Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Need Your Vote

I’ve entered a contest through Natural Pod to wind a $5000 natural play classroom and I need your help to win this great prize.

Please connect here and vote for my entry.
                                                  Thank you

Friday, April 24, 2015

Playing With Eggs

I love simple materials.  Egg cartons, plastic eggs, tongs and lots of focus.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

StoryWalk–A Tree is Nice

Yesterday when we were at the pond I set up another StoryWalk using the book “A Tree is Nice” by Janice May Udry.
I picked this book especially for Earth Day to help us celebrate trees. "Trees are beautiful. They fill up the sky. If you have a tree, you can climb up its trunk, roll in its leaves, or hang a swing from one of its limbs. Cows and babies can nap in the shade of a tree. Birds can make nests in the branches. A tree is good to have around. A tree is nice."
Beside the pond there is a big, open, grassy area that was perfect to spread out the walk. It meandered across bumpy grass and around the trees, offering the opportunity to see different kinds of trees.
The families took their time at each picture.  Giving the children time to look at the illustrations and talk about them.  Then reading the text of the story out loud before heading off to the next page.
A Story Walk is a relaxing activity that combines the love of book and the outdoors.  I’m already looking for our next story.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day

We spent our morning at a nature park.
I visited the park a few days ago looking for frog eggs and brought
                           what I found back to school.
I learned that this mass of jelly eggs are not frog eggs but salamander. 
This morning we took them back to the pond to release them and look for
                                             frog eggs.
We walked along the shore of the pond, scanning the water, especially around
                                       the grass and reeds. 
All we found though were more salamander eggs.  Pretty cool but more work
then I’m ready to take on.  I’ll check out a few other ponds and hopefully find
                                             frog eggs.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Looking Forward to…

Last week we read lots of books about animals that come from eggs.  I told the families that this Tuesday, tomorrow, we will be getting eggs to hatch.  Tomorrow when the families arrive they will find incubators.

This one is to play with and learn about different creatures that come from eggs.
They can open the incubator and crack open the eggs.  After seeing what is inside each egg they can match the toy to the pictures.

And this one is a real incubator.  It is ready for our eggs which will arrive sometime Tuesday.
               Twenty-one days from now we should have baby chicks.

Friday, April 17, 2015

We Have Beans

Do you remember our beans that we planted back in later February?
                  The plants are not very tall but we have beans!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cooking Day–Mac & Cheese

This is the first time we cooked pasta together and it led us to comparing
                                  the uncooked and cooked pasta.
        On the plate are two of each piece of Wacky Mac pasta shapes. 
                  One has been boiled and the other is still uncooked.
The children noticed that the cooked was squishy when they touched it.  After some prompting of what else was different they noticed that the colours had changed.  The uncooked was a darker colour while the boiled was lighter.
                      They also noticed that the size had changed. 
                            After cooking the pasta it was larger.
While the pasta cooked the children grated the cheese.  The parents supported their children by sitting close by explaining how to use the grater.
I had expected the children to sample the cheese but they were so focused
                      on grating that they didn’t even ask.
When all the ingredients were ready we started the cheese sauce.  An electric frying pan works well for working with children.  The sides are low so they can reach over to stir without being burned.
We first added the butter and watched it change, using the words melt, sizzle and steam.  The flour was added next and it clumped up so we changed tools from a stirring spoon to a whisk and it worked much better.
Then we added the milk slowly to smooth the flour and make a white sauce.  We dumped our whole bowl on grated cheese in and it melted quickly.
Finally it was time to add the cooked pasta.  Mmm the children noticed the smell and commented that they liked it.  Where previously when the butter was melting they weren’t too fond of it.
          We stirred until the pasta was all coated with the cheese sauce.
Time to sample our cooking.  They enjoyed it.  Another bonus of using the electric frying pan is that it keeps the food warm for the morning so others that arrive at different times could taste it too.

I found the recipe at