It's hard to believe the final week of Little Hive has come and gone. This has been the best year thanks to you and your sweet girls! Mrs. Cousins and I will miss every one of them this summer.
Here's a look at how much the girls have grown over this school year. : )
What a fantastic year it has been!! Thank you for sharing your daughters with us!
This week has been filled with lots of pretend play. The girls' imaginations have grown so much this year. Now the students enjoy playing with friends, not just beside friends (parallel play). They have been dressing up for "the ball" and "having picnics" all week. They added a new game at the end of the week, "watching a show," To watch a show, they all sit on (or near) our couch and one friend changes the channel on the "television" (the cabinet for the dress-up fabric). This pretend play teaches the girls so many social skills that can't be taught through instruction at circle time. They take turns; they discuss ideas with peers; they share narratives.
"There's no room for me at the picnic."
"Here's a place."
"We're eating at the Redbirds."
"The ants are biting me."
"Let's move it away."
"The turtle is scared, too. The ants are biting."
"Do you want to count the frogs? One and two."
"Let's go get some vegetables."
"Oh no, the ants are coming!!"
"Let's move our food."
"Pick something, Eliza."
"Ok, PJ Mask is on. Romeo is going to take it for Gecko."
"I better call Mom."
"Call the officer."
"The doctor says he's going to help us. With the tv."
In order to review our colors, and have some fun, we all went on a color hunt in our classroom. The girls worked in pairs to find every color on their color page. They were so proud to check each color off of their list.
"This is green! I found green!"
"Hey! This is purple!!! Purple rectangle!"
"This and this and this! Blue!"
"Red! I did red!"
"This is black, Grace. Black crayon!"
The girls' imaginative play inspired us to have a picnic snack. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and talked about all of the colors around us. Again, the students worked in pairs for an outdoor color hunt. Our outdoor hunt took us to the farm for our last visit of the year. We even saw our shadows!
"Green! There! On the grass!"
(What colors do you see in the sky?)
(What color are those rocks?)
"Orange! There's orange!"
"Yellow!! We found yellow!! On the flowers!!"
"The scarecrow has red!"
"Leaves! Hot pink leaves!"
The girls' scissor skills have grown immensely this semester. Be sure to practice at home this summer if you have some free time with your daughter. The muscles used for cutting will be important when the students learn to write their names in Pre-K.
To encourage the students' love for scissor-practice, we read Henri's Scissors about Henri Matisse's paper art. The girls enjoyed creating collages of their own with the scraps they cut. While working, they discussed shapes and colors, quantity and size, and told stories. Composing art with glue can be tricky. The girls are learning to use just the right amount, not too much or too little.
"Hmm something's missing. This! I was just looking for this!"
"I like to just cut."
"I cut a lot."
"One more cut. There we go."
"Let's do green."
"I want blue."
"Look! I made a shape!"
"I made a triangle."
"I cut a shape. A rectangle."
"This is so small. A small triangle!"
"This is the biggest one."
"I'm making decorations."
"I sticked it."
"Mama's gonna like this."
"This is mommy's bracelet."
"Oh no! Some's falling off. I need more glue."
"It's all done."
Other fine motor activities this week included squeezing sponges, playing with clay, and matching shapes on a puzzle. The sponges were shaped like creatures that live near ponds, such as, ladybugs, snails, and spiders. This was a popular activity. The girls also practiced carefully pouring the water from one bucket to the other when they had squeezed out all of the water from the sponges. Clay is fun for the girls because they can create whatever their little minds can imagine. They sit at the table with friends and tell stories about their clay creations. I have been impressed with their ability to match both shapes and colors to the corresponding spot. The students talk about the shapes and colors while they work. This is a fun way for us to assess their knowledge without "quizzing" them.
In our "Strings" special, Miss Murray introduced the strings family in the orchestra -- the violin (baby), the viola (big sister), the cello (mommy), and the string bass (daddy). The girls were able to see, hear, and touch the instruments. They heard the high pitched violin in comparison with the low string bass. Each student had a turn strumming each instrument. The girls really loved this class.
