Our third week once again brought lots of beautiful weather. We did lots of running, jumping, throwing, kicking, pushing, digging, investigating, problem solving, raking, collecting, and discussing. The balls were kicked, thrown, and passed. The tunnel made a great launching pad for the daredevils who were challenging themselves to jump across the sand box (which we revised to avoid jumping on the sandbox edges). The engineers were busy getting things stuck in the tree so they could figure out how to get them out. The inventors were creating obstacle courses and leaf piles for navigating and jumping in. The construction crews were digging out sand, setting logs, and building castles and jails. The drivers were motoring bikes, cars, sleds, and hopping balls around the yard. The scientists were collecting and examining all of the creepy crawlies they could find. The monkeys were climbing trees, or at least attempting to do so. It was an energetic week outside!Monday students had fun reading To Be an Artist and Harve Tullet’s Mix It Up. They then got busy with finger paints, selecting two primary colors at a time – red, yellow, blue – then mixing them together to create a secondary color – orange, green, purple – or all three to make brown. At the end of the morning we used our color mixing knowledge to predict what would happen in the stories White Rabbit’s Color Book and Mouse Paint.
On Tuesday we introduced butterfly or color prints, made by dropping dollops or smears of color on paper then folding it in half so it prints on the opposite side, creating mirrored prints.We read Fire Drill and discussed how to safely conduct a fire drill by remembering to walk, immediately lining up, being silent, and responding with “Here I am” when called by name. We then practiced our first fire drill of the year. For new students it was difficult to understand why we wore our slippers outside, but we explained that a fire drill is an emergency and we need to get out of the building as safely and quickly as we can, not taking time to change shoes or even put on jackets.A demonstration of how to take out a mat, unroll it, walk around it, and roll it up was given. We continue to work on walking around the mats rather than directly over them.Our first birthday of the year was celebrated on Tuesday. The birthday girl (whose birthday was in August) brought some tasty cinnamon rolls to share. She clearly explained the birthday routine to all the new students and demonstrated walking the globe around the candle sun while we listed the seasons and counted the years since her birth. Happy (belated) birthday to our newest 5-year-old!On Wednesday we were looking forward to woodworking. First, we practiced making silence and listening to the tone of the singing bowl, keeping our eyes closed until we could no longer hear it ringing. Everyone then had an opportunity to tap the bowl before heading off to work.
Mr. Bond brought a great project for us to learn the new skill of sanding, and to practice and improve our skill with a screwdriver. Each child was given a wooden block with his/her name on it. They then sanded it smooth before attaching it to the other blocks with screws. When using the screwdriver boards there is no resistance, so they were just becoming familiar with the twisting motion. With the project the children needed to push and turn to make the screws go in – a rather challenging task for small hands and arms. When it was completed it was a wonderful piece of art for our classroom. Thank you, Mr. Bond!
During group we read the book, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, then acted it out in two groups. In the story, two children and 8 animals request a ride in Mr. Gumpy’s boat with him. He agrees, giving each an instruction to follow to prevent the boat from tipping. All the animals did well at first, but then started to do all the things Mr. Gumpy had said not to do and tipped the boat right over, soaking all the passengers, who then went across the field and home with Mr. Gumpy for tea.Thursday morning was our first Spanish session with Zeanny. She started with “Me llamo” (My name is), then “Mi Cuerpo” (a body song). She introduced La Caja Magica (the magic box) and pulled out some items from inside after we said the magic words and blew on it to make it open. Zeanny showed us where the Spanish speaking countries of North and South America are, including her home country of Costa Rica. She pulled from la caja magica a long piece of fabric that is the colors of the Costa Rican flag and the US flag – rojo, blanco, et azul, which we hung on the wall. She also introduced us to the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with the counting story, Contando Con Frida.During music with Susan we again sang the song “Love Grows,” shaking hands for the second verse. Susan created clapping rhythms, and we listened very closed to identify the pattern and follow along. When she changed the rhythm, we had to listen closely to see how it had changed. After clapping rhythms, Susan brought out the rhythm instruments again – maracas, frog and alligator guiro rasps, sticks, and bells – to create and follow more rhythms. We learned to rest (stop), play (shake/tap once), and hold (keep shaking/tapping). It was amazing to see everyone follow and repeat the rhythms so accurately!Friday students read Each Peach Pear Plum and used our scientific observation skills to find the hidden characters in the pictures. We then continued to read What is a Scientist? and learn what a scientist does. We learned that scientists measure, count accurately, and compare and sort. We then practiced these science skills by measuring each other back to back and determining who was shorter and who was taller, then lining up from tallest to shortest. The children decided they wanted to do a second science activity, so we removed our slippers and they sorted them. One group sorted by the material the slippers were made from – fluffy fabric, wool felt, leather, or foam rubber. The second group sorted by stinky and not stinky – smelling each slipper to determine which pile it belonged in. There were only 2 non-stinky slippers and 8 stinky ones!