Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt
At the end of last week, we had a chat with the class about what they would like to explore in the garden next, and they decided they wanted to learn about bugs! We had so much fun this week creating bug- viewers, hunting for and identifying backyard bugs. We investigated bug specimens under magnifying glasses and practiced identifying them, created bug representations with loose parts, read lots of bug books and learned some fun songs about bugs!
One of the class's favorite books was "Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt" which beautifully illustrates the fascinating life of a garden overground and underground. Many children also enjoyed telling the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar using felt board pieces. Throughout the year, we will be providing plenty of opportunities for children to practice the art of storytelling through puppets and felt boards, as well as through imaginative play and by narrating their own experiences.
This week, the children were introduced to the poem "Hurt No Living Thing" by Christina Rossetti, which we will repeat in the coming weeks, in order for children to become more familiar with it. We've also been enjoying the painting "Squirrels in a Tree," by Archibald Thorburn, which one student pointed out "looks just like the squirrel that always visits our school!" (We left our giant sunflower out in the yard, and the children have been so enjoying watching a squirrel visit every day to munch on the seeds.)
We hope to introduce the class to many beautiful poems and works of art throughout the year, not to analyze or study, but just to become familiar with, ask questions about, and hopefully develop a love and appreciation for.
We also began implementing our new class calendar at our class meetings this week! This has been an opportunity to familiarize children to the concept of time, discussing what events have passed (e.g. Ian's birthday) and what is coming up (e.g. Autumnal equinox), and we practice counting the number of days we've had in the month so far. We've also started learning our Days of the Week Song in English and Spanish! This will be added to our daily music repertoire. :)
This week we also introduced our first "Letter of the Week"! We read a story about Alix the Anteater,the children were invited to point out how many times they heard the "a" sound in our story, and they heard many! (apples, ants, Andes, anteater, anxious, active, etc.). The following day, the children were invited to retell the story on their own using puppets. We will continue moving our way through the alphabet this way, in addition to following each child's pace with reading readiness and phonics.
Tuesday we had a very exciting visit to the library. The children had so much fun reading about apples and finding so many ways to play with apples! Balancing them on their heads, rolling them down chutes and slides, smashing them with mallets, seeing if they float, and so much more! We are so thrilled to be making library story time regular part of our school week.
On Wednesday, we enjoyed the beautiful last day of summer by spending as much time as possible outdoors! We ended the day with a picnic lunch, and sang:
You May No Longer Stay
Autumn is on it's Way
Then we had a brief music lesson with Mr. Chris, who has introduced the class to the clarinet and saxophone and has introduced how to sing scales! We've had such a rich, lively, and joyful week and we can't wait to explore more next week.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Fall!!