The groundhog has returned to his burrow for another six weeks after seeing his shadow on Friday, but we don’t mind the snowy weather. The children continue to have fun sliding around on their bellies like penguins and taking turns on sleds. We loved the Thursday snowfall, which got everyone busy shoveling up the new snow into sleds and onto new snow mountains.For Monday art we introduced shadow puppets. We read several books about shadows, including Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow by Ann Thompert and What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Bulla. We watched a video of a shadow puppet performance of The Three Little Pigs made by a group of students in England. The children then decided which characters they wanted to create, found pictures for reference if needed, drew them, cut them out, and stuck them on sticks. The shadow puppet theater was very busy all week as the children put on shows with dinosaurs, princesses, owls, puppets, monsters, etc. for their friends.We introduced being nature detectives by using clues in nature to determine which animals have been passing through. We read Footprints in the Snow, Big Tracks, Little Tracks, and a big book about tracks. Susan taught us about the different types of walkers – diagonal walkers, bounders, gallopers, and pacers. We tried walking the same way the animals do to create the track patterns we found in our books. It was quite challenging! We laid out large pieces of paper and the children used track stamps to recreate the walking patterns that animals make.Zeanny has returned! We had our first Spanish session on Tuesday. We continued our color identification and counting practice, and she introduced a fun story about pollos (chickens) and pollitos (chicks) that visit the biblioteca (library) with the bibliotecario (librarian) and niños (children). Zeanny gave everyone a colored pollito and we played a game with them, then we taped our pollitos onto popsicle sticks to take home as puppets.On Wednesday we did a germ experiment after reading the story A Germ’s Journey by Dr. Thom Rooke about how germs are spread. We pretended to cough or sneeze into our hands. Everyone who wanted to try it were given a dab of “Germ-glo” lotion. We then touched some things with our germy hands and used a UV flashlight to detect the “germs” that we spread around.We read the groundhog day stories Grumpy Groundhog (brought in by the Armstrong family – Thank you!) and Gregory Groundhog Predicts the Weather to introduce groundhog. Children who were interested made their very own groundhogs with shadows at the art table on Thursday. They had fun coloring them, cutting them out, pasting them together, and coloring the snowy ground around the groundhog shaped shadows. On Friday morning Tammy showed us a brief clip of Punxatawny Phil predicting when spring would arrive.During Thursday music time with Susan she read several animal poems and we pretended to be the animals she read about, moving as described in the poems. She then introduced The Carnival of the Animals, composed in 1886 by Camille Saint-Saëns. She told us how he composed it as a piece of fun correlating his friends to different animals and making the music reflect their personalities. She read poems by Jack Prelutsky that were written to go along with the music, and we moved to the music and poetry.For Friday science we combined our knowledge of measuring with an introduction to ramps. The children split into two groups. Each group chose three marbles – a large, medium, and small, then set up long tubes to act as ramps/tunnels. They took turns dropping the marbles through the tubes and marking where they stopped, then measuring the distance that they rolled. They soon began just rolling them through and marking where they stopped, then comparing how far each marble rolled. They had a lot of fun changing around the set up of their tubes to see if they could change the distance the marbles traveled.