The past two weeks, the Yarok PreK has explored outdoor life and some pretty cool bugs.
First off, some updates: Our butterflies emerged over the weekend, and we were able to release them this past Tuesday. It was so peaceful to release them by the fountain with all of our friends. Such a miracle!
Our vegetable garden is growing and blooming. Each day, the kids help water the garden during recess. Our sprinkler for water play does a great job of filling the buckets we use to pour water onto the plants. So far, we have two tomatoes growing and one teeny watermelon (about the size of my fingernail, but growing!). Many other plants have blossoms, so hopefully there will be more fruit and vegetables growing soon.
Our sunflower garden was planted too. It’s located behind the building in four large pots. We checked on them today, and all are growing! We will begin measuring them each week and charting the progress.
Last week, I focused on learning about worms during lesson time.
We observed earthworms like night crawlers and composting worms like red wigglers. The kids showed care and respect for living things by remembering to be gentle around them. When we were done looking at the earthworms, we released them into our garden, hoping that they would help our soil be healthier.
After looking at real worms, we played with gummy worms, experimenting with them in water, having them “dance” with a reaction of baking soda and vinegar, and finally using them to top a dessert of mud and dirt (pudding and crushed Oreos).
This week, the focus was on spiders.
Spiders seem scarier than worms, and while it’s good to have a healthy fear of spiders (they can bite, after all), one needn’t be afraid to learn about them. Spiders have some cool features, but the fact that some of them make webs is what intrigued the class most of all. The kids made yarn webs using sticks found on a nature walk and also played on a tape web I set up in the middle of the room.
Most days for the past two weeks, we set aside a little time to directly talk about some problem solving skills. Last week, we learned about the importance of calming down and naming the problem, while this week we added the next step of coming up with safe solutions. These lessons with puppet play and photos are great at getting the kids talking.
A peek at the next two weeks: Our last week of June finds us learning about kites and wind- a summer request of the kids that I’m happy to oblige. The first week of July will begin our month-long study of the pond beginning with frogs, which is perfect because baby frogs are everywhere at Bet Shalom these days!