The early morning chills were chased away by the warm, bright sun so we could enjoy our outside time with friends. A new climbing wall, financed, designed, built, and installed by the Schulte family, was waiting for us when we arrived at school this week. We received a demonstration of how to climb up and over and discussed ways to be safe and respectful while climbing. It was really hard to patiently wait for a turn at first, but the dedicated climbers stuck it out and made great use of the wall every day. We are so very grateful to the Schultes! We played some chasing and running games, including “Are You Sleeping Mr. Bear?” and had races across the playground. Big Monday rains made lots of water for puddle fun and the mud kitchen. Bikes, trucks, and wagons negotiated the many obstacles in their way.
Monday students were introduced to the artist Paul Klee, who used lots of shapes in his artwork. We identified the shapes in each of the pieces of art we examined, then used Castle and Sun as an example to create our own shape art.
We had such a busy week! Zeanny joined us Tuesday morning to read and talk about GERMS. We learned that germs are everywhere, and many germs are bad and make you sick. We talked about ways to keep germs from making us sick, such as keeping fingers out of mouths to avoid getting and sharing germs, keeping toys out of mouths, and catching coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow. Most importantly we talked about washing hands thoroughly with warm soap and water for 20 seconds after using the bathroom, blowing noses, and before eating. Each child got some glow germ lotion to rub all over their hands then we used a blacklight to see them. Everyone took turns washing hands to remove the germs, following the routine of getting hands wet, taking one pump of soap, scrubbing out of the water to make lots of bubbles for the count of 20 or the ABC song, then rinsing, drying, and turning off water with our knuckles.
We wrapped up our study of the earth and are moving on to the moon. Susan played some fun rotating, revolving, and orbiting games with us. Children took turns being the sun and the earth. As the earth child revolves around the sun, it rotates on its axis. As it turns to face the sun, it becomes day, and when facing away, it is night. As Susan spun the earth child around, the children would call out day or night when the earth stopped, either facing toward or away from the sun. Children then took turns being the earth and moon, with the moon revolving around the earth, but NOT rotating. The moon remained facing the earth and moved sideways around.
Rose helped us remember and practice the ten signs we learned over the past two weeks, then taught us five new signs. We learned family, mother, father, sister, and brother (click on each word for a video demonstration of the sign). Rose told us that all the female signs are in the chin area, while the male signs are formed around the forehead. After practicing each sign, everyone had an opportunity to choose a sign to show the group.
We learned about fire safety and firefighters. We read a story about what firefighters do, then shared what we know about firefighters. We watched a short video of firefighter Beth answering questions and firefighter Pete in his fire fighting gear, then looked at some pictures and talked about a firefighter’s job and how they keep us safe if there is a fire. We learned that we always go to a firefighter if we are in a fire. We talked about different types of fires and how there are many good fires, such as campfires, fires in the fireplace to keep us warm, and fire in the stove to cook with. We watched a video about smoke detectors and how to be safe if there is smoke by crawling under the smoke, but keeping our face off the floor away from dangerous chemicals. We practiced getting LOW when the smoke detector goes off and we see smoke by playing a game where we walked around until we heard the “alarm” then crouched down. We practiced Get Low and Go by crawling under a large stick with paper “smoke.” We then watched one more video about what to do if fire gets on our clothes. We learned and practiced how to STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Finally, we did a brief picture game, putting stars on pictures of things that are okay to play with, such as toys, and the not safe symbol on things that are only for adult use, such as candles, matches, stoves, grills, and lighters.
We read the story Too Many Pumpkins, then Henrietta and Wolfgang chatted with us about how we all like, think, and feel different things, just like how Rebecca Estelle in the story hated pumpkins, but her neighbors all liked them. The children took turns asking Wolfgang and Henrietta questions about their favorites, and we learned that even though they are best friends, they have different preferences.
For Thursday Spanish Zeanny continued teaching numbers and colors. She brought colored egg shakers, and each child said the color name they wanted in Spanish, then we took turns shaking different ways by color. She read two books; Azul el sombrero, verde el sombrero (Blue Hat, Green Hat) and Contado con Frida (Counting with Frida).
We made some cards for Mr. Schulte and Mr. Schulte to thank them for the new mud kitchen and climbing wall. The children drew some nice pictures and wrote thank you messages. We really are so very, very grateful to them!
We headed to the library for a visit from a real life Lancaster fire department firefighter, Zina Schmidt. Ronnie read us a story about a fire station, then Zina showed us how she stays safe in a fire by putting on her fire gear; first boots and jump pants, then jacket, mask, head protection, hat, and gloves. She talked to us about fire safety and being sure that if we are ever in a fire to go to the fire fighter rather than hiding or running away. She also asked that we get out of a burning house and stay out – never go back in for toys or special items. After learning about fire safety, we headed out to see the firetruck. Zina gave each child a special fire safety coloring book. Thank you, Zina!
Friday students continued to learn about water. We looked at some solid water (ice), liquid water, and saw a video of boiling water with rising steam to see water as a gas. We pretended to be water molecules that were moving around gradually and staying in a relatively close space. We then crowded all together and stayed as close and still as possible to form solid ice, then we gradually began to move and spread, getting faster and faster until we were evaporating water. We read about the water cycle and did an experiment with condensation, precipitation, and evaporation. We placed some very hot water into a glass, then placed a bowl with ice over the top. We observed how water evaporated up to the bottom of the bowl, then precipitated down when the droplets combined and became too heavy to stay up.