We were so excited for all the new snow! By the end of the week, the snow was up past knees, so we were building up our muscles walking and running around. We shoveled and shoveled, building up our snow hill. We had fun playing alligators and crocodiles, pulling and being pulled in sleds, doing LOTS of shoveling, and rolling down, getting buried in, and sledding down our snow mountain. Friday students decided to make use of the giant snow bank at the end of the driveway. They shoveled the top of the bank to make it flat and push some snow down to make a better hill for sledding.For art on Monday we introduced the art of illustrator & author Eric Carle, who paints large pieces of paper using various tools to create different patterns and effects. Once dry, he uses them to cut into pieces which he collages together to create pictures. Most of his books feature animals, including the popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. The students took large pieces of newsprint, selected their desired colors and tools, and got to work creating their own large sheets of paper for collage work next week.After art the children took their monthly trip to the library with Tammy and Susan, where they enjoyed playing with the trains, in the large vehicles, etc.Valentine’s day was introduced, which we will celebrate next week with our Valentine’s Day party and some fun Valentine themed games and activities. Each of the children decorated their Valentine mailbag, where all their friends will deliver their Valentines.Susan shared some animal collage pictures using shapes. The children took a page and cut out the shapes, then followed the picture instructions showing how to build their chosen animal with the shapes. They glued them all together then colored their giraffes, pandas, and zebras.We decided it was time to switch up Dramatic Play, so the children shared suggestions, then took a vote. It was a close race between a camp & campsite and a Post Office. The Post Office was chosen with 11 votes over the 9 for a camp. We got to work taking down our forest and setting up the Post Office. We wanted to keep our trees, so we taped them up in the science area of the classroom. In the Post Office we installed some mailboxes, a front desk with a cash register where stamps and packaging can be purchased, and a writing table where letters can be written and addressed.We read the story Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin, then learned how to write a letter. We were introduced to the letter format, including date, address, body, and salutation. Many children wrote cards and/or letters to their friends, and then responded. We brought in a type writer on Thursday, and the children tried to wait very patiently for their turn to type out letters and words. It was a busy Post Office!For Spanish Zeanny continued to practice colors, counting, body parts, and animal names. Last week we focused on pollito (chick), and this week we emphasized vaca (cow). She read El Gran Granero Rojo (The Big Red Barn) by Margaret Wise Brown, where we were introduced to the names of many animals, including caballos (horse), oveja (sheep), cabras (goat), ganso (goat), and vaca (cow). We played a fun game, where we did fun actions if we had the color she named.We discussed sleep and how it helps us stay healthy. The children shared that it makes your body stronger and helps you get energy. We did an activity where we each wrote or illustrated what we had done that day, and stuck it in a mailbox. We talked about how the mailbox is like our brain and it stores all the information from our day, and at night our brain sorts through it all to decide what to keep and what to filter out. We went through our mailbox and decided which things were important to keep, and those we should let go.On Thursday morning we listened to the story of The Mitten as told by Jan Brett, then acted it out. The children took turns being the various animal characters and crawling into the parachute mitten, while the Niki character skipped around the room wandering the forest, not realizing he had dropped his mitten.For music Susan introduced some more animal songs, and we moved our bodies the way the animals might. As pandas we reached across our bodies to gather and eat bamboo, as giraffes we reached up high to chomp leaves with our hand mouths, as elephants we took giant steps, lifting our knees up high, and as zebras we galloped across the plains.During Friday science we introduced the states of matter – liquid, solid, and gas. We squished together as close as we could to become a solid, spread out a bit to become a liquid, then spread out a lot to become a gas. We felt three balloons – one filled with gas, one with water, and one with ice, to see how they each take up space, and that gas and liquid can change shape, but solids retain their shape. We also poured water into different containers to see how the “shape” of the water changes.We celebrated the most recent fourth birthday with some tasty chocolate vegetarian cupcakes topped with strawberries and blackberries. The birthday girl was so excited for the arrival of her special day! She proudly held the globe and orbited the candle sun while we named the seasons and counted the years, then we sang happy birthday before enjoying the tasty birthday treats.