Week of February 1, 2016
The children are becoming quite the bird experts! They see birds at the feeder and shout out, “There’s a Black-capped Chickadee!” or, “Hey, there’s a bird!” We’ve been singing the “What Am I?” song and they are remembering the names of the birds (Cardinal, Hummingbird, Bald Eagle, Blue Jay, Woodpecker, Owl, Robin, & Chickadee) that match the clues. Some children have even been looking at illustrations of birds in books, recognizing their familiarity, and bringing the book up to a bird poster to find a match. I always get excited when I see children making the learning their own. On Wednesday, the children made pine cone bird feeders by spreading on peanut butter and rolling the pine cone in bird seed. Each child made two: one for school and one for home. This week we’ll be making a few other types of feeders and hopefully taking a walking trip to The Vermont Bird Place to buy some additional feeders and food.
As always, the children were quite busy in the classroom this week. A few children went “grocery shopping” in the pretend play area on Monday. They enjoyed making lists, pushing the carts around, and finding food items. Some cart drivers got a little crazy and a whole lot of food ended up on the floor. We had a few “Clean Up on Aisle 4” moments.
Puzzles continued to be a big hit this week. Some children revisited familiar puzzles (pets) while others tried out new ones (ocean, bugs). Some did large floor puzzles, others did smaller 12-piece interlocking puzzles, and some chose individual ABC puzzles. Often in the quieter moments of the afternoon, I see evidence of the kids taking ownership of their learning and their space when they independently choose a puzzle to do on a rug or table.
The children made tissue paper collages and explored shades of colors in their paintings when they mixed white with a primary color. Animals were created out of magnatiles, more vehicles were constructed out of Mobilo car pieces, new buildings were built, shapes were discovered by stretching rubber bands on geoboards, and interesting structures were crafted from gears, gear plates, and gear extenders.
In Music class, the kids made shapes with strings and then tried to mimic those shapes with their voices. In Movement, the kids pretended to be galloping horses and jumping spies. In Mandarin, we learned how to say Happy New Year in Chinese and learned the lion dance. At Town Meeting, three children decided to share more books they created.
We didn’t have any snow outside this week, but we sure did have fun! We spent a fair amount of time on the playground which was nice as we hadn’t been over there lately. The kids enjoyed digging in the mud and mixing mud and water. We took advantage of no snow and warmer temperatures to start pulling out weeds in the garden. Even though it’s only February, we’ve begun talking about what we might like to plant. They also had fun swinging, bouncing around on the seesaw, and riding around on their stick horses.
Well, that’s the news for this week!