Sledding was once again the name of the game for the week. The children took turns going down the snow hill in pairs, seeing how far they could sled or “snowboard.” There are so many groups of friends within our whole group of friends, and it is so fun to see them interacting so cooperatively with each other.Reminding children that the snow is not suitable for consumption is a daily conversation. A friend decided to bring a chunk in to melt, and we began observing what else we could see in that snow that might end up in our mouths.Eric Carle art continued on Monday. The children took the painted papers they made last week and cut them into pieces, which they used to create a collage and glue to a large paper.Tuesday was an exciting day with our visit to the Post Office. We met postman Tim, and he took us on a tour through the back, showing us the loading dock where mail comes in and goes out, the sorting stations, the letter bins, the large trolleys for moving the mail, the check out counter where people purchase stamps and mail packages, the office where passport photos are taken, and the back of the rented postal boxes. We learned a lot about how the mail is sorted and distributed!Valentine’s day was another exciting day. The children distributed their Valentine cards, then selected their work for the morning. Some of the special Valentine’s day activities included a roll and color game, where you roll a die, then color in that many hearts on your page. You continue as long as you want, or until the page is full. Another activity was a Valentine sight word coloring page, where each sight word is colored a specific color to create a picture. At the end of the morning the children enjoyed selecting treats from a wide range of offerings. There were so many things to choose from, it was hard to decide which to have! Thank you to everyone who sent in a special snack! They were much appreciated.Blocks were very popular this week. Everyone seemed to be in need of some social building time, and we enjoyed listening to the conversations, strategizing, problem solving, story telling, and negotiating going on.The post office also continued to be busy with customers buying stamps and mailing letters, writing letters by hand and on the typewriter, and checking mail.On Thursday we read the story Friends by Helme Heine, about three friends who do everything together. One day after their adventures they sit down to enjoy some cherries. Charlie Rooster was concerned that he did not get as many as Fat Percy the pig, so Johnny Mouse and Fat Percy gave him all of their cherry pits. We discussed the difference between fair and equal, such as having the option to choose which activities you prefer. While some students prefer to draw, others prefer building with blocks. Sometimes it is hard to see that equal is not always fair, and that fair does not mean equal.For music we brought out the drums. It is always the best when the playing begins spontaneously, rather than being guided, so we spent several minutes just enjoying the rhythms the students produced. Eventually we revisited quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. As Susan had previously demonstrated with blocks, we counted out and played quarter notes with one beat per count, half notes with one beat for every two count, and whole notes, with one beat for every four count. We also introduced what each note looks like, so we can connect a visual with the count. At the end the children wanted to take turns conducting, so a couple of students quickly lead the others through louder and quieter playing.Friday students continued to explore the states of matter by making balloon rockets. They stretched and pulled their balloons and did their best to inflate them by blowing air into them. Many of the students were able to do so independently with some mighty puffing. Tammy and I blew up the balloons for those who just could not make theirs inflate, then we clipped the ends and taped each balloon to a straw on a string. The children then opened their clips and watched their rockets shoot across the room as the air was forcefully expelled from the balloon. Some needed a little assistance to get going, but most students repeated it multiple times and enjoyed seeing how far their balloons would go.
Love and Snow and Blocks
February 17, 2018