The children were trying to figure out how they might convert our loft into a more comfortable spot for hibernating or adapting through the winter. A few ideas sprang forward including making a burrow under the bottom, creating cave walls on the lower portion, and making beds in all areas. While a few debated the possibilities, another group began scouting out the top of the loft. They explained that they needed to find materials to make a nest that they wouldn’t fall out of. Their plan was to create a nest and suspend it from the balcony banister. Thankfully, they realized the trouble with flimsy grass-like materials in creating suspension beds before any human trials were put forward.
Feeling that I might be able to provide them with some more safe examples of nest building, we pulled up good ‘ole Google images and perused nests of all sorts. Now our interest became more fully grounded in materials. Our quest to create the perfect nest began.
This project is not yet done, but if you’re interested in making your own, here are the materials we used so far:
brown paper (grass)
yellow paper (sticks)
many colors and lengths of raffia string
white and red Basket Box & Bag shred
We moved it into the box as none of the children have yet come up with a plan for “sewing” (their words) or sticking the nest together, yet. Although one enterprising student did suggest that I could tie all of the pieces together…. I think we’ll see if they come up with another suggestion.
Looking more closely at the winter homes we saw illustrated in yesterday’s book, we decided to try our hand at creating our own. Today we explored creating caves and burrows using supplies in our block area.
Child A: “We almost had the same idea, but then we didn’t.”
Child B: “Yeah, but we were building the same thing, but I didn’t have enough blocks.”
“Now….how do we make roofs?”
Child A: “Oh my gosh! I know how to make this!”
Child B: ” Me, too! I have a great idea!”
Child A: “No, no…I have a great idea.”
Child B: “We need a little help. It’s like, falling over.”
Child B: “How about we slide it in and it holds it?”
Child A: “There we go! And put these here.”
Child A and B: “Yea! We did it!!!!”
Child A: “We need that roof on there.”
Child B: “We need something to block them.”
Child A: “We…..aaaaaaaaa [blocks fall down]…That’s ok!”
Child B: “This is the shelter so the relaxing place doesn’t get rained on.”
Child A: “This is where the garage is and this is where the balance beam for them to walk on.”
“We have two animals and they are separate.”
“I’m making a nice cave for my bear to live in.”
“I’m going to change my burrow, now. My cave is going to be different from my burrow. Caves are on the Earth, up top, and burrows are underground.”
Our studies have taken a new direction. The other day, we noticed that some sharks were swimming around our boat. Luckily, they were nice sharks and didn’t bite anyone. However, it became apparent that the children maintained an interest in all things ocean. One child suggested that we needed to make our room into an ocean using paper hanging from the ceiling.
Beginning our research with some non-fiction seemed like an appropriate idea. Unfortunately, Blobfish appears to have written all over our Deep Sea Book. Oh well, nonetheless, we were able to glean some interesting tidbits about the Hadalpelagic Zone.
***Ask your child about the size of the Giant Spider Crab or the light on the front of an anglerfish. See if they can find anything in your house that is bioluminescent. ****
The barnacles of information that stuck:
“I never knew a squid could grow and I never even knew this animal was in the world.”
“[A submersible]…goes under water.”
“That kind of fish can open it’s mouth really wide. And this octopus glows.”
A while ago, one of the students posed a curious question about what happens to the water after it rains. We discussed many possibilities, but eventually came to the conclusion that somehow it ended up in the clouds. One of the most creative methods for this molecular travel was via invisible pipes in the trees that carry the water from the ground to the sky.
This week, we read more information about where water goes and how it travels. The water cycle made sense, but it was still a bit confusing. Hmmm…maybe a little music can help?
This week, our class got a little too close the pond than our protective Daddy Goose would have liked and he quickly let us know to find another way around with a perfectly-timed hiss or two. The students handled it well and slowly backed away to give the goose some extra space. Once we were a safe distance away, I explained that the geese have recently laid eggs on the island in the pond and are now very protective of their home and their growing babies. I continued by saying that the geese don’t know that we won’t hurt their babies and sometimes they get upset when we get too close to the pond. Then, one of our youngest students looked at me as said,
“Yeah and the goose probably doesn’t know that this is Winchester Thurston and we ‘think also of the comforts and the rights of others’ so we would never hurt their babies.”
Proof that caring for others and nature go hand in hand!
This morning, a group of students spent a large chunk of their morning play time designing and implementing a classroom pet store. The students worked diligently to draw various pets that could be sold and decided together how much each pet should cost. It wasn’t long before they pulled out the cash register and started making money and credit cards that people could use to purchase the animals. The name of the pet store is still up for debate but lots of ideas were tossed around. The look of excitement was clearly present on each of their faces and we are anxious to see how this pet store will grow and prosper within the classroom.
This morning’s weather proved to be little finicky as it rained on and off for over an hour but that didn’t deter our youngest explorers. We prepared ourselves with boots and raincoats and then embarked on the great outdoors to enjoy the unseasonably warm day. It wasn’t long before a student noticed a small worm making his way up the side of boulder. We theorized about how he was able to hang on to the rock without any arms or legs. We studied how his body would shrink and then stretch as he so effortlessly moved across the rock once he reached the top. Then, before we knew it, there were two worms crawling across the rock. One student proclaimed that there were so many worms out because it was raining and worms love water. The students took turns gently touching the worm and then squealing with joy. It always amazes me what wonderment can be found on what might seem like a dreary day.