The snow continued to melt away aided by the sun, rain, and warm winds. It made for lots of great water play! We dug trenches, scooped up ice, snow, and water, mixed up soups and cakes for birthday celebrations, and shoveled it into buckets. When it cooled and froze, we slid and shuffled around the ice, trying our best to stay upright.
Monday students read about Henri Matisse, a famous painter who later in life began to work with scissors, cutting large shapes and arranging them with the help of assistants. The children selected papers then cut and pasted shapes into designs and patterns.
Asteroids, meteoroids, meteors, meteorites, and comets were introduced. We read the story No, Astro! about an asteroid who likes lots of personal space and everything to be just right. Astro gets bumped into, which sends him off course, shooting through space and falling through Earth’s atmosphere, turning into a meteor, then landing on Earth and becoming a meteorite. He decides that the unexpected may not be so terrible after all. We watched a video showing pictures and explaining the differences between asteroids (large space rocks that orbit the sun), meteoroids (small space rocks and space junk), meteors (meteoroids that pass through Earth’s atmosphere), meteorites (meteors that do not get burned up and land on earth), and comets (icy space rocks that orbit the sun).
For an activity/project the children made their own “asteroid belts” by lacing asteroids (beads & buttons) onto a strip of holey plastic ribbon. It took some eye hand coordination, fine motor skills, planning, problem solving, and perseverance to complete their belts.
The fitness center was busy with exercising astronauts. Mr. Poland created a stand for a pedal bike that turned it into a stationary bike, and everyone was anxious for their turn. It was hard to wait, but they carefully kept track, eventually making a list to make sure everyone who wanted to go had an opportunity.
During sign language with Rose we reviewed all the signs we know, then she introduced signs related to spring. First we practiced the sign for spring, then learned grass, flower, rain, and warm.
We revisited how to keep from spreading germs and how to wash hands properly. The children shared and practiced all the handwashing steps and all the times that we should wash hands, including when we come in from outside, after using the bathroom, before eating, after blowing noses, after fingers are in mouths, etc. We began a germ growing science experiment. We took samples and swabbed them onto agar in pitri dishes. We swabbed inside a mouth, inside a healthy nose and a sick nose, the bathroom door handle, the sink handle, someone’s toes, a finger, a block, and the bike handles. We will check on them next week and see what might be growing! Susan made up a fun new song about washing our hands at school, and the children added verses by naming all the times we should wash hands.
We took out the parachute and played some fun parachute games! We bounced the elephant around until he fell off, then everyone got a number sticker between 1-10. The children looked around the circle to see who had their matching number, then when their number was called, they raced under the parachute and changed places. We played a treasure box under the sea game, where a child’s name was called and was given a description of an item, such as, “it cries when hungry,” “it emerges from a chrysalis,” or “you use this to stay dry when it rains,” then they ran under the parachute, opened the treasure box, and took out the corresponding item. Finally we played their favorite game, alligator, alligator, where they swim under the parachute and eat someone by pulling on a foot. That person then becomes the alligator and eats someone else.
During music with Susan the children shared what they know about the god Mars and the goddess Venus, then we danced and moved to “Shake Your Sillies Out” but changed the words to “Move like Mars” and “Dance like Venus.” We then listened to two more compositions by Gustov Holst and guessed which planets they were written for. The children instantly identified the booming drums and clashing cymbals as Mars, and the beautiful woodwinds and strings as Venus. We moved around the room like Mars, the god of war, by stomping and pounding and kicking and punching (safely). Next week will move with ribbons to the Venus composition.
Friday students learned about the muscular system. We felt some of our bigger muscles in our arms, legs, and the gluteous maximus. We looked at our tongue, which is a muscle. We used our muscles to close and open our eyes, pretend to chew, move around, do sit-ups, do push-ups, and hold a plank. We talked about how the heart is covered in muscles that pump our blood through our bodies and we even use muscles to breath. We discussed how exercising and eating proteins, such as meat, nuts, and beans help build up our muscles and make them stronger. We spent our indoor recess time on the mats, dancing, jumping, leaping, running, and doing many tricky moves using our muscles.