We began our transition to outside drop off this week, which went very smoothly for some and was a hard change for others. Those with energy to get out who need to run and move have been able to do so until they are ready to head inside for snack and inside work. Those who prefer a quieter, calmer start may choose to go inside and participate in morning meeting and do work with inside materials. As morning meeting can be a struggle for some, and not developmentally appropriate for younger students, we give them the choice to participate or not. This has given everyone the chance to decide for themselves if they are ready and able to attend and participate, or if their bodies need to expend some energy instead. We will continue to monitor and observe and adjust to meet the children’s needs as we are able and explore holding a second meeting after lunch so more students have the opportunity to participate.
Outside the children were busy constructing forts, a hunting camp, and hunting ships, and going on hunting expeditions for ALL of the animals – deer, moose, grouse, bear, and SHARKS! They suffered many shark attacks and captured lots of sharks. They played ball, dug holes, built sand castles, mixed up mud soup, pulled friends and supplies in the wagon, captured bad guys, raced around on bikes, played tag, flew paper airplanes, created lots of pictures, and tossed balls and rubber bowls to dislodge paper airplanes, bowls, and balls stuck in the tree.
Inside students did math work, writing, puzzles, games, musical instruments, blocks and cars, dramatic play, lots of art projects, practical life activities, etc.
During sign language with Rose we practiced the bird signs – bird, goose, duck, chicken, nest, egg, hatch – and learned some new ones – eagle and wing. We learned how to sign the numbers 1-10 and read a story about Duck and Goose who were counting the things around them.
We read and acted out the story The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
We revisited our classroom expectations and the children illustrate some ways to be Respectful, Kind, Safe, and Responsible and posted them on the wall to remind us how to treat ourselves, others, and our environment.
Zeanny came for our first Spanish class. We sang songs about the body, colors, and counting. We were introduced to the terms for different parts of the body, colors, and numbers. She read a story about colors and the children practiced each color name – blue/azul, green/verde, yellow/amarillo, orange/naranja, purple/morado, red/rojo. We then played the colored egg shakers slowly/lento, quickly/rapido, forward/adelante, behind/detras, low/bajo, or above/arriba.
Kindergarten students were busy with writing work. They chose from several options for writing – creating their very own book about anything they choose, continuing their Pete the Cat stories, or writing about something they like to do and why. They illustrated their books then worked on sounding out and writing down all the corresponding letters they hear in each word. We are focused on phonetic writing right now to solidify their connection between letters and their most common sounds, and gaining confidence in their ability to decipher words and write them down. Writing typically precedes reading, as it is much easier to take a puzzle apart than to put it together, and this is what they are doing when they write – breaking it down into the sounds. Phonetic writing is an important precursor to later reading, and you will notice that a lot of words are not spelled accurately – that will come later! This is an important part of the process for them to master first. For example, one student wrote that they like to draw – g r o (this is the phonetic spelling as the r changes the /d/ sound to a /j/ sound and aw makes the soft /o/ sound – so this was excellent work identifying the sounds and writing their corresponding letters). I will teach the spelling for some common words outright, as the students will encounter and use them over and over, such as the, of, and, to, is, an, am, all, etc., and they will work on these both in context and in isolation.
Friday students who chose to did some apple taste testing. They tried out 7 different types of apples and rated them by how much they liked their flavor and texture. They observed and described the color and markings of each, including the flesh inside, then chomped and chewed them up, describing the flavor as they ate them. Some got a thumbs down (granny smith was NOT a favorite for most) or two thumbs, 8 fingers, and 10 toes up, such as the Cripps Pink apple.
Makenna brought Ukelarry back for a visit and we had so much fun singing songs with them! She played and sang “You Are My Sunshine,” “In the Jungle,” “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” “Old MacDonald,” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The children enjoyed singing along and being hopping frogs. We love having Makenna and Ukelarry sing to us!