The ice rink that has taken over our playground is helping all of us to improve our balance and gross motor skills! We have been making good use of all that ice by playing hockey (with baseball bats and balls), riding bikes (yes, you read that correctly), boot skating, collecting ice chunks, and running and sliding on our bellies. We took a break from the ice to play “wonder ball” and to be birds, both those that migrate such as finches and bluebirds, and those that stay here including eagles, hawks, cardinals, and blue jays.
For Monday art we had a lot of fun felting wool that we had purchased at the Farmer’s Market this fall. First we pulled wisps of wool off, which we laid out in layers, criss-crossing so they would knit together. We then covered them with soap and water, patted them down, then rubbed, rubbed, rubbed so that the tiny scales would hook together. When we were satisfied, we rinsed them and set them out to dry. (This is a good explanation of why wool felts).
The art table was busy the rest of the week with animal habitat diorama making. Students chose a shoe box, decided which animal to make a habitat for, then painted it the appropriate colors. Once dry, some students finished their dioramas by drawing, cutting out, and pasting the animals in, as well as adding leaves and trees. We continued to discuss food and where it comes from. We learned that there are five food groups, and discussed which foods come from plants and which come from animals. We then used our food pictures to sort them by “plant” or “animal” sources. Making silence was introduced this week. First we read the story, When I Make Silence. Next the candle was lit and the picture was turned to the word “Silence,” then we all closed our eyes and sat silently smelling the candle, breathing deeply, and listening to the sounds of the classroom until the tingshas chimed and we opened our eyes.
We reviewed our classroom rules that the children had discussed several months ago, and decided that they are all rules about safety and/or respect, so we condensed them into three expectations of our classroom: 1) Be respectful 2) Be safe 3) Be kind. One of the students has copied them down and is illustrating them for us to post on the wall.
We celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss by reading “The Cat in the Hat” and having a visit from the cat in the hat with Believe in Books. We had fun listening to the story Green Eggs and Ham, which was read by Sally from Believe in Books with signs and lots of expression to keep us captivated. After the story we all greeted the cat in the hat and chose a book of our very own to take home.
Friday students had fun with balancing items on a board scale. They each set up a board on a block fulcrum, then tried to make the weight on each end even using bean bags, tree blocks, and dinosaurs. They also discovered that moving items in closer to the fulcrum or further away effected the balance.
We began constructing our log cabin first thing in the morning. We cut and taped the roof, then cut out windows and a door. Later everyone took turns gluing paper towel and toilet paper tubes to the outside. We finished one end of the house, and are looking forward to having everyone else help finish it up next week. The children had a lot of fun playing inside!
Stories we read:
The Napping House by, Audrey Wood
Feeding the Sheep by, Leda Schubert
Footprints in the Snow by, Cynthia Benjamin
My Many Colored Days by, Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat by, Dr. Seuss
When I make Silence by, Aline Wolf
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by, Doreen Cronin
Fox in Socks by, Dr. Seuss
Just a Little Bit by, Ann Tompert
Balancing Act by, Ellen Stoll Walsh
New songs introduced this week: