Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12th, 2010

Updates about the past week

Fish Tank Project: after adding four new fish to our two fish tanks, the kids were very excited, and all seemed to express a strong interest in sea life. So: a good number of the children worked with Teacher Michelle to create the classroom’s very own “fish tank” that is now up in the dramatic play area.
We used yellow, green, purple and red paint on blue turquoise butcher paper as the water background. After painting the water, we worked very hard on making a fish stencil. After this, we used scissors to cut them out and presto, our fish were here! After we colored them in – using paint, dobbers, markers, crayons, and / or stickers – we cut tape and taped the fish up on our “fish tank.” Then we thought the fish tank needed more than just fish after reading Ten Friendly Fish, so we made starfish as well as more fish, this time with sponges, and added them with the others.
Making their own fish tank was a great way for the kids to discuss their new fish, express their new interests, and to enhance their fine motor skills.

Rolly polly project: during the past several weeks, many of our students have been very interested in bugs. The bug that has caught the attention of the majority of our students is the Rolly Polly. Our garden, as well as underneath our pots and rugs outside, provides an ample supply of several different kinds of insects and bugs for the students to observe and study. At first, the rolly pollys made our children a little nervous because they did not know what to expect. Now, our students have come to love these animals because of their gentle nature and ability to turn into a ball when picked up. Last week one of our students suggested we build a rolly polly house with an ice cream shop attached. This was a great suggestion and when presented to the rest of the children, the idea came to life.
Students made individual houses with foil as the background, popsicle sticks as the house frame, and paint for added color and texture. Everyone took lots of time and care in preparing their house so the animals would have a happy home. On March 10th, the students continued with the project and made rolly pollys out of foil, pipe cleaners, and googly-eyes. We then placed all of the houses together in the shape of a giant house in the block area, and added the foil rolly pollys to the d├ęcor.
This project is still ongoing. Daily discoveries of these animals create a lot of joy and excitement for most of our students. Everyday new rustic temporary houses are made outside for the found rolly pollys to live in.

Upcoming projects and events: after the children read an Easter book with one of the teachers as well having an Easter egg conversation with another teacher, it became very apparent that the children are already very excited about Easter.
Over the next few weeks, will focus some of our activities and projects on this topic as well as see where it leads us. Since Easter is a time of rebirth we would also like to focus on spring and the many signs of rebirth that are all around us. The children have enjoyed working in the garden and everyone seems very interested in continuing to develop this space. In keeping with the spirit of family and community we are asking for your help and support. We will have a Giving Tree in the sign in area with different items we are hoping you would be interested and willing to contribute to our “Community garden”. Another idea we had is for parents to bring in plants from their home. Last year one of the boys brought in a small branch from a rosemary plant from their home that we still have in our garden outside.