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With Our Own Two Hands

This week, we continued exploring the many things that we can create with only our two hands and some very simple materials. Students who began knitting and weaving projects continued those this week, and we finished the yellow baby- doll blanket that the class worked together to weave on the wooden loom! Some students also tried a simple form of finger- knitting, and found all sorts of useful purposes for the finger knitting chains they created. One student proudly created a mitten string to keep in her coat sleeves so that her mittens wouldn't get lost, another turned his into a toy snake, and another began the process of making a small rug for the dollhouse!

Another form of handwork that we began delving into this week is the art of pottery! We began by exploring what we could create using play dough with only our hands and no tools, and later that day explored working with air- dry clay. The absolute highlight of our week, however, was a visit from a local potter who offered to come in and show the students a glimpse into the process of making a mug! He brought in a mug that he had started the day before on his potter's wheel, and demonstrated the process of creating a handle by stretching a long piece of clay with water, measuring and cutting it to the right length, making etches onto the cup with a simple tool and then "gluing" it on with a wetter clay that is kept separately for this purpose. He also described the process of dipping it in his homemade paint, cooking it in a kiln overnight, and being surprised at the colors that are revealed through the cooking process! The children were especially delighted to each receive their own special handmade mug to use in the classroom, and I believe they will appreciate it all the more after having learn about the creative process.

Another highlight of this week involved reading and learning about Chinese New Year! Ms. Katherine shared stories from Lunar New Year celebrations observed in Singapore, and each child learned about their zodiac animals based on their birth years. We made paper lanterns and little paper dragons, and read about the lives of children around the world for whom this celebration is the biggest holiday of the year!

In music class this week, we read a lovely book called "The Story of Do Re Mi". The class had already been familiar with solfeggio because of the scales they've been practicing at music time and the "Do Re Mi" song we learned together, and it was fascinating for them to learn about Guido D'Arrezzo, who invented this system of music notation.

And the only thing we enjoyed more than watching the snow fall from outside our windows as we learned and played together was... getting out in all of that snow! The class LOVED being out in the snowstorm on Monday, trekking through knee- high snow over to outdoor story time on Tuesday, playing "sled dogs" with our toboggan, climbing up big snow piles and enjoying all of the wonderful play experiences that snow evokes! We had an absolutely delightful week, and wish everyone a very wonderful weekend!

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