Sledding was the name of the game this week. We were excited to see five new sleds waiting for us. There are now plenty for everyone to team up and go, go, go! The snow conditions were perfect for pulling passengers very quickly all around the playground. In order to encourage the children to work together, take turns, build their muscles, and develop friendships, we ask children to find a friend to take turns with when they come to us (the teachers) to pull them. It is exciting to see how well they have been using these skills and making connections with each other in such positive ways. Monday students walked to the Polish Princess bakery to have a tour and make bread sticks with Magda. We learned to roll our dough into the shape of a dog bone with one hand, then use two to stretch and roll it out until it is very long and thin. We learned that if it has stopped stretching, we let it sit and rest for a bit before continuing to work with it. While the bread sticks were baking we had a tour of the bakery. We saw the giant walk in freezer, the big bread and pizza oven, and where to make hot chocolate. Magda made everyone a glass, and we enjoyed drinking it together at the big table. When our bread sticks were baked, we crunched them right up! When we returned to school, Gerrie Scott came to read us a story. In the afternoon we made thank you cards for Magda.
At the art table the students placed paper in the bottom of a bin, dropped watery paint on the paper, then placed rubber pom-pom balls on top and shook the bins back and forth and all around. The effect created by the pom-pom balls pulling the paint around was similar to marbling paper. Very cool! The sensory table was waiting for our ice bowls to freeze. Finally on Thursday they were ready! The children sprinkled salt over them, which created holes, then dropped liquid paint over the top to color it.
The bear den was once again very popular and busy, with lots of puppies and bears making good use of it.
We continued to discuss grains, where they come from, and what we can do with them. We read the story Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven, then baked sun bread together. Almost everyone helped, taking turns breaking and adding eggs, then sugar, flour, butter, and the yeast & milk mixture. We kneaded it, then let it rise for an hour. In the afternoon we kneaded it again then rolled out and shaped the rays for the sun, then let it rise again. We enjoyed eating it the next day after it had been baked to a golden brown color.
We took out the ribbons on Thursday and did some ribbon dancing. Before beginning, we looked at the ribbon sticks and noted that they are long and hard, and we saw how far they reach, so everyone found a spot in the classroom with plenty of space to keep everyone safe and to move our ribbons to the music.
We celebrated a fourth birthday on Thursday with tasty popcorn. The birthday boy carried the globe around the candle sun while we counted for him, then everyone sang happy birthday and clapped together in sign language. Happy Birthday to the birthday boy! The amaryllis that the children planted with Sue in December has been growing steadily (as you can see on their growth chart) and is beginning to blossom. We are hoping that we don’t miss it before we return to school next week! For Friday science we explored a fourth of the five senses – hearing. We were silent as we listened to noises that we can only hear if we are not making any noise. We heard a pounding sound (which may or may not have been someone’s feet on the carpet), the clicking of the heater, and the humming of the furnace. Then we listened to some animal sounds and guessed which animals made them. The hardest to figure out were the humpback and blue whales, and the raccoon. The children then took turns going around the classroom and tapping things together, opening drawers or containers, or knocking on things to see if everyone else could guess what they were using by the sound it made (though we mostly used our eyes as it was too hard to keep them closed to listen). Books we read: Bread Comes to Life by, George Levenson
The Little Red Hen by, Jerry Pinkney
Where Does Food Come From? by, Shelley Rotner and Gary Goss
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by, Audrey Wood
Around the Year by, Tasha Tudor
The Listening Walk by, Paul Showers
Max Found Two Sticks by, Brian Pinkney
Songs we sang:
12 Months of the year
Four Seasons every year
Jump Jim Joe
Ram Sam Sam
If You’re Happy and You Know It
I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas
Mr. Golden Sun