This week we continued our reptile theme by talking about more types of lizards, the difference between an alligator and a crocodile, and exploring habitats.
On Monday we had many friends wanting to work on large floor puzzles and quiet games early in the morning.
At circle time our calendar picture was a chameleon! We learned that chameleons change color based on how they are feeling and the environment they are in. Everyone participated in reading the story, The Mixed-Up Chameleon by rolling their arms around and around every time the chameleon got more “mixed-up!”
It was the nicest fake-spring day outside on Monday so right after playground time was over, we just couldn’t bear going back inside! Instead, we carefully walked all together around the Bet Shalom pond for a great nature walk. We tried to look for some reptiles basking in the sun but unfortunately they seem to be hiding away and keeping warm until summer.
When we got inside it was time to take it easy by having some water to refresh and learning some Passover songs! The one I taught this week is a fun interactive song called “Lotsa Lotsa Matzah” by Ellen Allard.
On Tuesday we reviewed some of the reptiles we learned about last week by looking back at our previous calendar pictures. We also read our book by the Wild Kratts that describes unique reptiles like the basilisk lizard and the gila monster. After re-reading the book, everyone got to share which reptile is their favorite so far. To my surprise, many children said the snakes are their favorite! Eeek!
Throughout the week I put out some pages featuring our popular reptiles to color for a morning choice or after finishing the group projects. Coloring pages have started to become very popular with everyone wanting to do multiple at a time!
For our group activity on Tuesday we explored more about a reptile’s scaly bumpy skin by making a collage. Each child could use a wide variety of materials like tissue paper, ribbon, felt, and sequins to glue onto a template. After they were done, I asked some friends if they wanted to name their reptile like a pet and got some cute answers :).
When rainy Wednesday arrived, we thought our luck had run out with the nice weather. However there is never a day when the class is not thrilled to get to run around in circles in the big room! The rain also allowed for more work on new puzzles and games like picture bingo and memory.
At circle time I introduced a new song with a well-known pattern: “Five Little Gila Monsters!” Using small photo props we sing about five gila monsters running away one at a time. After we sang it once together, a few children got a turn to come up to the board and take away one of the pictures at each verse. I also read a story about a reptile on a special Jewish holiday that’s coming up… Dinosaur on Passover ! I have started to introduce the basic songs and traditions of Passover because there is a lot to know about this week-long holiday. It also falls mostly during our school spring break week so even less time to fit in all the fun!
Wednesday’s group time got very sticky as everyone got craft glue to spread with brushes on large construction paper. Then every table got pourable bottles of colored sand to sprinkle on the glue in whatever patterns they wanted! This was just a fun process exploration that was different to make and led to some really colorful, textured, and MESSY results. But boy did we have a good time making them! I will spare all of you at home from the sandy shenanigans and keep these pieces at school.
We could take a sigh of relief on Thursday as we saw the sun peek back out for us to play on the playground again! It got so nice that we decided to take another walk and actually saw some of the ice melting on the pond. Mr. Benny even spotted a large bird soaring above us that we think might have been an eagle!
During Thursday’s circle time there was another chance for student participation when we played a game I call “Same or Different Emotions?” First we reviewed picture cards of what someone’s face looks like for happy, sad, surprised, scared, and angry. Then 2 friends came up at a time and I secretly showed them a card. The pair made the faces for the class and everyone else had to guess if the 2 were feeling the same, or feeling different (not the same).
Our group activity was an optional one but everyone really had fun with it all the way until lunch! I gave everyone their own clear plastic bin to use as a reptile cage along with some wood pieces, rocks, and animal toys. They were encouraged to construct a habitat for their animals however they wanted and to share the different reptiles so everyone had enough to play.
On Friday we will rap up a lovely week with more sensory play, acting out our songs, and doing reptile yoga poses!
Next week Mr. Benny will be leading lessons around the themes of spring time and Passover.
Have a nice weekend,
Ms. Maddie and Mr. Benny