Later in the week, we refreshed the girls' memories of the instruments and listened to everyone's favorite Frozen song, "Let It Go" (performed by violin students on YouTube). The girls recognized the tune immediately and enjoyed seeing that young girls can play the song on a violin if they practice often enough. Dancing and twirling soon followed. : )
We hope you all had a beautiful Mother's Day weekend. Your daughters loved creating special gifts for you. They put a lot of love into their drawings and paintings.
"She like green. Like her computer."
"Apples. She like apples."
"Mommy like RED!"
"I mixin'. Mommy like mixin'."
"I paintin' for mommy!"
"Mommy's new dress and shoes."
"That looks so beautiful."
"My Mom will LOVE this! I putting polka dots on it. Oh! I need gold."
"I makin' a ship."
"I makin' a rainbow!"
On Tuesday morning, we looked at images of our last trip to the construction site. We discussed the look of the building and noticed it didn't have windows yet. The girls saw the shapes in the building and recalled seeing the truck near the construction site. Everyone wanted to check on the site again.
"I saw it!"
"The shapes! A triangle!"
"And a square. And a rectangle!"
On our walk to the site, the girls sang "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" because they saw water spouts on the outside of the gym. Once the singing was finished, the girls listened for construction sounds. They made verbal observations upon arriving at the site and then each student made an observational drawing in their doodle pad.
"I can hear that."
"You tricked us! They do have windows!"
(The builders have added the windows since our last visit. They have been working very hard.)
"I still see a triangle!"
"Squares on top of the windows!"
"Bricks on that building."
(The workmen are using mortar to connect the bricks to the building.)
In the gym, Mrs. Parsons had the girls build with "bricks." Each student counted and gathered three bricks to work with. Mrs. Parsons helped the girls brainstorm things they could build. They created doors, letters, pyramids, and beds. We were so proud of the girls for listening respectfully and following directions -- they are getting ready for Pre-K!!
During circle time, we read books about frogs and pond life. One book quickly captured the girls attention because of the silly cartoon frogs, Fat Frogs on a Skinny Log. While reading each page, the girls helped me count the number of frogs on the log. In dramatic play the girls pretended to be frogs on a large brown log.
"I'm the mommy frog!"
"I fell in the pond!"
"I'm the baby. I was a tadpole!"
"I jumped on my lily pad."
"I need a lily pad."
We added green sheets of paper to extend the play onto lily pads.
The squishy lizards, snakes, and water beads at the sensory table received a lot of attention this week. The girls made up stories with the creatures and pretended they were alive.
"He doesn't have any arms. He's a snake."
"He went under the water."
"The pink snake doesn't like the water."
"I'm going fishing in the pond. I think I got somethin'!"
We love to see the girls coming up with stories and ideas. This week, the princesses used the fabric in our room to get dressed for the ball. The ball was exhausting and some princesses needed a nap. Later, this play led to a picnic by the pond.
"I'm going to the ball!"
"I need one."
"We dance at the ball."
"This is gonna be so fun!"
"Can you spread this out?"
"I'll make dinner."
"You wanna eat our picnic?"
"We cooking chicken."
Our Little Hive explorers have been excited to see the geese's babies walking around the grounds of our campus. The girls have worked on learning the word "goslings." We pointed out that we usually see the geese near the pond, and that's because the geese live near the pond. It is their habitat. Sometimes we see Hutchison's ducks waddling near our window, too. The class loves having all of this wildlife just outside our door. We asked the students to tell us what other animals live in or near the pond.
"Frog. Ribbit ribbit ribbit!"
"Pond! Duck swims in the pond!"
Here are two images of the ducks outside our window, and in our classroom's "pond."
"I can show you the ducks!"
"Hey! That one looks like this one, with the green head."
"She's sitting on her eggs."
At circle time, we read books about life at the pond. The girls learned which animals live in the pond, and which animals live near the pond. They enjoyed a lot of dramatic play with the stuffed animals (duck, turtle, tad pole, frog, cricket, bee, dragonfly) and pretended our large blue carpet was the pond.
"The frogs are getting on their lily pads."
"Ducky can have some friends."
"I found a frog! He was at Cracker Barrel."
