Thursday, November 21, 2013

Curriculum surrounding that holiday with the big bird . . .
There was a time in the early 1990's where those of us who worked in progressively minded schools, because of stereotypes and commercialism, shunned the idea of supporting any curriculum around traditional American holidays.  Well, over the years I have mellowed, had my own child, and realized, with young children, it is often what is right in front of them that creates the curriculum, rather than I, as the teacher, forcing a subject they may not be interested in.  Starting with what is familiar to them and building the children's learning from there, is what I try to do personally and through the Reggio philosophy.  In any event, ALL the children have been aware that, pretty soon, they are to have a big meal with their family.
Below, Colin made his own turkey, utilizing our available feathers . . .

I decided to make drawing turkeys more of a game by creating a Color-by-Number version . . .

The M/W group had fun using the dice to choose how many unifix blocks to gather for building a tower - good number-sense experience.

Then Jack had the idea to sort the blocks.

Everyone joined in on this activity!

The T/Th group learned how to set the table with their own personalized placematts.  They will take these home next week so they can help you set the table!

We had fun at our pretend Thanksgiving table!

We got out the race track and made it really long, too.

At outside time we realized we needed to go check out all the big trucks.

Sinh enjoyed the simplicity of playing with a dinosaur on the dirt pile . . .

For our kitschy holiday project, we made turkeys out of cups - hoping to fill them with some treat next week.

Also in preparation for making mashed potatoes next week, we made our own butter out of heavy cream and a pinch of salt.

We each became a butter churn as we shook the jar to make the butter!

Jack's family shared a fun vegetable turning slicer/spiralizer which enable us to make "noodles" from zucchini!
So fun and delicious.

Fun shape!

We then boiled our "pasta" for a few minutes, added some tomato sauce and...zucchini spaghetti! Yum!

We did some beading together this week.  Below, Hazel helps Colin.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thoughfulness and a bit of Service

This week the M/W group read an old Russian tale about a turnip (we called it a potato) that was so huge it took the whole family to pull it up!

We had fun re-enacting it.

We made some nice-smelling play dough.


In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, we made "Thoughtful Cards," each child picks one per day to perform a nice deed to a friend . . .

Also, with the idea of service in mind, we looked at a few of the endangered species in Colorado.  We talked about the characteristics of these animals and will choose one to help.

The T/Th group, having worked SO hard on assimilating the routines of school, are enjoying playing nicely together all day!

Sinh took great care of our babies.

And then joined Jackson for "lunch."

We are so good at helping and taking care of the room!

Everyone got their coat on (almost entirely) by themselves!!

Noe worked hard on our alphabet puzzle - good job!

We made bird-feeders later in the week with peanut butter and pine cones we had found.

We enjoyed looking through Jill's bird book and identifying some familiar birds.

Noe decided that we should build our bridge again...

It was fun to use our new tape dispenser.

The T/Th group brought their bears to school Thursday.  We did EVERYTHING with them . . .

At meeting time, we talked about our bears and told each other their names.

We also dressed them up like the children do in a book we have read.

We had a lot of fun popping pop corn together!

Molly helped to pass out napkins.

Somebody really liked the popcorn!

Later we also made birdfeeders.

Had to tolerate sticky fingers for a bit . . .

Fun in the crunchy leaves.

and, Molly, I love how you keep the marker caps in a little line when you color.