We have been making the best of the cool, cloudy days, spending as much time outside as possible. The children have been actively engaged digging, running, pretending, hopping, pedaling, chasing, driving, investigating, kicking, pulling, balancing, climbing, jumping, and exploring.
Monday students read about the painter Jackson Pollock, who made enormous dribble and splatter paintings in his old barn using house paint. We did Pollockesque painting outside, dripping and splattering paint on large pieces of paper.
The kindergarten students began work on graphing the recycling collected over the past 15 weeks of school. They will present their findings on the last day during the Performance/Kindergarten graduation. We are preparing for our field trip to the transfer station next Wednesday, when we will take all the recyclables to drop off.
The children continued to rehearse and prepare for our performance, singing the songs, painting the trains for the Little Engine That Could, and finalizing the scripts for the two plays.
We celebrated three birthdays this week, a fifth birthday and two fourth birthdays! Each birthday girl brought a special birthday treat to share. The five-year old brought white cupcakes with blue sprinkled frosting, one four-year old brought fruit cups, and the other brought pink frosted cupcakes. All the birthday girls orbited the sun with the globe while we counted out their years. Happy birthday friends!
We read The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes, and recalled the story from last week, Keeping House, about cleaning up. We talked about spring cleaning, and what that entails, such as washing windows we were unable to wash all winter, and opening them up to air out the house. We learned that a long time ago, before vacuums, spring cleaning meant taking out the rugs that had only been swept all winter and beating out the dirt. The children were very excited to get busy cleaning. They removed items from the shelves and wiped them down, stacked up books from the book case and dusted it out, scrubbed the walls, chairs, floors, chalk boards, easel, and cubbies.
The children attached the front of their bird houses with Mr. Bond, working hard to screw in the four screws to hold it on.
We transplanted our bean plants into peat pots to take home. The children added some soil, then we gently placed their seedlings into the pots before patting more soil around them and giving them some water to drink.
We had a special visitor on Thursday. Nancy Gray came to read several stories to us. She began with Corduroy by Don Freeman, then Cat in the Hat, Caps for Sale, The Hat, and Cows in Paris. The children really enjoyed listening to her stories. Thank you, Nancy!
Friday students did some bird nest studies. First we read a couple of stories, Nest and Mama Built a Little Nest, then we watched two videos of birds building nests, first a weaver bird, who weaves stalks of grass together to form a pouch for his mate, then a robin, who collects grasses, mud, etc., pushing it out and smoothing it round with its’ feet. We then examined a robin’s nest with an egg in it that had fallen in Lyn’s barn and the egg got a crack. We observed that it was made with grasses, birch bark, string, small sticks, and mud, which helped to stick it to the wall to keep from falling. We then went out and collected sticks to build our own giant nest. Finally we played a bird call game. The children formed pairs or triads and came up with a bird call for their group. One or two birds were then blindfolded, and the other partner ran to hide on the playground. The bird that was hiding made their bird call, and the blindfolded partner(s) identified their bird call and slowly walked toward the sound until they located their partner. It was a bit tricky, but lots of fun!