"I'm in the pond, too. My shoes got wet."
"I can show you these pictures in your pond."
"Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit."
"It turned to a frog!!"
After playing with pond animals and reading about life at the pond, we took a little adventure out to the pond/lake. The girls told me what they hoped to see near the pond.
"Poles!" (Tadpoles?) "Yes, tadpoles!!"
We saw mostly geese and two ducks by the pond. The girls sketched what they saw in their doodle pads. They like to tell their friends what they're drawing.
"A duck at the pond."
"Little duckies at the pond."
"I'm drawing geese in the pond."
"A list of food for the little duckies."
"A frog at the pond."
A friend from another class caught a toad at home and brought it to school. She shared it with us and then the whole Little Hive set it free at the pond. The girls loved seeing a real toad and watching it hop!
"Can I see?"
"It's looking at me!"
"EEEEE! Yay! Hop!"
"There! It hopped!"
In Movement, Mrs. Parsons taught the girls some yoga moves while helping them pretend to be pond animals - snakes that bend and hiss, turtles that wobble on the backs of their shells, and butterflies that flap their wings. The girls loved this new exercise!
Back in the classroom, the girls have been tracing their letters with Q-tips and paint. They have to concentrate to trace along the black lines of their letters. This is practice for learning how the letters are formed. Each girl is recognizing the letters that make up her name, and her friends' names.
"S for Smith!"
"H for Henley!"
"R for Rease!"
"There's an E for Eden!"
"My Mommy has a K for Kim."
We hope you all enjoyed the Parent Coffee. The girls had such joyful faces when they talked about their parents and the visit to the farm. They loved performing their song for you. Thank you to everyone who could attend!
The girls finished their day with drawing, painting, pretending, building and reading. Our projector allowed for a fun tracing activity. Students created a picture with magnatiles on the projector and then traced the lines of the shapes onto paper. Following the lines of the shapes was good practice for writing, and the tall paper encouraged wrist extension.
"These are the shadows."
"One, two, three triangles."
After tracing, the artists painted the shapes they had drawn. Each girl enjoyed this project and was proud of her individual creation.
The girls used the projector to practice one-to-one correspondence. They were shown a card with a number. Then the students were asked to name the number and find that amount of magnatiles. This helped with recognizing numerals, and understanding addition (more) and subtraction (take away). Some students created large shapes by sticking smaller shapes together. Geometry! All of this while "playing" with the projector!
"1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Seven! We need 10. Three more."
We extended the girls' joy of painting by discussing "thin" and "thick" lines. They created masterpieces with thin and thick paintbrushes. Some students also employed our toothed paint scrapers to create thin and thick lines on their paintings.
"I'm gonna show my mama this."
"I just want one little stripe. Two. That and that."
"I'm making a unicorn-cheetah-wolf. And you don't see her spots anymore."
The students have enjoyed visiting the igloo in the Multipurpose Room. They love crawling inside and looking around. When we read a book in the igloo, the girls sat so quietly and paid close attention. They like the cozy spot.
Our seeds continue to grow rapidly. The sunflower and bean seeds have grown the most. We will transfer them into larger pots soon.
"This one isn't big enough yet."
Senora has taught the girls to say "sun," "rain," "flower," and "rainbow" in Spanish (sol, lluvia, flor, arco iris). She helps them act out sunshine and rain falling on the flowers. Also, they sing a song about the colors of the rainbow.
To begin the week, our class explored the projector and the shadows of flowers. The girls began by rearranging the flowers and watching the shadows move on the projected image. Their curious minds led them to pick items from around the room to place on the projector. Blocks, see-through gems, animals, and numbers were gathered for this experiment (What has a shadow?). The girls loved seeing the shadows on the wall. Some students danced in front of the projector to watch their own shadows move.
"Flowers grow bigger and bigger."
"Is that MY shadow? That is my shadow!"
"I have a shadow!"
"Move over so I can see the three."
"Do you want to use the one?"
"She put this on the screen."
(That's ok. Does it have a shadow?)
"It does have a shadow!"
"Hey! You're blocking my shadow."
