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Sharing Our Discoveries

I love the moments of discovery that pepper our days - a child discovering how different combinations of "apple counters" make 10 or the thrill in predicting that ketchup will be an acid. Our multiage classroom means that there are always eager audiences for any discovery. The older children love teaching our younger learners, and our littlest students know that there is always someone who wants to see the worm that just crawled up through the leaves.

Cheryl's PreK Reflections

Leaves were raked on our classroom door and outside by our preschoolers who gleefully jumped in the piles and begged a friend to get buried under them. Ask your child what starts with the letter 'F' this week and you may hear about Fiona the Flamingo who liked to peek at them from her sunglasses and catch them sitting crisscross applesauce or sharing! We introduced how to use a mat for independent free choice time. Rebecca and I role-played this process and how to include friends when not on a mat. All children seemed to really understand and love this idea, and we will have opportunities to practice this.

Halloween approaching and an upcoming field trip Tuesday to Barber's Farm to pick a pumpkin created an air of excitement. One student shared that she was counting the days until the field trip at home with her family! Bats were cut out and hung up (one student then took a book all about bats to a cozy spot to 'read about them') and balloon ghosts were tied to spook black cats (made from our foot tracings) on our classroom door.

Children chose to pretend to be ' teacher' or work on puzzles and gears during free choice time and got a special presentation of a book from Tracy's writers. Have your child sing the nursery rhyme about 'piggies' but beware that socks may just come off! Or, have them tell you the feeling their 'pumpkin moonshine' was showing on its face, what a roasted pumpkin seed tastes like, what silky milkweed seeds feel like or what they water-colored rolling down a hill. A dose of silliness and curiousity with a touch of wonder was felt this week.

Author's Tea

Part of our writing model involves sharing our work, and all of our writers got a chance to do that this last week. When I asked my writers afterwards what it felt like, they said, "Really good!" "Awesome!" "Great!" The mentioned that they felt nervous before the event started, but then they all agreed that it was really wonderful to have an audience listen to their words. We do share for a few minutes at the end of each writing class, and the children enjoy this too, asking questions and offering comments to their peers. But bringing a piece of writing through the whole publishing process and sharing it with lots of other kids and adults definitely upped the ante. Most people don't want to write in a vacuum, and it feeds us to know that others have read and enjoyed our words.

Theme: Chemistry

This was a fun week for chemistry discoveries. The older kids found out what happens when you eat chocolate and gum at the same time - ask your child about it. We explored the idea of pH, talked about acids and bases, then tested a wide range of things from around the school: ketchup, dressing, coffee, creamer, milk, soap, and others. The children were deeply involved in the process. They predicted what each substance would be, dipped in the litmus paper, watched it turn colors, and then compared those colors to our chart.

Our youngest chemists joined us on our pH exploration. They also experimented with the properties of water and color, using coffee filters to help discover how colors can mix to form something different.

We'll be finishing up our chemistry work this next week, so look for a few final experiments!

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