On Tuesday the children were each given their photo from PJ day and asked to draw a picture of themselves.  We used our special drawing pens for this activity (they are very fine tip so the children can draw in detail).  

We drew the children's attention to the way they held their arms in the photo and asked them to portray this in their sketches.  We also had them look closely at the PJs and draw the details of their outfit.  I am amazed how how detailed some of the drawings are!  In the photos you will see each child's photo beside their drawing. 
Wow, were the kids ever excited about wearing their pjs yesterday!  What a fun-filled time we had together.  

We took turns showing our pajamas during our welcome meeting, and then read Audrey Wood's "The Napping House".  This repetitive story is great for retelling, so each child created their own visual representation of the Napping House.  Since the school year is coming to an end these will not be on display, but will be glued into your child's portfolio.

After centres, we had group time where we read the song-based picture book "8 Silly Monkeys".  We used monkeys from our beanie baby collection to model the numeracy concept of subtraction as we sang our way through the book.  The children then identified the characters in the story (monkeys, Mom, and doctor) and then we acted out the song (with many more silly monkeys so everyone could have a part if they wanted).  We were able to get great videos of this!  The videos have been posted in the "Protected Section" of the website, please check your email for the password. 
  • Just wanted to let everyone know that our classroom will become quite bare over the next week.  Jenn and I have started taking the children's work down to glue into their portfolios. 
Don't forget to wear your pajamas to school tomorrow! :)
On Monday we read the story "We're Going on A Nature Hunt" and discussed the signs of spring we might see in our playground.  We then went outside with our clipboards and nature hunt sheets looking for specific nature items.  We coloured each section of the turtle's shell as we found the items.  Your child's sheet has been glued into their portfolio.
Our afternoon class has begun a new inquiry project on camping (the children chose this as their topic of interest).  We have been reading books about camping and trees and have also changed our dramatic play area into a camping scene complete with trees, tents, and a fishing 'pond'.  

The children have been very creative with the natural materials - often spending a great deal of time creating 'campfires' - which are intricate designs using a variety of the materials available (and often using every last piece of these items!).  We have also observed them sliding the beads onto sticks to roast 'marshmallows' over their created campfire.  

Here are some photos of their creative work (these photos are from both the morning and the afternoon classes):
Welcome to Ryan, who joined our afternoon class! 
Here are the children's finished flower paintings.  They are currently displayed around our classroom... I will be sad to send them home!  They look so beautiful all together and give us a hopeful sense that spring is around the corner (since the weather is really not doing this!) 
Wow, what a fantastic field visit we had at the Muttart!  Thank you so much to our parent (and grandparent) volunteers who were able to join us.  Jenn and I really appreciated your help, especially since the Muttart was very busy, with people lining up to see the Putrella flower. 

During our field visit, Matt (our great leader for the day) told us the following tid-bits of information about ladybugs:
  • Ladybugs are insects (they have 6 legs, 2 antennas, a head, thorax, and abdomen).
  • Ladybugs can be different colours - in Canada we have 400 different kinds of ladybugs.
  • The number of spots don't tell us how old they are or if they are male or female. 
  • They are often referred to as "gardener's helpers" because they eat aphids.
  • They smell through their feet.

We then went to visit our first pyramid (the arid climate) where we talked about plant adaptations.  Using our sense of touch, we described how different objects felt, and related this information to plants.  For example, a cactus is "pokey" and "sharp" to protect it from getting eaten.  We saw a felt bush plant which is "soft" and "fuzzy".  At first the children thought this was also so it would not get eaten, but Matt informed us the fuzz helps keep the plant cool.  Lastly, we got to feel a jelly bean plant which had a waxy coating.  We learned that this helped the plant retain it's water (fight evaporation).  Matt squeezed the leaf and we counted how many drops of water came out - Morning Class: 10 drops, Afternoon Class: 17 drops! 

Our next stop was the feature pyramid where we learned about the roll bumble bees play: pollenating plants.  We learned that bumble bees and ladybugs have compound vision to help them find flowers.  We got to try on cool goggles that gave us compound vision and explored the pyramid with these on.

Next we visited the temperate pyramid which is similar to our climate.  Here we discussed the seasons:
Matt: "Summer turns to fall, then fall turns to winter, and then winter..."
Luka: "Winter turns to Christmas!"
Matt then informed us that ladybugs hibernate during the winter, so spring is a time when they come out to look for a home.  The children were then each given a ladybug in a container and were told to find it a home in the pyramid and release it.  The children each named their ladybug prior to finding it a home...

Morning Class Ladybug Names
  • Abd-ElRahman - Legrick
  • Amelie - Allison
  • Augustus - Spottsy
  • Finn - Buggy
  • Gabriella - Gabriella
  • Jasper - Climb-Climb
  • Kobe - Kenyon
  • Leia - Princess Leia
  • Luka - Black
  • Megan - Pinky
  • Nathan - Sebastian
  • Rayyan - Ladybuggy
  • Tobias - Spider

Afternoon Class Ladybug Names
  • Anna - Holly
  • Avery - Jill
  • Aroh - Jeriton
  • Cooper - Ladybug Finn
  • Dorine - Little Cute Baby
  • Elisha -Ladybuggy
  • Finn - Howard
  • Jesse - Cuckoo Head
  • Kinan - Howie
  • Lowyn - Unicorn
  • Seth - Goodsat

Lastly, we visited the tropical pyramid to see the putrella flower and talk about plants that grow foods we eat.  We saw a banana plant with small bananas growing on it, a small pineapple, a coffee plant (or tree, we aren't sure), and a cinnamon tree.  We learned that the putrella is very stinky to attract bugs to it, but it wasn't very stinky by the time we saw it.  Here's a little conversation between the children:
Avery: "We can't eat the stinky flower."
Kinan: "No, I already ate in the car."

Morning Class

Afternoon Class

Welcome to Aisling, who has joined our afternoon class!