Fall has arrived! With the change in seasons came the change in weather. The mornings are crisper and the days are just perfect. We had such beautiful weather that we spent the entire afternoon outside on Wednesday. The children had fun bringing their work out. They used a tape measure to measure a variety of items on the playground, including the picnic table, balance beam, a tree (as high as we could reach), the fence, the tunnel, and the toy box.
During Monday Art we learned about the artist Frida Kahlo who was famous for drawing self-portraits. We studied several. We recognized that they were fairly realistic, with proper skin color, hair color, eye color, and clothing. Most of them also featured pets or animals native to her home in Mexico. The children then drew their own self-portraits, selecting skin color, eye color, and hair colors that they felt best matched their own. Throughout the week, each of the students created their own self-portraits. The returning students were excited to see Henrietta (a hen/chicken puppet) and Wolfgang (a wolf puppet) this week, and introduce them to the new students. Henrietta and Wolfgang helped us talk about emotions and began to introduce some strategies for dealing with strong emotions, including getting a hug or taking a break in the quiet house where there are books and toys to look at. We will continue to discuss emotions and how to recognize and understand them throughout the year. We celebrated a fifth birthday on Wednesday. We counted while our friend held the globe and walked around the table with the candle sun five times, then sang happy birthday before enjoying some yummy cupcakes.
On Thursday we finally took out the instruments! We began with percussion instruments, so we did a lot of tapping, banging, and shaking with drums, triangles, sticks, sandpaper blocks, tambourines, maracas, xylophones, tone blocks, etc. We practiced following the conductor and getting louder and quieter like a rain storm or jet passing over. Friday students had their first walking field trip of the year. Before departing, we drew a map so we knew where our destination was and some of the landmarks we would pass on the way. We were joined by Melissa Grella, who started the Community Garden several years ago. She led us all the way there, where all of the children helped to harvest carrots planted last spring. She showed us how to find the stem, then reach down to the top of the carrot, hold it carefully in our fingers, then pull it out. After we pulled all of the carrots in the two boxes, everyone got to have a taste. We then walked back down Main Street, stopping at the food pantry to drop off the carrots with Myra Ingerson. The children truly enjoyed themselves!