As the weather turns we are noticing more and more signs of fall, so the children harvested the flower garden, all the way to the dirt! They began by picking the flowers, then moved onto the stems, then pulled up the roots. They had fun loading them in trucks and hauling them around before discarding them over the fence. There was plenty of construction going on with the big blocks and in the sand box. The crocodiles, pangolins and a variety of other animal families were also busy roaming around searching for food. For Monday art the children explored color mixing with finger paints. We read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, then got down to business. They took the term finger painting literally, using their fingers to swirl the primary colors – red, yellow, & blue – together to create the secondary colors – orange, green, & purple. When they mixed them all together they discovered that they made brown. Color mixing was available throughout the week with the finger paints, at the easel, and with colored dropper bottles. After art, Tammy arrived to take the children to the library while younger students visited the school for a play date and some finger painting of their own. At the library the children were busy being EMTs, playing with the trains, building with the Duplos, and playing puppets. The five oceans were introduced. The children observed that the earth is covered by land and water, and we discussed the various types of bodies of water covering the earth. We learned that there are five oceans and where they are located. We will continue to explore the oceans more in depth throughout the month.
The children took a vote about how to transform the dramatic play area. Five students voted for a fire fighting play area and ten students voted for an ocean area, so the ocean area it is. We collected several large boxes, which the children immediately turned into boats. They decided to go treasure hunting, so we brought out some brown paper which they used to create maps and sailing hats. The children used clay to create treasure, mostly coins and some jewels. The ocean animals were brought out to the block area and the barn was traded for a ship. The children brainstormed many ideas, and we will continue to implement them throughout the month.
On Wednesday we were introduced to the four directions, North, South, West, and East and what a compass shows on a map. We demonstrated how to create a flat map from a round planet by blowing up a balloon then cutting it and attempting to lay it out flat. Lyn shared the theory that many people believed that the earth was flat during Columbus’ time, but has since discovered that this is incorrect and will be correcting this misinformation next week! So sorry! It will be a good lesson on learning from our mistakes. We learned about Columbus, who wanted to reach the Indies by sailing west, and read the story Follow The Dream by Peter Sis.
There was much excitement on Thursday in anticipation of the visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog with Believe in Books. There was quite a bit of concern that Clifford would not fit into the building and much speculation about how he would get the through the door, as his house alone is as large as Emily Elizabeth’s. We were happy to see Clifford make it in with no troubles at all. We enjoyed a story about Clifford and his friends raking up leaves and jumping in them, then everyone greeted him with a hug or wave before selecting a book to keep.
Friday students studied why leaves change color and fall off of the trees in the fall. They proposed several theories, including that they are just too heavy or the leaves get cold. We read Fall Leaves Fall then watched a video about why leaves change color. We learned that the leaves are already red, yellow, orange, or purple, but that this color is hidden by all the chlorophyll that the leaves use to capture energy from sunlight which they use to make food. As the days get shorter, there is less sunlight, so the leaves stop producing chlorophyll. This was a tricky concept to grasp, but the children seemed to get some of it.
Stories we read:
Mouse Paint by, Ellen Stoll Walsh
Explore Earth’s Five Oceans (the first pages) by, Bobbie Kalman
Follow the Dream, The Story of Christopher Columbus by, Peter Sis
Clifford’s Good Deeds by, Norman Bridwell
Clifford and the Grouchy Neighbors by, Norman Bridwell
Clifford’s Family by, Norman Bridwell
Fall Leaves Fall! By, Zoe Hall