Wednesday, August 8 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we had a visitor, Morrie, and his Mum and Grandma.  They were checking us out to see if we were a good fit.  They came at snack and spent some time looking around and then joined us in the gym.

With only four kids, we were able to do some things we might not have down with 15 kids.  We layered sand into some bottles to create designs.  The layers look great even though many ended up being shaken one way or another losing the layer effect.

They enjoyed the sand so much, that they wanted to work more with it so I brought out paper, glue, and colored sand in shaker bottles for them to design with.  One of them found a bowl of sand left over from last week’s project and wanted to add colored sand to it.  Next thing you know, everyone has joined in and everything available was being added to the bowl.  I heard “cake” several times and started to take a couple of videos which tell you all you need to know.  Be sure to check them out following the slideshow.

They worked amazingly well as a group.  They were asking for things, letting others add ingredients.  When they decided that there was too much water in the batter, but someone wanted to add more, she was told no more water.  She looked at them and said what about this and held up a spoon of shaving cream.  She was told yes and thanked.  Three and four year olds rock!

Wednesday, August 1 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we had a visitor, Olive, and her Mum and little brother.  They were checking us out to see if we were a good fit.  They seemed to enjoy our class and know a family who will be in the Caterpillar class as well.

We talked a wee bit about what was in the ocean.  Nothing new came up, so our ocean may stay the way it is.  We also have our ocean mural which is being used as a wall to create a small ocean in which we can be fish or sea creatures for dramatic play.

The art table was set up with the ingredients to make sand clay.  Sand is the main ingredient, but it also includes flour, corn starch, salt and water.  The mixture can be used to make sand castles that will dry and retain their form.  I think the enjoyment was mainly in the mixing and gushing!  I didn’t see too many sand castles, but I did see quite a few cones filled with sand clay, a table with sand clay showing various textures across it, and a glob of sand clay.

I was outside most of the day and enjoyed watching the kids try and learn new things.  Eliza decided she was ready to try the roller coaster.  Once down, she was in love with it.  Margot and Josie both had Rowan’s help climbing up the slide, I mean mountain, with the rope.  Rowan did an amazing job showing them what to do and then encouraging them while they climbed.  Addy climbed the stairs to the tree house where she, Rowan, and Margot discovered a spider in its’ web.  They stood there for several minutes admiring it!

My thanks to Brittni for all of her help today!

Wednesday, July 25 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we had a visitor, Radar, and his Dad checking out the school.  The kids were very good at talking with him, offering him headphones, and playing together in the gym.

After talking about beaches and what things were on a beach, we set up the art table with things to make a “beach in a box”.  Several of the kids worked on this deciding what was important to add to their beach – sand? Shells? Fish? Whatever!  Chester added some tree bark I brought in to create a coral reef.

At the sensory table, we had one last chance to add to our ocean mural.  We had stamp pads and ocean stamps of sea creatures as an enticement.  Isla also added some hand prints from the stamp pad.

We added some sea sponges to the water table ocean.  The kids checked out the sponges all dried up and then put them in the water to see what would happen.  They were pleased to see how they softened up once the water was added.

All of the kids were outside at one time or another, but it was so hot most returned inside to play in dramatic play's camp site or the dry table.  The moon sand has been taking on new roles with the cups added.  Kids have been creating their own sand castles, adding shells for exterior show.  Sebastian made a beautiful spiral by pressing a shell into the sand.

Many towers were being built with the idea of knocking them down from the base.  A great concept, but they were having trouble finding appropriate tools.  My thanks to Kristen for all of her help today!

Superhero camp - What We Did This Week!

PRESENTING

THE FLUTTER LEAGUE

(an early training program for our younger superheroes)

 

OUR SUPERHERO PLEDGE:

 

A Superhero is truthful

A Superhero is caring

A Superhero makes good choices

A Superhero treats others as they would be treated

A Superhero is fair

A Superhero cooperates with others

Our superheroes are:

Lava Girl: also known as Aria Van Metre   

Ducky in a Pond: also known as Edie Cuellar  

Shark Boy: also known as Finn Van Metre                 

Volcano Henry: also known as Henry Curry

Peregrine Falcon: also known as Simon Darmofal 

As early justice league trainees, we worked very hard this week.  We learnt how to fly, we problem solved as a team to save the city from a huge bull trying to destroy our homes! 

