PreK students are SUPER excited for music class!! We had a fantastic first day of class with tons of singing, dancing, and self expression! One of our songs was about recognizing each individual student and at the end of the song they got to jump up and say their name. The class was full of smiles, laughter and music – I loved their wonderful energy!
The morning of “Camping Day” was rainy but the PreK students kept a positive attitude and started out camping inside! There we learned about sleeping bags, pack pillows, chairs that collapse into a small package and nesting pots to use for cooking. The idea of having no electricity or running water gave the students a lot to think about. The lantern would supply light, the ice chest would keep things cold, and fire would provide the heat for cooking. And, a parachute draped over a few chairs made a great indoor tent!
After lunch it stopped raining, so we headed out to the Unquowa woods. Seeing a bundle of material change to a tent big enough to fit the entire class inside was amazing! In the tent we beaded necklaces and had quiet activities. Outside we noticed that after the rain, the brook was running faster than usual and we even discovered a waterfall! To top off the day we roasted smores and in true camping fashion we washed our sticky hands in the brook. It was a fun, memorable day for early childhood students and teachers!
PreK-4 students visited the Discovery Museum during our insect unit to learn about crickets. Did you know that boy crickets are the only crickets that make a sound? We also learned that crickets ears are on their knees! Do you believe it? Some people get confused between grasshoppers and crickets. Grasshoppers are always green and usually live in grass and crickets are brown or black and live in the forest. After our discussion we observed live crickets and created our own with clothespins and paper. If you are very quiet and open and close the clothespin you can hear the sound of a cricket. Shhhh.
With the drumbeat and chant from our kindergarteners, the excitement of performing to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Dog began from the first moment. Students performed songs and chants using their own traditional crafts as props and introductions and background were given by our older students in… Mandarin and English!
Making these crafts gave students the opportunity to learn the Chinese traditions involving food, decorations and the history of this holiday. Very quickly each student knew the character – 福（fú, luck and happiness)and the traditional gesture for wishing a good Chinese New Year with the expression – 恭喜恭喜 ( gōng xǐ gōng xǐ). Students in third and fourth grade were very proud of themselves when they made their 福（fú）character crafts. As students learned in class, when福(fú）is upside down, it means “luck and happiness have arrived.” There are several upside down 福（fú）characters in the first grade students’ crafts, so luck and happiness have just arrived around us at Unquowa. Upper school students also made their own 春联 ( (chūn lián), adding happiness and best wishes to the celebration.
As you are watching this video full of our students’ enthusiasm and talent, we wish you and your family 狗年大吉大利 (gǒu nián dàjí dà lì)…luck and prosperity in the Chinese New Year of the Dog!
For “D week” the PreK-4 students were asked, “What is a dozen?” There were many guesses but we needed to discover the correct answer. Each child was given an empty egg carton and asked to fill each hole with a small item from our classroom. The children had fun “shopping” for their items. After we came back to meeting and counted each collection they were happy to discover a dozen was twelve! They had so much fun with the game they took home the egg carton and played at home. It sure was a fun way to combined Math and Language Arts.
For letter Q week Miss Barbara, Ruby’s grandmother visited PreK-4 and brought her sewing machine! We learned about the bobbin, foot peddle, the needle and how the thread feeds through the machine. Each child had a turn using the machine by sewing their piece of quilt to a friends piece creating a large classroom quilt. We called it a friendship quilt! While the children waited their turn using the machine they practiced hand sewing with sewing cards. It was a fun way to learn the letter Q. Thank you Miss Barbara!