With the approach of winter the sun has been setting earlier and earlier and rising later, bringing longer nights and shorter days. After care students have been enjoying some gorgeous sunsets on the playground. We talked about this seasonal change and read some stories about the dark on Monday, including Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett and The Dark by Lemony Snicket, both about children who are afraid of the dark and what might be in it. Dark paper and pastels were introduced and the students created some beautiful nighttime artwork, featuring a variety of creatures and nighttime adventures.
We continued to read versions of Stone Soup and discuss the characters, plot, setting, conflict, and resolution as we wrote our own version of the story. As we have been studying trees and our world around us, we decided to write a Woodland Stone Soup story featuring three hungry raccoons and the many animals of the forest. The kindergarten group and a few interested preschoolers brainstormed and dictated a wonderfully colorful story. They decided immediately that they did not want the animals to be selfish at first, as the villagers in the Stone Soup stories we read are, but to generously share what they have right away, using the ingredients to make soup and a cake for everyone to share. Next week the children will illustrate the story.
Wolfgang and Henrietta visited to talk about fair and equal. We discussed how equal means we get the same thing, but because we don’t all need or want the same thing, that is not the same as fair, which is when everyone gets what they need. We reread Henrietta’s story Friends by Helme Heine about three friends, Fat Percy the pig, Johnny Mouse, and Charlie Rooster, who do everything together, including sailing a boat, where they each do different jobs suited to them. They stop for a snack of cherries, getting different amounts according to how much they eat, and giving all the cherry stones to Charlie Rooster, who is the only one who eats and enjoys them. We demonstrated equal when Wolfgang gave large adult T-shirts to Lyn and a student to wear. It fit Lyn well, but was much too big for the student, so Wolfgang gave child size t-shirts to them, and it fit the student well but was much too small for Lyn. So it was equal, but not fair. When the student received the child size t-shirt, and Lyn received the adult size t-shirt, that was fair.
During Spanish with Zeanny we did some singing with the triste (sad), feliz (happy), enojado (angry), and preocupado (preocupied) faces and dancing with cabeza, hombros, piernes, pies, (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) and the Cha, Cha, Cha body music song. She introduced Simon dice (Simon says) and tried to trick the children in their movements. Zeanny read El Loro Tico Tango about a loro (parrot) who steals colorful fruits from all the other animals of the rainforest, but in the end drops them all. We then chose colorful egg shakers to shake rapido, lento, abajo, and arriba.
Friday students continued their study of water. We began an evaporation experiment by filling two jars with blue water. One we capped and the other we left open so we can compare any level changes in the water. We sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Row Your Pirate Ship then read Mr. Gumpy’s Outing about a man and some children and animals who go out in a boat on the pond, and eventually tip over when they all begin to move and squabble. Everyone was then given a piece of clay and tub of water and tasked with making the piece of clay float. At first, the children tried lots of different shapes of clay trying to make it float. Eventually we discussed and brought out a small metal bowl, which was the only metal object that floated in our float/sink supplies, and observed how it was shaped. The children observed and considered how it was shaped and tried out some curved shapes. They continued to sink, so we observed the thinness of the bowl. Many children were then successful making their clay float by shaping it into thin, curved boats.