We had so much energy that we were anxious to get out and run around every day that the rain did not keep us in. There were lots of good guys chasing bad guys, climbing, kicking, throwing, and catching balls, riding roller coasters and eating pizza at Santa’s Village, digging, jumping, cooking, riding bikes, bouncing on the big balls, building castles, hauling loot, camping, worm hunting, and playing make believe. We brought the pumpkins outside to clean out the seeds and pulp and put it in the garden, then brought them back in to carve.
Monday students finished their Wassily Kandinsky circle art by filling in all their black circles with bright colors, creating lovely works of art for display.
Zeanny visited on Tuesday to tell us about Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, a holiday celebrated in Mexico and several other Latin American countries. During Dia de los Muertos families honor and remember their loved ones who have passed by cooking their favorite foods, visiting their graves, displaying their photographs, decorating with colorful flowers and cut paper, dressing up as skeletons, lighting candles, and having a big party. We watched a short clip about Dia de los muertos from the movie Coco, then Zeanny showed us how to fold tissue paper flowers and cut papel picado. We then made our own, which we hung to display on the back wall.
We read the book Gravity by Jason Chin, which explained to us what gravity is. We then watched some astronauts walking, leaping, and falling on the moon, where there is much less gravity than Earth, making it more challenging to walk.
We removed the kitchen from dramatic play and began to set up the moon, the space ship to get to the moon, and the NASA mission command center. The children had a glorious time being astronauts, both piloting the space ship and bouncing around on the moon. Next week will work on space suits, mission command, and adding details to space.
There was a lot of interest in letter work this week! These kids were busy practicing letter names, sounds, identification, formation and writing.
During sign language with Rose we reviewed all the signs we have learned so far, and a few children knew all or almost all of them! She introduced more family signs this week. We learned grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousin. She asked us if we were having a family party, who would be there? We each signed one or two signs to tell everyone who would come.
Henrietta the hen told us a sad story about how she had built a big huge tower, but Wolfgang knocked it down. Henrietta thought that Wolfgang was being mean, but Wolfgang explained to us that it was an accident and his tail had knocked it down when he walked by. We discussed how we feel when something like that happens, and how we need to use our words to communicate so we can be sure that we each understand what the other was thinking and feeling and what their intentions were. Henrietta was sad and mad and remained that way without talking to Wolfgang. The children suggested she could tell Wolfgang that she was sad and mad because he knocked her tower down. He explained that it was an accident and apologized. She was still sad and mad, but realized that Wolfgang was not being mean when he knocked down her tower.
The Halloween party was full of princesses, pirates, unicorns, mermaids, fairies, superheros, a peacock, a kitty cat, Carrie from Little House on the Prairie, a Doctor and a power ranger. They had a wonderfully busy morning walking on sticky paper in bare feet, popping bubble wrap, mixing potions, carving pumpkins, decorating moon phase cookies, and making bats and jack-o-lanterns. Thank you for all the tasty snacks and treats! Everyone chose one sugary treat and three healthy treats, then those with hungry bellies went back for more healthy treats.
Last week a student found a wasp nest, which he brought to share with the class, so Friday students did some research into insects. First each child selected and examined a large insect replica. We counted legs, body parts, and observed other features. All of the children counted six legs and three body parts, which we learned are the head, thorax, and abdomen. We read about insects and learned that they all have an exoskeleton, unlike our endoskeleton, and antennae, which they use to smell, feel, and taste.
We also talked about insect metamorphosis and looked at some photos of grubs, which are beetle larva, and watched a short video of a ladybug opening it’s wing casings and unfurling its wings to fly. We then checked out the 3 wasp nests that we have and made some observations about them. We noticed that they feel like paper, they each have a small opening toward the bottom which they determined was the front door, and inside there were layers of paper cells. We discussed how the cells are like beds for all the babies, and wondered how the wasps build their nests. We watched a couple of short videos to see how it is done. One was a h The second was a close up of a wasp building a nest by chewing up wood, mixing it with saliva, then spitting it out to build the cells and nest, and chewing up a caterpillar and spitting it out to feed the larva.