Friday, April 30, 2010

Art on Display

Today, we're submitting some examples of the artwork we've done over the past year.

The Week in Review

When we walked through the woods we had our "spying eyes" looking for "woodland treasures". We found moss, berries, dead leaves, pine cones, sprouting acorns, bark and lichen.

We ended our week with two fun activities--making dandelion cookies and a walk in the woods. We learned about
the different parts of the dandelion and that dandelions are nutritious. In Russia, there is a dandelion plant that has sticky stuff in the stalk used for making rubber.

Wedgits provided the children with a building activity that required them to discriminate between sizes and stack the pieces together without having the tall towers tumble.

Goop--cornstarch and water--gave the children the opportunity to watch a substance go from liquid to solid.

The climber was a popular spot for action/adventure play. There were sharks circling the pirate ship, mountain climbing expeditions and a secret hide out underneath.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today in the 'art Studio, B.Z. read us a book titled, "Where We Live". There were pictures of many different kinds of homes. After reading the book, we drew pictures of our dream homes and then used a variety of blocks to create our own structures. Here are some pictures of our experience as architects in action.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Town Common Field Trip

Today we had our Town Common Field Trip. We started at the Post Office and met Marie the Postmaster of Shutesbury. She showed us the beautiful, old post office boxes(maybe the oldest in the area), the slots for mail delivered to your boxes, the scale to weigh packages, the "flats" (magazines) for delivery, the loading/unloading zone, and the outside P.O. boxes. We were able to locate most addresses (not the Amherst ones). We also met April who sorts the mail, and Diane who delivers the mail.

Then we went to the Town Hall and met Leslie the town clerk. She showed us the book that holds birth certificates. We were able to find some of our friends in the book. She also showed us some old pictures of Shutesbury Town Common from long ago. Leslie makes sure that all of our dogs have tags.

We then met Becky, the town administrator-the person in charge of town hall. She told us about her job--making sure the roads are clear, the library has books, the school has teachers.

Police Harding introduced himself and asked for help solving the mystery of the stolen bird feeder. Someone had reported that their bird feeder was taken. Chief Harding showed us the clues--tracks of animals. Was it a bear? Was it a deer? Was it a moose? We figured out that it was a moose, based on the hard evidence--a photo of a moose!

Mary Anne, the town librarian, provided us with a delicious snack of goldfish pretzels and juicy strawberries. After a picnic on the Common, we went to the library. Mary Anne read poetry and two stories. The first was "The Rotten Island", by William Steig, and then a story about a baby in a bubble.

We then walked to the town hall and their was Chief Tibbits with his fire engine and fire gear. He put all of his protective gear on--even his mask and tank. Now we know what a firefighter would sound and look if we needed help. Makenna asked if there were any girl firefighters--there are two in Shutesbury. After Taikoda told the group that fire could melt glass, Beau wanted to know if the helmet would melt. Then we got to get in the fire engine!!

It was a great morning. I encourage you to share the pictures with your children and talk about our community helper helpers. When we return from vacaton, we will learn about our school community helpers.


Musical Petting Zoo

Tuesday, Laura from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra brought her "musical petting zoo" to preschool. Below are

some photos from the event:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Music and Sound

We have been studying music and sound. We made a variety of instruments--triangles, guiros, tambourines, drums, clay bells, and banjos. Constructing the instruments provided the children with opportunities to experiment with the concepts we had discussed at meeting time--vibration, volume and pitch. Using different materials-wood, metal, cardboard and plastic--helped us understand the different qualities of these items. Throughout our study, children enjoyed making music and exploring sound with their newly constructed instruments.

Jaeden holds the ukulele the same way she holds her violin.

Julie sings "Little Liza Jane" on her ukulele. She brought four ukuleles to share with us in music class.

Makenna and Shae experiment with sound traveling through the string attached to paper cups. Learning to keep the string tight, but not to tight was a challenge. Children continued experimenting, varying the kinds of sounds--growling, squeking and other silly noises were popular.

After building a stage with Beau and Dennis,
Luke organizes a class orchestra including tambourines, drums and a banjo.

Once everyone is in place, Luke conducts the orchestra using his baton to direct the instruments and vary the speed and volume of the music.

Luke takes a turn using a ukulele in music class with Julie. Before playing the ukuleles, Julie demonstrated the different sounds the ukulele made depending on how many strings were held down, and whether you plucked or strummed.

Julie sings "Little Liza Jane" to an attentive audience.

Luke plays his banjo.