We have completed our second week learning about space and the kids’ excitement has continued to build. The moon was our primary focus this week.
On Monday we watched a really informative video geared towards young children which taught us about the first moon landing. We learned about the astronauts and the Apollo 11 mission. We looked at photos of craters on the moon and talked about how Neil Armstrong’s footprints are still on the surface of the moon to this day. We then worked on our project using clay to make our own moon surface. We then added lots of craters. We even found an astronaut toy which had the same boot prints as Neil Armstrong so we used it to add footprints to our moons.
On Tuesday we read a book the kids loved called, Dogs in Space. It was about two dogs, Strelka and Belka, whom the USSR successfully sent up to orbit the earth. They survived and became very famous. The story motivated the kids to play versions of the story together.
Our Tuesday activity was to paint our moons and make tiny American flags to put on them. We used some extra time to create another black sheet covered in stars to go on our ceiling.
On Wednesday we read a book about the sun and the moon and learned lots of moon facts. We then worked on a fun (but now very sciency) project. We created “moon rocks” out of aluminum foil and rocks. We covered our “earth rocks” with foil to turn them into “moon rocks”. While we were eating snack our kind volunteer, Mr. Hal, hid the rocks all around the playground. When we went out to play we donned gloves and carried tongs to go on a moon rock hunt. The kids ran all around the playground working together to gather them as quickly as possible.
On Thursday I had planned for the kids to create the phases of the moon with Oreo cookies. We had a bit of a tough start of the day with some kids struggling with self management and listening so the teachers decided to wait until Friday for this special project. Instead we gathered the planets we painted last week and wore them on our shirts while we took a walk outside. We went to the ga-ga pit and practiced orbiting around the sun (Zander). Ms. Lily and I even demonstrated how the earth could rotate around Zander/sun while the moon rotated around it. Ms. Katie was the moon and had to run really quickly around Lily/the Earth while she walked slowly around the sun. It ended up being a fun activity and perfect for where we were at as a class on Thursday. Somedays 4 to 5 year olds just need more time to get some wiggles out.
Also on Thursday Ms. Abby stopped by to say good-bye. She is heading up to Duluth for college but wanted a chance to see the kids one last time. They gave her sweet hugs and thanked her for all the fabulous pictures she has drawn for them.
This week we started working our way through a new packet of calm down cards. Each card has a different idea of a way to recenter our bodies when needed. Each day during morning meeting I read a few to the kids and we practice the new technique and then decide who thinks it could be helpful for them and who doesn’t find it very helpful. The technique shown in these photos in the lumber jack – we decided it isn’t very calming, but it could reset our mood.
As a teacher I always try to follow the interests of the kids and put more focus on those things. Some of the kids are fascinated with Venn diagrams right now. After using one this week with three circles, they wanted to try to make one with four circles. (I haven’t ever drawn a four circle diagram but was up for trying it out.) We drew one out on a white board and then I let them try to figure out how it would work. The circles represented blueberries, raspberries, mango and strawberries. It was easy for them to figure out where they would put their name if they liked none, one, two or all four of those fruits. The tricky part they were puzzling over was where to sign if they liked three. We had a great discussion about it. These kids sure love learning!!
Next week we will continue with our space theme, but will focus more on various “rockets” and the International Space Station. Also next week both of the new PreK teachers will join our class while I continue to teach the kids. They will be observing and getting to know the kids and routines. I am excited for their great enthusiasm and love of teaching. I know the kids will love them!
We hope you have a great weekend!
Ms.Katie & Ms. Lily