Mrs. Hood’s Class: I Know a Chicken!

The highlights for this week are based on the continuation of our chicken studies. We focused on completing the life cycle of a chicken. We learned that after the chick has hatched from the egg, the mother hen takes care of it and provides food for it. Children learned that chickens do not have teeth but they have strong beaks to eat seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. In our outside environment we were able to find some real worms and observe them moving. We then pretended to be little chicks by exploring the worm sensory bin. Children practiced their fine motor skills by digging, finding, and picking with tweezers some life-like worms and transferring them to a bowl. 

We also learned the different parts of an adult chicken including vocabulary words like comb, beak, feathers, legs, wings, claw, tail, and wattles. Children were able to observe a real chick coming out of the egg shell through an educational clip and through books in our environment and then reinforced this lesson by using an object-picture matching work in our language area. 

In addition to various new spring works in the environment, children learned how to use a mortar and a pestle in our practical life area. They worked hard to crush eggshells very small and transfer them into a container. We will use the crushed egg shells next week as part of our care of plants lessons. 

For a fun sensory activity, the children chose their favorite color egg and filled it with rice to create musical egg shakers. We then introduced the song, “I Know a Chicken,” by Laurie Berkner and we had so much fun dancing to it with our own eggs shakers.  

Lastly, the children seemed to enjoy exploring snow peas during our food tasting lesson. The shape, size, and crunchiness of them gave the feel of eating chips, which seemed to attract the children to explore this food item.

Enjoy the pictures of your beautiful children, take some time to dance, and have a great weekend! 

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria  


Mrs. Wilson: The Adventure with Mrs. T and Rain Puddles!

This week the children continued to explore lessons related to weather and spring. They were introduced to the life cycle of a chicken and a plant. Outside the children have an option to explore the sensory bin filled with life-like worms. They can choose to use tongs to pick up and collect the worms into bowls. Thank you Mrs. Hood for sharing this wonderful activity with us.

On Wednesday, the children had a special visitor stay with us for the day. The children were called to circle and we introduced to them Mrs. T. the box turtle. Mrs. T is a very sweet and gentle 36-year-old turtle. The children were eager to have a turn to hold and pet her. We taught them to hold her carefully like holding a hamburger or sandwich. We pointed out the parts of her body and talked about all the different kinds of food Mrs. T eats.
Mrs. T enjoyed some time outside exploring the playground. The children sang her songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mary had a Little Lamb. Another child sat down to read a book to her. By the time it was nap time Mrs. T sure did need a nap too!
We can’t wait for Mrs. T’s next visit!

Thursday, we were so thankful for the warm spring air and rain. This gave us the opportunity to get outside and jump in puddles. The children were elated while given the freedom to run and jump from puddle to puddle. It was such a joyful experience and even more when Ms. Sara and I joined in!

“When life gives you rainy days, jump in the puddles.”
Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Wilson: Spring Is In the Air!

How wonderful it is to feel the warm sunshine and see the new life blossoming in nature! As we are continuing to explore the weather, we are also looking around for the signs of spring. As we walk to our playground, we stop to look at the flowers that have grown. We have observed these flowers from just tiny sprouts peeking out of the dirt into bloomed daffodils. As we walked by them on Thursday a friend shouted with excitement, “Look flowers, look flowers!” More signs that we spotted are buds on the trees and our forsythia tunnel now has yellow flowers.

The sensory bin has two smaller bins inside, one is filled with ice-cold water and the other has warm water. The children can experience the warmth and cold simultaneously. Along with that, they can use the model of a cloud to fill up and watch the water trickle down like rain.

There is a seed starting station set up in the classroom for the children to start their own vegetable plants. After they plant their seeds, they are then put inside our greenhouse. Once it is time to transition the plant ,the children can take theirs home to be planted into the ground.

Happy Birthday!


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Chirp, Chirp!!

