The students dropped ink onto water then swirled it before placing sheets of paper on top to absorb the ink, creating marbled paper, a Japanese process called suminagashi.
During sign language Rose pointed to alphabet signs to spell out names, and the children “read” the letters as she pointed to them to figure out whose name was being spelled. She introduced some water signs, including ocean, sea, pond, lake, and river and we reviewed the ocean creature signs and learned crab, which is similar to lobster but just with two fingers pinching rather than all the fingers. She signed the song “Once I Caught a Fish Alive,” which we have been singing a lot lately. To finish up she read the Gerald and Piggy story Are You Ready to Play Outside?
We did some dancing to Octopus’ Garden and Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, which we were informed is the favorite band of several students. They had lots of fun dancing beneath the waves with their friends. We revisited our discussion of reflecting on our experiences with a game of race to your favorite place. The children all moved to their favorite areas of the classroom and shared what they liked about that area.
We have been reading St. Patrick’s day stories and the children were getting excited for a potential leprechaun visit. In keeping with the St. Patrick’s day theme Makenna introduced green fun foam made with shaving cream, cream of tartar, and green food coloring, which was a fabulous sensory experience.
Wednesday afternoon children used their brainpower to design and set leprechaun traps in hopes that a leprechaun would visit the classroom to steal the gold they set as bait and get stuck in a trap and then would lead them to his pot of gold.
St. Patrick’s Day morning was a most exciting experience, as a leprechaun did indeed visit the classroom. The children found gold dust and little green leprechaun footprints through the classroom leading to all the traps. The children excitedly checked their traps, but alas he was not in any of them. They followed the footprints all around the room, over and under the traps, and out the double doors at the back end of the room where it was decided he exited. After searching and searching we found that he had dropped his bag of gold, which the children dumped out, sorted, counted, and distributed evenly.
Makenna gave a brief history of the origin of St. Patrick’s Day in honor of St. Patrick who drove the snakes out of Ireland. She introduced Irish music, which was quick and lively and featured violins/fiddles, guitars, and drums. She showed some videos of an Irish music group playing music, then some others with some Irish bagpipe players. We learned about the parts of the bagpipe and how it is played. She then showed some Irish step dancing and gave us a quick lesson for how to keep our hands still at our sides or behind our backs and jumping/dancing by just moving our feet. Everyone was pretty worn out after dancing through two songs! She then introduced a craft activity of leprechaun lookers that the children could make and use to look for leprechauns. Finally, she shared some tasty Irish soda bread she made, topped with butter or blackberry jam.
We celebrated a sixth birthday. The birthday boy was born in the last days of winter in the month of March. He invited a friend to race around the earth with him before sharing tasty banana bread with everyone for snack.
Kindergarten students chose their own work, continued working on their newspaper article information and interview questions, designed and built Leprechaun traps, did some reading, and when they sat down to work on Thursday found a letter from Leprechaun Sean balled up on the table. In his letter he asked them to take good care of his gold and tell him how they had found it, so they each wrote their own letters with their own versions of how the gold was found.
The temperatures continued to increase through the week, from perfect snowman snow to melting snow and ice on our playground, creating fabulous slushy puddles, great alligator swamps, slushy slush for all kinds of play, and MUD! The children used hammers to break down some decomposing stumps and use the pieces to create some interesting concoctions.