This week was buzzing with excitement for the upcoming Christmas vacation and pajama day.
We got the opportunity to display some of the students artwork at Dr. Shippee’s office in Lancaster. The students worked on their starry night paintings using crayons to draw out the stars, then used liquid watercolor paints to paint their background. They finished off the paintings by sprinkling some coarse salt over the top to make a snowflake-like reaction.
Eileen read the students a book about the winter solstice, also known as the longest night of the year. After she read the book, she illustrated how this happens by rotating a globe around a candle to represent the sun.
Pajama day was so much fun! All the students and teachers showed up in their most comfortable pajamas to have a day filled with hot chocolate and yummy treats. The students were surprised to come in and see some table forts set up around the classroom where the students could climb in. We had so much fun doing music in the morning, followed by watching a movie on the projector like we had a real movie theater set up in our classroom.
We also had a birthday celebration on pajama day where we celebrated one of our students turning 6! She took her 6 trips around the sun very excitedly, prancing the whole way around. She was also so kind to bring in home made muffins that all the children got to enjoy.
The students also had some snow that they could finally play with, which they took full advantage of.
Though this week was full of more rain than snow, the students worked on art and read books to get them in the winter spirit. We worked on folding and cutting out pieces of coffee filters, so that when we opened it up, it looked like a beautiful snowflake. Much like real snowflakes, every one was beautifully unique. On Friday, the students also worked on making snowflakes out of popsicle sticks. Gluing them together to make different shapes like triangles, squares, and octagons, then decorating them.
On Tuesday we had sign language with Rose. She introduced us to the ASL name game where she would sign a letter and if your name started with that letter, then you had to stand up. The students had fun with signing their name and getting familiar with what the letters in their name look like.
On Wednesday, we had 2 birthday celebrations. One of our students turned 4, and another turned 5. We celebrated with inviting the students moms to come and show photos as well as talk about their milestones. The families were also so kind to make some chocolate chip muffins and vanilla cupcakes with red and orange frosting to share. The students especially loved the colorful frosting.
With all the rain that poured down all week, it made for a lot of mud on the playground. The students had so much fun splashing in the mud puddles and making mud balls.
On Thursday, Makenna brought in her guitar and ukulele (named Ukularry) to play some songs for the students. She talked with the students about how Ukularry comes from the island of Hawaii and might look different from a guitar. The students noticed that Ukularry was smaller than a guitar, had less strings, and sounded different. Since we’ve been talking about the different states and continents, Makenna decided it would be a great time to play “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash. They also talked about what the beat, melody, and rhythm of a song are and how they are different. This conversation was followed by the song “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash. Then we switched to some more familiar songs like “5 Green and Speckled Frogs.” The students also requested a Hawaiian song since Ukularry was from Hawaii. Thankfully, Makenna had the song Mele Kalikimaka saved from last Christmas. This sparked conversation about how Christmas in Hawaii is much different than Christmas in New Hampshire.
Makenna also made the announcement on Thursday that next week will be her last week at Sunnybrook Montessori for a while because she is going to Lakeway Elementary to complete her student teaching internship to get her degree. While some of the students were bummed out by the news, they were happy to learn about the plan to be pen-pals with Makenna while she is away teaching 4th graders.
On Tuesday, Rose came to teach us some winter sign language. She talked about how since the weather is getting colder, we’ll have to bundle up more. She showed us the sign for snow pants, mittens, hat, jacket, and scarf. The students had so much fun afterwards signing the songs Sally the Camel and the Firetruck Song.
The Taproot students had their last day with Emily on Wednesday. She took the students out into the field where they found an ice covered mud puddle that they enjoyed breaking through and jumping in. Then, they set across the field to walk along the snow machine trail to the suspension bridge that crosses Israel’s river before turning around and heading back to school.
On Thursday we had a birthday celebration. One of our students turned 4 years old and took her time taking her trips walking around the sun. We talked about her plans for her birthday party and sang happy birthday. Afterwards, the students all enjoyed some fruit that was kindly brought in as a birthday treat.
We began having weekly jobs that the students are given. Giving the students jobs gives them the opportunity to be responsible and gives them opportunities to be more independent. We talked about some chores and jobs that students might have at home to help out. Having the students do jobs that take care of the classroom also helps with fostering a healthy classroom community. Taking care of the classroom is something we emphasize all year round.