Week of February 22, 2016
Well, we never got around to making bird nests, but a lot of great stuff did happen in the 4/5s classroom this week. Upon returning to school on Monday morning, everyone discovered that some things had changed in the classroom. Cubbies and the rest bag bench moved as had the calendar and pretend play furniture. Some materials were rearranged giving the children greater independent access to a wider variety of things to play with. One child commented, “It’s different in here. I like it this way.” The children used the week to explore the new classroom arrangement and appear to be fine with the changes.
Our week also started with a visit to the “Museum of 100.” The Friday before break, the 5/6s, 6/7s, and 7/8/9s showcased their 100 projects on the 100th day of school. As many 4/5s do not come to school on Fridays, we were lucky enough to check it out before it was dismantled. The 7/8/9s served as our tour guides as the children paired up to explore the museum. They saw a 4-scoop ice cream cone with 100 sprinkles, a cake with 100 candles, 100 snowflakes, 100 hundred inches of finger knitting, block structures with 100 blocks, a monster with 100 googly eyes, and much more!
It was our turn, once again, to host Town Meeting. This week all the children were feeling brave enough to help out with the role of Town Meeting Mayor and announce the different parts of the meeting. We voted to do a ball rolling Good Morning activity as our gathering. One person said, “Good Morning” to another and then rolled the ball to this friend. This friend returned the greeting and passed it on to another. This continued until everyone in the school was warmly greeted. For share, we shared three more of our bird songs.
In this picture you can see us singing the clues to the cardinal verse which goes:
I am bright.
I am red.
I have a crest upon my head.
If you can guess me hurry up and try,
Before I fly into the sky.
(to the tune of “This Old Man”)
And here you see us awaiting the 5/6s, 6/7s, 7/8/9s guess as to what kind of bird we were singing about.
Town Meeting continued smoothly with the 7/8/9s sharing a book about their visit and walk with Rick LaDue of the Equinox Preservation Trust, the 5/6s & 6/7s announcement of their Penny Drive, and our Mandarin goodbye song, “Ni Hao.”
This week we tried out something new: a partner project. I paired up the children and they worked together to fill up their paper by glueing pieces of tissue paper. Some children chose to use only one or two colors, others used all the colors, some glued their papers flat, and others crumpled them up and glued them on. We will continue with various partner projects that will allow the children to work closely with all of their peers and incorporate a variety of topics, interests, and skills.
In terms of our bird study, Mrs. Penge brought a number of treasures to share with us. For three days we were treated to listening to the cuckoo clock cuckoo on the hour and half hour. It was such a hit that the 5/6s and 6/7s stopped by for a visit to watch it happen. The children were very respectful of this delicate clock and careful not to touch any of the moving parts. We also now have on loan 15 stuffed animals birds to enhance our learning. The variety allows us to learn what other birds look like and gives us the opportunity to build nests. Here a few made out of material and blocks. In the coming weeks, we will explore nests and also do some work with birdhouses. We will collect all the birdhouses on the school campus, clean them out, repair them, and even build a few new ones.
And that’s all for this week!