The artist Mary Cassatt painted portraits of children and families. On Monday we discussed who might be in a family and invited the children to make family portraits, including anyone they considered family, which could be those who live in their homes, pets, and extended family. Before taking pencil to paper they decided who they would include and the order they would draw them, then they got to work.
Life is full of rules and expectations, at home, at the store, at the library, at school, and anywhere else you go. We invited the children to share the expectations that we should have at school and discussed how they all fit into Being Respectful, Being Kind, and Being Safe, and how some fit into two or all three.
We have been reading and talking about farms, gardens, the arrival of fall, when plants die, and harvesting the final crops before winter. We read and acted out Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. Bear sat lazily in his chair and Hare and his family planted, tended, and harvested crops at the end of each season, until Bear realized that Hare had been tricking him, growing beets, radishes, and carrots when Bear asked for the tops of the crop, broccoli, celery, and lettuce when Bear asked for the bottoms, and corn when Bear asked for both the tops and bottoms.
We had a fun water play scrubbing day for anyone who was interested with bins of soapy water to scrub out all the mud kitchen dishes. Those who love and seek the sensory experiences with paint and water and soap had a lot of sudsy fun.
We enjoyed our Thursday Harvest Festival activities despite the cold. The children were busy under the tent making leaf garlands, leaf rubbings, rolled radish paintings, seed collages, and vegetable print paintings. They got their bodies moving while hammering golf Tees into pumpkins, balancing acorns on spoons, transferring apples between buckets of water with tongs, hopping around in pillow case sacks, tossing radishes into pots, and rolling a pumpkin around a hula hoop obstacle course.
Kindergarten students did some penny addition by selecting 10 pennies each, then passing some to a friend. They then counted the amount their friend passed them and the amount they kept, then added them together to find the sum. They did some writing with Pete The Cat. They continued the story by brainstorming what else Pete might have stepped in and what color it would turn his shoes, illustrating and writing their ideas.
Several students decided to become world travelers by digging their way to China. They worked tirelessly through the week, creating a rather impressive hole in the sandbox, discovering and making piles of the layers of sand and clay and soil they discovered. To ensure no one was injured, they creating a variety of WARNING signs to post around the hole.