Sunday, May 31, 2009

After showing the class comparisons of the pink tower and the brown stair, several children came up with their own.

Subtraction using the fractions is a popular activity.

How many cups make a pint? How many half cups make a cup? We are finding out.

A few weeks ago we read two books on Amelia Earhart. The children liked hearing about her independent personality and her busy youthful life. Some made their own Parts of an Airplane book by tracing the plane on our light table.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We've been talking about India lately. Using these little factual books that also show how to draw the animal, many of the children are drawing tigers and Indian elephants. They have a kurta to try on and and a child-sized turban and sari to wrap onto themselves. We have Hindi numbers to practice and stories to read. We smelled some Indian spices and ate some mango.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We did get back in the garden last week, ridding it of practically all those pesky weeds. The peas, lettuce and radishes have suddenly grown with all this rain. As soon as it dries a bit we'll be back to digging compost holes and planting more seeds. The children feel really good seeing the result of their work. They are careful with the baby plants, taking care to point out what is growing to children from the other class. They treat every pill bug, worm and centipede with care. Last week one boy cautioned his classmates to be gentile with the bugs by stressing several times, "They are defenseless!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The children didn't get to work in the garden last week, but hopefully, they will tomorrow. Meanwhile, some of the children have been interested in planning road trips with the help of our Highlights highway map of the U.S. Others have been exploring the properties of magnetic attraction between metals, other magnets and through objects. Yet others are excited about solving 4 X 4 KenKen puzzles.
Mrs. T. has taught the whole class a lovely song about global living. Each child has worked on flags representing the 24 countries in the song.
Today we talked about India; the foods, the Hindi language and its influence on our language, numerical system and culture. Then we shared a mango.
In the next few days we'll talk about some of the animals of India, try some of the clothes of India and hear about some of the customs of India.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The radishes are growing. . .

and so are the weeds. We're not certain if the lettuce seeds have sprouted or if we just have a zillion new little weeds. We'll wait and see. E.W. is holding one of the garden's residents. The children were happy to get back out in the garden after so many days of rain and wetness. We used the rainy days to plant pea seeds in a glass inside our classroom. They have already sprouted, letting us see the root growing downward and the stem growing upward. Yesterday, they grew another inch. The first leaf was unfolding today. We also have a radish, a carrot and an onion planted inside glass tubes, hoping to see how they will develop under the ground.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Between the garden and the fence is a small area where the children can use shovels to dig holes. We try to respect the worms that we encounter, realizing that they are living creatures and that they help us in the garden. We already used 2 of the holes to hold the compost the class has been collecting from their lunch and snack scraps (fruits, vegetables and egg shells only).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Now it's a garden.

We planted radish and lettuce seeds last week. Then we watered, then hoped for rain and on Friday, it did! Just to see how dense the weeds population was, here's another picture of the weeding process. Without 16 weeders this would have been a much more tedious job.

After raking away the old mulch, each child placed a brick or two to form a path. Here are some of the boys finishing the path by filling it with the old mulch.

We have a bin with 1 Sharpie pen, lots of plastic markers and the seeds. I showed them the seed packets. We saw the long thin lettuce seeds and the little round radish seeds. We read that the lettuce had to be planted 1/4 inch deep and the radishes at a 1/2 inch depth. I wrote "lettuce" on a popsicle stick and made a line 1/4 inch from the end. I did the same for the radish seeds, but with a 1/4 inch mark on it. I put the seeds in little containers to keep them from spilling out. Each child dug a little hole with our tiny cultivator, checked its depth with the popsicle gauge, planted 2 seeds in the hole (just in case) and wrote what was planted on the plastic marker. Each planted 2 lettuce and 2 radish seeds. Now we have a garden full of plastic markers.