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.