Friday, March 17, 2017

Almost Spring...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



We sure had fun wearing our green today for St. Patrick's Day!

Spring is on its way!  On March 20th, it will officially be spring. We read a book today about our upcoming season and look forward to seeing the grass turn green, flowers bloom, birds return and more.  The children also hope that after spring vacation we can finally leave snow pants, coats, hats and mittens at home for good!  The changing season will also allow us to get out on more nature walks and make observations of the world around us.

"Spring" coloring at the art table this morning...

Weekly highlights...

The children completed their "Symbols of Minnesota" book.  They have been working so hard on them, drawing the pictures and using their knowledge of letter sounds to write the words.  Once they were finished they wanted to sit and read them.  They have enjoyed learning all about what makes our state of Minnesota unique!


We read the book Clever Tom and the Leprechaun.  We talked about where we would hide our own pot of gold if we were all leprechauns.  We turned our imaginative ideas into a class book and each child drew a picture and wrote where they would hide their pot of gold.  Ideas consisted of under the bed, in the ground under flowers, in a volcano, deep in the ocean and more!  We will add this to our collection of class books the children still LOVE to read each day.  A few examples...


 

The preschoolers learned all about how maple syrup is made, which is another neat thing we can do in Minnesota.  We read stories about maple trees and how the sap from the trees becomes syrup.  We also practiced sequencing the steps and re-telling the story of sap turning to syrup.

On Thursday morning, we had a wonderful field trip to Westwood Nature Center and got a hands-on experience all about how maple syrup is made.  We began the trip by exploring artifacts inside the nature center and watching a short puppet show that taught the children how maple syrup is made.  They thought it was a pretty funny show!




Next, we went on a nature hike with a guide through the trails in search of maple trees.  We recognized the maple trees because many of them had buckets waiting for sap already.  While looking for maple trees, we also saw a wild turkey running around!  Our nature guide taught us about the process of turning the maple sap into maple syrup and showed us the equipment they use to boil the sap.  There was some sap boiling while we were there!




After that, each child got to help drill a hole in the tree and we learned how to attach the bucket on to the tree in order to collect the maple tree sap.  The weather wasn't quite warm enough that morning to see the sap drip out, but the children still loved helping.










We ended the trip getting to sample some real maple syrup with a pancake!  Delicious!  It was a wonderful morning and another fun connection to our Minnesota studies.



St. Patrick's Day has been an anticipated holiday among the preschoolers!  Their imaginations have been busy thinking of ways to trap a leprechaun.  Since it has been a topic they have been very interested in, we read the book How to Trap a Leprechaun and thought it would be fun to create our  own leprechaun traps.  Just like the characters in the book, first we brainstormed ideas and then we made a plan.  The first step in the preschoolers plan was to get boxes and paint them green since that is a leprechaun's favorite color...





Next we decorated the inside with things we thought a leprechaun might be attracted too.  They got busy making pretend gold and rainbows out of all sorts of materials.  They even made rainbow slides for the leprechaun to slide into the box and rainbow ladders of popsicle sticks and straws!  Busy kids creating...



Today we finally celebrated St. Patrick's Day!  We have been reading books and singing songs about this holiday for the past few weeks.  The children were eager to try and use our traps to catch a leprechaun so before music they set them up.  They put out all of their pretend gold and rainbows  and thought the kitchen area would be the best place to put their traps.


After music the children were excited to see if their traps had worked.  They were all taken by surprise when we returned to the room and saw some peculiar things had happened.  There was green glitter sprinkled all around, some chairs tipped over and on top of the tables, materials out of place and our leprechaun traps had a note written to the preschoolers from a "clever leprechaun"!  It turns out, the leprechaun could not be "tricked" by our traps, but he did leave us a scavenger hunt around the classroom.  We enjoyed reading the clues and guessing where the next one would lead us in order to find the treasure.  Although we weren't able to see a leprechaun, we were thrilled with the lucky gold coins and shamrock stickers he left us! : )  After our hunt, we had to clean up the mess the leprechaun made in our room!

Going on a scavenger hunt...




Excited about our lucky coins the leprechaun left...



A great day to be a preschooler!

We still cannot believe it is already spring vacation.  The year is flying by!  When we return from break themes of spring, plant growth and farming will fill the preschool environment as we enjoy our final two months of school together.  Hopefully, we will have warmer weather back too!  

Dates to Remember:

Saturday, March 18th- Sunday, April 2nd- Spring Vacation- No School

Monday, April 3rd- School Reconvenes

Thursday, April 6th- Wear CARE shirts Day in Lower School

Friday, April 14th- Good Friday- No School

Wednesday, April 19th- The Minnesota Zoomobile visits Preschool

Friday, April 28th- Field Trip to Stages Theater to see Stone Soup




We hope you have a wonderful and relaxing spring vacation.  See you in April!