We made it...I mean, we did it..I mean, happy vacation everyone! It was a pretty high energy week in the 4-Day class this week and we had a lot of laughs mixed in with a lot of learning moments! Thats what its all about at HCNS, making the most of our joys and the most of our mistakes and moments of questioning. We work through problems together and recognize in ourselves those moments when we could have acted more kindly or thoughtfully. I am excited to announce that we have completed our travels around the world and your children sure did learn a lot. I hope you can take the time to debrief with them over the break.
We began the week on Monday by learning a bit about the Chinese Zodiac calendar and each child started working on their Chinese drum which depicts their animal sign in both picture and symbol format. The drums involved a lot of steps and children really did an amazing job following directions and seeing these projects through to completion. We also explored some more with the panda bears, rice and black beans in the water table and some children found my weekend creation of rocks, sand and letter cards intriguing. We also had another very fun music session with Miss Katie on Monday.
On Tuesday we finished up our Chinese drums and children began to make Valentines Day cards for friends and family. We had a nice discussion at rug time about why we celebrate Valentines day and who to celebrate with. I also told the children the story of how Valentines Day came to be a holiday and about Saint Valentine the Roman bishop who married couples in secret because the evil king had banned marriage. They all seemed pretty fascinated by this story and wondered why anyone would ever tell people that they couldn't get married. You can find a full version of this tale on-line if you are interested in checking to out. The highlight of the day on Tuesday was the slime. Thats right...we played with slim for a good part of the week this week. There was cutting, stretching, twisting, adding sand, giggling, being stuck and being grossed out. It was a blast.
Wednesday brought the height off our energy for the week as I'm sure you can imagine. We began the day by putting Valentine's cards into envelopes (I hope you all received them) and continued making gifts such as bracelets, necklaces and cards for loved ones. We tried to get outside nice and early for sledding but the morning seemed to pass us by very quickly. When we did finally make it out it was far too icy to use our sleds so the 4-Day class used their great problem solving skill and slid on their bellies, bottoms, and knees down the hill. Hopefully we get some more good sledding snow this year.
Today we celebrated Chinese New Year (which actually begins tomorrow) by watching a short video about the holiday and it's history (link below), and by playing our drums that we made earlier in the week. Miss Meg also wrote each of the children's names in Korean and some children made mandalas out of colored pasta. We also had a special snack of noodles, tofu, mandarin oranges, and Moon Cake provided by Brigette and Susie! It was delicious.
Books From the Week:
The Great Race:The story of the Chinese Zodiac by:Dawn Casey
Tikki-Tikki Tembo Retold by: Arlene Mosel
Fortune Tales | The Story of Chinese New Year - YouTube
What a strange week! I hope everyone is enjoying the fresh snow even if it did come with some strange schedule rearrangements. I for one was bummed to miss school on Thursday as I has a super fun day planned. We will be sure to get back into the swing of things just in time for February break! Next week will be our last week before the break and we will spend it finishing our exploration of mountains and the continent of Asia and will fit in some Valentines day fun. On Thursday of next week we will end this section of the year by celebrating the Chinese New Year.
On Monday we had what I like to call a regroup day. We have had such a busy and task oriented last few weeks that I felt the children needed a low key day with some very open ended play. We had play dough out, watercolor painting and some of the students got caught up on their passports from all of our busy traveling! The results of the previous night's Super Bowl game were on the minds of many of the children and that topic took up a good deal of our conversation time on Monday morning. I had no idea there were so many Eagles fans in the area and it was really fun to hear the kid's reaction to the game. We also had music with Miss Katie on Monday and she continues to introduce the students to the new section of music. If your child has not listened to their CD that may be a great weekend activity.
On Tuesday we began our last "trip" to the continent of Asia. We will be staying in Asia until February break and learning about the animals, people and mountains of the continent. We did our last page in our passport book and they will be coming home next week. The students are particularly excited to bring their passports home, so make sure you check them out as they have all worked really hard on them. On Tuesday we also played with our new play dough which students pretended was a mountain for their pandas to climb and we began making our Chinese lanterns to decorate the room for Chinese New Year.
On our last day this week, Wednesday, we worked on our lanterns again and some students were able to finish them. They look wonderful hanging in the classroom and I can't wait till all of them are finished. Students also played in the water table with a mixture of rice, black beans, panda bears and blocks. The students' Draw & Write journals were also out on Wednesday and some of the children are really coming up with some great stories to put in them! We also watched a really neat video on the Himalayas that took the students on a quick journey from a city on India through the hills and up into the mountains all the way to Everest! I will include the link below so they can view it again. Some of the comments such as "that looks peaceful" , "wow" and "I be that's a 4000 footer" were priceless to hear from the students! The mountains of Asia, especially the Himalayas are truly magnificent, I love that they could recognize that.
