Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

This is the Cecropia  Moth cocoon that our caterpillar created on the classroom closet door. How silly?!? 
Well, we figured out it was a great place at the time. We watched it all winter and early spring and then one day we came in and saw its magnificent moth. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Monarch Caterpillar

This is the Monarch Caterpillar the children have raised since its egg stage. I found it on a milkweed plant in my backyard. It was interesting for the children to raise it along side of the Cecropia caterpillar. They are both now in the pupa stage. When I return, I will bring in both so we can document the changes that occurred and compare and contrast the cocoon and chrysalis. The Monarch Butterfly will probably emerge next week just in time for its fall migration to Mexico. We will keep the Cecropia Moth safe until spring when it emerges from its cocoon. Ask your child what they noticed about our caterpillars. Imagine the impression it has made on your budding naturalist. How exciting!

Our Very Hungry Caterpillar

These are digital photos of the Cecropia Caterpillar. Look at how it completely defoliated the Sycamore Maple leaf. This is about ready to make its cocoon. It will winter over and emerge in late spring/early summer

Friday, September 16, 2011

Morning Meeting

Every morning we gather together to do the Pledge of Allegiance, yoga and then we read the morning message together. The Keeper of the Calendar writes in their name, the day of the week, the month and our daily special. This responsibility helps children improve their organizational and leadership skills, it encourages recognizing the days of the week, and gives them an opportunity to practice their writing and reading skills as well. As they point to the words, the other children read along. He is doing a fine job!

Is That a Centipede?

Dramatic Play

Each day, during open center time, the children are given the opportunity to choose a center and play with different children. This allows them the freedom to practice cooperative play and role playing. This group of children are in the Dramatic Play center preparing dinner after a long day at work.

A Fairy Village

During open centers, our friends collaborated together to build quite an elaborate fairy village. They used tree blocks, wood pieces, several woodland animals and fairy figurines to build an amazing fairyland village. It was charmimg and obviously took alot of planning, patience and creativity.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Enjoying Our First Days of Kindergarten

In Art Center, there is a wide variety of materials, including paint, clay, pastels, scented markers, recycled materials, objects from nature, pom poms, etc. The children are encouraged to use their imaginations to construct, design, assemble, paint, draw, and illustrate. Each month we highlight a specific artist and their technique. In September we study Frida Kahlo and her colorful self-portraits. We will each paint a very colorful self-portrait this month that will hang in our classroom.

I brought out some new block crayons I made from last year's broken ones. The children used them to make colorful leaf rubbings.

She created a very colorful piece of artwork! She made a frame for her masterpiece and then hung it in the Art Center.

In our Science Center, the children are provided with continuous opportunities to observe, predict, question and analyze as they learn about the weather and seasons, animals and their habitats and the stages of metamorphosis.

Currently, we are learning about metamorphosis. The children observe two Monarch caterpillars munching leaves on a Milkweed plant.

A few of our meteorologists practice giving the daily weather forecast.

Friends play with a variety of different animals and create appropriate habitats.

The children observe, question and gather information as they watch our Cecropia Moth caterpillar munch away on Sycamore Maple leaves.

In Writing Center, the children have an opportunity to experiment with a variety of tools and materials to write letters, practice writing our names, draw, create books and use their knowledge of letters sounds and words to express themselves.

This is a wonderful example of how important it is for the children to have the time, tools and opportunities to use their imagination and creativity. In these pictures, you can see our friend created a beautiful birthday card for his sister. How special is this!

Building Center encourages planning, cooperation, negotiation, creativity, imagination, and a sense of accomplishment.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patick's Day

All dressed in green, the kindergarten children sit eagerly to hear some Irish tales from our lovely guest, Kathy Brownell.
Kathy explains the game of Cricket.
Kathy plays and sings an Irish favorite and our monthy song, The Unicorn.

Kindergarten had the luck of the Irish on St. Paddy's Day. Oh yes, they did! First we found shamrocks for everyone and some gold dust scattered around our classroom. Those tricky wee folk, they get us every year! Lucky, aren't we?!? Later that morning we were treated to a visit from, our community member, Kathy Brownell. She shared special stories about her trips to Ireland, photos she took of a very, tricky leprechaun, explained the game of Cricket, and sang The Unicorn, with us as she played the guitar. Thank you so much Kathy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chinese New Year Potluck

What a wonderful turnout! Thank you for joining us to celebrate the evening! We hope you enjoyed your children's and their friends accomplishments and hard work. Everyone learned many new things from this unit including calligraphy, counting and singing in Chinese, how Chinese people celebrate their New Year, using more detail in their individual writing, how and why to add more detail to their drawing and writing when creating work for a classroom book, non-fiction and factual information (learning about Panda Bears), how long, hard and cooperative people need to be when working together on a project (class banners and reference to The Great Wall of China), using fine motoring skills when using sequins to decorate scrolls, banners, masks and lanterns and setting up an environment to display artwork. We hope you were able to see from the examples that were available how much goes into your children's work through their individual creations and their performance. It is amazing how hard your children work and play during their school day. During this unit we enjoyed many pieces of fine literature and stories together such as Ruby's Wish, The Seven Chinese Brothers, The Seven Chinese Sisters, The Greatest Treasure, Lion Dancer, Our First Chinese New Year, just to name a few. Again thanks for coming and bringing the beverages and healthy fruit choices. We hope you enjoyed the evening! I sure did!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great Wall of China

The children are fascinated with the Chinese culture. The idea that adults ride their bicycles to work and to get around the cities. The children attend school on Saturdays to learn calligraphy. The calligraphy is used to create characters. Each character represents a phrase or word instead of the way we string letters of our alphabet together to create a word (we practice daily). They use chopsticks instead of knives, forks and spoons. WOW! China is the only place Panda bears can be found living naturally.
And then there's that Great Wall of China. This is aways what facinates young children the most. It is hard to imagine the time, energy and cooperation it took to build this amazing sturcture. So the children always use a variety of building materials to try and duplicate this sturcture.

The 100th Day of School

It's certainly hard to believe that we have finally completed 100 days of school, especially after all our snow days. Anyway, the 100th day was filled with lots of excitement. We read several books about the 100th day but, Miss Bindergatren Celebrates 100 Days was the favorite. After reading that the children had to write about collecting or eating 100 things. Interesting ideas! The children also shared their wonderful collections with their classmates. We all enjoyed that very much! We had guessing games using white stones, seaglass and Jingle shells. We had to guess which jars had 100 items in it. We even stumped the other adult teachers. Estimation can be very tricky. Then we had a very fun and interesting scavenger hunt that included finding 100 buttons (each individually numbered) that were hidden around our classroom. Each child was sent out to find around six buttons and then they had to match the numbered button on our 100 number grid. We had a great day celebrating to number 100. How fun!!