Friday, May 19, 2017

Farm Fun!

Horses, donkeys, cows that moo,
Chickens, kittens, piglets too,
Fish that swim down in the pond,
Ducklings quacking all day long.
All the animals you can see,
If you go to the farm with me!

We had a wonderful week, which included our final field trip to Gale Woods Farm.  We are enjoying our last few weeks as a group!

We also continue to review all we have learned about this year through class materials and group activities.  Lately, the children have loved circling words each morning in our "question of the day".  Other current favorites revolve around imaginary play of all kinds (especially playing "restaurant" in the kitchen), writing books in the writing center, creating with art materials, building structures with wooden blocks and STEAM with marble runs, gears and more!  They are also enjoying games that reinforce teamwork such as Snail Pace Race.  The early readers are getting a lot of use which is fun to see.



 
 


Weekly highlights...

Our basil was finally ready to go home this week.  The children have loved watching it grow.  Hopefully, you can all find a place to plant it either in a garden or pot and enjoy it over the summer.  The preschoolers know just what to do to take care of it.  They are pretty responsible kids!  A few "after" pictures of our basil...




We completed our spring self-portraits in our journals this week.  It was fun to look back and notice how much our drawing skills have improved.  They used the mirrors to look at themselves just as they did in the fall.  They are also eager to take their journals home in a few weeks and love looking back at all of our fun memories from the year.  A few friends working...



We read the book I Like Me, by Nancy Carlson, which is a class favorite.  The message is a great one for young children in that it reinforces the importance of loving yourself.  We talked about things that make each of us special and highlighted how important it is to accept each other for our own unique qualities.  Each child filled out a paper titled, "All About Me" and wrote about their personal favorites.  They also thought of what they might want to be when they grow up!  We had fun discussing these as a group and individually.  They are currently hanging up in the classroom!

We had our final STEAM activity with Mrs. Jones. They did some experimenting with water droplets and different paper.  First, they noticed that if they put drops of water on a regular white piece of paper, it absorbs through.  Next, they experimented with water droplets on wax paper.  The children observed that the water droplets do not absorb on the wax paper, which they thought was pretty awesome!  In pairs, they used straws to see if they could move their water droplets around on the wax paper by blowing air.  They even raced their water droplets!




On Wednesday morning, they initiated an experiment with chalk and a puddle left from the rain.  They noticed that dipping their chalk in the water caused its color to turn darker.  They also mixed colors together to create new ones and some pretty neat designs.  One child even stated, "The water is causing the chalk to dissolve!"  It is so fun to watch children initiate their own learning and make discoveries!


Both preschool classrooms have also been busy weeding our preschool butterfly garden.  Everything we planted in the fall is growing again!  We have also found a few worms...

 

On Thursday, we had a wonderful morning at Gale Woods Farm!  As you know, we have been studying farming in Minnesota for the last month and the children have been eagerly anticipating this field trip.  It was great to finally see all we have been learning about in action on a real farm!  We started our trip in the green house learning all about Minnesota crops and how they grows.  The children got to put their senses to use and touch, taste and smell different things that are grown on a farm or in a garden.  They also got to help make salad dressing to dip lettuce in to taste.  Everything we tasted was grown at Gale Woods Farm.





Next, we learned all about sheep on the farm.  We learned that sheep give us wool, which makes sweaters, socks, jackets and more for us to keep warm.  They each got a turn to walk in the pen with the lambs, which was an overall favorite.


 


 

After that, we moved on to learn all about chickens and pigs.  The children got a chance to pet a chicken and go inside the chicken coop to see where they lay their eggs.  After learning about chickens, we visited the pigs and their piglets!


 
On our way to learn about cows, we also met a cute little farm kitten!


Our last portion of the trip was spent visiting a cow named Clover and her calf that is only a month and a half old!  They learned more about what cows provide for us and the children each got a chance to try milking the cow and petting the calf.



Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal for a picnic on the farm, so we brought our lunches back to Breck and ate in our classrooms.  Still a fun way to end a wonderful morning on the farm!

The children completed their Breck School building challenge this week.  They used their letter sounds to create labels for each part they built.  Our project space has provided the children with so many wonderful opportunities throughout this year!



Dates to Remember:

Monday, May 29th- No School- Memorial Day

Friday, June 2nd- Lower School Closing Program and Reception at 1:30 

Have a wonderful weekend!

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