We were so grateful for the continuation of warm, sunny weather most of the week. After a morning of fun inside we are always ready to get out to run and move and be loud. We even enjoyed the Wednesday rain showers. Even though we all had to change into dry clothes, we had fun getting wet. We spent our outside time playing with the big silver ball and the smaller balls, running, kicking, and throwing. We loved playing crocodile chase, digging in the sand, being goofy with our friends, and searching for toads, spiders, and other creatures. Monday students read To Be an Artist by, Maya Ajmera & John D. Ivanko and I Am an Artist by, Pat Lowery Collins. We learned that artists may paint, draw, sculpt, sing, dance, perform, weave, and sew. We also learned that artists see art in the world around them. We took a walk outside and collected items from nature then brought them back to the classroom to create nature collages. The art table stayed busy for the remainder of the week as many marvelous nature collages were constructed. In the tank we searched for the two chrysalises that were formed over the weekend by the two black swallowtail caterpillars that some friends brought in for us last week. One climbed all the way to the top and transformed there, while the other remained close to the bottom and changed on the underside of the bark piece. We looked on the tank underneath them to find the little crumpled up skins that they split out of when they changed from caterpillar to chrysalis. (This video shows the process of shedding the skin – it is incredible to see!) During circle time we introduced names for a variety of emotions and feelings and how we might appropriately express them and react to them. The children had many suggestions and ideas to share. We talked about getting hugs, walking away, taking deep breaths, going to a quiet place to be alone, looking at a book, and crying. We sang the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and used some of our suggestions for actions in the song, such as, “If you’re mad and you know it walk away” and “If you’re frustrated and you know it take some breaths” to help reinforce these strategies.
On Thursday we read Max Found Two Sticks by, Brian Pinkney and introduced percussion instruments. We were pretty excited to take them out. We talked about how we would get a chance to play two different instruments and we may not get to use our first choice of instrument today. We discussed that we may feel disappointed and it would be okay to say, “Oh, bummer!” but that we could pick something else for today and would get a chance with the other instruments another day. The children did very well being polite and expressing disappointment appropriately. It was fun to play our instruments together while we counted, and then to play them louder and louder like a rain storm or a jet passing overhead, and then more quietly as the rain and jet passed.
We decided to postpone Friday science in favor of getting outside, as we had lots of energy to expel, so our exploration of rocks and soil will resume next week. The children had a busy day filled with playing instruments, writing, puzzle maps, play dough, magnatiles, letter games, word matching work, art, cooking in the play kitchen, and chatting over snack and lunch. Outside we had fun playing ball and hauling all of the “junk” into a big junk pile, then returning it all to the toy box at the end of recess.
Books We read during group times this week:
I Am an Artist by, Pat Lowery Collins
To Be an Artist by, Maya Ajmera & John D. Ivanko
Duck on a Bike by, David Shannon
A Porcupine Named Fluffy by, Helen Lester
Paul Meets Bernadette by, Rosy Lamb
Bark George by, Jules Feiffer
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by, Audrey Wood
Max Found Two Sticks by, Brian Pinkney
Earth’s Landforms and Bodies of Water
The Mermaid and the Shoe by, K. G. Campbell