Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Faces, Waiting for New Things, and a Surprise Visitor - Teacher Marah

We started a unit on our faces. It started out with drawing a self portrait. We also answered some questions about our face and features.

Next we put paint on our hands and chose a skin color to paint our faces, then we painted our features onto our faces.  

The next step is that we are making our faces out of clay. We talked about how it feels kind of like play dough. A lot of children thought it felt cold. We talked about what shapes our different features are. We used different techniques to construct the faces. We used a garlic press for hair, rolled clay into snakes for eye brows, mouths and some times eyes and noses too. We also shaped clay into balls and triangles for other parts like noses, ears, mouths and eyes. 

We are letting them air dry and then we will take them to the kiln to be fired. When they come back, we will paint them.

We have been waiting for the chick eggs to hatch so we have been studying about birds. We did an experiment with different utensils and read a book that shows the different kinds of beaks that birds have and what they pick up and eat with their unique beaks. Insert 1945, 1953.

We took apart nests and then we built our own nests. We used grass, moss, sticks and straw. Before we took them home, we got to choose two eggs to put in our nests. 

We have been taking trips down the hall to check on the eggs in the incubator several times while we have been waiting for them to hatch. We have been reading stories and singing songs about eggs and chickens. We got to watch them hatching and coming out of the shells last week. Now we will wait patiently for our turn to hold them.  

We are very excited as most of the caterpillars have gone up into their chrysalises. Now we are waiting for the butterflies to hatch. We helped with the parts of the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and have been retelling the story on the flannel board. We have also read other fun books about butterflies. 

We practiced recognizing letters of the alphabet and the first letters in our classmates names with the color alphabet game. We rolled a colored dice and there is a letter on each colored spot. We had the name cards and figured out who in our classroom started with the letters of the name. 

The writing center continues to be a very busy place with writing letters to each other and to our family members. Even Suey, our parakeet gets a letter once in a while. We have clip boards with paper and pencils attached. They often make it into the dress up area and lists are made for many things like food to eat, or things for a party.  

We had a surprise visitor this week. Louise, the guinea pig who lives in the room F has come to visit us. The children are having so much fun holding her.

We will continue to wait for the butterflies to come out and see what else spring brings to the classroom.

Waiting for Chicks, Butterflies, and a Surprise Visitor! Teacher Marah

We have been patiently waiting to see when the baby chicks will hatch and how long it takes for the butterflies to emerge. We decided to study birds, their nests and their beaks while waiting. We have nests that we have collected, so we used tweezers to pull apart the different things the birds made their nest out of. We found grass, twigs, mud, moss, dryer lint, leaves…. The birds use many things to build their nest.

We  decided to observe the different kinds of beaks birds have and had many “utensils” that work like beaks. We read a book that showed us all different kinds of birds and then we used “the beaks” (and practiced our fine motor skills) to pick up all different kinds of fish, snakes and other bugs. 

We made our own baby chicks with shapes, googly eyes, chenille stems and feathers. 

We have also been watching our caterpillars as they grow and grow. We have been observing them with magnifying glasses. 

We made our own caterpillars out of egg cartons. They are on display in our case in the hall.

We  dropped water color onto coffee filters for butterfly wings. Next we will give them bodies and antennae and finish our butterflies.

We have had other bug activities in our classroom. We played a ladybug game. We rolled a color dice and whatever color came up we moved that color ladybug. We used lots of cooperation and practiced taking turns. We also kept a chart of which color won the most games. At group time we counted up all of the dots on the chart and the red and the blue ladybugs won the most games! 

We have been visiting the eggs in the incubator in room F for what seems like forever. On Thursday they were hatching, so we took turns going down and seeing them out of their shells, but still in the incubator. It was so exciting! Next school day we will get a turn to hold the chicks.

We had a surprise visitor last week. The guinea pig from Room F,  Louise, came to spend some time in our classroom. We had a lot of fun taking turns holding her. She is so good at sitting on our laps and she is so soft! 

We had another fun visitor last week. Teacher Meghan who will be our teacher next year came and spent two mornings with us. We enjoyed getting to know her and playing with her.

The upcoming week we will be watching for our butterflies and be so excited to hold the baby chicks!