What a glorious week we had! The long-awaited sunshine and summer temperatures made for a quick exit from the classroom and lots of outside time. Leaf buds began to appear on the trees, changing bare branches to green. The children had fun with balls, trucks, large blocks, stumps, buckets, and shovels. A store was built in the corner of the playground where you could purchase anything you might need. Trucks were busy travelling all around the yard. Lots of sand was scooped and shoveled. Stumps were tipped and rolled. A ramp was built using stumps and the balance beam with the intention of climbing the tree, but it quickly became a balancing challenge which most of the children conquered.David Hockney, an English artist, was introduced for his more recent works of art, which are composed of brightly colored landscapes on multiple canvasses, typically featuring forests of trees. We viewed a short video introduction to Hockney and looked at some pictures of his work, then we created our own landscapes on multiple canvasses. The children each selected two to four pieces of paper, which we taped together. They then planned their pictures and used pastels to create their landscapes.The final library trip was Monday while younger children from the community visited for the last play date. There were some new fun activities at the library, which kept the children thoroughly engaged.The art table was busy with students finishing up their Out the Window pictures, Mother’s Day gifts, and props for our last day presentation.The sensory table was filled with water, and the children enjoyed pouring, mixing, scooping, and squirting.Zeanny continued to focus on the family, colors, and body parts. We sang our body parts and colors songs. She read a story about the family, and we sang the family song. For our game this week she brought a poster with a monster family. Zeanny asked each child to use a chosen color to draw a named number of a particular body part, for example, tres azul ohos (3 blue eyes).We read about snakes and played some snake games. We jumped over the wiggling jump-rope snake, being careful to not get eaten. We then played snake in the grass, a game of tag where the taggers have to slither like snakes. We used two rugs with 3 snake taggers each, and the remaining students were the mice and other prey that were eaten by the snakes.The wood frog tadpoles Tammy brought in last week hatched over the weekend and have already started to grow. We noticed that they had external gills, and read that they will soon be covered. We will keep a close eye on them to see how they grow and change over the next four weeks.Several weeks ago we had a discussion about trees, their role in our lives, where paper comes from, and conserving paper. The children offered suggestions about how we could conserve paper and what steps we could take to save more trees. Some of the suggestions we were able to implement immediately, such as making signs as reminders about only taking two paper towels, and remembering to use the whole paper rather than just scribbling and throwing it away. Another suggestion was to plant more trees, so on Wednesday after we read A Tree is Nice, Trees Are Plants, and we pretended to be trees with Gus while reading Gus is a Tree, we were introduced to our very own trees, which we received from the NH Cooperative Extension Service. Each child was given a tree of their very own to take home and plant.On Thursday morning we read about lizards and watched a short clip from the BBC series Life (available on Netflix) Episode 2 – Reptiles and Amphibians. We watched rain coming down on a dwarf gecko, which floats on water because it is so small and light, but the raindrops in comparison are so big that they create giant waves. We then watched a clip about the panther chameleon, which stealthily climbs through the jungle trees hunting insects with its’ long sticky tongue. The students were each given “lizard tongues.” They then found their name tags in the classroom where they used their tongues to hunt for insects. They had a lot of fun shooting out their tongues and catching their prey.For science on Friday we read Because of an Acorn and Be a Friend to Trees, sharing our thoughts and knowledge of trees. We then learned how wood is turned into paper by watching two videos, How do they turn wood into paper? and How is Paper Made? We then got busy making our very own paper. The children took paper pulp, paper scraps, and water, and added it all to a blender. After chopping it into pulp in the blender, they poured their paper into a paper frame mold, placed it on a piece of newsprint, rolled it flat with a rolling pin, and left it to dry. We are anxious to see the finished products next week!