Our First Full Week
Our first full week is now in the books! We are settling into a nice routine and have begun visiting the library and having visits from our dear friend, Mrs. Sharp! The children continued to spend the week solidifying our classroom culture. Learning what is expected during line time, work time, lunchtime, etc. As the children begin to feel more comfortable in their surroundings, they begin to take more chances in their learning and work for longer and longer times without redirection. Thursday saw us working for our longest sustained work period yet!
We have completed our study of butterflies and practiced transferring some of that knowledge to grasshoppers. We looked at grasshopper models on Friday, and hoped to find some real specimens while hiking at Cardigan. However, the weather was a bit damp and chilly, not ideal for grasshopper hunting, but we did find some crickets!
We started our study of apples with the book 10 Red Apples. The children love this story not only for its predictable language but because they get to be involved changing cue cards for each animal and number. We will continue reading and learning about apples in the week to come, all working up to our visit to Cardigan Mountain Orchard!
This second year student is giving another student a lesson with the sandpaper letters. The children trace the letters with the pointer finger of their writing hand and say the letter name and sound. "G, /g/, /g/, girl". Once they have practiced all of the letters in the set, they then match up the objects with their beginning sound card.
A bit of fine motor practice! Pouring exercises not only build fine motor control but also aid in the development of concentration.
Sometimes these fine motor exercises get away from us and we need to do a little clean-up! They love to vacuum as much as the work!
Time to play!
Cardigan Reservation is really becoming one of my favorite spots to play in nature. We arrived up there at lunch time on Friday, just as the rain was drying out. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch near the frog pond and then hiked the Lower Nature Trail. This is a very easy hike for children and could even be successfully done by children as young as 2 or 2 1/2. On our hike, our expert beech nut identifier located some eaten beech nuts, which then prompted us to identify the beech trees. Mrs. Sharp took the children on a bear hunt last fall, showing them beech nuts that are a favorite of black bears. We looked for claw marks on the trees, but we had a tough time identifying any. It was still fun to look.
The children hunted for pine cones of different sizes and discovered that if you push on those little pockets on the bark of pine trees. . . pine pitch will 'pop' out.
We played butterfly follow the leader and grasshopper call in the field by the fire pit before the rain chased us back to the car! Despite the rain, we had a great time.
In the week ahead I will continue to reinforce and practice routines with the children. All of this practice will make for a classroom of engaged, and risk taking learners in the months ahead. We will take some time at the beginning of the week to talk about the dreams we have for ourselves. Dreams for the year and dreams for our lives! If you have a few minutes today, chat with you child about what they would like to try, do, or be. Share what some of your dreams are and what dreams you might have for them. We will read about 'Gorilla Jane' and how she saw her own dreams through!
Have a great week - the weather is supposed to be splendid - perhaps just a hiccup tomorrow. Happy September!