"I love my shadow!"
After circle time, we went on a shadow hunt outside. The girls spotted shadows from trees, fences, and their own bodies. While on our hunt, we stopped by the farm to look at the growth of our sunflower seeds. After the girls knew what to look for, they were finding the tiny sprouts on their own. We explored the other planter boxes and saw the popular farm scarecrow. Two geese and their goslings joined us at the farm. The girls were reminded that the goslings hatched from eggs. They loved seeing the "cute baby birds" at the farm. This was a real treat!
We continue to check on the growth of our sunflower seeds in the classroom, too. They are growing quickly in the egg carton.
"This is the biggest."
"This seed fell off. This one didn't."
"Here are two!"
"When I do this, it will get bigger." (looking with a magnifying glass)
A flashlight sparked some shadow exploration this week. The girls saw that pointing a flashlight at objects on a string would create shadows behind the objects. Other items from around our room were chosen to see different shadows. Red, yellow, and blue shadows were created by shining the flashlight through colorful plexiglass boards.
"They make shadows!"
"The shadows move when we move them."
"Look! They're here!"
"I can't see the shadow when it's dark."
"Do you see me on the shadow?"
"There it is!"
"It spinned when I spinned!"
"I'll hold it and make your shadow."
"Can you bring me a toy to make a shadow?"
"I need to move closer to make the shadow."
Look! Look at the shadow!"
The Little Hive participated in St. Jude's Trike-A-Thon this week! Our chapel speaker, Mr. Throckmorton, is the head of security for the school. He spoke about the importance of bike safety - wearing helmets and going slowly around curves. The girls obeyed these rules. They had a ball! Older classes cheered with pompoms during our ride time. Our class cheered for the Pre-K and JK students during their Trike-A-Thon, too.
We have loved spending more time outside this week. Visiting the farm was fun and memorable. The girls checked on the growth of our sunflower seeds. We only saw a few sprouts, but we hope to see more progress next week. At the farm, Mrs. Meakin showed the girls multiple things that had grown from seeds: peas, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, flowers, and cotton. All of the girls enjoyed saying "Hi!" to the farm's scarecrow.
"I want to look for wiggly worms!"
"Smith likes my boots."
"They're so beautiful."
"We can step in mud with our boots."
"I see the farm!!!"
"I see my shadow!"
"I see your shadow."
"The shadows have a rope, too."
"There's a tiny hole."
"Where is a bug?"
"I found a ladybug in here."
"This feels soft." (the cotton)
(Cotton is used to make your dresses.)
"I see something growing!"
"Look at that butterfly!"
"It grow big and big!"
"Smells like lemon."
The little artists used flowers in their artwork this week. The stems of the flowers became paint brushes, and some girls used the petals to add texture to their paintings.
"Hey! It made a flower!"
"Brown! Mix all the colors."
"I made a flower!"
"Look at mine."
Our class has shown an interest in things they find on their way into the classroom, mostly small rocks from the parking lot. The girls created a science experiment when they asked to cut the rock with the scissors they had been using to trim the grass. Students observed dust coming off of the rock, but the scissors couldn't cut through the rock.
"Let's cut the rock!"
(Do the scissors cut the rock?)
"Yes, see, that's dust."
(Did the scissors cut the rock in half?)
"No, not cutting."
"I want to cut the grass."
We built upon this curiosity of things they see outside, and introduced the idea of scavenger hunts in nature. At circle time, we read a book about nature walks and the girls learned about all of the things one could find outside. The whole class collaborated to create a list of things for our scavenger hunt. It is great to see the girls noticing the world around them and discussing it with their peers.
"It's easy to find a tree."
"A black ant and a red ant."
"A big ant."
"A spider web."
"A lot of bugs. A purple bug."
"A playground and the Children's Museum."
On our scavenger hunt, the girls made a lot of observations about nature. We saw trees, leaves, clouds, grass, and found a mama goose sitting on her nest.
"It's not windy."
"I see a big cloud!"
"It's white like Smith's shirt."
"I hear an eagle."
"I can hear a goose."
"I see water."
"I find geese."
"Oh I see her baby. And her leg is under her body."
