It was great to return to school after the break. Everyone seemed happy to be back and ready to get back into things. Winter finally arrived and all things winter were the theme of the week! The sleds and snow shovels were put to good use. Friends took turns pulling each other around or running, jumping in, and gliding. As it was too cold and dry to form a proper snowball, piles of snow gradually decreasing in size were formed to create sleeping snowmen.
For Monday art the afternoon students braved the frigid temperatures to make ice art. They poured water into trays and cups and added color and strings. When they froze, we hung them from the tree in the playground, being careful to position the heavy ones within the tree fence so they would not fall on any heads! The art table had ice paint for the children to paint with. The sensory table was filled with snow. We observed it change from dry, fluffy snow to wet, malleable snow as the warm air gradually melted it. It was fun to wear mittens and play with snow inside. We celebrated two birthdays on Tuesday – a 4th and a 5th. We enjoyed counting for the birthday boy and girl as they orbited the sun with the earth. Before enjoying the delicious batman and vanilla cupcakes, we sang happy birthday in celebration. When we sat for circle time, the children discovered that each triangle had a name on it. Everyone had fun finding their own name and sitting on their own triangle. We reiterated the circle time expectation of raising hands to speak, and introduced how to make the toilet sign in sign language so that the teachers will know when someone needs to use the bathroom.
This week we discussed winter. We read and talked about how the tilt of the earth changes the amount of daylight that parts of the earth get depending on where it is in its’ orbit around the sun. The changes in daylight cause the earth to cool off as the days shorten then heat up as they lengthen. We talked about what type of weather we get when it is winter. We discussed snow and ice and what different animals do in the winter, such as hibernate or migrate. We also talked about how people and other mammals stay warm. We put our hands in a bucket of ice water and held ice cubes in our bare hands. We then tried holding ice cubes with a blubber mitten to see how some animals have a layer of fat that helps to keep them warm. We discussed how to dress for the outside and learned a song about what order to put our winter clothes on.
For Friday science we began to talk about senses. This week we explored the sense of taste. We learned about bitter, sour, sweet, salty, spicy/hot (piquance) and Umami (savory/meatiness). We taste tested a variety of foods and discussed which categories of flavors they were, including maple syrup, lemon juice, chocolate powder, salt, pickles, grapefruit, apple, dried cherries, apricots, orange, chocolate caramels, salted almonds, black pepper, and lime juice.
In the afternoon the students helped to rearrange the classroom. They rolled and moved rugs, moved tables, swept up dirt hidden under rugs and shelves, pushed the piano to a new spot, and moved materials. Our classroom looks very different now!
Songs we sang:
Four Seasons (A Lyn original)
There are four seasons every year (x3)
Caused by the tilt of the earth
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall (x3)
Caused by the tilt of the earth
If You’re Happy and You Know It (our own version, which gives strategies for dealing with negative emotions)
Sad – get a hug
Frustrated – walk away
Angry – take some breaths
Boom Chicka Boom (we do high voice, low voice, loud voice, quiet voice rather than the traditional version of styles)
The Snow Pants Song (tune of Frere Jacques)
Snow pants first, snow pants first
Then your boots, then your boots,
Put your jacket on; put your jacket on,
Hat then mittens, hat then mittens
Open Shut Them (first two verses)
Books we read this week:
Seasons of the Year by, Margaret Hall
Time to Sleep by, Denise Fleming
Over and Under the Snow by, Kate Messner
Tasha Tudor’s Five Senses by, Tasha Tudor