Life cycles are all around us. They are part of us and part of every living thing. Explaining and illustrating life cycles can be an important milestone for children, helping them to learn how better to respect and care for those around them. 

Spring is definitely the perfect season to introduce these concepts as the children not only receive information about it but learn to observe and appreciate so many of these wonders happening  just in front of their eyes. 

Based on cultural traditions surrounding last weekend’s holiday, this week we introduced eggs and chickens as a unit of study in our toddler environment. We focused on two concepts so far: chickens come from eggs, and a baby chicken is called a chick.

To bring a real life experience to this topic, we explored an egg as part of our food tasting lesson for the week. We introduced vocabulary words like shell, egg white, and yolk. Children seemed to be surprised to find “a yellow ball” -as one of the children called it-  inside their egg. Some of the children didn’t find the sliminess of the boiled egg very attractive and didn’t want to taste the egg, however when given the opportunity to use an egg slicer, they got excited and ended up tasting it. It’s always so fun to observe how the children react to these sensorial experiences and how their brain seems to work hard on classifying the textures and flavors of the food items we introduce. 

As an extension, the children had the opportunity to practice their fine motor skills by learning how to peel their own egg. They seemed to enjoy cracking the egg and carefully peeling the shell. I encourage you to give your toddler the opportunity to practice this skill at home as well. The children really seemed to feel proud of themselves. 

To reinforce the Spanish language, the children were also introduced to a fun Spanish song called: Los Pollitos. By the way,  in Spanish, the chicks say, “Pio, pio,” instead of “Chirp, chirp.” Just an interesting cultural bonus sent your way :). I hope you enjoy the song at the bottom of this note and practice with your children at home, if you would like.

Lastly, two announcements:

  1. We are happy to welcome the Osorio family to complete our FWM toddler community for this school year! So happy to have you with us!
  2. We wish a very happy 2nd birthday to our beloved Ella! She is an incredible gift to all of us! 

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you are planning to visit a farm as a fun Spring activity, please take the time to observe the chickens and talk with your toddler about what you see. 

Best, 

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria


Mrs. Wilson: Little Meteorologist

Welcome Back! What a wonderful and busy week we had. The children are learning about weather and I couldn’t ask for a better week with mixed weather conditions for them to experience. The children will all have a turn for the rest of the school year to become our very own Meteorologists.

Did you know that you can predict the weather using pinecones? We didn’t either until we experimented to test this out. We found a few pinecones and sprayed them with water. After a short time, the pinecone closed its scales. Once the pinecone dried it opened back up again.

Thank you to our special guests for reading I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen and What Makes a Rainbow by Betty Ann Schartz and singing Down By The Bay. Remington’s sisters did a fantastic job by engaging with the children and having them participate in the song.

Throughout April, we will be exploring The weather, The season of Spring including eggs and seeds, birds, and insects.

 

Happy Birthday!

Have a great long weekend and for those that celebrate Easter, have a wonderful Easter!

Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Hood’s Class: As Fresh As Spring!

I remember a couple of years ago sitting by a small window and observing the gigantic icicles that covered my view. Suddenly I noticed how, so slowly, water started to drip from the icicles on a sunny morning! I remember so clearly how this sense of joy filled my life! This was the end of my first winter in America and since then, I love the hope that spring brings when Earth seems to wake up and become alive again! Longer, warmer, and sunnier days, windows opened, greener views, flowers growing, trees budding, birds singing, and that crisp in the air are just some of the things that spring offers us and that we all appreciate! 

To celebrate the return to school and the  beginning of spring, the children worked on an art project creating a spring crown. They worked hard and attentively by painting and then gluing flowers on it. Together we got to say good-bye to winter and welcome spring, and naturally, dancing with the crowns on our heads was part of the welcoming.  

As we continue to practice recognizing colors, the children discovered this week what happens when you mix the color red with yellow, creating the color of the week: orange! 

And talking about orange, children absolutely loved not just exploring and tasting a yummy orange during our food tasting lesson but also the children were introduced to the process of making orange juice all by themselves! 

