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!
The seventh graders spent time with the PreK classes this week to help introduce the use of our Preschool Unquowa library. The older children helped to pick out a book, read to them and then explained to them how they borrow a book, take care of the book and bring it back to school. PreK students were are also learning about geometric shapes, so the older children stuck around to help the younger students work on finishing their math project using marshmallows and toothpicks.
PreK-4 is learning about the first Thanksgiving. Seeing a model of the Mayflower in the classroom and then making our own Mayflower in the makerspace brought up many questions. What was it like for a child sailing on the Mayflower? The seventh graders visited the PreK-4 classroom and helped the younger students put their ideas on paper. As the PreK-4 students relayed their ideas about sailing on the Mayflower, the seventh graders wrote them down. Some children are playing hopscotch, others tag. Some feeling the wind in their hair. One student thought it would be fun to celebrate their birthday with a party. Jumping off the Mayflower for a swim was a popular idea. Getting water from the ocean and cleaning it with a special filter may have really helped the pilgrims. We ended the fun morning with an author’s reading from PreK-4 students and their seventh grade buddies. Unquowa is truly a family. Thank you seventh graders!