Thursday, November 29, 2018

November - Little Squirrel and the Mysterious Knocking

The children know the animals around us are preparing for Winter as the weather turns colder. Here are a few notes from our week of Squirrel Fun!

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

Circle Time

Monday, November 26

Celebration of a student birthday!

Tuesday, November 27

This delicious Honey Cake recipe tastes best a day or two after baking, so we made the cake knowing that we couldn't taste it until it was Stone Soup day. The students were perfectly happy to wait.

Note: We used instant coffee as well as the cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.

Play continues to evolve both inside and outside. Outside, the students have loved my new collection of child-size rakes from For Small Hands:

Indoors this week, the Monday play was all about playdough surprises. The children each went into different parts of the classroom and carefully turned their backs on each other to make surprise designs with playdough. When the children were ready, they eagerly showed friends what they had made.

On Tuesday, the play trend was pretending to "paint" the walls and furniture with clean dry paintbrushes. Cat play with balls of yarn was also popular.

Thursday, November 29

Thursday play centered around the packing material which came inside the box with my new printer. If you want a great box for your child to make into a fort, I highly recommend office equipment boxes! The large box from our Elves & Angels play stands was tremendous... and I got a huge box from Nova Natural on my doorstep yesterday, with Zac's St. Nicholas Day gift in it.

When it came to today, the pieces of Styrofoam inside the printer box were a hit! The children first hammered golf tees into the Styrofoam and then tried to assemble the pieces (with the golf tees as "nails" joining them together) into a structure. It was a wonderful project for collaborating and I overheard a lot of thoughtful communication like, "Let me tell you my strategy."

Of course, today was also Stone Soup Day! Here was our list of group contributions to the Stone Soup this week:

sweet potato
cherry tomato

We also had some juicy cucumber slices, as well as our lovely Honey Cake.

I had originally planned for us to make wet felted acorns as a final follow-up to our squirrel story. However, I didn't want our day to feel too rushed and I loved the collaborative constructive play that was happening, so I gave them extra time and didn't worry about the clock. We will simply push our acorn craft to next week. It can then be a St. Nicholas Day present for the families!
P.S. Parents, be sure to be surprised. :-)

I just received a large donation of art and school supplies from one of our art teachers this week. It included many balls of yarn plus some wool roving and felting needles, art books, glue, markers, lots of styles of decorative scissors, glitter, googly eyes, fabric scraps, colored pencils, and so on. I was so very pleased to get the little packets of wool colors, since my extra-large basket of wool roving would be way too overhwelming for the younger students. This way, I have four small bags of colors and it will be sweet and simple. They can use the colors in their own bag or trade with a friend. Perfect!

I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who shares their time, talents, and supplies to enrich our communal homeschooling endeavors!

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