This week we began to discuss doctors and what they do to keep us healthy. The students found stethoscopes at the science table, which they used to practice listening to and counting heartbeats. They also used an eye chart to check vision, a scale to read weight, and a forehead thermometer to check temperatures. They helped make a height chart on the wall to see how tall everyone is. Thursday afternoon students were introduced to a sphygmomanometer. Each student had a turn to feel it give their arm a hug and feel it deflate. They also used an otoscope to look into ears. Friday students used a tuning fork to test their hearing and took turns carefully using a reflex hammer to test their own reflexes. They really enjoyed using the instruments to learn about themselves and each other then record their findings on a patient chart.
During music on Tuesday we listened to some African music and identified the instruments we recognized, then got up and did some dancing. Afterward we did some drumming with items from the classroom, such as chairs, boxes, trays, buckets, and books. We tried to hear the different sounds made by the different items.
Our star of the week shared her book about herself. We learned that she has two older brothers, she likes to play with her cousins, she has two dogs, and she enjoys skiing and sledding. We listened to her favorite story, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback.
The children have really enjoyed having Cindy in the classroom. They love having her read stories to them. On Thursday afternoon she joined some of the students at the drums and bells. Everyone else decided to join in, so we pulled out the xylophone and the autoharp, and they all took turns trying out the different instruments.
We took colored water outside with us this week, and all of the children excitedly waited for a turn to color their snow creations. By Friday we had a very colorful playground with small castles, large snowmen, and writing in the snow.
During Spanish we continued to learn about houses. We practiced our new song and learned the names for the various rooms in the house, such as el bano (bathroom), el dormitorio (bedroom), el cocina (kitchen), and el comedor (dining room).
On Friday the students were so busy with the medical tools that they delayed science until the end of the day, when we made wings and helped them fly up a string by blowing on them with a hair dryer.
We had a great time when Gerry Scott, one of the former Sunnybrook teachers, joined us for some music and movement activities. She taught us “The Apple Tree Song” and introduced us to rhythm sticks. She showed us some pretty impressive tricks, and everyone was anxious to have a turn using them. Gerry told us that she spent a lot of time practicing, and at one point was able to toss the baton as high as a flagpole and catch it when it came back down. The children were excited when she donated them to the school, and they spent time throughout the day working with them. They designated one of the carpets as the practicing area, and agreed that they would be careful to stay away when someone else was using them, and to watch for others when they were practicing. We are looking forward to having Gerry come back next Friday!
Next week we will continue to learn about doctors. We are looking forward to a visit from a real doctor, so we can hear about what he does and how he helps people stay healthy. At the art table we will try out water color paints and saran wrap.