Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sunny day!

Happy sunny day everyone! I hope everyone got to spend some time outside today because it was beautiful. It's made me realize how much I miss spring and summer. I can't wait for spring to arrive! I took a longer walk than usual with Brian today just to feel the warm temperature!
I loved the students' reactions when they entered the classroom today! Many of the students didn't bother to take off their coats before wandering into our dramatic play center. I love their enthusiasm! They peeked inside, looked around the barn and commented how we now have a barn in our classroom! I introduced the barn to the students as a whole-class and we set up some simple rules about being in our farm area-
"No leaning on the barn walls"
"Three kids in the barn!" (the barn can fit 4 students with some wiggle room, but we found out 3 felt more comfortable)
"Walk in carefully"
We all walked over to the area and we all took a tour-looking at the chicken coop, the barn and the garden. The students took turns walking in and out of the barn, sitting, standing and moving in the barn to get a feel of it.
The janitor was throwing up these dried up corn stalks--I asked him to bring them to our room to add to our farm!
The "garden" on our farm surrounded by the pictures of flowers drawn by the children
K.W and D.K sitting in the barn
K.M, A.R and J.A stand in the barn
O.B and G.A look at the spider in the barn
X.I shows everyone how to walk carefully in and out of the barn
We didn't get an opportunity to have children play in the farm yet because we seized the day's opportunity to play outside! Many of the students noticed that the snow disappeared!

Back in the classroom, we had a discussion about the chicks/eggs that will be joining our classroom tomorrow! I showed the class the incubator and told them how it will keep the eggs warm. I also showed them the thermometer and asked them if they knew what it was.
T.D said, "It tells us if it's hot or cold. I learned that from Curious George on T.V"
D.K said, "I saw that in the pool."
I told them that it will help us know if the eggs are warm enough. I explained how our class with the help of the incubator will be taking care of them like the mama chicken would. We also looked closely at the egg turner and I explained that it will be slowly turning the eggs. We passed around the parts of the incubator for the students to become familiar with it.
K.M looking at the egg turner in the incubator
A.K looks at the top of the incubator
I read an article from a National Geographic magazine for kids about different animals that hatch eggs. I passed around this magazine so the students could get a closer look at the beautiful photographs.
G.S looking at the National Geographic magazine
The incubator all set up and ready for the chick eggs!
The window to see into the incubator
 The class showed lots of excitement for the chicks! Some asked if we could keep the chicks when they hatch and we asked them if they think the chicks would be happier in our classroom or at the farm. After some thought, we agreed the chicks would be happier going back to the farm to meet their mom and dad.
After lunch, we did some free writing! The children got to write a story about anything they wanted and they worked on labeling!
K.W's story about him relaxing
Here is a clip of my conference with him--

X.I's story-he labeled the picture of himself with his name
G.A's story about her family
A.K's story about playing-she's holding a toy airplane and a dolly, which she labeled with "DE"
D.K wrote a story about seeing the train with his family, he labeled himself with a "D" and his dad with "D" and mom with "M"
O.B wrote about building a batman boat with his dad. He labeled himself with "me," his daddy with "DADE" and the batman boat with a "B"
J.M's story with her sister, a friend and her mom! She labeled her sister with "ST"
J.C wrote about him and his brother, C
G.S wrote about's a beautiful vision of our school surrounded by flowers
T.D wrote about playing with J.A
A.R wrote about playing with her sisters
J.A wrote about playing with his cousin and his mom
K.M wanted me to take a video of her telling her story---

I absolutely love hearing the students' stories-they're so creative and individual. I'm very proud of how far they've come as writers! Our class is definitely a class full of storytellers!

We've been reading a new poem for shared reading! I'm using it as an anchor poem to introduce the word "see" to the class. Here is T.S reading the poem to the class. Notice, how he self-corrects when pointing under the words! The class has developed a great understanding of 1:1 correspondence with counting and with reading!

I went over to Indian Ladder Farms after school to pick up the chick eggs! Cecelia, one of the farmers there was extremely helpful and kind in offering a variety of chick eggs for our classroom and giving me a lot of information. I received 19 chick eggs in total - there are brown, light brown, blue/green, and white eggs. She gave me information about the different chickens they come from-Bantam, Ameraucanas, Production Reds, and Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens. It'll be exciting to see different chicks hatch!
I also had a conversation with her about a farm program that the farm gives to students to show them how important the farm is because of everything we get from farm animals. I talked to her about the difficulties of funding for mainly the bus fee, but the program doesn't start until May so it may be do-able to raise funds. T.S' mom also kindly offered a contact with Denison Farm. I will bring up these ideas with the other PreK teachers and see what we can do in terms of fundraising for a farm trip. I believe it will be great exposure for the class. Growing up in a city myself, I do regret not having as many experiences with nature. In fact, I loved walking around the farm today! Cecelia was also kind enough to allow me to see their chicken coop so I could take photographs of the chickens to show the class. I'll be printing up these photos to hang up around our incubator and future brooder.
A black and white chicken-one of the Silver Laced Wyandottes-we have some of their eggs!
The chicken coop
Another view of the chicken coop
The turkey opened up his feathers!
The goats were adorable! The small white one reminded me of my dog.
Reminder that tomorrow is a half day, dismissal will start at around 11:10am. Parent teacher conferences will be tomorrow as well. If you still want to come in and talk to us, feel free--we'll have photo albums for you to look through if there's a wait! :)