We started the year with some very tiny monarch butterfly caterpillars. They ate and ate and ate all the milkweed leaves we had for them. We observed the caterpillars as they grew bigger and fatter. We read many books to learn about how the caterpillars would change. We learned that the monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico in the fall and stay their until spring.
When our caterpillars were ready, they shed their skin and became a green chrysalis and after a week or so, it changed to black. We could see the wings inside. We even got to see one butterfly emerge from the chrysalis.
When the wings were dry, the butterflies were ready to fly and we released each butterfly so it could fly to Mexico.
We looked for 3-D shapes around the room and learned to name them – sphere, cube, rectangular prism, cone and pyramid. We used Geoblocks to explore various 3-D shapes. We looked carefully for 2-D faces on the 3-D shapes. Our favorite 3-D activity was combining 3-D shapes to make a block that looked the same as the largest Geoblock. We worked carefully to find as many combinations as we could. Take a look at some of our work.
Due to the lack of recess during our harsh winter temperatures, our afternoon activity time has been more active than usual. Mrs. Knee brought in several large boxes from her new kitchen cabinets that the builder saved for us. We have enjoyed turning them into houses, caves and other imaginary places. Several large pieces of cloth and some clothespins were added as props for more fun. Tents were made with the tables and chairs. Some children created new spaces by attaching the boxes and adding flat pieces of cardboard. Mrs. Knee supplied some plastic connectors made by a company called Makedo. This construction work has connected to our math study of two dimensional and three dimensional shapes.
Our days and weeks are filled with lots of activity. The KinderKids have adjusted well to their classroom schedule. There is a variety of work through the day. Here are some examples of the work we do. As you can see, we have very busy days.
As part of our elephant study, we learned about an elephant festival in India. Elephants are washed and then decorated with paint and jewelry. We decided to make some painted elephants of our own. We hope you like our beautiful elephants.
For the last month we have been learning all about elephants. As a final project, each of us wrote two facts that we learned about these BIG animals. Some of us wrote about the different parts of an elephants’ body, while others wrote about things elephants are able to do. Once our writing was complete, we all drew beautiful pictures of African and Asian elephants. The sentences and pictures were pasted into a big book which we have sent to our new friend, Chris. He is a soldier in the Army who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. We learned that soldiers sometimes live far away from their families, and it is nice to send them special letters and packages to bring them happiness. The package that Chris should receive soon is still a surprise to him! We hope to teach Chris, and all of you, lots of interesting things about elephants.
What do you do in the summer when you need to cool off? Perhaps you have some fun with water balloons. What do you do in the winter when the temperatures are way to cold to play outdoors? You fill balloons with colored water, put them outside and wait to see what happens!!! That’s what we did on one of the cold, cold days just to find out what would happen. We left the water filled balloons outdoors overnight and the next day we found out.
We think our ice balloons look spiky, shiny, colorful, glassy, icy, and beautiful. We think our ice balloons feel cold, slippery, smooth, freezing, wet, and wonderful. We think you should try this if you can.
Our classroom was transformed into a science lab for several days, while we explored the science of color. We used water, color fizzer tablets, water jelly crystals, pinch and mix color goo plus test tubes, petri dishes, mini mixing trays and pipettes. We learned about primary and secondary colors and lots of additional colors. We love science. What do you do for science in your classroom?
We had great weather for our hike on Blue Job (rhymes with robe). We hiked over rocks until we arrived at the Fire Tower. We had a snack and then climbed up the tower – even Mrs. Knee and Mrs. Heon!
After that we hiked over to Little Baldy and passed several rock cairns that marked the trail. We even passed a little pond. We had lunch on Little Baldy and had time to explore and play. Then we hiked back to the parking lot and got into our cars.