Thursday, May 27, 2010

"We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo..."

A Look At This Week:
We had been hopeful that the weather would be good and we would be able to go to the zoo this week to help us end our discussion on animals. However, the rain has been here and we were unable to go. We are hoping that June 7th will be much better weather and we will be able to get to the zoo then. It will be a fun end of year field trip!
As for in the classroom, we continued to have our own zoo. The first thing that children noticed was the change in our home living area. It became a zoo itself. The pictures that we had been using over the past couple of weeks were put up on the wall and on the kitchen items and cages were put over them. So when the children went into the home living area they were taken to a pretend zoo instead. They had the chance to use binoculars to get a little "closer" look at the animals this week! The best part was when Jayden went into home living and looked back at me and said, "is this the kitchen?" I answered, "yes." And he responded, "no it isn't. It has animals. It's a zoo!"
On Monday we tried an experiment using grape juice, baking soda and vinegar. Since one of the books we focused on this week was "The Mixed-Up Chameleon," we took pictures of chameleons and colored them. Then we cut them out and glued them on to paper and drew scenery. Then we painted them with dark grape juice. When they dried we added either a baking soda and water mixture or some vinegar to our chameleons and watched them change color. We then add these mixtures to small cups of grape juice so it was easier to see the reaction. The vinegar ones turned a greenish-blue and the baking soda mixture turned pink. The children enjoyed seeing this. And although it was not as noticeable on their chameleons after they dried, the crayon color really turned bold after having the mixtures put on!
For math this week the children used the pattern blocks, with no pattern cards, to make snakes. This helped introduce the book, "The Greedy Python." It was fun to see what different pattern snakes the children could come up with!
In blocks the children continued to build a zoo. It is always neat to see what different creations they come up with when they work with different friends. In writing we talked about what animal we would like to be if we could be any animal. Then we had to draw a picture to go with it. The animal zoo was still available this week for the children to play in as well. And in art the children took a pre-colored chameleon and had to draw a background to match the color of the chameleon. Then the children wrote a sentence about where the chameleon was!
Since we did not go to the zoo, the children have been working on making the zoo animals out of hand prints. We are trying to make a book of the animals we will see in the order we will see them. It has been a fun project to work on, especially since they were disappointed in the weather!
Listening In:
While Miriam and Mussie were in home living pretending to be at the zoo they had a little discussion that could be heard around the room!
Miriam: There is a monkey on the tree. I will let you out.
Mussie: No! (pretending to lock the cage back up) Chk, chk.
Miriam: There's the baby polar bear.
Mussie: He needs to stay in there. He's a cub. Remember baby bears are cubs.
It was nice to hear them take something they have learned and use it within the conversations that they have on their own!
Looking Ahead:
Next week we are starting our theme on Community Helpers. We will be starting with a topic that the children have been displaying in the play area as they pretend that someone has been hurt and has to go to the hospital. They use the underneath area of the play structure as the hospital and use the white pipes to make different doctor tools. So we will be starting out with talking about medics. The children will be making band-aid letters, using an ambulance toy in the block area and using doctor tools in the home living area!
Please remember we are closed on Monday, May 31 in observance of Memorial Day.
Coloring chameleons
Cutting out chameleons
Still cutting!
Putting grape juice on the chameleons
Writing about where her chameleon lives!
Making a pattern block snake
Writing about animals
Building a cage for the lions

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