Monday artists read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh and White Rabbit’s Color Book, then got messy mixing up finger paints to create purple, orange, and green from red and blue, red and yellow, and yellow and blue.
Students continued to work on self portraits. They used the mirror to see the shape of their face, eye and hair color, and determine the facial features that should be included, then got busy drawing, mixing paint for their skin and hair, and creating beautiful portraits.
We were excited to have most of our class back this week! We were finally able to get to more of our classroom orientation. We played a self regulation game and practiced STOP and GO as we pretended to be animals moving around the room until we heard and saw STOP, then we would halt and transform into a new animal. We then played a safety game where we located and touched a STOP sign in the classroom and discussed why those signs are on the doors and that those doors are only used when a teacher or parent is with us or has given permission to go, except the bathroom doors, where we knock and listen before opening.
We read Horrible Bear and talked about ways we can safely and respectfully manage emotions, such as walking away when frustrated, taking some space when angry, and getting a hug when sad. The Quiet House was introduced, which is a space in the classroom for students to go have alone time and regroup when they feel overwhelmed by emotions or just overstimulated in the classroom. The Quiet House is for one person only at a time and is a choice a student may make for themselves if they feel it is needed. We sang the “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song and added some strategies for different emotions we might be feeling as the actions.
We celebrated a fourth birthday. The birthday boy quickly orbited the sun while holding the globe, then shared popsicles outside as a birthday treat. He chose his favorite color, red, for his popsicle.
We read about some different animals adventuring out and about in Oh, Look! by Patricia Polacco and Sheep Take a Hike by Nancy Shaw. We then took a nature walk and collected some items out in nature, which we brought back to make nature collages.
A Norwegian dwarf rabbit named Mars visited for a little while one afternoon. We talked about how to help him feel safe and how we would keep him safe by sitting in a circle with our knees touching, being calm and quite, allowing him to hop around and taking turns petting it if it came to us, and not picking it up. Some children chose to watch from a distance. Those who participated were very excited but they did well remaining calm and quiet. The bunny will visit again, and the children are already planning for the next visit, drawing bunny pictures to put around the classroom to make him feel welcome.
Kindergarten students have been working on letter handwriting, beginning sight words, some addition work, and creating stories about their families – as short as one page or a whole book that they can work on over time – while they sound out their words and record the corresponding letter sounds. At this stage we will give some spelling of basic words they may use often, such as love, but for now we encourage them to write phonetically, not correcting inaccurate spellings as they gain confidence in their sounding out and identifying individual sounds in words. The beginning stages of writing are focused on their phonemic awareness. Spelling will come later or be reserved for common words they will use often, such as the, and, of, and to.
Friday students did a backwards day, starting outside then heading in when it rained, and holding our morning meeting science group at the end of the morning before lunch! We picked the pumpkins from the gardens in front of the fence and did some pumpkin carving. The children loved using the little pumpkin saws to saw back and forth through the pumpkin flesh. They scooped out the seeds and pulp and put it in a pot. They created faces on most of them and random designs on others.
During science we talked about living things being either plants or animals then sorted small objects according to whether it was a plant or an animal. We discussed the parts of a plant and what each part does, such as leaves breath and make food, the trunk or stem carries the water up to the leaves, and the roots absorb the water from the ground and hold it in the soil, which lead to a discussion of how plants make food and where our food comes from – plants and other animals!! To wrap up, we read the book Where Does Food Come From? by Shelly Rotner and Gary Goss.