Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mrs.C. and Mrs. Walsh Seager 4's April 15

Spring is one of our favorite times of the year for exploring at Seager!  Our once barren climbing hill is now covered with tiny purple flowers and around every bend of the trail is another patch of colorful woodland growth at our feet. The best time to wander deep into the woods is before the trees become green and full of beautiful leaves and flowers. Those pesky sticky burrs are at a minimum! A few days of rain, warmer temperatures, and 19 children wearing rain boots is a perfect combination for stream exploring!

How much water can boots hold?

Over and under

Curious as to how deep the water is???? Use a stick to check it out.

Oops..boot stuck in the mud!

Did he make it???

Letters C and B were the letters we focused on for these past 2 weeks.  There are so many fun things to do and learn during springtime. 

We were happy to see caterpillars in our classroom when we came back from spring break.  We studied the life cycle of a butterfly by using the acrylic specimen blocks, putting them in correct order, and played the butterfly life cycle game.  We learned that the smallest butterfly is about the size of a fingernail and that butterflies can “taste” with their feet, so they can tell if something is good to eat.  We have numerous butterfly books in the science center and library, so the children are anxious to see what color our class butterflies will be!

The children made grass caterpillars by filling nylons with dirt and seed, tending to them with squirts of water, and making sure they get some sun.  Hopefully in a week or 2 we will have “hairy” caterpillars to take home. We made a chart listing what plants need to survive to continue to grow. To demonstrate how water travels up flower stems to feed the flowers, we placed white carnations in beakers of colored water and watched them turn beautiful rainbow shades.

The wooden bird puzzles were out for making sets and patterns.  The numbered caterpillar was fun for counting segments and putting them in number order.  Number puzzles and the ants on a log game were used to reinforce number recognition and understanding the relationship between numbers and quantities.  The long chopsticks are always fun to use and a great finger workout, so we added them to the plastic bugs as the children sorted and classified them by size and color.

The children created caterpillar art using the letters in their name.  They first counted the letters in their name and then stamped that many circles using plastic egg halves.  They wrote one letter in each circle, snipped green grass on the bottom of the paper, and added butterfly stickers. 

The class is making props for graduation and have started rehearsing a short skit.  We worked on a handprint earth for the bulletin board.  The Tues-Thurs class made the water and we used green hands for the earth. The children cut cars from magazines and glued them to black strips of paper to make busy roads.

Graduation prop in the making

We got the world in our hands.

Small groups played Sight Word Pop using bubble wrap.  The student identified a sight word on the bubble wrap and if correct they popped the bubbles. They are finishing up the last few letters of their letter books and continue to write simple sentences using sight words.  At the writing center, we used dry erase sheets to fill in the missing letters of the alphabet and used chalk boards to play “guess what letter I’m writing.”  On one of our hikes, we found several pieces of slate and the kids realized that they could write on them like chalk boards.
Smashing sight word bubbles

We watched a video that showed how crayons are made. The class was amazed at all the different steps and machines a simple ball of wax travels through to end up as a crayon.   

The sensory table was filled with corn, rice, and construction vehicles.  Large cardboard tubes turned into corn silos.

During letter B week, the dramatic play area was a bake shop.   The children took turns baking, serving, and being customers.  When children participate in dramatic play experiences, they are better able to show empathy for others because they have "tried out" being that someone else for awhile. They also develop the skills they need to cooperate with their peers, and learn to control their impulses. You can't have nineteen 4 and 5 year olds in one room and not have conflicts.  But as the year has progressed, this class has become quite capable of handling those conflicts themselves; arguing productively and showing a willingness to give in a little. All important life skills.  Dramatic play isn't just for the inside classroom.  Our outside classroom is loaded with imaginative play and set up, run by and orchestrated solely by the children, with little teacher assistance needed. We can all be in the same section of woods, but there are pirates, unicorns, good guys and bad guys, cowboys, and Star War characters all within eyesight! We also have a Home Depot worker with us no matter if we are at the park, splashing in the stream, or struggling to get up and down the "mountains."  He is such a helpful guy!

Thank you for taking the time to attend the children's spring tea!  The children were so excited to prepare a special  morning of activities for you!

Dates to remember:
April 17--Scholastic book orders due.  Last one of the school year
April 17--A visit from the Naperville Library for story hour
May 5th--Conferences (No School)

                                                Enjoy your weekend!
                                             Mrs. C. and Mrs. Walsh