Sledding, sliding, skating, shoveling, and snowballs were the highlights of our snow play. We had a few days of perfect snowball making snow, so we rolled up some snow to build Fuzzy the snowman with fancy stick hair. We pulled friends in sleds, built a snow castle on the picnic table, observed snowflakes that fell on hair and hats, filled the toy bin with snow then emptied it out, skated around on the ice left at the bottom of the bin, discovered squirrel tracks under the bird feeders, pretended to be reindeer pulling Santa in the sleigh, and ingested as much snow as we could, despite constant reminders not to.Monday students were introduced to the artist Wassily Kandinsky, whose well known Squares with Concentric Circles inspired our art for the day. We read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier, then we created our own dot and circle paintings. First we used various cups and containers to print black circles on our papers. Once dry, we added color as we desired.The art activity for the week was creating small candle holders to hold LED tea-lights, which will be used during the Winter Performance. The children used watered down glue to adhere pieces of tissue paper to small glass jars. They create a nice colorful glow when lit up.We celebrated our first sixth birthday of the year. The birthday girl told us she was born in the fall, in the month of November, so we listed the seasons and counted the years as she walked around the sun. After the Happy Birthday serenade, everyone enjoyed some tasty fruit pops. Happy Birthday, Birthday girl!We continue to practice our songs, both in small groups with Susan, and all together, as well as the merengue with Zeanny. We are starting to get the steps down, marching while wiggling our hips, clapping hands with a partner, going under the bridge, hopping and turning, rolling our hands, and making a train. There were plenty of tutus to go around. Thank you to all of you who are sharing!We read some stories about feelings and emotions, Visiting Feelings and My Many Colored Days. We talked about how our bodies feel and the faces we make when we are feeling different emotions. We talked about what we do to help calm and comfort ourselves when sad or angry or frustrated, such as getting a hug, walking away and taking a break, or having some time alone. We then passed out pictures and decided what emotions the child in our pictures were showing. The children placed their pictures according to their interpretations of the child’s facial expressions and body language.We read the stories The Jacket I Wear in the Snow and The Mitten, then introduced the mitten matching work that we place on the shelf in practical life.
Readers were busy reading books all week, both to themselves and others, as well as listening to stories.
Thursday morning we took a walk to the library to hear author Deborah Bruss read her newest story, Good Morning, Snowplow! She told us that the illustrators of her story are from California, where they don’t get snow like New England, so she was wondering if they would be able to accurately depict a wintery night time and the work of a snowplow. She discovered that although they currently live in a warm, sunny climate, they each had once lived where winters were snowy, so they did a beautiful job capturing the serenity and beauty of a snowy night. We really enjoyed her lyrical text and hearing her share her story. She also read her stories Don’t Ask a Dinosaur and Book, Book, Book, which were equally engaging. We were so grateful to meet Deborah, hear her read, and discover some new stories to add to our classroom collection.Our own classroom authors have been busy creating their own stories this week. Many authors and illustrators have been excited about writing books. They brainstorm a topic (or topics), create the characters, setting, and general story line, then illustrate their books. When they have completed one or all of their illustrations, either they or a teacher adds text – sometimes quite detailed, and sometimes one word labels. Some of the stories this week have been about seahorses, cuddles with family, dangerous animals, Little Red Riding Hood, and singing rocks.For Friday science we read The Heart and learned about the most vital organ in our body. We learned that the heart is the size of our fist and is a muscle responsible for pumping blood through our bodies. The red blood cells carry oxygen from the heart and lungs to the tops of our heads and the tips of our toes to keep us healthy. We learned that the white blood cells fight off the germs that make us sick. We used stethoscopes to listen to our heartbeats, then read about exercise and how important it is for keeping our bodies healthy. When we exercise we breath faster, which means our heart pumps faster to move all the new oxygen. We did some crazy dancing then felt and listened to our hearts beating very quickly, as they worked hard to move the oxygenated blood through our bodies.