Panda Party, Gardening, Face Project & Lollipop Trees!
Older Classes, May 14-18, 2012RM 15 AM
We are lucky to have a wonderful garden space outside our classroom windows which we try to use in our curriculum as much as possible. This spring, after our wonderful parents did a garden re-design, we spent time planting dahlia tubers, both for summer enjoyment, and to be there to greet the classes in the fall. We even filled our "water tub" inside with dirt and turned it into a planting area too so that we could extend the fun. Right after we put in the new plantings, the weather turned into summer! We love the sunshine and blue sky so we didn't complain, but we did make sure to water the garden each day. We discovered that garden "chores" can be lots of fun too!
We also celebrated one of our favorite end-of-year traditions - Panda Day. The children take turns during the school year taking a stuffed toy Panda home for visits and bringing him back with stories of their adventures together. When Panda was done with his home visits, we began planning a party to celebrate his day. The children helped make a list of things they thought would make a good party and we all worked together to make most of them happen. We made Panda Party hats - even the visiting stuffed animals got to have one. We played party games like a Panda Bean-bag Toss. And we even decorated our own Panda Cupcakes. It was a fun and exciting day for all - including Panda!
RM 15 PM
We have completed our study of faces, a project that has taken place over a few weeks and was enjoyed by all. Last Monday we finished painting our clay faces and they look great. We created a bulletin board display from the children's self portraits and study of skin tone and facial features.
This Thursday the afternoon younger class experienced a magical preschool moment. While the children were outside and Teacher Jean was setting up snack, she saw a mother duck and her ducklings racing by the windows along the garden strip toward the playground. The children were lined up by the outside door when the ducks reached the end of the strip, so they all quietly watched as mother and babies tried to find their way through the open gate. They finally got around the obstacle and on their way toward the creek with a little help from Teacher Meryl, who had raised ducks in England for a few years when her children were young. After snack, they abandoned their plans for other stories and songs to take advantage of the "teachable moment" and read the classsic children's book, Make Way for Ducklings, which just happened to be in the classroom at the time. What a treat to witness firsthand this miracle of nature that happens every Spring!
We learned a song called "The Lollipop Tree". We thought it would be fun to see what would happen if we planted a lollipop stick just like the child did in the song. When we came back to school on the next day we couldn't believe our eyes-a lollipop tree had grown! We got to each pick a lollipop to take home. Simply magical!
In the Spring, the children take turns taking a stuffed panda home and writing about their adventures with panda. They share the pictures and stories written with the class. At the end of the year we have a "Panda Party" to say goodbye to our good friend panda. We play panda games, make panda headbands and decorate panda cupcakes.