Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pond Water and Patience

This week at the pond we were still hopeful of finding frog eggs or tadpoles.
We spent time walking along the shore line checking in the grasses for frog spawn but no luck.  This is our fourth week visiting the pond and it's exciting to see the children race to the water ready to explore.

We didn't find any frog eggs but we did scoop water into two containers and
                          spent a bit of time looking at it.
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    We used our loupes to get a closer look.  This is what we saw.
At first we thought it was a stick stuck to the bug so I picked it up to have a look.  Using the loupes I saw that it was a white stripe down it’s back.  Then surprising all of us, the bug jumped high into the air and was gone.

The children were losing interest in looking at the water but the grown ups had patience and as I was thinking about dumping it back into the pond they noticed…
         four of these bugs crawling out from under the old leaf.
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Using our Bugs of British Columbia guide we learned that the bug is a Damselfly Larva.  I decided to bring them back to school to observe for awhile.

This week I also wanted to start talking more about the beaver lodge.  You
                 can see it behind us in the picture below.
 We sat for a snack and I read the story “Little Beaver and the Echo”.
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Then we brought out books about beavers for the children to read together,
             researching about how the beaver makes the lodge.

            We learned that the lodge is made with sticks and mud.
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         We drew a quick picture as a reference for next week.

   We finished the visit using binoculars to get a better look at the
                          lodge across the pond.
               All packed and ready to head back to school.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Measuring Worms

At a table beside our worm composter we used fake worms to learn about
I used an old Scrabble tile holder as the measuring stick.  Marks were drawn
                  on the stick counting in centimeters.
The children placed a worm on the measuring stick then started at one end
    counting how many marks till they got to the end of the stick.
     After measuring I noticed that this child sorted them by size.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Creativity at the Art Centre

For the past month I have not set up an art or craft activity.  Instead each week I have added a new material to our art area allowing the children to create what they wish.
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Bottle caps, folding boxes, plastic eggs, and dyed egg shells have inspired
                     the children to be creative.
Almost daily this is how the art area looks.  Full of adults and families cutting,
        gluing, painting, talking, planning, sharing and creating.
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I see the children’s confidence grow daily as they are allowed the freedom
                       to explore the materials.
              I see new ideas and methods of creating.
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             I see shared ideas and cooperative art work.
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            I see math happening; patterns, counting, adding.

I’ve noticed more parents creating their own projects along side their children.  Sometimes staying longer at the art table.  Art is therapeutic, relaxing and helps us cope with stress.  This new way has helped to add a calmness to the program.
What I have discovered, for myself, is a lot less work thinking, planning and setting up activities. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cooking Rolled Up French Toast

             This week for our special snack we made french toast. 
          I found the inspiration at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.
                                    Our recipe.
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       Roll the bread flat (I removed the crusts beforehand).
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                              Spread jam on the bread.
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                        Roll the bread up like a snail.
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                     Dip into the egg and cinnamon mixture.
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                                Cook, wait, then enjoy.