We are ready for green grass, so we got busy chopping up the ice and removing it from the yard. It was another muddy week playing in puddles and digging in the sand box and the brown gloopy mud. Hopefully spring will be arriving for real very soon!For art on Monday we did radial designs – drawing, coloring, and cutting out circles, then cutting them into quarters. Each quarter was then glued to the corner of a colored square paper. The children used their creative brains to come up with unique patterns.In honor of Earth Day, during the week the children used blue and green liquid watercolors to dab spots all over a coffee filter, then spray it with water to make the color spread, creating an earth. They then traced and cut out their hands, a rather challenging undertaking. When the blue and green Earths were dry, the children pasted their hands with a heart made by the connected fingers over the center of the Earth.Some special visitors came on Tuesday to teach us about local fresh water fish, specifically three types of trout. Andy Schafermeyer, a fish biologist, and conservation officer Glen Lucas, brought a cooler full of live trout for us to examine and hold. Andy introduced the fish by first showing us pictures. First he showed us a trout that is colored like a rainbow, and we determined that it is a rainbow trout. Then he showed us a trout that is all brown, and we figured out that it is a brown trout. Finally, he showed us a trout that lives primarily in brooks, earning the name brook trout. When we had the trout sufficiently identified, he put some in some special boxes he made with clear panels, then he and officer Lucas brought them around for us to examine. Finally, those children who wanted to, had a chance to hold a trout. Andy discussed with us how fish need to be in the water to breath, and they live in cold water. He asked us to think about how warm our hands are, so that when we held the fish we kept in mind to only hold them for short periods of time so they would not cook in our hands and they could get back into the water to breath. The children LOVED holding the fish, including some of the tiny fry.For Spanish, Zeanny continued to focus on numbers and body parts, and began to introduce families. We sang the cabeza, hombros, piernes, pies song (head, shoulders, knees & feet). She read us a story about a bebe (baby) and how the family tried to figure out why it was sad, then sang a family song with finger puppets. To wrap up we played a number game, where our boat was sinking and we had to get in the life boats, according to how many they could hold. When she would hold up a number, we had to get together in groups of that number. It was crazy but fun!
We celebrated the most recent 4th birthday. The birthday boy passed out slices of blue frosted cake to everyone before preparing for his travels around the sun. He showed us all that he is now four, then carefully held the globe while quickly orbiting the candle while we listed the seasons and counted his birthdays. After being serenaded with the Happy Birthday song, he blew out the candle and everyone enjoyed their tasty birthday cake. Happy birthday 4-year-old!We did some challenging big body movements and learned some new skills. We balanced and hopped on one foot and tried to do so without holding on to anything. We practiced our galloping, and some of us even practiced skipping. We attempted jumping jacks, starting out slowly in an I, then becoming an A. We also tried making an X with our bodies, then bending and touching the opposite foot, going back up into an X, then bending and touching the opposite foot with the other hand.
As dramatic play interest has dwindled, we took down our ocean wonderland and took some time suggesting and voting on ideas for a new theme. The children decided on a camp site/fairy forest/flower garden, all suggestions that had been nominated several times before but not yet selected. We decided that combining these themes would make a good match. The children started by moving our forest trees back from the science area and planning the supplies we would need and what we will need to construct. The children listed a fire pit, a tent, a hiking path, fireworks in the sky at night, and some animals. We will get busy next week assembling the site.
For music we began selecting and practicing (with actions & movements) some of the songs that we will sing at the last day/graduation celebration, including Black Bear Cub, There’s a Spider on the Floor, and Five Green and Speckled Frogs.While Lyn met with families on Friday, Susan and Tammy did a fun activity about camouflage and blending in with the environment. Susan cut out and hid squares of bright colored, brown, and green papers all over the room. The children then went on a hunt for the squares, bringing them back to the middle rug, where they lined them up to graph them. They counted and discovered that they located many more brightly colored papers than those that matched the environment. After recognizing this, they returned to hunt some more, and discovered many more camouflaged papers. They then selected a lizard picture, which they colored, drawing an environment around it in which it would be camouflaged.