Week of February 12, 2106
Our bird study continues to be an intriguing topic of study for us all. Early in the week we made pretzel bird feeders to hang alongside our pine cone bird feeders. We hung the feeders on most of the crab apple trees, both up high and down low. Some children were very particular as to where they hung their feeders. And the birds found them right away! In preparing for our trip to The Vermont Bird Place, we brainstormed a list of things we might see in the store. The list included silly things like bird costumes and a bird trampoline, alongside more serious items such as bird houses and bird baths. We payed close attention in the store and upon our return checked our list and recorded the things we did/did not see.
The trip was an exciting adventure! We donned all our snow gear and were dusted by snowflakes as we walked down the road on a beautiful winter day. The store was full of all things “bird” including the usual bird feeders, bird houses, and bird seed alongside bird earrings, delicate glass bird decorations, and stuffed birds that make bird noises. After touring the whole store, the owner of the shop helped us pick out a window feeder (the “Bird Buffet”) and two different types of seed. We hung the feeder on a window outside our meeting room, but as of Friday no birds had yet visited our feast. We’ll have to check when we return on Monday!
This week we’ll focus on bird nests. I hope to bring in a few from around my yard and maybe we’ll even find some on a walk. Children will be able to examine the nests closely with magnifying glasses and notice the different materials different birds use to construct their nests. As birds come in all different sizes, so do their nests, which will provide us a with us a wonderful opportunity to do some measuring. And we’ll make some nests of our own as well.
I have definitely noticed that since we’ve beens studying birds, I’ve been paying much closer attention to these creatures. I watch as they fly through the sky and land in a tree, I hear their different calls, and I find myself looking around for bird houses and nests. Just today I spotted what I think is a rather large nest high up in a pine tree. I’m eager to get out my binoculars and try and get a closer look.
I was thinking about blue jays and cardinals as I set up a paint mixing activity at the easel. I knew they would discover different shades of blue and white and red and white, but I wondered whether or not I might see any bird paintings. I did! One girl painted a blue jay while another boy painted three cardinal eggs and three baby cardinals. There was also a duck, a monster, a monster eyeball, and an exploration of color and texture.
In Music class, we shared our version of “Two Little Blackbirds” with Lisa, demonstrating our knowledge of different kinds of birds and enjoying the silly rhymes. We used our voices to imitate the paths of different things (hot air balloon, kite, airplane) from low on the ground to high in the sky. In Mandarin, we celebrated Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey. Mario shared a Chinese New Year custom with us by giving each child a red envelope filled with “money.” An exciting moment happened for us at Town Meeting when several of the children were feeling brave enough to take part in the role of “Town Meeting Mayor.” Three children announced three different parts of Town Meeting and it was clear from the giant smiles on their faces that they were very proud of themselves. As they should be!
Well, that was our week! Here’s to another great one!