When Batman and Superman were kidnapped, we followed clues to find them, taking out bad guys along the way.  

We saved babies from fires, moved enormous boulders, climbed some very tall mountains, and learnt some new kicks – front kick and roundhouse kick.     

 

Wednesday, July 11 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we started circle counting the kids. We then contemplated where our other friends might be or why they might not be at school.  Most of the kids added their ideas to the conversation giving them a chance to be heard, practice talking in a group, and waiting for a chance to talk.

After circle the kids headed to their interest areas.  Josie and Isla each added to our ocean mural by finger painting plants onto the paper.  It now has sand, shells, and plants.  Fish and sea animals are next!

I spent a lot of time outside today where the roller coaster is still one of the most popular options.  What will I do when the mud returns?  Bring it inside to the gym?   Or will it become just another reason to get muddy?

The sandbox was also a place of interest for digging and finding spiders!  Isla and Sebastian found a big white guy who somehow ended up dead in the sand, but they continued looking!

The kids got hungry a bit earlier than snack time, so when Josie spotted some popsicles in the freezer, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to divide them amongst the seven kids.  They each quietly enjoyed half of a popsicle while I started getting ready for snack.

In the gym there was much climbing and hanging from the play structure with River, Rowan, and Addy each pushing themselves a bit beyond their comfort level to try new things.  Eliza found herself the owner of 3 cats and a pony all staying close to her for food and loving!

My thanks to Trisha for all of her help today!

Tuesday, July 3 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we talked about what animals we know that live in the ocean.  The kids came up with several to share.  We looked at a book that showed animals from various oceans around the world.  We will be using this information to create two oceans in our classroom.  

The first one we have been working on is in the water table.  Today we added sea animals such as sharks, whales, crabs, and octopus.  Each week we have been adding something to the ocean.  To date, we have shells, rocks, sand, and animals.

The second ocean will be set up as a dramatic play area.  We started by using a piece of brown paper to make a mural.  Today we added sand and shells to the paper.

We continued our project from last week at the art table in order to give everyone an opportunity to make a votive holder.  Besides the shells, I included some small colored glass pieces to add to the clear jars.  Many more kids chose this activity this week.

The dramatic play area is set up with a camp fire, camping lanterns, and backpacks filled with camping gear.  There was only a little interest, but I hadn’t told them about it in the circle, so only the fire was noticeable.  Hopefully, it will pick up next week.

Of course, outside was the main event again this week!  The roller coaster has been great fun, an automatic opportunity for practicing waiting, fairness, and empathy.  No grown-up necessary to intervene, just watch, listen, and learn from the best!

My thanks to Jasmine and Mari for all of their help today!

Wednesday, June 27 - What We Did Today!

 

Today, with only six kids, we talked about the ocean.  We made a list of what is in an ocean so that we can recreate an ocean in our water table.  Last week the kids added shells and rocks.  Our list includes crabs, sea stars, sand, salt water, seaweed.  We will add more to our list throughout the summer.

We by-passed our first circle as I had a new toy set up outside which definitely grabbed the kids’ attention.  I knew it would be impossible to pull them all in for a circle when there was a roller coaster waiting outside for them.  An alumni parent reached me to see if we would be interested in this fun addition.  I jumped at the opportunity although I knew that storage would be difficult.  Her thought was for in the gym, but that would definitely be tough to store.  It comes apart, but I think it would still be difficult to put in the gym closet.  Hence, I set it up outside for now to see how it went over with the kids.

It is almost as far back as the sandbox and extends to the door.  The roller coaster car goes down the tracks and continues until it hits the old compost box.  The kids had a ball and before too long they were reciting whose turn it was making sure everyone was included.  Simon and Sebastian spent most of the morning outside with the roller coaster!

Back in the shady area, Rowan was setting up a tea table and invited several of us to join him.  We had sand tea and maple tea.  I personally prefer a dark tea.

Inside, Isla and River were at the sand table using the shells to create impressions in the moon sand.  Josie was the only one to work on a votive holder using shells and a jar.  It looks pretty cool.

