar characteristic. One group sorted them into squishy ones and hard ones. The other group sorted by monster slippers and not monster slippers. They then divided into three categories. Group one sorted by animals, monsters, and not animals or monsters. Group two sorted by soft, flimsy, and hard.