We continue to appreciate and enjoy the warm, summer weather. By the end of the morning everyone is excited to get out, get active and enjoy the sunshine! Monday students were introduced to the artist Frida Kahlo, who is known for her many self-portraits. We observed that her self-portraits were accurate representations, with authentic skin, eye, and hair color, clothing, and face shape and depiction. We again read parts of We Are All Alike, We Are All Different, then the children made their own self-portraits using the most accurate portrayal and colors possible. Throughout the week, all children took a turn looking in the mirror to examine their faces; checking eye color, skin shade, and hair and lip color to make their own authentic self-portraits. The sensory table was traded out for the light table, and the children used their imaginations to create pictures with translucent colored shapes. The magnatiles were put away and the vehicles came out, which were racing across the floor and lining up neatly in the “garage” barn and in rows along the carpet.
On Tuesday during circle time we read the story, Wash Your Hands and started a hand washing science experiment. We placed four pieces of bread into four separate bags. The first piece was the control, which was touched only by a gloved hand. The second slice was the “dirty” piece, which we passed around the circle for everyone to pat with their unwashed hands. The third one was the “rinsed” piece, which was touched by a child who had dipped her hands in water to rinse them off, and the final baggie held the slice that had been touched by hands that were scrubbed with soap for 20 seconds and rinsed with warm water. (Each slice of bread was later misted with water to initiate some activity). We will continue to watch our experiment to see if we notice any changes over the next several weeks.
The students were introduced to how to get a teacher’s attention by walking up to her and placing a hand on her shoulder or holding her hand until she has finished her conversation. We also saw how to walk around the work mats to respect others and their work.
On Wednesday we read the story Fire Drill and had a discussion about how to evacuate the building. The students were very knowledgeable and had many things to share, including how to crawl on the ground under the rising smoke, walking quietly to line up when a fire alarm sounds, that fire personnel always come to put out fires, and that although a fire will likely not happen at school, we practice how to evacuate in case we are baking and smoke sets off the alarm. For the initial drill we all got ready for recess then lined up before pressing the smoke detector button, counting, filing out silently, lining up along the fence, and counting again.
A small basket of instruments was available for students to take out and play throughout the week, but everyone was excited to pick and play instruments together as a group again on Thursday. The whole note symbol was introduced and we practiced playing one note for a count of four. We played our instruments to the tune of “twinkle, twinkle, little star” then played loudly and quietly and loudly and quietly before putting our instruments away for the day.
Friday students were very engaged in a science discussion about what makes up the land parts of the earth. We talked about rocks that make up mountains, large boulders that break off, smaller rocks, gravel, and sand that is created when rocks crash against each other and break down into smaller and smaller pieces when pushed around in the water. We looked at a variety of rocks, some quite heavy and others much lighter. There were some very smooth round ones and some rough ones. We also looked at different sands that were made up of rocks, shells, and/or coral. We talked about volcanoes and how land can be formed by cooled lava. We also played with some soil, which we learned was formed by dead plants and animals as they decay and break down with the help of insects, rain, fungus, etc. Several students listened to the Magic School bus story about the Rot Squad’s visit to a hollow log and learned how slime molds, beetles, and the elements contribute to decomposition.
Stories we read:
We Are All Alike, We Are All Different by, The Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergarteners
Bark George by, Jules Feiffer Songs we sang:
“Make New Friends”
“If You’re Happy and you Know It”
“Jump Jim Joe”
“Ram Sam Sam”
“Way Up High in the Apple Tree”