After a cold day inside, we were so excited to get out and enjoy the big, fluffy snow fall. It came all the way up to our knees! We shoveled up mountains, tried sledding down our mini snow pile, then resorted to rolling and tumbling down. We hauled loads of snow, shoveled and plowed it out of the way, and played games of chase and capture. Friday students tromped down the big snow pile at the end of the driveway and went sledding down.
The second planet from the sun, Venus, was introduced. We learned that it is the hottest planet in our solar system. It has a dense atmosphere that traps the heat from the many volcanoes inside, where acid rain pours down and lightning storms shoot bolts around. We made our Venus art project by dropping red, orange, and yellow inks onto a layer of water, swirling them together, then setting our circle on top to collect the inks. They created some beautiful swirly volcanic Venuses.
Susan told us about Venus, the Greek goddess of beauty. Susan told us that she was beautiful on the outside, but not on the inside, where she was vain, cruel, and selfish. We learned that she married Vulcan, the god of fire and volcanoes, and metalworking. He was kind but ugly and he forged all the thrones for the gods.
During sign language we learned the signs for some pets that we might have. We learned dog, made by slapping your leg then snapping your fingers, like you would call a dog, cat, made by using your fingers to pull out from your nose like whiskers, fish, made by wiggling your hand like it is swimming in the water, mouse, which you sign by tapping/rubbing your finger over the side/front of your nose several times, and turtle, which is signed by making a fist with thumb resting on top, and placing the opposite hand over it as a shell.
Katie and A.O. from Believe in Books visited on Wednesday with their adventure suitcase. Inside there were some dinosaurs and dinousaur teeth. We learned about herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, and discussed how and why dinosaur teeth are different. A.O. then read Pete the Cat, Cavecat, before everyone chose a dinosaur book of their very own.
We shared the plants that we cut, pressed, and preserved with Rachel. About half of the students had collected goldenrod, and the other half collected asters. A few students had collected different plants, including a wild cucumber, virginia creeper, and a non-native plant that is invasive and had actually continued to grow and put out shoots even after being collected and pressed.
Zeanny has returned from Costa Rica, so Spanish has resumed. She reviewed colors, numbers, tempo, position, and body parts with some songs, the scarves, egg shakers, and a Dora the Explorer counting story. We had fun moving our egg shakers to different positions and speeds and using our scarves to cover different body parts, such as our cabezas (heads), Piernes (legs), and pies (feet).
During Music with Susan we learned about pitch. She played a high pitched bell, a low pitched bell, and a medium pitched bell. When she played the high pitch, we rose up on our toes and reached up high. When she played the low pitch, we sank down and touched our toes. For the medium pitch we put our hands on our hips. Everyone got a set of claves, which we then played up high, down low, in the middle, to the tempo Susan named, either lento (slow) or presto (fast).
For Friday science we explored a third sense, hearing. We watched a short video about how we hear, read a story about the sense of hearing, examined a model of the ear and the parts that conduct sound, then played a listening game. We listened to different animal noises then guessed which animals make them. At first they were all easy to guess farm animals, but then they got a little more challenging with goat, lion, and monkey. After science and snack, the children requested that we spend some time in the second classroom, so they chose some activities to enjoy in our small, cozy space.