We have has so much fun “Down at the Pond” this month, but soon we will be shifting our focus to the sky… “Birds and Eggs” is the theme for April and we are very excited about this unit. In preparation, we decided it would be fun to spruce up our cozy reading corner and combine it with dramatic play. This means we need a nest, of course!
We used a small hard-sided kiddie pool and filled it with the pillows that have always been in our reading corner. Then we used a fitted Twin-sized sheet to cover our nest, tucking in the extra underneath.
Next, it was time to make some wings!
The pictures loaded in reverse order, so scroll down to the end to see how to begin (sorry!)
This month, we are having so much fun playing Down at the Pond!
Our Sensory Table has water, marbles, stones, and creatures hiding among the lilly pads (green foam). The tiny frogs can sit on the floating lilly pads and sometimes they like to jump and splash. We have heard children sorting and counting the different items and coming up with wonderful stories.
On Day 9 (Floating Pond Plants) we created our very own tiny ponds. The children were given the materials of brown and green sand, pebbles, and water, and the results were quite amazing. It really looks like a pond! After discussing Sink/Float, it was so fun to see how some materials sunk to the bottom, while others floated on the surface, just like in real life.
What sinks? What floats? What is salt water and where do we find it? What effect does salt water have on objects? What happens when Fresh and Salt water meet?
On a very rainy March morning, we decided to tackle these good questions! On Day 9 of the Mother Goose Time unit, “Down at the Pond”, we were learning all about Floating Pond Plants. We set up a simple Sink/Float station, and then took it a step further for our older friends. Would the introduction of Salt to the water change the results? In both measuring cups we had 1 2/3 cup fresh water. We added 1/3 cup of salt to one of the measuring cups and stirred until it was dissolved. Then we tested each item, first in the fresh water and then the salty to see if the results were the same or different. Then we moved on to the egg test. First we made a hypothesis, based on the Sink/Float station, about what we thought would happen to the egg placed in the fresh water versus the egg in the salt water. The measurements of water and salt were the same as before. The egg placed in the fresh water sunk, and the eggs placed in the salt water floated!
Now, what happens when Fresh water and Salt water meet? Our Preschool and Pre-K friends have been learning all about the Water cycle and different bodies of water during our Pond unit. Rivers and Streams flow to the ocean as part of the water cycle. We started out with the same measurements, but this time we added some food coloring and used an eye-dropper to slowly add salt water to the fresh. The Salt water sunk to the bottom, or maybe it made the fresh water float. (The separation was very slow, which is hard for preschool, so we left it sitting on the counter and we will revisit later, but this photo is mid-process.)
Most kids enjoy science, but a number of our students learn best through these types of activities. They really need to test their theories and see what happens, in order to make the connection. These experiments were a fun way to demonstrate the differences between salt and fresh water properties and it was a great expansion to the Sink or Float activity from Day 9.
Each month, we receive a new set of manipulatives as part of our curriculum unit from Mother Goose Time. These sets get used in a variety of ways- construction, counting, sorting, letter/color/shape concepts, sensory…you name it, they will play it. Mother Goose Time wants to share a set of manipulatives with one lucky winner. Click on the following link to enter! Manipulative Giveaway This special runs from February 13-20!
After we work together to build the wall, we take turns using a small tool and remove one block at a time, Jenga style. The goal is to remove as many blocks as possible before the wall, and Humpty, falls down. Our kiddos are loving it!
For more information about this unit and others from Mother Goose Time, please follow the link:
We are so excited to have been selected as Blog Ambassadors for Mother Goose Time, the company that develops and produces our amazing curriculum! In return for writing and sharing all the great things happening in our classrooms, we will receive free supplies and/or curriculum directly from Mother Goose Time.
For a complete list of Ambassadors, follow this link:
Our “Shape of the Month” for September was a Circle!
We did a variety of fun activities throughout the month to practice and play with circles.
Weaving strings and pipe cleaners through wiffle balls kept us busy for a long time and was a fun way to play with circles.
One week in this unit was spent talking about different feelings. On one of the days, we talked about being scared, so we used baby food jars and googley eyes to make a ten eyed monster with playdoh (10 was also one of our numbers this month).
We used paper towel tubes, milk jug lids, and small cups, just to make a simple circle collage when we were finished with the other planned activities for the day.
One of the planned lessons was a circle collage given this famous piece of art as a reference. for our Littles class, we cut out paper circles of different sizes and practiced our gluing skills. Then we used small cups, spools, and lids to add to our design.
Our preschool and Pre-K classes were able to take the paper plates and cups and trace around them before they stamped over the top with paint.
Time to prepare the backpacks and school supplies.
For a teacher, the first day of school is met with excitement and anticipation for the year ahead. What will we learn this year? Who will be in my class? Will we all get along? How can I best meet their needs while remembering my own humanness?
The classrooms are ready, so here we go…
Then they come to the door on the first day, full of energy, emotions, enthusiasm or maybe hesitation… but they come and for a few short hours we try to meet their needs, show them love, and maybe even learn something new together. What an amazing way to spend each day!
July is the beginning of our Summer Camp program and we are all set to explore the Art world. We will be focusing on famous works from around the world, shapes, colors, and making lots of Art, of course!