The end of summer is here, and we have started to notice the signs of autumn’s arrival. Outside time we were busy playing chase, digging for worms, hauling sleds full of loot, gathering leaves, visiting with friends, filling chipmunk holes to prevent ankle injuries, and playing ball.
During Monday Art the children were introduced to drawing self portraits. Various images of famous and not-so famous artist self portraits were displayed for examination, including Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Vanessa Turner. I demonstrated drawing a self portrait by looking in a mirror and narrating what I saw and then drawing it.
During circle time we read the story We Are All Alike, We Are All Different and discussed ways that we are similar and ways that we differ. We shared the things that we most like to do, such as playing ball, playing with the animals, using play dough, and building with blocks. We also introduced drawing self portraits and the use of accurate colors for eyes, hair, and skin.
We had fun doing the “Hokey Pokey,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and “Jump Jim Joe.”
We read the story How Full Is Your Bucket about a boy who starts to recognize and understand his feelings. We see how he feels when different things happen to him, how others are feeling, and how he feels when he is kind and helpful to others. Henrietta and Wolfgang shared how they felt when they said unkind things to each other, and how to help make restitutions for saying unkind things. Every time one of them said something unkind, a paper heart was wrinkled up, and when they apologized and hugged, the heart would get smoothed out. We noticed that the wrinkles never went away, because you can never take back something unkind, but you can help smooth them back out by making amends. We learned the saying, “Think before you start, it’s hard to fix a wrinkled heart.”
We celebrated our first birthday this week. Our newest five year old introduced the class to the birthday tradition of walking the globe around the candle sun one time for each year of her life. We counted with her as she orbited the sun five times, then sang happy birthday. Some of us were very anxious for the birthday cupcakes, which were delicious!
We have kept an eye on the chrysalises at the science table, and we are anticipating the imminent arrival of the two monarch butterflies. We were starting to be able to see the lines of the wings, indicating that the chrysalis will soon turn translucent and the butterflies will emerge. We hope that they wait until next week so we can witness it! This 4.5 minute video shows the life cycle of the monarch butterfly from egg to caterpillar to pupa to chrysalis to butterfly.
Friday students were introduced to Science and each child received a science notebook to document their observations and experiments. For Friday science this week, we discussed the arrival of fall on Monday with the autumnal equinox, when the length of night and day are equal. We shared some of our observations about the change of seasons, then went outside to gather and document evidence, such as crab apples and leaves falling from the trees. We documented our findings by drawing, tracing, and doing rubbings of leaves.