For Earth Day we focused on many topics related to celebrating the Earth and keeping our planet healthy.
We talked about Solar Energy! Thanks to Brian for bringing in a solar panel and telling us how it works. The children all tried to pick it up and realized how heavy it was. Brian inspired us to look for solar panels in our community and report back to him. (Thanks Brian for coming in!)
We ordered a small solar panel to take outside and show how it creates energy to make something work. In this case it was a small fan. See below for a movie clip. We used this on the one sunny day last week. (We also have tiny solar cars but have been unable to use at this point due to the lack of sun.)
The children spent several weeks focusing on the large continent of Africa. We always look closely at the beautiful Montessori continent maps but we also focused on sights and sounds of the continent.
First up, we studied ancient Egypt. The children made cat masks, colored various pages and some of the afternoon children made small pyramids. We read many books and looked at models of artifacts one might find there.
We also made African collars inspired by Kenya and Tanzania.
We have been studying dinosaurs! There are SO many dinosaurs, it is unbelievable! Thankfully, we have many 3, 4 and 5 year olds experts in the classroom to help us. Some children enjoy looking at our big chart of dinos and match up little models of dinosaurs to the pictures.
Some children like to match up the dinosaur cards.
We have matched up various dinosaur skeletons.
We also made our own fossils! Pretend paleontologists!
We used Model Magic and pressed in a mini dino skeleton.
Take the model out and let it air dry. It takes a few days.
We then used brown paint to make it more realistic.
We are fortunate to have access to some REAL fossils!
First up was dinosaur poop!
This rock was said to have been in a dinosaur stomach to help it digest food.
And here is part of an eggshell.
Finally, our music teacher led the children in a song about dinos:
This Kindergarten aged child has become quite interested in learning about grammar! She is reading and sounding out words at the three letter consonant-vowel-consonant level and knows many sight words. The purpose of this “work” is to have the child understand the difference between nouns that are singular and nouns that are plural.
She places the tags at the top and a teacher helps her to understand that one says singular and one says plural.
She then reads each card and places it in the appropriate column.
One by one she places the tiny objects next to the cards. A lightbulb goes off!
It is a concrete way to introduce beginning grammar!
We recently studied our third type of vertebrate- the reptile! Some characteristics of reptiles include: They are covered in scales. They breathe with lungs.
Most lay eggs. Almost all are cold blooded.
The afternoon children took a field trip to the Great Lakes Zoological Society to check out more reptiles. http://www.glzszoo.com/
We were able to see many types of reptiles! After our experience with the guide, we walked around the zoo and completed a scavenger hunt.
The younger children were also able to experience a reptile when one of our students (and dad) brought in his pet snake Sly! Sly happened to be molting and was slightly duller in appearance than normal but he was as good sport. All of the children were able to take a close look but we didn’t touch him. We were also able to match reptile cards and read many reptile books.
Our sewing practice has paid off! The children have been sewing so much this year. First, they practiced with a running stitch. We sewed on vinyl and cardstock. We then practiced sewing a whipstitch on vinyl and then with small felt tubes. The children that are ready and have been practicing began to sew neckwarmers last Friday! They are happy to have them to keep their necks warm!
Sewing helps with the development of fine motor skills! It is also a very important practical life skill to have.
The children were very happy and proud of their neckwarmers!
We decided to take a small group of afternooners on a field trip to the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology as we have been studying Africa and most specifically, Ancient Egypt.
We hopped on the bus and headed into campus. Our stop was right by the cube so we decided it was necessary to give it a spin before the trip inside the museum.
This afternoon/Kindergarten child is zooming along in his reading!!! He has worked his way through many of the language materials and is now reading many phonograms and is able to sound out all phonetic words. We have now begun the study of grammar. He explored some of our noun boxes and then went to work making his own “noun book.”
This child does not usually draw many pictures but took great pride in making pictures of many different nouns!