There was a lot going on in the gym with jumping, riding, and dressing up.  Again, they were doing a good job remembering to ask if they could have something when the other was done.

My thanks to Angie for all of her help today!

 

Wednesday, June 21 - What We Did Today!

 

Happy summer!  We had a “first” circle at 9:45 for the first time and the kids did well.  Of course, it is always a bit easier when you have eight kids rather than 15!  We talked about what options were available and then I set them free. 

At the art table, we made sun visors to keep the sun out of our eyes when we were outside playing.  Josie was ready to test hers right away!  She, Sebastian and Liam were outside for a while playing in the sandbox or climbing, but it was so hot they didn’t last too long.

At the sensory table, we had trays of shaving cream.  Always a favorite with my sensory kids as well as some of the curious kids.  What is that?  What does it feel like?  What do you do with it?  Check it out and make your own decisions!

The water table just had water in it.  At first, some of the kids put farm animals in and then played out scenarios with bad guys and good guys.  They played very well together.  Then Eliza decided to make a beach with the shells on the rug. Once she started, I asked her where she thought she could have a beach.  She looked over at the water table and put in the shells.  She started to put other things into the water and I asked her if she would find that at the beach.  She said no and then found some rocks.  “These would be at the beach!”  And on she went.  Rowan immediately began helping her look for things that you would find at the beach.  We will continue with this thought next week as well.

At the dry table, I have a special sand.  It is great as a way to build sand castles without having to use water.  It holds its’ shape well.  Many of the kids hung out working with this medium together.

We had two more circles, one to sing and one to read, before going home.  Thanks for sending your kids, they make this so much fun.

My thanks to Rachel for all of her help today!

Music Camp - Day two

After recapping our conversation about rhythm, we talked about dynamics - the loud and soft of music.  I used a ruler on the table to show them what sound waves might look like if we could see them.  They all practiced with their own ruler and some discovered that the bigger the sound wave the louder the sound and the smaller the sound wave the softer the sound.  We used some of yesterdays instruments to practice loud and soft before moving to the table to create rain sticks, sand blocks, and bells.

Music Camp - Day one

Today we talked about rhythm - our inner beat.   We walked around Knott street and listened for various sounds, then we found objects to use to make sounds with.  Back in the classroom, we practiced finding our beat while walking, dancing, and playing some instruments.  We made rhythm sticks, drums, and boomer rang clappers.  Clappers are an Australian instrument shaped like boomer rangs.

Wednesday, May 23 - What We Did Today!

Today we talked about the picnic on Friday.  We will be making sandwiches for ourselves then walking up to the park.  I reminded the kids that the water feature comes on as it gets close to lunch time so bring a bathing suit and towels or towels and a change of clothes!

We have had a regular group of kids outside lately who are building in the trees.  They have created a comfy home in the corner and enjoy playing there most days.  Today, several kids helped to plant seeds and plants in our garden.  We planted lettuce, cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, and sunflowers.  We already have strawberry and potato plants growing.

Inside at the art table, the kids worked at collage similar to Eric Carle.  With all shades of painted paper, kids cut out shapes and glued them to paper to create an image.  Most of the images were caterpillars as I had shown them the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

At the sensory table, we had shaving cream sprayed with liquid water color.  When I asked the kids what it felt like, I heard squishy, mushy, and a lot of softs.

This class has grown an amazing amount and I am so proud of them.  We talked about Kindergarten and I asked about any worries or concerns they might have.  Most were about kids making fun of them.  So, we talked about what they can do if that happens.  I was suggested that they can tell an adult or walk away.  I told them they can say “No thank you” or “that’s not okay”.  Remind them that they have power with their words and they can use their power if someone isn’t being kind.  My thanks to Keri and Julianna for all of their help today!

Tuesday, May 22 - What We Did Today!

Today the classroom was very mellow.  We celebrated Bash’s 4th birthday with a song and chocolate cake.  The cake was yummy.  I was outside for the first part of the morning and had a great opportunity to see several kids working in the trees.  Some were climbing, some were creating a “tree house”, and others were creating a magical world as Sarum the White! 

Inside, Nathaniel was working with kids creating various collages using small pieces of paper, scissors and glue sticks.  I am beginning to notice symmetry in their work.