Children worked their muscles and their maximum effort by making sure they squeezed and twisted their orange into the handheld juicer. After this, children practiced their fine motor skills by transferring the juice into a small pitcher and then serving themselves their orange juice into an open cup. To say that they seem to enjoy the process and the result of this activity is an understatement. They kept asking to make it all over again and again. I highly encourage you to provide the opportunity for your child to practice this lesson at home many times! We thank you again for your support in providing the requested food items to make this type of lesson a reality during COVID times, still following the safety guidelines. 

We can’t wait to dive more deeply into our Spring studies! It’s going to be fun! 

We hope you enjoy this beautiful weekend and we wish all of you that celebrate a very Happy Easter! 

Much love, 

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria


Mrs. Wilson: The Magic of Mouse Paint

What happens when three white mice discover three jars of red, yellow, and blue paint? You get children witnessing the magic of color mixing.

It is one thing to read a story so they can hear the idea of color mixing, but it is another to actually see the book come to life. Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh is about three white mice that find three jars of paint in primary colors. As the mice experiment with the paint on their bodies and the puddles of paint dripped on the floor they learn that by mixing two primary colors they get a secondary color.
The first few days the children watched while listening to the story. They then had the opportunity to mix the two colors of their choice and create their own little mouse paint. As they mixed, they chanted, “Mix and stir, stir and mix, and do a little dance.”

So if you see colored cotton balls come home, ask your child about it. See if they can tell you what colors they used to make the mouse/mice.

We also did a traveling water science experiment using paper towels and 6 cups of water. We added food coloring to the 1st, 3rd, and 5th cup, then placed one end of a paper towel into one cup and the other end to the next cup, repeating with the rest of the cups. While we waited, we started to see the red-colored water crawl up the paper towel and mix with the next. As the colored-water was being absorbed, they mixed together and our final result was a rainbow-colored paper towel.

Maybe over break, you can do some of these fun experiments together, but whatever you do have lots of fun and we will see you in two weeks.

Happy Birthday!

Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Sara


Mrs. Hood’s Class: Rainbows and Tangy Kumquats!

 

Color recognition can provide children with essential learning tools in life. For example, in mathematics, color recognition is used to categorize, sort, compare, and organize. Additionally, as children learn to identify colors and use color as a language tool to describe things, it develops and strengthens their ability to communicate effectively. Recognizing and identifying the color names is an important part of a child’s development. It is considered a marker and milestone in a child’s cognitive process.

Colors are part of our daily lessons throughout the school year using the different materials, games, books, songs, and activities in our environment. However, this week we focused on studying the colors of the rainbow and children just seemed to love it!

As introductory activities this week, we used a lot of verbal communication, sorting and classifying games and activities. Verbal communication is a great way to teach the children about colors as we give them some vocabulary for starting to describe the world around them. With our youngest we focused on the primary colors and with our oldest we also worked on recognizing and identifying secondary colors. As we worked on putting our rainbow puzzle together we took time to search around the classroom for objects that represented the color assigned. Children seemed to have a lot of fun thinking, observing, and finding different colored objects in our environment!

We also introduced the concept of color mixing using paint. Children explored and discovered the magical way to make new colors. We focused this week on the color GREEN in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, by mixing yellow and blue paint! The children’s expressions were amazing! They couldn’t believe that we had made a new color.  There is a tremendous joy that floods a child’s spirit when they discover a transformation happening in front of them. We love color mixing because it’s a process that helps to develop a love of learning. We can’t wait to discover new colors together!

On another note, children were very curious about what food we were going to taste this week as they already recognize this activity as a part of our weekly routine. Children were surprised to find a tiny kumquat under the towel. Kumquats look like oranges but are the most diminutive member of the citrus family. We had great fun exploring and tasting this fruit! 

Enjoy the pictures of your little busy explorers and we hope you have a fantastic March break!

Stay safe, warm and happy!

Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria