The Butterfly Class took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and walked to Raymond Park. We have been stalwart in our belief that spring will come! We have been thinking a lot about seeds. We have found them in the food we have for snack. We have played with beans. We have been thinking about the magical promise contained in each seed. When we walked to the playground, we looked for sprouts. There were many sprouts and many small flowers to see. Today the children became seeds; got watered; were warmed by the sun; turned into sprouts; and then shared the special tree, flower, fruit, vegetable that emerged from their seed. We had quite a sampling of flora! We are also counting the days until the world looks like spring in full bloom!
An interesting article in the March/April 2017 issue of Scientific American Mind, entitled "Getting Preschool Right: The Push for Rigorous PreKindergarten education has overlooked the evidence on how young children really learn best." by Melinda Wenner Moyer.
Butterfly News: Our spring corner is blossoming under our huge rainbow. Included on our springtime wall is a duck, a pond, a rolly polly, grass, a cloud, a sun, another rainbow, a springtime inspired factory, and of course there are some flowers…. We finally tore all the rings off of our chain and, as hard as it is to believe, Monday is almost here!
Butterfly News: Believe it or not, this week we took a walk to find the signs of spring. We found tiny leaves on bushes, tiny flowers of various colors—purple, yellow, white. We also heard and saw birds and felt the spring air on our skin. Then of course day we were singing the winter version of the song “The Green Grass Grows All Around.” It’s the white snow that blows all around in the winter version.
Also, despite the snow, we are getting ready to wake up Bear. Bear has been hibernating since the first day of winter and is missed! We have a paper chain to count the days. The children decided that the first day of spring, Monday, March 20th, would also be a perfect time for Pajama Day!
Friendship was in the air. Many children seemed to find new friends in the group we have had since September. It was beautiful to see. We have been adjusting the rhythm of the day to offer more play. This time of the year, with the coming of spring, can often bring a restlessness. Perhaps it is the warmer weather, perhaps it is the growing knowledge that the big transition at the end of the year is coming, perhaps it is being tired of the cold, perhaps it is all of the above. The children seem to be responding positively to fewer transitions in the day and longer spans of time for exploration and connection. Today a group was working together on a tricky puzzle. A few children spent most of the morning chatting and working on Legos. Other children delved into painting, others listened to stories.
Caterpillar News: On Tuesday morning, we went to the Butterfly room to hear about Alex's work on a Flying Car (wings by the door area flap over and fold out). He showed two short videos and let the kids try on his pilot helmet. Back in the Caterpillar room they drew flying cars and made them out of MagnaTiles, working to get the right triangle shape for authenticity.
Everybody was engaged with Jeff Jam and yoga. Hannah has been singing "This Land is Your Land", and we have added it to our repertoire at meeting; I hear a lot of kids singing it to themselves while they play.
And-continuing with our Ocean study- Candice outlined seahorses for the kids to color in. Last year she helped the group make a large Daddy seahorse with 14 pockets, which we saved. The little ones they colored will be reinforced and attached to sticks , so the kids can play with them and then put them back in the Dad's pouch. Sometime next week we will put it on the wall.
Because show works better than tell- we had a Red Snapper to examine fish scales, gills and fins. After looking at the fish drawings Mark brought in from the Natural History Museum, most of the children thought fish had feathers- now I think they know the difference between feather and fin (and skin and scales and gills and nose- all of which we have had conversations about).
Today we began to think about what colors we are! The children used some special cray-pas, all shades of brown, to make self-portraits of their faces or whole bodies (in miniature). We also had some yarn for hair. The yarn was also turned into abstract art and, for a bit, a gigantic treasure map on our rug that included a Duplo volcano, a forest made of wood and Duplos, many animals, treasures made of Duplos, and some “x’s” made out of yarn.
Our mural has been progressing. The treasure maps and treasures have also shown up on the mural. Our ocean is full of treasures. I uploaded months of photos. In the photos you can see all the fun we have been having and also the stages our mural has gone through up to its present incarnation. The children decided that the white part between the green grass and the blue ocean could be the city.
These past two days it must be spring fever!