Monday students read about Geoffrey the groundhog who came out of his burrow on February 2nd to predict the weather. A shadow means 6 more weeks of winter, and no shadow means early spring! We looked at some photos of some cool shadow art (by Tim Noble & Sue Webster – the photos we saw were child appropriate, but CAUTION some of their work is not) that molded piles of trash or wood to create sculptures that, when a light shone on them, made shadows of people or animals. We traced the children who were interested in being traced and they colored their “shadows.”
We played lots of animal games outside – animal charades, animal movement races, and hibernation, adaptation, or migration. We played Simon Says and sang movement songs. We went sledding and sled boarding on our mini snowhill and began building a snowpile in front of the igloo to shape the entrance. We made snow castles, rolled around, pulled friends in sleds, and had snow battles.
We watched several videos of foxes hunting in winter, which many found quite hilarious, and learned how they use magnetic north and their keen hearing to catch prey. Did you know they can rotate their ears independently and hear rodents tunneling under the snow up to 40 feet away? We discussed why they jump way up to dive down headfirst and the children had some great insights and ideas about why foxes hunt the way they do.
Susan and Michelle took groups of 6 students at a time snow shoeing in the back field while the other children used colored water in spray bottles to color the snow. The adventurers had a glorious time trekking into the deep snow and discovering some wonders of nature. They spied bird nests and even a robin (?) that should have been long gone.
Some children acted out The Mitten by Jan Brett.
During Sign Language with Rose we practiced all the animal signs we have learned so far, then learned some farm animal signs. We learned pig, cow, horse, chicken, and sheep. First Rose made the signs and we guessed what they were. We guessed almost all of them with minimal prompting. Rose also taught us the sign for butterfly and a rhyming song about butterflies flying away.
Kindergarten students played some games of “What’s Missing?” in small groups, hiding Cuisenaire rods in their hands and placing the addend on the table so their fellow students could determine which rod was in the hand that would be needed to make the sum.