Classroom News

Week of January 25, 2016

Our “Bird” study is coming along quite nicely.  The birds have been pretty active at the feeder this week.  We’ve seen many Black-capped Chickadees, Titmouses, and Nuthatches.  We even think we saw a blue bird!  On a daily basis, the children reference the three bird posters we have hanging in the classroom.  They see a bird at the feeder and try and find it on one of the posters or bird identification booklet.  Or they just point to a bird and ask what it is.  During our bird walk on Tuesday, we saw one bird feeder and heard a bird call two times.  We’re not sure what kind of bird it was, but we’ve just discovered a website (allaboutbirds.org) where we can listen to different bird sounds and watch live bird cams.  At Town Meeting on Wednesday, we acted out the story Baby Bird, by Joyce Dunbar, a story about a baby bird trying to fly who encounters many animals along the way.  During practices, the kids enjoyed flapping like a bird, scurrying like a squirrel, buzzing like a bee, hopping like a frog, stalking like a cat, and yawning like a dog, however, some of them got a case of “stage fright” when it came to doing our show in front of others.  Nonetheless, it was  a fun experience.  We also began learning a song called “Who Am I?” (which follows the tune of “Old MacDonald”) that gives clues about different kinds of birds and encourages kids to guess the birds’ names.  I’m sure they will learn the eight verses rather quickly…perhaps we can come up with some of our own.

Puzzles were a big hit this week.  Several children enjoyed putting together a pet puzzle as well as a “traffic jam” puzzle.  We even worked together on a 50 piece bird puzzle, illustrating a Northern Cardinal, a Robin, a Red-Winged Blackbird, a Chickadee, and a Blue Jay.  I was impressed by their perseverance and persistence.

One friend recently came back from a trip with a new stuffed animal sloth.  She was determined to make “sloth hands” by wrapping a piece of masking tape around each finger.  This interest spread to other children as well.

And then the taping morphed into an activity of its own.  All the children started cutting pieces of tape and making “x”s on paper.  These were “No” signs that they then hung throughout the classroom.  It wasn’t so much a “No” sign as it was a “Closed” sign.  Initially, they searched for things or areas of the classroom that were “closed.”  But eventually, so many children were making these signs that they were everywhere in the classroom.  It’s exciting when a child’s own idea transforms into an activity enjoyed by all.  I saw it as the kids taking pride and ownership in their classroom.

In the pretend play area, the children had picnics, drove buses and put out fires, went food shopping, and dressed and cared for baby dolls.  They explored making different shapes with rubber bands and geoboards.  They created patterns and designs with pegboards.  At the easel there were paintings of people, ducks, and other explorations of color, shape, and line.

We saw a whole range of outside weather conditions this week.  The hill was covered with snow on Monday and the kids laughed and smiled their way down the slopes.  Sled trains were created and one girl was a husky pulling her owner on his sled.

By the end of the week, the ground was bare and puddles were freezing into ice.  They enjoyed slipping around on the ice and eventually were successful at stomping through the ice.  Boy did they get wet…but they were still happy!

 

Well, that’s the news for this week.

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