With the unusually good weather, children have had the opportunity to learn, explore, and connect with the natural world each day. Children have become interested in insects (especially worms) plants, and gardening. This week we are preparing the front yard for our future garden. We mapped out our plans for our garden, and went to Dammonn’s Nursery and Garden to gather our supplies. We bought sunflower, cucumber, watermelon, carrot, lavender, and bean seeds.
We observed, drew, and discussed what we knew about praying mantis’s. Children asked to keep it as a pet, but was advised by Mr. Bryan to research what we needed to provide the praying mantis with. The children came up with a list of things they think we need in order to keep the praying mantis in the classroom. It includes, feeding him spaghetti, giving him a tiny bath, and feeding it bacon.
The cucumber investigation began when Ms. Candice shared she had a garden with vegetables and fruits. We asked her to bring a vegetable for us cut open, smell, and taste.
After adding small lights to our block area, Room 4 has had an interest in lights and shadows. We have created paintings inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night," created shadows with flashlights and different items from around our room and even made starry night playdough that we put on the light table. We also added the tea lights with loose parts onto small mirrors to explore the effects of reflection.
Room 4 has begun a project study on houses. We have discussed the many different types of houses and what our houses look like. We enjoyed talking about out houses so much that we took field trips to see our friend's houses. We will use the pictures from the trip to make a class book about houses. We have been making houses with loose parts, drawing houses, and making paper bag houses. After discussing the different places and things we see in our neighborhoods we created our own neighborhood mural, complete with trees and stoplights!
2016 brings new fun to Room 4! A new doll/playhouse has provided many opportunities for language and cooperative playtime. We created plans for the items that we need in our new doll/playhouse and have been very creative in building those items with different supplies around our room. We have also been practicing our pattern making skills with colored noodles, learning the value of 10 with new ten frames and practicing making our letters with water colors. After finding some ice on our playground, we have began investigating how ice is made. We discussed how water can change, so we conducted our own experiment with water. We placed water in pans, along with items from around the room, then placed a pan in the freezer, a pan outside and a pan in our room. We loved seeing the water change, or in one case stay the same. We then tried melting the ice with paint brushes and friction to remove the class room items. More ice fun will be on the way!
Room 4 is ready for Christmas! We have been setting up our classroom Christmas tree, reading Christmas books and practicing our math and fine motor skills with Christmas activities. Room 4 has also opened a Christmas card mail center. Students can write cards to their classmates or family members then address them, stamp them and place them in mailboxes. This is a great way to share happiness and to work on our reading and writing skills. We are also very interested in candy canes! We included them on the list of items needed for our tree, completed observational drawings and even went on a candy cane hunt. Room 4 also is learning about other holiday traditions such as Hanukkah, by reading books, studying a menorah and playing with dreidels. We love the holiday season!
Room 4 has been exploring new building materials in our block area and exploring buttons in many different ways. We have sorted buttons, created patterns, used them for prepositional words and to help us act out our favorite book Pete the Cat! We have been busy making books, and working on using more than one color in our illustrations. We have continued our recycling project by visiting other classes to teach them what we know about recycling and took a trip to our neighborhood recycling drop off bin. We also planted some daffodil and tulip bulbs around the front yard. Hopefully we will see some beautiful colors pop up this coming spring!
Room 4 has continued to explore the world around them by investigating recycling. We have discussed why it is important to recycle and how to find the recycling symbol. We have sorted our recycling materials by what they are made from especially plastic, paper and cardboard. We are very good at washing out and saving items from our room to be recycled, such as plastic cups and cereal bowls. As a family connection, we have brought in recyclable items from home and shared our items with the class. We are also reusing different recycled materials in our classroom such as bottle lids on our magnet board and plastic containers in our block area. Mrs. Pike came to our room to share what she knows about recycling and how we can best take care of the Earth. We have also been practicing measuring with yard sticks. We enjoy measuring our big creations and interesting items from around the room.
As we head into fall, room 4 is exploring the colors of nature! We took a nature walk to collect different leaves and will then press them into clay. We were very curious about the different type of leaves, flowers and other items we found all around our school. We have also been busy with name painting, making slime and practicing our eye hand coordination with hammers and golf tees. We created a new art piece by gluing cut up paint chips onto a previously used canvas. Recycling in action! We also enjoy using different materials to help us practice our language and math skills.