The fall transition is upon us. We come to school all bundled up on the frosty mornings, then remove layers as the day warms up. We have been busy raking up, jumping in, and throwing leaves. Construction crews have been at work building a fair, a garage, and a bridge. We have been digging, biking, running, sleeping, swimming, and kicking and tossing balls. We found some interesting creatures this week. We were catching little fuzzy blue and white flies, which appear every fall on our playground, and according to my research are woolly aphids. One student dug up a crazy looking horned caterpillar, which will turn into a Bedstraw Hawk Moth. I wonder what we will discover next week! The art area was busy with many different projects. Every student was asked to make a family portrait, which we will hang for BRING YOUR FAMILY TO SCHOOL NIGHT this coming Thursday from 5-7. The children also got to work creating a kelp forest in our ocean. They tied green and blue colored yarn to pipe cleaners, which we then stuck into the ceiling tiles so they hang down for us to swim through. The children have been very careful to be gentle so the kelp stays anchored. Many children also made large sea creatures, which they drew and colored, or had help drawing then colored themselves, cut out, stapled together, stuffed and then hung from the ceiling. Our ocean is looking very ocean like now. We continued to learn about oceans and ocean life. We read the story Blue Sea by Robert Kalan about a big fish who is chasing a little fish, and a bigger fish who is chasing the big fish, and the biggest fish who is chasing the bigger fish. We introduced food chains with our song “Phytoplankton” and discussed herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.
Wolfgang the wolf puppet and Henrietta the hen puppet were officially introduced to the class. The children have been playing with them all year, but they finally came down to meet everyone and say “Hi”. They introduced themselves and told us a little about who they are and what they like to do. Henrietta is very energetic and loves playing and running and meeting new people. Wolfgang is very quiet and reserved and prefers to sit quietly and read and draw, but they are best friends and they help each other out all the time. We then read the story Zero, by Kathryn Otashi, about the number zero who feels like he doesn’t count so he doesn’t fit in with the other numbers, until he recognizes that if they work together, they can count even higher.
Thursday was a very busy day with our first birthday celebration of the year. We now have two five-year-olds in our class! The birthday girl held the globe and orbited the candle sun while we counted the five years for her, then we all sang happy birthday before enjoying the tasty confetti cupcakes with red sprinkles she brought to share. Happy birthday birthday girl! After the birthday celebration we found our partners then walked to the library for a visit from Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Jones. Ronnie read us a story, Firehouse, by Mark Teague, about some fire dogs, then Assistant Chief Jones showed us his equipment and talked a bit about fire safety before putting on his gear. He looks and sounds very different when all dressed up in his fire-fighting suit. Afterwards we all went outside to see the fire truck, where he showed us some of the equipment he uses, including the ladders on top, the water gauges, and the axes. Everyone had a chance to go inside and check out the cab where the firefighters sit on the way to a fire.
For Friday science we did a floating and sinking experiment. Everyone took turns choosing items to test. We were very surprised by some of the items that we thought would sink but didn’t, and vice versa. At the end, we noticed that all of the items made of wood floated, while metal, glass, and ceramic all sank. Our final experiment was to test clay. First we made a ball of clay, which immediately sank. We then made a bowl/boat of clay, which floated, so we discussed how shape can change whether something will sink or float. Stories we read this week:
All the families by, Margaret Wise Brown
All Kinds of Families by, Mary Ann Hoberman
Stop, Drop and Roll by, Marjery Cuyler
The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by, Lauren Thompson