The first week of spring brought the return of winter weather. We were a little confused, but made the best of it. We dressed in our warm gear again, raked and shoveled paths in the snow, and got some wrestling time in with Sue. For Monday art the children learned how paper is made from trees and did some paper recycling of their own. They ripped up paper into little pieces, then added water and chopped it into paper pulp in the blender. We poured it out onto screens then the children pushed out the water while trying to flatten it with their hands. Most of the paper could have used a little more fiber to help hold it together, but we had some cool results. During the week the children used stencils to create pictures. On Thursday they also did some water color painting on coffee filters. The sensory table was filled with Knex, which required a lot of fine motor skills and became quite the social activity! We were excited to welcome and talk about the season of spring, despite the decidedly non-springish weather. We read and talked about the late winter/early springtime activity of tapping maple trees to collect sap and boiling it down into syrup. Those who had tasted sap shared that it is a sweet sugar water drink.
A new box was introduced, which will hold the mystery number of the day. The children can look inside, count the items, then write their name and the number of items in the box. They are encouraged to get help from a friend or teacher as needed. We will open the box every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday at circle time, count the number of items, and read the written names and numbers. The goal of this activity is to build community, encourage number recognition, and strengthen name and number writing skills.
Sue introduced some students to scuba diving last week, which led to further exploration this week. As it is a difficult concept to understand, she showed them some videos, which led to curiosity about whales, sharks, and other ocean life. She showed some of the students videos of whales and sharks, some alongside scuba divers. It was a little disconcerting for some of the children to see how large whales are and how close the divers were to them. Sue pulled out some string to measure the classroom so we could compare the length to that of a blue whale. They discovered that the classroom is only about 45 feet long, about half the length of a blue whale! We also discussed why humans need tanks to breath underwater, while sharks don’t, and that whales are mammals like humans, and they need to surface to breath. The children were excited to create posters about what they learned, which we hung on the wall.
On Thursday we celebrated a fifth birthday with delicious orange and pink cupcakes. The birthday girl was all smiles as she held the globe to orbit the sun five times, once for each year since she was born. Happy Birthday, birthday girl!
Friday students continued to learn about measurement. We read a story about two brothers who find sticks, which they order from shortest to longest, then from thickest to thinnest. Everyone took a long piece of paper which they used to measure things around the classroom, comparing their lengths. We had a visit from the Easter Bunny, whom everyone was excited to see. The bunny got lots of hugs, and some theories where discussed about whether it was the real Easter Bunny or not. Some said yes, while others said that the zipper on the back was an indication that it was not, in fact, the real bunny.
The stories we read:
Earth Cycles by, Michael Ross and Gustav Moore
North Country Spring by, Reeve Lindbergh
But No Elephants by, Jerry Smath
Sap to Syrup by, Inez Snyder
Annie and the Wild Animals by, Jan Brett
Spring (Seasons) by, Sian Smith and Rebecca Rissman
Sugarbush Spring by, Marsha Wilson Chall
A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting by, Michelle Robinson
A book about sticks and measuring them, but I can’t remember the name
The songs we learned:
Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail
Little Bunny Foo-Foo