Stacey Zemla, a parent and art teacher at WMRHS, introduced an ornament art project to Monday students. She gave each child an ornament outline for them to draw on with black pastel. The plan was for their artwork to be turned into a wooden ornament cut by a saw that reads the pixels, cutting away any white space that remained. The children enjoyed making their ornaments, but we discovered their art was a bit more involved than the machine could read, so we are switching gears and doing a top secret gift project instead.
We celebrated a fifth birthday on Monday with our newest five year old. She quickly orbited the big red sun with the globe while we listed seasons and counted years, then smiled through the serenade of Happy Birthday. She donated a beautiful book, Over and Under the Snow, which we read together, finding all the hidden animals in the forest. Happy fifth birthday, collector of tiny things and observer of all things small and wondrous!
We introduced the format of the Woodland Stone Soup performance and began by practicing and recording the first four songs. They are all very familiar songs, and the children very enthusiastically and cooperatively lined up and sang them while being recorded. We were grateful for the unseasonably warm day that allowed us to take the time to practice and record.
The children began working on their costumes, which so far consist of animal ear headbands. They drew, cut, and attached the ears, using photographs of the animals they are being to determine shape, color, and size.
There have been some exceptional feats of engineering this week in the outdoor block and rock area!
During sign language with Rose, we read her fingers as she spelled out the names of the children and we identified whose name she was spelling. Some of the students have become quite adept at identifying many of the letters and using them to determine who Rose is addressing. We also practiced name signs, the alphabet, numbers through 11, and we rehearsed signing The More We Get Together, which we are working on for our winter performance.
We read The Color Monster, a story about a monster whose emotions are all mixed up, so a little girl helps him sort and identify each one. We used our faces and bodies to demonstrate how our bodies show our emotions and talked about different strategies we can use to manage our strong emotions, such as walking away, taking deep breaths, getting a hug, taking a break, etc. We used our strategies in the song If You’re Happy and You Know It to help practice and remember them.
We said our Good-byes to Tammy on Thursday, and the children gave her cards that they made. They shared memories of Tammy and what they liked doing with her. Some of their memories were playing outside with her, their late afternoons together, and doing the bead chains. Some alumni students who are now 13 and 11 sent some recollections to share as well. After 11 years, it is hard to say good-bye. We wish her all the best as she moves on!
Kindergarten students continued work on their letter books, counting by 5’s and 10’s as they celebrated the 60th day of school.
Friday students sang some winter songs and discussed some holidays that are celebrated in December. We began exploring earth, soil, and rocks. We discussed how soil is made by dead plants and animals and what happens when it builds up in layers, pressing down and compacting the detritus beneath into layers of rock. We examined and sorted some beautiful rocks, admiring their colors, shapes, and textures.