Leaves, leaves, and more LEAVES! Our collection of leaves from our nature walks has provided us with a plethora of nature inspired activities! Gotta love free natural learning tools! :-)
Over the past couple of weeks we have been separating and labeling leaves according to their sizes. This week we continued our practice with colors. The kiddos sorted through a basket of leaves and taped them onto the paper with the coordinating color written on it. This experience not only helped us distinguish color differences, but also helped us recognize color words and spell them out. During our Together Time, we can count how many leaves of each color we have, therefore, reinforcing our counting skills. T and F took it upon themselves to add more leaves on our posters throughout the day.
"I have an idea! I'll do the tape and you hold the leaf!" - F to T
"No bugs on there!" - T exclaimed as he used the magnifying glass to check for bugs before placing the leaf on the paper.
The two friends even smelled the leaves to put their noses to work.
"It smells like peppermint coffee!" - T
"It smells like chocolate!" - F
*Fall Watercolor Absorption Invitation*
After observing how much our friends enjoyed our color mixing area we HAD to bring it out for another week. This time we added sponges and cotton balls to explore absorption. R discovered that he could soak up water directly from the drop cloth. F and W worked together to keep the liquid from falling off of the table. F used a cotton ball to suck up the water while W folded up the cloth to prevent any further spilling.
Throughout this experience, our kiddos actively participated in friendly conversations.
"I'm making a bomb." - F
"That doesn't sound very nice." - R
(Our kiddos know we have a rule against using weapons because they're not nice. It was refreshing to hear them already making the connection on their own.)
"I'm making poison." - R and T
"Poison ivy." - R
"I'm making watercolors! I made it filled up!" - W (He filled the glass all the way to the tippy top using the pipette.)
"It'll have sparkles if I put another color into the red." - T
"It looks like a bloody nose!" - F said as he put a cotton ball into the red watercolor.
While on our nature walk, we stopped by one of our favorite sites - an overflowing beautiful flower garden. The kiddos love to smell the variety of flowers and feel their differing textures. This visit we found a community of rolly pollies. Each student had at least one insect in their hands and crawling up their arms! Eventually we had to leave which meant leaving the rolly pollies behind, but our kiddos knew that it was the right decision. "Lets put them back with their families!" - F
This week our Monday group collected half of a trash bag full of leaves on our nature walk. We wanted to collage with them, but first we had to organize them! Setting out five trays, T and I determined how we should sort them. We decided on colors - alive green, red, brown, yellow, and dead green. Our friend W joined us on the fun and used the magnifying glass to get a closer look.
In order to figure out where a leaf would go, we had to determine it's color. To do so, we chose a leaf from the basket and picked up two leaves from the already organized trays - each a different color. We laid out the three leaves on the table with the leaf in question in the middle. This made it easier for us to compare leaves, figure out which color they were, and find which one matched. The leaf we were examining turned out to be red since it looked like the (already determined) red leaf not the (already determined) yellow leaf.
While organizing our leaves, we found a bug! It was such a tiny bug that we had to look at it through the magnifying glass. (When looking at the photos, it's the tiny black spot that looks like a paint splatter.)
"I wonder what this bug will turn into!" - T
After showing off our bug to our other friends, we wanted to give it a better home outside. We picked our planter full of pumpkins! Our friends then had trouble finding it again because of its small size. :-)
We sorted almost all of our leaves and wanted to make something with them. I gathered some beads and string to see if it would interest them. I had a vision of tying the leaves on string and then hanging them from a stick frame in order to show our exploration of Fall colors. The kiddos completely surprised me by threading the beads directly on the leaf stems! GENIUS! We created a makeshift assembly line - they threaded the beads and I tied the knots. Afterwards we had a wonderful example of natural Autumn shades.
Our finished product and our messy table!
*Fall Math Manipulatives*
T and W liked working together in our counting and number recognition area. Together they collaborated on determining the number on the block and how many acorns that would be. A fantastic example of community within our Whole Child group! :-)
*Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar*
This morning I found a black fuzzy thing on our back steps. This spiked my curiosity and I HAD to go in for a closer look! Lo and behold it wasn't chicken poop - it a humongous caterpillar! I knew my friends would LOVE to see it so I scooped it up into a transparent container. The kiddos were beyond excited for our new studio friend! We knew it wouldn't be able to stay in the container so we made it our job to make it a new home. We gathered rocks, sticks, grass, and leaves in order to make our new friend comfortable. Before we placed the caterpillar in its home, we each had the opportunity to touch it. The black spikes looked pointy, but were actually soft! We are going to attempt to keep our studio "pet" so that we can see it transform into a Giant Leopard Moth. Fingers crossed! :-)
The caterpillar was a great reason to revisit our conversation from last week. This led us into a question: "What makes a good home?" Our kiddos had all sorts of ideas from "hotels" to "good upstairs". We reviewed how we made a good home for our caterpillar and why we chose the items for its home. We decided that a good home is safe and warm and filled with love. :-)
*Height Measuring Exploration*
After reading four books our friends needed to get up and move their bodies. The kiddos began comparing height with each other by standing back to back! We delved further into height by choosing a unit of measurement - our painted tubes! By laying our bodies on the floor we could then place the tubes beside our friends to count how many tubes tall they are. I'm so happy to see how many uses we are getting out of our simple cardboard tubes!
Next Wednesday we will be celebrating Autumn and R's birthday! All of the kiddos are encouraged to wear their costumes and have fun!
See you next week!