We had so much fun sledding on our mini hill. It was hard to wait for turns, remember to walk up the backside of the hill, and stay out of the way of sledders, but we are making progress. We had a couple of inside days due to low temperatures, so we made the best of it with some inside activities.Indoor recess fun:Monday students did some paper mache work. They were given the option to do a paper mache bowl or balloon – of course everyone chose to do a balloon, because – BALLOONS!! We had to play with them a bit before covering them with the strips of paper dipped in the flour and water paste. Unfortunately, due to the messiness of our hands, no photo documentation was acquired.
We read stories and sang songs about trees. We read I Am A Tree, A Tree is Nice, Be a Friend to Trees and From Tree to Paper. Susan taught us several tree songs, including Yippee, Hooray, I am a Sprout, This Bark on Me, and Branching Out. We read about and discussed the many ways that we depend on trees. They breath out oxygen and in Carbon Dioxide, the opposite of us, and they clean the air. They provide food, shade, and shelter. They provide homes for many animals. They provide wood for houses, paper, boxes, magazines, books, paper towels, toilet paper, tables, chairs, floors, etc.Students sorted the recycling, then we counted and charted our recycling as a group. We had 6 fewer items the second week than the first week (the second week was also much shorter due to MLK day and snow days). We also weighed our trash from the past two weeks. In two weeks we accumulated 3.6 lbs of trash – less than 1/2 bag. We also weighed our paper towels. The first week we used 2.58 lbs of paper towels, and the second we used 1.7 lb. We began to talk about reducing our waste this week, specifically about making sure we took only 1 or 2 paper towels to dry our hands to help reduce waste and save trees.Mr. Bond guided us in sanding the bottom and sides of our tool boxes.We revisited the story Jabari Jumps, about the first time Jabari dives off the diving board, and some strategies he uses to take on that challenge. He takes deep breaths to help calm and focus his brain, and he uses a mantra to tell himself he can do it. We read Katy and the Big Snow, about a snow plow who works through a big snow storm, plowing out the whole city of Geopolis, even when she gets tired. We discussed how fun challenges can be, and the children shared some experiences they have had or their family members have had when they took on a challenge and worked through it.Katie from Believe in Books brought Pooh and A.O. for a visit. A.O. read about the time Pooh took a balloon and rolled in the mud, then floated up and pretended to be a rain cloud so he could get the honey from the tree, but those bees were not fooled by Pooh’s disguise. Everyone got to wave to or hug Pooh before picking their very own book to take home.Friday students explored their fourth sense, touch, this week. We discussed the features of an item that we can determine based on touch, such as temperature, size, shape, texture, softness/hardness, and wetness or dryness. We identified color, scent, and the noise it makes as things we could not identify based on touch. Everyone had a chance to reach into the feely bag and select an item to identify using our sense of touch.We talked a bit about groundhog day, then some of the children made groundhogs who pop up to spot their shadows then scurry back to their burrows to sleep until spring.