I am sorry about the mud. I really am. As a mom to one of the students in our class, I know that she probably went through at least 10 pairs of pants this week at school. I realize that laundry is a drag. But I also really love all of the amazing things that your children were doing with mud which is why I didn't tell them to stop having so much fun. They spent lots of time moving water in the stream bed. Maybe you've been to one of those fancy science museums where they have a changeable water table. Children can put various pieces onto the table and help reshape the flow of water. That's what we were doing in the stream. Using their feet, rocks, sticks, and hands, the children diligently made channels to drain side puddles back into the main stream. Others built bridges to span some of the deeper parts. They created dams to try to redirect the water. There was teamwork, problem solving, hard work, and the satisfaction of a job well done. And mud. Lots of mud.
I really love snow - it's one of the reasons I choose to live where I do, and while this mild weather has its upsides (we've barely touched this winter's wood supply), I do find myself wishing for snow.Feel free to remind me of this in March when I am wishing the snow would go away. Our weather theme was following my wishes and we focused on snow, winter, and crystal formation this week. We made Borax crystal snowflakes, and the results were stunning. We read Hibernation and wrote a fact that we learned from the story. Quinn was kind enough to share a favorite snowflake story, A Flake Like Mike, which turned out to be the perfect introduction for our tie dyed coffee filter snowflakes.
This week we used dice to roll word families that we then recorded on our chalkboards. One student gave us the ending "ug," and then everyone had a chance to roll a letter. We took each letter and tried to make a word. Figuring out the nonsense words like "yug" still provided everyone with great spelling practice. Our writing time is beginning to get easier for the children as they gain confidence in getting their ideas down on paper and sound spelling unknown words. Many of them are developing a bank of known words (starting with words like Mom, Dad, the).
Sticking with our snow theme, we are counting down (from 20) to our winter vacation. Each day we cover the biggest number with a cotton ball, count the total number of cotton balls, and figure out how many days are left. It's all part of understanding addition and subtraction facts up to 20. We used the unifix cubes in a number of math lessons this week. We used them for measuring, to explore turnaround facts a little more (If 4+5=9, 5+4=9), and to help us count by 10s to 200.
With Theresa's inspiration and her huge stash of recorders, we jumped into music making with an instrument this week. While the initial goal of playing "Cascabel" (Jingle Bells in Spanish) for next Friday may be slightly optimistic, the children are excited to be playing their recorders. We started to work on how to hold the recorders, how to blow into the recorders, and how to play a few notes. If you're lucky, you may get to hear a bit of our progress at the Holiday Party.
Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you on Monday!