Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkins!

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin?
Have you ever seen a pumpkin that grows on a vine?
A short or a tall one,
A large or a small one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin that grows on a vine?

We started off Monday morning with a field trip to Apple Jack's Pumpkin Patch.  It was the perfect fall day!  On our trip the children attended "pumpkin school", where they reviewed the life cycle of a pumpkin, learned about the different types of pumpkins and all about how they grow.  They also got to decorate their own pumpkins with silly stickers, go on a tractor ride through the orchard and enjoy a tasty apple donut snack with cider.  It was a perfect morning!  Pictures from our fun morning...

Participating in "pumpkin school" and eating our snack!


Decorating our pumpkins with silly stickers!
 


Beautiful day for a hayride through the orchard...


Ending our field trip with some play time in the hay and a chance to observe some animals!
 

Such a great trip!  As we always do after special events, we returned to the classroom and recorded our  favorite memories and findings from the trip.  The children are doing a wonderful job of telling their personal stories through drawing!  They are also beginning to add letter sounds and even a word or two that correlate with their pictures.  This where they gain understanding of the writing process and how words are formed.  We love seeing them make these connections!

More weekly highlights...

On Tuesday, we enjoyed re-telling the story of how a pumpkin grows.  The children colored, cut and put picture cards in order of the pumpkin growth sequence.  They especially liked turning their pumpkin sequencing stories into a special hat.  They had fun wearing them and sharing their "pumpkin stories" with others, which were conveniently right on their heads!



 

We also spent part of Tuesday morning with our third grade buddies.  They completed a "spooky buddy" project together and put their imaginations to use!  They first took a spooky picture together using photo booth on the computer.  Next, they did some creative thinking and writing all about their pretend "spooky characters".  Their spooky characters and  creative writing are on display in the classroom so come and check them out!  Beware...spooky pictures posted below...don't be too scared! : )









We investigated a real pumpkin this week.  We created a chart using words to describe the way our pumpkin looked and felt on the outside and inside.  The children even used their letter sounds to write a word to describe the way the inside of the pumpkin felt!  Words to describe the inside of the pumpkin consisted of slimy, wet, gooey, squishy and more.  We used classroom materials to measure our pumpkin too.  Our pumpkin measured 13 unifix cubes tall not including the stem.  With the stem it was 18 unifix cubes tall!

 

Each child also had the opportunity to feel the inside of the pumpkin and help remove the seeds and pulp.  Everyone was anxious to reach in to the pumpkin, but for some children one time was enough!








Once our pumpkin was all cleaned out we voted whether we should carve a happy or haunted face on it.  The winner was...


HAUNTED!

We worked together to draw the haunted face, choosing the shapes each part of the jack-o-lantern should have.  The kids also wanted to name our "haunted" pumpkin.  So far our class pumpkin has been called Mr. Spooky Pumpkin, Mrs. Haunted Face and Mr. Haunted House Pumpkin.  We will see which name sticks! : )

The children were also very inquisitive about how many seeds their could be inside the pumpkin.  We all looked inside and estimated .  We had guesses that ranged from 10 seeds to 1,000 seeds.  We got busy and took turns counting groups of 10 seeds at a time.  We first counted to 100 by 10's and moved up from there.  In the end we discovered that our pumpkin had 409 seeds inside!



We identified all of the parts of our pumpkin during our investigation.  Later on, we had fun looking at the words and labeling the parts.  We labeled vine, stem, skin, flesh, pulp and seeds.  The children are learning many new vocabulary words! We looked and listened for the beginning and ending sounds in each word as we labeled the parts.


We spent more time investigating sound in the project room.  The challenge was to invent different sounds and music with random supplies.  First, we reviewed the different sounds we created with the original instruments in the room.  Then, we looked at our new materials and brainstormed ideas of how they could be used to create sounds and music.  The children listened to each others ideas but also gave their own suggestions and thoughts for how the same materials could be used in different ways.  Below you will see they used wood to make a large xylophone, different sized plastic containers and sticks to make different drumming sounds, small pebbles, rice and beans to fill in metal water bottles to create varying levels of sound and more!  The list goes on!









Here is one example of a group of children that had the idea to make rain and thunder sounds together with the materials.  I will try and get more video footage next time!
video

They absolutely loved this challenge!  This project encouraged the children to use collaboration, creativity, problem solving and innovation.  I would say these are some inventive preschoolers!  The "sound exploration" materials will now become a station on the playground for the children to continue to make discoveries with.  The project room is providing some wonderfully enriching learning opportunities for the children.  More projects to come the month of November!  Stay tuned!  

We ended the week with our first visit from the Richfield Reader-A-Story Theater.  They narrated and acted out silly and spooky Halloween stories for us using props.  They read The Beast Who Couldn't Say Boo, The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups and Room on the Broom.  It is great for the children to see stories retold in different ways as they will also practice re-telling stories in a variety of ways throughout the year.


What a week!  The children are eager to celebrate Halloween on Monday, October 31st.  Conversation and imaginary play among the classroom has revolved around their Halloween characters.  We can't wait to see them all dressed in costume Monday morning!  Another reminder about the Halloween parade:

The Halloween parade for all of Lower School that begins at 8:40 in the morning, so please send your child to school in their costume.  Send a change of clothes along and they can change out of their costume after the parade.  The parade will begin in Lower School and end in Anderson Gym for a Halloween Sing-A-Long.  There will be seating for parents in the Anderson Gym.  It is a fun morning and all are invited to watch.  Please come if you are able! 

As the month of October comes to an end and we welcome November, classroom materials are changing to support and challenge each child's academic, social, emotional and creative needs.  They continue to explore and engage in all areas of the classroom and are becoming increasingly independent in the environment.  It is truly amazing to watch them learn and grow!  November brings more learning, growth and celebrating in preschool!

Dates to Remember:

Monday, October 31st- Halloween Parade and Class Party

Thursday, November 10th- Nancy Carlson (Children's book author and illustrator) Visits Preschool
*November 10th will also be a CARE Shirt Day for Lower School

Wednesday, November 16th- Tom the Turkey visits Preschool with Farmer Nelson

Wednesday, November 23rd- Grandparents' Day- Half Day for Students (8:30-12:00)

Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th- Thanksgiving Holiday-No School

Monday, November 28th- Faculty Workshop- No School


Have a fantastic weekend!



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