The apple tree is blossoming, and green leaves are providing a shade cover on the sunny spring days. The children have been finding all types of creepy crawlies, playing chase, digging out a large rock, creating mud, throwing rubber discs, hopping on hoppy balls, and constructing with the large blocks.The rain kept us in on Tuesday, so we did some fun movement songs, then took out some rainy day activities.Jackson Pollock, the artist famous for his enormous drip and splatter paintings, was introduced on Monday. We read the story Action Jackson and watched a video of Jackson dribbling house paint onto large canvasses, just as described in the story. We then got our own large canvasses, donned T-shirt smocks, and got down to creating our very own dribble and splatter paintings.At the art table, the students worked on finishing up props for our performance and creating puffy animals for the last day art show. After deciding on an animal to make, the children worked very carefully drawing, coloring, cutting out, stapling together, and stuffing their animals.The final animal class, reptiles, was introduced. We read About Reptiles and did our animal class sort. Each student was given two animals, then they decided, based on the characteristics, which animal class it belongs to – mammal, bird, fish, insect, arachnid, reptile, or amphibian. We learned that amphibians have moist, smooth skin, live partially in water and on land, go through metamorphosis, and can breathe and absorb water through their skin. We learned that frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts are amphibians. We focused first on frogs, and read several books about frogs, both informational and fiction stories. We listened to the calls of four frogs – a wood frog, spring peepers, a gray tree frog, and an American bullfrog. We celebrated a fourth birthday on Tuesday. Princess Elsa wore her new birthday dress and brought tasty strawberry topped cookies. We listed the seasons and counted the years as she walked the Earth around the sun, then we sang Happy Birthday before she blew out the candle. Happy Birthday newest four year old!For Spanish with Zeanny we sang all our body part, color, and family songs, then she introduced a fun Mexican game called lotteria. The children paired up and were each given a board and a small bowl of pebbles or glass rocks to use as markers. Zeanny showed a picture card and read the title of each one, and the children searched their boards for the picture, placing a rock over the picture if found. The first team to cover their whole board won the game. The children had a lot of fun searching for and marking the pictures.The Armstrong family sent in a tornado bottle and a National Geographic book titled Storms. We read the book and learned all about different types of storms, and the children enjoyed watching and trying out the tornado in a bottle.We continued to practice our songs for the last day. The children all have props now, and they practiced their roles while we all tried to remember to sing loudly so the audience could hear us.
On Thursday Tigger came with Andrea and AO from Believe in Books for their final visit. We enjoyed the story AO read about Tigger, who was always so bouncy that he sometimes created trouble without thinking, so his friends came up with a plan and made a bouncer for him so he could bounce as much as he wants without knocking over things in his path. The children said their Hello’s to Tigger with waves and hugs, then selected from 5 book options.For Friday science we read Switch On, Switch Off, and learned about electrical circuits. We then worked as a group to select and create some circuits using Snap Circuits kits. First we made a circuit that we could turn on and off that made some alarm and laser sounds. We then made a circuit that launched a fan up into the air. We also made a circuit that lit up different lights. Some students went off to do work, while others remained, wanting to make more and more circuits. They selected one that we hooked to the ipod and the lights danced to the music, though we couldn’t figure out why the speaker wasn’t playing the music. They also selected some to create energy using a crank and then a windmill, though we were unable to make enough wind with our breaths to actually register on the meter.