As the seasons battle it out over the weather, we make the best of the snow, rain, mud, and puddles. Although mud season is a parents’ least favorite season (all those dreadfully muddy clothes), it is the children’s favorite (all those wonderfully muddy puddles).
Monday students worked together to make a Sunnybrook Montessori School poster with Susan to carry during our Week of the Young Child parade on Wednesday. They also made signs with drawings of what they dream of being when they grow up.
We continue to monitor our incubating eggs. We read the story Chicken about the life cycle of a chicken, then checked on the development of the eggs with Alicia. We found a spot to sit in the kitchen, then took turns searching for the blood vessels and body parts in the eggs when Alicia brought them around. We observed that the chick now takes up most of the space in the egg, with the small space at the bottom full of air, where the chick will take its’ first breaths. We located some wings and saw some movement from some of the embryos. We are anxious to see them hatch next week!
We examined some feathers and nests, and read About Birds to learn what makes a bird a bird. We learned that all birds, and only birds, have feathers. We learned that they have two feet, a beak, two wings, and they lay eggs. Most build nests, but other animals also build nests and lay eggs, so that is not unique to birds.
We celebrated two fifth birthdays on Tuesday. The birthday girl brought cupcakes to share, and the birthday boy brought strawberry and whipped cream topped brownies. Yum! They took turns holding the earth and orbiting the sun after sharing what season, month, and day they were born. Happy birthday newest 5-year olds!
Before departing for our parade around town with Lancaster Play and Learn and Mt. Royal Academy North on Wednesday morning, the children each made a new sign on more waterproof water with permanent markers showing and telling what they would be when they grow up (we did not want our others to get ruined if it began to snow or rain). We have future farmers, school counselors, princesses, paleontologists, Groveton market workers, librarians, jockeys, oceanographers, plumbers, etc. at Sunnybrook. Each child proudly wore their sign as we discussed the safety rules and expectations for our walk and read the story The Big Umbrella, about an umbrella that protects and shelters everyone, no matter their size, appearance, or differences, it always makes room for more. The children chose partners, then dressed and lined up for our walk. We met the students and teachers from the other programs out front and joined them as we walked all the way down Main Street, crossed at Simon the Tanner, and came all the way back. We stopped to take a group photo at the band stand before heading back to school.
We read the story Zach Gets Frustrated about a boy who chats with his dad about how to name, tame, and reframe his negative emotions, such as frustration. Zach’s dad taught him some good strategies for taming his frustration, such as taking breaths, snuggling with a pet (or person), thinking of something happy, or meditating. He taught him how, after taming the emotion, he can shift his thinking about a situation from a negative frame to a positive one, such as seeing an experience as a challenge rather than a problem. This mental shift changes the attitude from passively negative to positive action, so rather than thinking “Why does everything bad always happen to me?”, reframing it to “What can I do to improve this situation?”
During Thursday Spanish Zeanny introduced the terms grande (big) and pequeña (small). We played a game where we got really grande and shrunk down low to be pequeña. She read us some stories about things that are grande and penquena and we listened to the fruita bailla song.
During music with Susan we made some rhythms. We clapped, slapped our knees, and snapped our fingers. We sang the train songs I’ve Been Working on the Railroad and Down By the Station, then read the story The Little Engine that Could about a train bringing toys over the mountain who got stuck, and asked other passing engines for help. Many of them were unwilling to assist, even the big strong ones, saying they couldn’t pull that much extra, but when the Little Engine came by, she said, “I think I can” and she tried, even though she wasn’t sure if she was strong enough. She chanted the mantra over and over, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” and we chanted and clapped the rhythm/mantra with her. When she had successfully pulled the train cars over the mountain, she changed her mantra to “I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could.” The power of positive thinking matched with action can accomplish great things!
During Friday science, the students, who learned about sap in trees last week, set up an experiment to see how water travels through plants. They used some colored water in jars, then placed white carnations and leafy green celery in the jars to see what happens. They saw results fairly quickly, but we are anxious to see the colors deepen over the weekend.