The water table was green soapy water again with pouring tools.  Water and pouring is very soothing, and many kids are drawn to it as the day wears on.

The worms in the worm farm were hiding pretty deeply today.  I think because I left the extra sheet off of the farm.  They don’t like the light and will stay as far away as they can.

There was dramatic play going on for a long time involving several kids.  We had a visitor today and she was drawn to the dramatic play area and making supper.  She and Isla set out quite a spread!

The cars, trucks and people were working together in the building area.  Addy and Eliza had quite a dialog going on while using all of the above.

My thanks to Nathaniel and Lisa for all of their help today!

Monday, May 21 - What We Did Today!

Today the classroom was very mellow.  There was a lot happening, but the kids were handling it on their own with minimal conflict!  What more can you ask for with Kindergarten around the corner?

Margaret was outside for all of our free time.  The couple of times I headed out things seemed to be very much child oriented outdoor play.  Avery and Otto were climbing in the trees and adding to their tree house.  Mae was digging for China.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that China was not straight down, and she would most likely end up in an ocean (assuming she made it through the core!)  Finn, Marcus, Henry and Edie were creating mud slides.  They piled up an assortment of things at the bottom of the slide, added dirt and sand, and then one of them would be the mud and slide down wiping out everything in the way.

Inside, Aria wanted to play some of the board games I brought out recently.  One is about patterns, one is shapes, and the last is numerals.  She, Lucy and I started then several joined in later.

At the art table, we were making butterflies using tissue squares and fabric starch.  Our water table was filled with blue soapy water and the kids wanted to change it to another color, so I dropped some yellow food coloring and just like magic, the water turned color from blue to green.  The play dough table was very busy today.  Even with only a small amount of play dough, these kids made things work.  Great job!  My thanks to Summar and Margaret for all their help!

Friday, May 18 - What We Did Today!

Today was our Authors' Tea.  We celebrated 15 authors with blueberry and honey vanilla tea and scones.  The kids did a great job moving through their three stations - building a community, putting together bags for the homeless, and baking their scones.  My thanks to those of you who were able to help us with supplies for our bags!  Thanks also to Marya and Jeff for their help today and to Kyle for coming in early in order to bake scones and help set-up!

Tuesday, May 15 - What We Did Today!

 

Today Josie, River, and Addy wrote their books.  Before gym, we read My Family by Josephine Zoradi and “My Family” by Adeline Jones.  Then after gym, we read “My Family” by Isla Hall and “My Family” by River Seidel.  We hope that you will be joining us on Thursday at noon for our Authors’ Tea celebration!

While I was busy taking dictation for my writers, Rachel was outside with many kids.  She said there were about four different play scenarios going on sometimes crisscrossing, but not joining.  Rachel was outside the entire free time with kids coming and going.

Inside, Brittni was working with the kids to make invitations for the tea.  I had paint, soap, and water mixed together in bowls.  The kids job was to blow bubbles high enough to put their paper over the top and pop the bubbles on the paper.  It leaves some great patterns on the paper.

The colored water in the water table is being enjoyed with pouring, squirting, and some splashing.  I brought out the worm farm for kids to check out with the understanding that the worms had to go back into the farm rather than be carried around because they had a job to do.  They were surprised and excited to see so many in one place. 

My thanks to Brittni and Rachel for all of their help today!

Monday, May 14 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we celebrated Lucy’s fifth birthday with a song and rainbow cake.  The bakers once again created a visual delight which I heard also tasted great.

Josh was outside the entire free time while kids came and went.  The only time I ventured out was to get recruits for a project.  Easton and Avery were building a helicopter in the trees.  They explained to me what it could do as well as let me know that I was floating in air right then.

The project was our bags for the homeless.  The kids drew pictures with magic fabric crayons and the adult helper ironed the picture on the bag.  Don’t forget, we will be filling our bags Wednesday and taking them up to the church office.

The butterfly tent had a few visitors today.  The kids are very gentle and get excited if their butterfly opens its wings to show them it’s beautiful colors.  After school, I released the two remaining butterflies, so they might have some life experiences.

We started out first circle talking about gardening and what the kids would like to plant in our garden.  Their list was pretty long with some good ideas.  We will start planting next Monday our last week of school.

My thanks to Kyle and Josh for all of their help today!