It's been a week of reveling in the mud kitchen, being coyotes/wolves/deer/horses, and starting to get really excited about space. Hopefully we'll get some clear weather soon so the children can get some sightings of the moon to put in their moon journals.
Our Theme: Space
Thank you for sending in all sorts of great resources for our study of space. The children and I have been enjoying looking at the space books, reading about everything from our sun to black holes. We read The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote - ask your child why coyote howls at the moon. We also read two stories that tie our study to the lives of children. How Many Stars in the Sky? and I'll See You When the Moon is Full are two stories with very sweet interactions between dads and their sons. WI asked the class to help envision what we should do to dramatic play and our classroom to really immerse in our space theme. They created drawings and descriptions that we shared as a class. Based on their plans, we made lots of stars this week to hang from the ceiling. Next week, we're going to build a rocket ship and work on making the solar system.
One of the disclaimers that Theresa and I mention at our initial parent meeting is that we currently do not have a music teacher, art teacher, or PE teacher. We do our best to share our love of these things and hope to provide some of the basics. Every day we sing at least 3 songs with one of them being Spanish. Many of the songs have dances that go along with them. The children work on their right and left as we do the Hokey Pokey, engage their kinetic learners as we sing about the animals on La Granja (the farm), and develop the self control necessary to move in a prescribed way while still having lots of fun. This year we are also really trying to give everyone some experience playing the recorder. We have done some echoing and technique as a whole group, but we are working in small groups or one-on-one as well. The children also know that they can play their recorders during free choice time as long as they play gently.
The first and second graders are continuing to work with the hundreds chart. Practicing rote counting (especially by 5s and 10s) has been important for our money work. Everyone is getting better at identifying the differences between pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters as well as totaling a small group of coins. We put this practice to work when we invited Theresa's math class to come and visit our store. Each of the younger students had a dime to spend and an older buddy to help total the purchases. We worked on subtracting from ten and getting correct change.
Theresa has created a wonderful series of materials inspired by the Montessori method that everyone has been exploring. The "Number Gnome" will be adding and updating this math center throughout the year. Theresa's math class has continued to work with numbers 1 through 10, while discussing numbers that can be combined to make ten. Now that the children are familiar with a number of math activities, the students are often working independently while Theresa provides them with individual coaching.
Have a wonderful weekend, and we'll see you on Monday!