Our exploration of habitats continued. For art Monday students created habitats in shoeboxes using natural items such as dirt, moss, sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. Students got very creative with their materials and ideas. They each chose one animal to create a habitat for. There were snake, bird, wild cat, bull, bunny, and many other animal habitats. Throughout the week students continued to make habitats in buckets and around the yard using items they collected. They temporarily adopted some worms as class pets and created bucket habitats before releasing them back into the wild.
We continued singing our Halloween themed songs, and the children helped by holding the ghost of John by his various bones, including his philanges, femurs, pelvis, ribs, and skull. They also enjoyed being the pumpkins sitting on a fence and chanting out their portions of the song.
We introduced living and non living. We learned that living things grow and have needs. They need air, water, nutrients or food, and sunlight to live. Plants and animals are living things. Non living things do not have needs, nor do they grow. The children sorted objects by whether they represented living or non living things.
We celebrated a fifth birthday. The birthday boy held the globe and orbited the big cardboard sun while we counted the five times the earth has gone around the sun since he was born. He donated a “make a choice” story about a boy named Danny who has the power to choose how he will respond to various situations and a fun red cape that Danny wears in the story. The children voted each time Danny had to make a choice. They mostly chose to do the less kind/safe options and read about the negative consequences when Danny made the negative choices. We also had fun looking at the birthday boy’s poster with photos of him and his family. Happy birthday newest five year old!
During sign language with Rose we reviewed the letters and signs we now know. We sang the alphabet song several times through, grouping the letters together and trying to sign them a bit more quickly. As a finale, Rose and her granddaughter sang and signed “God Bless America” then we pointed out signs from the song that were new to us and practiced signing them.
Henrietta and Wolfgang came to share another story, called Charlotte and the Quiet Place about a little girl who just wants a quiet peaceful place to sit, and finally finds it in the park in a grove of trees. She sits and breathes for a long time until she discovers that she has a peaceful quiet place within herself that she can visit any time she is in need. Henrietta and Wolfgang talked to us a bit about introverts, like Wolfgang, who recharge by spending time alone, and extroverts, like Henrietta, who recharge while spending time with others.
During Spanish Zeanny introduced la caja magica (the magic box), which held a libre (book) and some colored huevos (eggs). We reviewed the body parts and colors with some songs and activities. She read Oso En UN Cuadrado (Bear in the Square) and children took turns pointing to and counting the different shapes. We made some music shaking the colored huevos lento (slowly) and rapido (quickly) before racing off to find an item of the same color as our huevo, then we counted the colored items that were collected.
We read and acted out the story of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. As she walked through the woods, she encountered a pair of shoes that go clomp, clomp, some pants that go wiggle, wiggle, a shirt that goes shake, shake, a pair of gloves that clap, clap and a hat that goes nod, nod, and finally a big scary pumpkin head that says, “Boo! Boo!” She runs all the way home and they follow her. When she tells them she is not afraid of them, she gives them an idea of how they can be helpful, and the next morning they are scaring all the crows from her garden.
Kindergarten students had a very productive week. They continued to work on their counting and grouping numbers, and began to incorporate some literacy and writing activities. They each started a letter book, where they are practicing sounding out words, identifying beginning sounds and finding items with beginning letter sounds, and practicing the proper written formation of letters. They were so busy and engaged working in small groups in the classroom each morning.
For Friday science we continued our study of land, air, and water (solid, gas, and liquid). First we sorted animals and vehicles by where they live/travel – air, land, or water. We then delved further into air/gas/wind. We wondered whether air takes up space. We saw an empty glove and agreed that there was nothing in it, so Lyn put her solid hand in the glove. We then tried to fill it with air by waving it around and trying to catch come air in it. It didn’t work! Finally Lyn blew into it and puffed it full of air. She then blew up an orange balloon until the children told her to stop, but they never said stop, and finally Lyn couldn’t blow it up anymore and if flew off and away, the air flowing out and pushing it around. Finally we did one more test to see if air takes up space. We pushed an “empty” jar, open mouth down, into a second jar with water in it. The air in the jar pushed the water down until it could no longer fit in the container and overflowed over the side. We read about wind, which is created when the sun warms air, causing it to rise. Cold air then rushes in to fill it’s place, creating a movement of air call wind. Wind can be big or small, and we briefly discussed tornados and hurricanes and practiced a quick drop, cover, hold drill. Afterwards, several children chose to decorate and fold paper airplanes to fly around in the air.