Heave-ho, me hearties!

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When the students came back from winter break, they noticed that something new was added to the loft. They spent most of the morning studying the contraption and making guesses about how it could be used. The hook seemed to be the most recognizable part of the tool and it quickly was decided that it had to be an anchor. After some exploration, we sat down with the students to explain that the new tool was called a pulley and it was used for carrying various items from the top of the loft to the bottom and vice versa. The students spent a few minutes learning how to use the tool safely and troubleshooting how we could safely attach the rope to the loft. Then it was time to test it out!

 

The Bamboo Forest

If you’ve never been in our room in the morning, you might not know of the obsession our class has with pandas. Everyday, pandas are running amok in our loft.  Baby pandas are sleeping, eating and cuddling all morning long. We’ve had pandas star in our journal entries and outdoor play.  We even made a connection with Miss Smith, our Mandarin teacher, when she brought her panda, Meng Meng.

We learned to greet a panda:

And have been discussing their not-so-varied diet: Bamboo!

Our disheveled loft decorations took a turn for the worse earlier this week and needed to be recycled, so it was looking a little bare (please forgive the pun.)  After looking at the railings for a while, someone noticed that they looked a little bit like a panda’s favorite food.  The only parts that were missing were the leaves.

With the help of a few images culled from Google, leaves quickly began sprouting from our bamboo.  An eager group of scissor wielding leaf designers began a production line of greenery.

111314_6639Branches were designed using pipe cleaners.  All additions were attached using our favorite fixative: tape!  Almost the entire class volunteered for this project.  With so many different jobs to be done, spreading out the work was a cinch.  The largest obstacle we faced was time.  Before we knew it, snack time was upon us.  The children helped me make a “To Do” list to help us continue the project another day.  It contains some curious tasks, but we’ll see how it all shakes out as we go along.

To Do:

  • Panda Food
  • Make a Panda
  • Hang More Leaves
  • Make a Panda Pinata
  • Panda Water
  • Panda Vegetables
  • Panda Bed

As we cleaned up a collection of tiny, green paper slivers began to coalesce. A few students wondered if we could use them for panda food.  I immediately had visions of tiny, green snowflakes raining down all over the classroom, coating the carpet.

Umm, maybe we could find another way to use them as food.

We tried an experiment.  Take one part tiny paper slivers and one part Mod Podge, mix them up gently with your fingers and let them dry on waxed paper over night.  The next morning, you will have a lovely, stay-in-one-place panda meal. It worked perfectly.

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My favorite part of Pre-K was…

In the last few days of school, we tend to spend our time reflecting on what the students enjoyed the most during their time here in Pre-K. Sometimes it’s  activities we did together such as going on field trips or doing our play, and other times it’s as simple as playing with friends or spending time outside. We have had such a wonderful year playing, learning, and growing.

Here are the favorite activities of the 2012-2013 pre-kindergarten class.

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Have we been invaded?

An alien creating a spaceship diagram.

Early morning play this week has included a lot of alien discussions, costumes, and interviews.  A couple of children initiated the play by throwing filmy fabric over their heads and declaring themselves visitors from Mars.  Our loft was opened for use yesterday afternoon and quickly became the preferred spaceship zone.  One of the aliens claimed that her ship was broken and drew a schematic to help us repair it.  We’ve since hung the drawing up in the flight deck so workers can plan their repairs. (Alien ships are so very different from planes on our world, you know!)

In another part of the room, some children were examining our discovery bottles.  These are tubes and bottles that contain a myriad of runny, gooey stuff that we can shake and experiment with without getting messy.  After a quick discussion, the students decided that it would be helpful to have a label on each describing what was inside.

When our aliens witnessed this new labeling ritual, they too wanted to make signs.  Many signs stating, “Do Not Enter Spaceship” were designed and hung immediately.  A few more diagrams regarding the operating and maintenance of the craft were added as well.