Books from the week:
Coming soon! I don't have the list at home with me.
Have a great weekend and STAY HEALTHY!!
This week in the 4-day class we traveled to South America where we learned about a few cultural traditions of the continent and also about the beautiful and precious rainforest environment that exists there. It was fun to notice all of the differences between this continent and ours and also to hear how the students felt about the "strange" creatures of the rainforest.
On Monday, I was out with a sick kid but Miss Meg and the class began working on our rainforest model which took us all week to complete but was well worth all the hard work. Students made the Amazon River, painted tree trunks and also used droppers and water color paint to make coffee filters into foliage for the trees. Students also worked on placing their passport materials into their books which will be coming home soon for you to enjoy...we have one more stop to make before February break! Students also participated in a full hour of music on Monday with new songs from Miss Katie.
On Tuesday the students learned about a special doll that the children of Guatemala use to help them get a good night's sleep. The worry doll of Guatemalan tradition is used so that children can have an outlet, so to speak, for their worries. Children whisper their worries to the doll before going to bed at night and the doll can worry for them while they get a good night's sleep. This was a great activity and our discussion beforehand included examples of worries we all may have and how our bodies need good sleep to tackle our problems. I imagine there are parents out there who could use a worry doll now and again. Having a discussion about worries with preschool aged children, without it being too heavy of course, can really help to open up communication and let you into those busy little minds.
On Wednesday we began to work on our rain sticks by hammering nails into the cardboard tubes. The children really loved the challenge of hammering, especially on a round object. We talked about why nails are used in rain sticks and what job they preformed to make the magical sound of rain. After hammering, the students who wanted to, painted the outside of their tubes. Students also took a look at some photographs of frogs that are found in the rainforest and then colored their own rainforest frogs. The kids were fascinated by the different types of frogs and their colorful skin.
Today we wrapped up our rain sticks by covering one end of the tube, adding stones, rice, wheat berries, and cracked corn and then sealing the other end. Some students also wanted to add some decorative fabric to either end. We also made rain forest cookies with Miss Susie today and discussed how many of the ingredients actually came from rainforest regions of our planet.
Books From the Week:
South America by: Rebecca Hirsch
In the Rainforest by: Kate Duke
The Umbrella by: Jan Brett
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by: Lynne Cherry
What a week! So glad to have been back to school for a full week. It really does take this long to get back into the swing of things after the winter break but we are finally full steam ahead into our travels around the world. This week we spent much of the week learning about the Arctic and the environment that exists there.
We began the week with some experimentation to learn how ice melts, what we can do to melt it faster and what salt does when it comes into contact with ice. The students not only added colored salt to their blocks of ice but also tried out holding their hand on it, adding sand and adding both warm and cold water. The results were fascinating and beautiful. We also had quite a treat with a full hour of music class with Miss Katie on Monday. It was a long time but the children did a great job being attentive and as always with coming up with their own wonderful musical ideas. I hope you all found the new music materials in your child's cubby today. We will be moving into this material when Katie returns on the 29th.
On Tuesday we jumped right into our Arctic unit by reading a great little non-fiction book called Living in the Arctic in which the children retained a lot of information about life in the Arctic for both animals and humans. After that reading we made arctic collages with icy colors and smooth textures. The children also went "ice fishing" for letters and numbers on Tuesday.
The third day of the week brought some nice warm weather and our first chance to go sledding! The students were so excited to get out on the hill and all had a blast. Before going out sledding we finished our collages, did some more fishing and many students played in the water table with the water beads and arctic animals.
Today was the day of the Polar Bear. We started the morning off with a book about polar bears and continued the theme through art, science, and discussion. Children made polar bear process art projects that all came out beautifully. They also learned about how fat keeps polar bears warm by putting their own finger in ice water and then wrapping another finger in Crisco (fat) and sticking it in the same water. Many children realized that the reason polar bears have fat that is "four fingers deep" is because they have to spend hours and hours swimming through ice cold waters. Lastly the children spent time this morning making Miss Sandy a very nice birthday card and building several creative snowmen!
What a terrific week!
Books from the week...
How Big is a Million by: Anna Milbourne
Living in the Arctic by: Allen Fowler
Ice Bear by:Nicola Davies
Hello 4-Day Parents,
Welcome to our new class blog. This will be a place for me to post weekly and monthly newsletters, photos and announcements for the 4-Day class. I am so excited to have our own space to share our experiences in the classroom and on our many adventures together. Please stay tuned for more updates and photos!!