The chill in the air has been lasting longer into the day, so we kept our bodies moving to stay warm outside. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees, littering our playground, which makes for some wonderful fun! We trucked them around, raked them into piles, buried ourselves, and threw them up to create leaf showers.
One of our favorite parts of the day is outside time. The children have become quite independent and speedy getting ready to go out, so we have been taking full advantage of our time.
During Monday Art we read about the artist Mary Cassatt, who painted family pictures. We learned that she was never married or had children herself, but children and their parents were some of her favorite subjects. She was good friends with the artist Degas, who is well known for his paintings of dancers. She showed her work with Degas and other impressionists, who used lighter colors, ordinary subject matter, and visible brush strokes, as opposed to the use of dark colors, famous people and occurrences, and no visible brush strokes, which was the standard for popular art at the time. After learning about Mary, many of us made our own family portraits.
At the art table pastels and dark paper were available. The students created many bright, colorful pictures on the black, brown, and grey paper.
During circle we continued to sing some familiar songs, such as “The Seasons Song” that we learned last week, and the class favorites “The Hokey Pokey,” “Jump Jim Joe,” and “The Apple Tree Song.” We also learned the new song, “Peanut Butter and Jelly.” Some of the stories we read were Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. We also began reading Is It Living or Non-Living. We learned that living animals need air, food, and water and that living plants need air, sunshine, water, and nutrients. We shared what some of the healthy foods are that we each enjoy eating to stay strong and healthy. We learned about our bones this week as well. We felt in our bodies to find all of the hard bones, including our ribs, skull, arm bones, hand bones, leg bones, hip bones, and knees. We have a model of the spine, so we counted the vertebrae, then took turns feeling a friends spine.
We read the story One, by Katherine Otoshi, about the color Blue who is quiet and reserved. We talked about Wolfgang, and how he is quiet and reserved like Blue, and identified some of our friends at Sunnybrook who are quiet like Wolfgang and Blue. Then we talked about Henrietta, and how she is energetic and excited, and we identified the friends that are more like her. The children are very aware of which puppet they are more like, and were very quick identifying the friends in class who are more quiet like Wolfgang and Blue. We also talked about Red, who in the story is not always nice, and we shared some things that make us feel not very nice. Every child could relate to feeling sad, angry, or hurt and feeling not very nice. Then we talked about different ways that we could help others when they are feeling not very nice, such as in the story when they invited Red to play, because maybe Red was feeling left out. We began a list of kind acts, and every day the students will be invited to share kind acts that they observe others doing, which we will add to the list. It is exciting to identify someone doing something kind!
The children continued to hone their patient care and medical skills. They were very busy tending to injuries, curing illnesses, and providing excellent care.
Friday students had a very busy morning. Everyone went around the classroom deciding and practicing which materials they want to demonstrate for their parents on Thursday at Bring Your Family to School Night.
There was a special request for instruments during circle, so everyone had fun taking turns playing different instruments loudly, quietly, fast, slow, and following a pattern.
For science most of the students made skeletons with Q-tip bones. They had a lot of fun identifying different bones in the body and figuring out how to put them together to build their skeleton.