We worked on balancing while maneuvering over the icy ground. Sleeping beauties were gliding across the ground, pulled by their trusty companions. Sled trains and dump trucks were pulled and pushed over the ice and snow. Bird seed scattered for the birds was collected and redistributed to various parts of the yard. Rainbow snow was colored using spray bottles filled with tinted water.Monday students had a visit from Zeanny for a health lesson on fruits and vegetables. Zeanny told us how fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins with super powers that help to keep our bodies healthy by boosting our immune systems so we are better able to fight off germs and illness. We tried some carrots, celery, grapes, and clementines to keep our bodies healthy.
As Monday was a play date day, the children took their monthly trip to the library with Tammy. After a story, the children were busy playing in the ambulance and with their favorite library toys.
There were several projects to work on this week. Students finished up their candle holders and painted the posters of the animals for the Five Days of Winter song, including two sleeping bears, three munching moose, and four snowy owls. They also made their five snowstorms by adhering snowflake stickers to circles on sticks. For family gifts they each used acrylic paint markers to decorate wooden circle ornaments, creating colorful creations to hang from their trees.We continued to rehearse throughout the week, once again working in both large and small groups with Susan.The Winter Solstice was introduced. We sang our Four Seasons song and talked about how the days get shorter and the nights get longer, bringing colder temperatures and winter weather of snow and ice. We learned that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth and that the further we live from the equator, the shorter our winter days and the longer our winter nights. We learned that many cultures hold winter celebrations around the time of the solstice that often include lights and candles.
The first holiday we learned about is Christmas. Most/all the children in our class celebrate Christmas, and the children shared their Christmas practices and traditions, such as bringing inside and decorating a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, watching Christmas movies, hanging stockings, going to church, finding their elf around the house doing different things, being visited by Santa and his reindeer, and getting and giving gifts.
We also learned about Hanukkah, which is 8 days long and is a Jewish celebration. At Hanukkah it is tradition to light a candle on the menorah each day. Some may play dreidel with food or coins and eat traditional foods, such as potato latkes with applesauce.We read the story The Night Before Christmas and learned about Saint Nicholas Day, celebrated on December 6. Saint Nicholas is revered for generously caring for others, giving money and protection to those in need. Susan shared a story about Saint Nicholas. There was a man with three daughters who was very poor, so he had no money for their dowries for them to marry. Saint Nicholas is said to have dropped money down the chimney so the daughters could all be married (other versions say the money was thrown through the window and landed in stockings and shoes left to dry by the fire). His generosity and giving spirit inspired the origin of Santa Claus.The children continued to build their pencil holders, attaching the final side and determining how many holes they want to drill for holding pencils.Friday students learned about the incredible elastic brain. We read about how our brains are in control of everything we do, from blinking and breathing to moving, seeing, feeling, thinking, and remembering. We read that the more we practice something, the better we get at it and the stronger our brains become. We learned that making mistakes is an important part of learning and that everyone makes mistakes. We played a game of memory and used our strong brains to remember where the cards were and match them.