One of the favorite activities each year is color mixing!
The children love to see what happens when they put droplets of colored-water down, mix and soak up with a paper towel.
Everyone is able to complete this work!
Once they put all of the drops down, they mix together with a little toothpick.
Slowly and carefully they put a paper towel down. The colors quickly absorb and once they pick it up…
Our final vertebrate was the fish. We have a pet fish named “Gulpy” in our classroom but it is difficult to see the many different parts as he or she is so small!
So, each year we head to Kerrytown to purchase a fish. We have a lesson and look at all of the different parts up close.
After a day, we then paint the fish and make fish prints. Many children like to make their own “parts of a fish” book.
Once the fish has been painted, the child presses paper down.
Lift up the paper to reveal a fish (or two in this case)!
The fish work seemed to then inspire fish watercolor painting!
We have been discussing Benjamin Franklin, circuits, and electricity in school!
We have read several stories about Benjamin Franklin and began our own experiments!
First up was static electricity!
We then talked about circuits!
We have many hands-on ways to understand how these circuits work.
Eastern Screech Owl
We began to study our fourth vertebrate – birds!
The children have been enjoying making books with the various parts and learning about the lifecycle of birds. We were lucky to have two owls from the Leslie Science and Nature Center http://www.lesliesnc.org/visit us one day! We met an Eastern Screech Owl and a Barred Owl.
An owl wing is very soft and light!
An owl wing makes no noise compared to a turkey feather!
The talons are sharp!!
After our visit, we dissected two owl pellets!
We found many, many interesting bones and even some rocks!
The children enjoyed looking at the chart to see what type of animal the owls had eaten.
During our bird study, many children brought in feathers for us to see!
After our owl visits, two of our classmates brought in one of their pet chickens! (Thanks Sarah!)
We learned so much about birds!
We began to study the amazing world of magnets! The children loved interacting with all of the activities we had available.
Many activities were not shown such as moving a duck in water with a magnet and classifying magnetic and non-magnetic items!
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.
We have had a lot of fun for the past few weeks learning about pumpkins. We first dissected a pumpkin and learned about all of the different parts.
Some children chose to make a parts of the pumpkin book to take home!
One child roasted pumpkin seeds at home with her mom and brought them in for us to taste!
On Halloween, we decided to have our own special time by carving a jack-o-lantern.
We used the pumpkin we had dissected and some spices we ground in class to make tiny pumpkin pies for the whole class! They enjoyed making and rolling out the crust, cutting out the shapes and mixing up the filling! Everyone tasted a mini pumpkin pie while we sat around our carved jack-o-lantern.
We also found tiny pumpkins to paint! The backpacks weighed a little more than they normally do today!
Overall, we learned so much about pumpkins! We integrated them into many of our activities!
This week we wrapped up our two week study of amphibians. To give the children a concrete experience of an amphibian, we bought two dwarf African water frogs for our classroom!
We have not named them yet.
Unfortunately they are only fed twice a week! (The children would like to feed them every day!) They drop two tiny pellets per frog down a small hole.
After feeding they watch the frogs to see if they get the food right away. It is fun to watch their webbed feet!
We had many extensions for children to complete. Some liked to make a parts of the frog book. Some children finished a life cycle of the frog. They could interact with the life cycle model as well. We had a lot of fun studying amphibians and now have two more pets to feed and love!
One of the many works we do in the practical life area is that of transferring items. This may be using a spoon to transfer beans from one bowl to the next or using a sponge to transfer water from one bowl to the next. The children strengthen their fine motor skills and learn to become more independent in these types of skills. This is a variation that works as those with more skilled fine motor skills can use tweezers and those on the path of refining their skills can use their fingers. These types of activities also help to develop concentration and they satisfy the child’s need for order.
This past week we thought about fruits and vegetables. We were able to experience real fruits and vegetables in a sensorial way. The children were able to take a basket to a rug to feel and smell the various items.
This type of task is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Children gain a stereognostic impression of the fruit or vegetable. For those non-native speakers, they learn all of the names.
We offered a variety of items for tasting on our science shelf. Monday we offered pears. Tuesday was green beans and Wednesday we offered cherry tomatoes. Thursday we offered cooked beets and Friday grapes and chard. Many children tried the cherry tomatoes and enjoyed them so much they asked for extras!
We planted cherry tomatoes in our garden bed. Dr. Montessori felt that children should be in contact with nature and felt it was an essential part of the child’s development. We make a point to include the study of nature in our day. “A child, who more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature, certainly needs to have at his disposal material upon which he can work.” – Dr. Montessori
The week before last we studied parts of a plant and showed the children various types of plants. This past we week we focused on tomatoes. We dissected a tomato and looked at the various parts. Many children were moved to make a parts of the tomato book to take home.