Week of May 2, 2016
It’s hard to believe, but we only have 5 weeks left together in this school year! For these last few weeks, my goals are two-fold: we will be learning about things that grow, and reflecting back on our year together. Taking the time to think about how we have grown as individuals and as a group, and revisiting some of our favorite activities will be an important way to bring our time together to a close. Included will be some conversations about what’s next—summer plans and school plans for next fall. As this may be scary or worrisome for some children to think about, and the concept of time is still so vague for this age group, we’ll focus on the present and the time we still have together.
In terms of learning about things that grow, we’ve already begun. On Tuesday, our garden was tilled, rows were marked, and we even did a little planting. So far, we have planted beets, three different kinds of lettuce, some chives, and peas. Our bean teepee is ready and waiting for bean plants to begin growing and climbing. Additionally, the children drew their ideas of what we should plant in the garden and “wrote” a list of what is growing. A display of these gardens will sprout up on our classroom walls this week. Looking at the illustrations by Ora Eitan, while I sang the words to David Mallett’s version of Inch by Inch: The Garden Song, was a calming way for the children to settle in to rest time this week.
While our bird study has come to a close, our fascination with birds remains. The children are quick to point out when birds visit the feeder, they say, “Listen!” when they hear a woodpecker or some other bird, and are eager to stop and look when a friend notices a bird on a branch or flying in the sky. Our sunflower seed supply was running low so we took a walk back to The Vermont Bird Place on Friday to get more food. And Mrs. Penge has been working with the children on a version of “Rockin’ Robin” where they get to play recorders for the “Tweet, Tweet!” parts. We may even share it at Town Meeting.
A few fine motor activities captured the children’s curiosity this week. They worked hard to concentrate on isolating “Tommy Thumb” (thumb) and “Peter Pointer” (index finger) to squeeze a clothespin open and release it to pick up and drop a pom-pom. Similarly, they picked up pennies and put them in the narrow slot of a container and lid. And boy was it fun to find the pennies that were hiding in the play dough. I was also quite impressed by how quickly the children caught on to closing “zipper” bags more independently at snack and lunch. All of these activities will help to strengthen the muscles in their hands which will in turn help them when it comes time for writing.
A lot of pretend play has cropped up both in the classroom and outside. A visit from the baby dolls led to dressing, feeding, and much nurturing. Two restaurants opened, one in the meeting room and one in the other room. The children created signs (some with words and some with tape) to help their customers know when the restaurants were “Open” or “Closed.” The kids like to build package trucks over and over again and deliver the mail. This week it was Christmas and lots of Lego sets were delivered. I bought a tow truck for the bargain price of $5 and was able to tow a few cars before it broke down and had to go to the car shop. And the rock stars returned this week. Two kids started it all of with some rockin’ singing, dancing, and guitar playing, only to be joined by others. Check it out!