Spider Pets

Last week we made our own adorable spider pets.  They traveled with us to Music and Dance class.  They joined us while we read, “Spider on the Floor” by Raffi. spider_on_the_floor

Eventually, we decided that they needed names.  Each child recorded their spider’s special name and some interesting facts about them.

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A few of the children described their spiders while others wrote tales of adventure for them.

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Mission Observation Spider

We found an excellent orb weaver specimen on the playground!

How to catch a bug.

(Scroll over the images for the captions.)

Spider and Pumpkin Books

The children can practice reading the little books, Spider on the Floor and Pumpkins for Sale, they are bringing home this week by reading them aloud with you.  As you (or your child) reads, please encourage them to point to one word at a time as it is read.  This helps them establish 1 to 1 correspondence, an understanding that the marks on the page represent the individual words that we say as we read.  This is helpful especially as children are just in the beginning stages of reading which include retelling the story through the use of the pictures and through memorization.  Even though they may not be “sounding out” the words on the page, they are learning more about reading and our language as they practice this skill.  Those that can already read many of the sight words in the story should use picture and first letter cues when they reach an unknown word.  When they attempt a word, usually in a questioning voice and looking at you for approval, ask them, “Does it make sense?”  Good readers use many types of cues to help them decipher an unknown word.

Sparkly Spiders

We’ve been spending a lot of time learning about spiders the past few weeks.  We learned that not all spiders make webs.  We found out that spiders have two body parts, a head and an abdomen, and that they always have eight legs.  We’ve classified some of the creepy crawlies we’ve found outside based on these rules and were surprised to find that some creatures we thought were spiders, really weren’t at all.

Creating a spider to demonstrate our new knowledge of arachnid anatomy was an obvious next step.  Each child decided how many legs to include and how to represent the main body parts.  With this in mind, the children were very focused on creating eight legs and distributing them evenly.  The glitter, however, was Mrs. Forst’s idea and obviously has no place in true spider body structure.  But who can pass up a chance to use sparkly glitter?

Decorations

Our current math unit introduces and reinforces the concept of pattern creation and continuation.    Luckily, Halloween provides us many opportunities to practice and play with these ideas.  We were inspired while reading Six Creepy Sheep, by Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Gordon Tessler, and created some creepy decorations of our own.  In the picture on the left, one of the students is preparing wooden beads in an orange paint bath.  We also mixed up some lovely green, goblin beads.  When they dried, we drew faces on them to give them a bit of character.  Next, we strung them in an ABAB pattern on some skinny, wooden skewers.  To keep the beads from falling off, the students used  Model Magic to fashion a pumpkin and a round cap for each end of the stick.  (Note: If either end pops off, simply add a bit of white glue, stick it back together, and let it sit over night to dry.)  Finally, each child sorted through a large pile of wooden letter beads and found the blocks needed to make their own names.  These were strung on ribbon and laced through the pumpkins so that the project could be hung from a door handle. 

Much earlier in the week, the children became very excited over some cobwebs we found outside.  We decided that, for the upcoming holiday, a web would make a lovely addition inside our room, as well.  I prepared the weaving area by making a large X with an additional center line out of yarn on our play awning.  The children we then each given a turn with the roll of yarn and off they went!  I’m actually quite impressed with how it turned out.  They each took their time planning where they wished to place their string.  The result is nicely spread out and surprisingly “webby”.  On Friday, we made spiders out of pipe cleaners to adorn our creation.  I’m interested in seeing if the spiders will become a popular plaything next week.