Ronnie from Weeks Memorial Library invited us to a reading by the author Christy Mahaly, who lives in Vermont, through the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). She was super engaging and the children loved chatting with her and listening to her read her story Hey, Hey, Hay!, all about making hay. Many of us knew parts of the process, but we learned about all the steps and machines used to mow the grass, ted it so it can cry, rake it into windrows, bale the hay, and transport and store it for the animals to eat when winter arrives and the green grass is gone. She handed out picture cards of the steps in the process, and the children placed them on the flannel board when we got to that part of the story. Every time the story mentioned hay, we all shouted, “hey, hey!” and every time we saw a tractor, we made tractor sounds. We sang “Old MacDonald had a Farm” and pulled animals that eat hay out of a bag for the different verses. Finally, Christy read us a poem about an acorn turning into an oak tree that we acted out before she gave each child a paper Hey, Hey, Hay! hat and everyone got to choose two books to keep from CLiF.
For sign language Rose read and signed two fun rhyming books, Will Sheep Sleep? and Will Bear Share? In the first book sheep follows his bedtime routine, including getting some water, brushing his teeth, etc. and for each activity we are asked, “Will _____ help sheep sleep?” Finally counting sheep helps sheep sleep. In the second book bear has a variety of items. Some, such as berries, are for sharing, while others, such as a toothbrush, are not! To wrap up we sang and signed “The Green Grass Grows All Around.” We are starting to get a little better with keeping up with Rose when signing this tricky and fast paced song!
During music Susan introduced 13 different percussion instruments/drums and asked the children to put them in size from largest drum head to smallest. They did well comparing drum head size rather than height and got them all placed in order, with several that were all the same size. Groups of children then had the opportunity to play, following Susan’s instructions to play a particular way, such as quietly and quickly, or slowly and loudly, or quickly and loudly, or slowly and quietly. It was a little tricky to play quickly and quietly with some drums!
Michelle came to do some planting in the bollards now that they are finally filled with soil. She took students in small groups to sprinkle and water a variety of flower seeds that we are anxious to see grow through the summer and fall.
Kindergarteners counted up to 160 on the fence and repainted all the orange lines for tens, and yellow dots for ones. They did some letter work with X, making an X out of flox and making box turtles out of boxes.
For Friday science we went on a leaf hunt and the children were tasked with finding 15 different leaves. While hunting they also found the skeleton of a dead animal (looks like a cat, but we said maybe fox), a toad, lots of flowers, and the library. They did some laps around the bandstand before climbing up and finding a spot to dump and sort their leaves. When asked what characteristics they could sort by, someone suggested smooth and bumpy/serrated edges, so everyone sorted their leaves into piles by those characteristics. Some children then sorted by size as well.
As the end of the year approaches, the natives are becoming increasingly restless and we have been taking advantage of the good weather. We have many plans to introduce frogs, turtles, etc., the lifecycle of a pond, and continue our social/emotional curriculum but attention spans are focused on outdoors and social play, so we follow their cues and shift the plans. Worms are harder to find lately, but toads and slugs have been abundant!