Fish art was on the menu for Monday. The children drew their own fish then colored and painted them before cutting out a double set, stapling them together, stuffing them with crumpled paper to make it puffy, then hanging them from the ceiling for our classroom ocean.
The children worked with Michelle to mix up some homemade kinetic sand in the sensory table. They had so much fun digging, scooping, and hauling it with cups and trucks.
Rose read and signed the Gerald and Piggy story I am a Frog about playing pretend with your friends. When Piggy and Gerald disagreed about whether Gerald could pretend to be a frog all the children signed either “Yes, you can!” with Piggy or “No, I can’t” with Gerald. She then read, signed, and sang the alphabet forward then BACKWARDS, wow was that tricky. She introduced several fish and ocean signs, including fish, shark, octopus, and lobster.
Henrietta and Wolfgang introduced reflecting on things to examine what worked well and what didn’t and how things could stay the same and/or change to improve. They shared some examples of interactions they noticed in the classroom and the children reflected and discussed what could happen differently the next time. We read Two by Kathryn Otoshi, about how left out two feels when one and three start to play together and how all the numbers begin to take sides. We reflected back on earlier in the year when that would sometimes happen at school and how the students had worked to change that and play together to include everyone.
String instruments were introduced on Thursday. We read Berlioz the Bear by Jan Brett then showed the students a variety of string instruments. We recalled that percussion instruments are played by banging or striking two objects together or against something to make a sound and discussed how string instruments make music when their strings are plucked or strummed. Makenna demonstrated how to play a ukelele, guitar, zither, lyre, and violin before playing and singing a couple of fun songs. First she played and sang the theme song to Scooby Doo then introduced Johnny Cash with “I’ve Been Everywhere,” which was a huge hit and amazing to hear her sing all the cities so quickly in succession! The children were clapping and stomping and moving their bodies. The children took turns through the next two days playing the ukeleles and zithers with lessons from Makenna. They requested more songs, which she willingly performed while they accompanied her on their instruments.
Our study of fish has expanded to include other ocean creatures so we looked at some other animal toys that are mammals or cephalopods or crustaceans. We checked out some real formerly but no longer living things from the ocean, including star fish, sand dollars, sea urchins, a cow fish, lots of mollusk shells (seashells), seaweeds, rock crabs, horseshoe crab, spider crabs, a variety of corals, mermaid purses (egg casings for sharks, skates, and rays), bony fish heads, and a sea sponge. The children took turns carefully holding an item and showing it around the group.
Outside play changed from ice to water and back to ice with the temperature fluctuations, but the mud made an appearance almost every day.
Kindergarten students were busy. They did some fish addition, tossing their fish in the pond, then adding up the yellows and oranges. The sh sound was taught then they sorted shells either by their type, shape, size, color, or texture then did an sh word to picture match. Newspaper reporting was introduced after reading the story Dear Mrs. LaRue about Ike, a dog who had been sent to obedience school, which was reported in the newspaper. We talked about how newspapers are responsible for reporting actual events, using How, Why, What, When, Where, and Who and interviewing people who were involved to get information. Each student recorded how and who they were going to write about, and some began to expand into when and where and why. They will work on this article over the next several weeks and months. They will identify one person to interview and determine some interview questions to ask. They will then compile their data, then write an article. It will be edited then typed up to include a Sunnybrook Kindergarten Newspaper. Thursday afternoon was a super short kindergarten time as we were so engrossed in our underwater sea creature exploration, so they did some quick sight word fishing, with some scaffolding from the more advanced readers helping them read the words they caught.
Friday morning we began to explore water. First we read the book The Wonder Thing and the children tried to solve the mystery of what was being described and shown through the book. A student finally guessed water and we reviewed the story to see if it matched. Is it high above the peaks, under melting snow, down the sheer mountainside, through the lilting rainforest, out in the tangy sea, precious as air, powerful as rock, and gentle as kisses? Yes! We did the parachute and bounced some fish and a shark, raced for our slippers, then played Great White Shark. The children then explored sink and float by taking turns picking items, predicting whether they would sink or float, then recording the material they were made of, plastic, rubber, glass, metal, or wood, under the appropriate column.