What was happening?
It was a very exciting month! We welcomed new friends, Harley and Laurel, and then a week later, Evans. Our new students have transitioned well to our All Five community. We celebrated Erick’s 5th Birthday! After singing The Earth Goes Around the Sun, he chose that we cheer for him with 5 hip hip hoorays and then everyone asked if they could give him a high five or hug. Later, everyone enjoyed some of his favorite fruits that he brought to share with the class.
Teachers continued following the children’s interest in water, reading about sharks when asked questions about them. When talking about sea creatures, the topic of frogs came up. Joshua said “They live in ponds and lakes, not the ocean”, opening up a discussion of different bodies of water that they knew of. In addition to oceans, they talked about rivers and bays, as well as ponds and lakes. Joshua also told friends about how ocean water is salty, when fresh water of lakes and ponds is not. Then at the next circle, children tasted a small sip of pretend sea water and freshwater, guessing which was which and talking about what they tasted.
In the picture we see Lucas tastes fresh (plain) water vs salt water. Ximena commented, “water from the ocean taste like fish.” During this conversation Joshua also described differences between bodies of water for his friends “The ocean keeps going but the lake doesn’t. And the bay is part of the ocean.”
Above we see Teacher Stephanie as she reads about a fun and beautifully illustrated dolphin story at circle time. Some of the other books we enjoyed reading at circle were To The Sea, It’s Mine, Oceans, Dance Dolphin, Dance, Over and Under the Pond, Earth’s Landforms and Bodies of Water and Claude.
We notice much growth in our students’ self-regulation skills, particularly in being able to sit calmly, participate by singing songs and asking/answering questions and listen to stories. Many of them are getting ready for kindergarten! For daily provocations students were provided materials like marine animals, shells, play dough, sand, blocks and logs with frogs to explore their creativity. Children used the materials while creating scenarios as they played.
Empty boxes proved to be a source of great fun to children on a few occasions this month. They transformed them into houses, jack in the box toys, tumbling containers and flattened one into an ocean to jump into. The possibilities were limitless, just like their imaginations!
Frequent trips to the three local parks, Hamilton, Clark and Belle Haven have continued to be very popular and children enjoy practicing their gross motor skills. (left)
The sand area was the perfect place for lots of play around bodies of water and experimentation with the properties of water. (left)
Seeing children press apples to make cider in the book Water is Water, Amari and Laurel declared “Let’s make apple juice!” And so, we did! Gabrielle, Ximena and Erick also opted to enjoy the activity. Amari, Arabella, Laurel, Erick, Ximena and Gabrielle chose to join as well.
Evans explores playing each instrument offered in the early morning sunlight. He is holding Brazilian maracas, a gift from Lucas and his family.
We are carefully observing our students’ activities and listening to what they are interested in so that we can determine how we can best support their learning.