"Let's not get too close to her."
"We'll find a slide in a few minutes, right?"
"Hey! Look at those geese up on the roof!"
"They flew! They flew up there!"
"I don't know why they're up there."
"I saw Hutchison geese one time and they were not at Hutchison."
"We're looking for a playground."
"It flew off. It didn't like the roof."
"In my shadow I'm smaller than you."
"My shadow's here."
"I don't see my shadow. Oh, there!"
"I see a playground! And a slide!"
On the playground, girls continued to explore their shadows.
During Thursday's circle time, we read My Garden by Kevin Henkes about a girl who grows chocolate bunnies, strawberries, and seashells in her garden. Each girl told me what she would like to grow if she had her very own garden.
Eliza - bees
Henley - flowers, too
Olivia - flowers
Smith - glowing strawberries
Marley - trees
Rease - Elsa
Briella - elephant
Ari - sandwich
Grace - sunflowers
Lele - a flower
Kendall - salad
Louise - candy and flowers
Eden - big seeds
Evan - daddy and mama
The class has loved learning about seeds, planting, flowers, and grass. To expand upon this, we began the week by exploring petals, The girls felt the soft petals and smelled the flowers.
(Those are petals.)
"I want to make a sunflower."
"This is a petal."
"They're sharing it."
"It smells like flower."
"What does it smell like? This one's terrible!"
When offered watercolor paints, the girls painted on petals and paper. Some loved painting on the petals, while others enjoyed painting around the petals to make shapes on the paper. The petals became stamps when students painted on the petals and turned them over to transfer the paint from the petal to the paper. We love to see the girls using creativity in their artwork. It took a lot of fine-motor control to hold the fragile petals and paint with the thin watercolor paintbrushes.
We discussed where the petals came from ("Flowers!" "Garden!") and what the flowers need to grow ("Sunshine!" "They need water!").
The wheatgrass keeps growing and the girls continue to be impressed by its size.
"How it grow so big?"
"Water it high and high."
"It's not hair; it's grass."
"It's now got a lot of grass!"
We offered rulers so the girls could learn how to measure height. The girls saw the correspondence of the numbers on the ruler and the height of the grass.
"Is this measuring this?"
"Can I do these?" (rulers)
"I want to measure."
The girls practiced their fine-motor cutting skills by giving the grass a cut.
"I want to cut the grass!"
"I'm cutting a lot."
"That looks good."
"Are we going to the farm today?"
At circle time, we watched a claymation movie of a seed growing into a flower. The girls spotted the seed, roots, stem, leaves, flower bud, and petals. The video showed the rain watering the plant, and the sun shining down from the sky. The students were inspired to make their own play-doh flowers after circle time.
"This is a flower."
"Here's the rain cloud."
"The sun is gone."
"Here are seeds."
"Leaves on a stem."
"It doesn't have the yellow thing. It doesn't have pollen."
"This is a bigger piece."
"This is growing up from the seed,"
"This is the seed I made."
"This is going to be the biggest seed in the whole world."
"It's a pancake. I didn't grow it from seeds. I cooked it in the oven!"
After reading The Sunflower House by Eve Bunting, we took a trip to the Hutchison farm with the other Little Hive classes. We love to hear what the girls talk about on our way to the farm.
"We have our boots on."
"I like the sunshine."
"I water some plants."
"Where's the soil?" (Under the grass.) "I didn't know soil was under this!"
At the farm, Mrs. Meakin talked with the girls about how to prepare the soil for planting. She showed the students the tools necessary for getting the garden ready, and taught them how to "stir up the soil." Each girl was able to take a tool and till up the soil in our sunflower planter. We will check on the growth this week and hope to see little sprouts in the dirt. The Little Hive classes (with Mrs. Meakin's help) are attempting to create a sunflower house like the one in the book by Eve Bunting.
"What he doing?"
"Look, a worm. You wanna hold him?"
"Where's the worm?"
"I can't find a worm."
"There's another worm!"
More fun this week:
Finding flowers on the playground
Adding color to paper flowers at the light table
Dancing to spring time music
The girls have continued to explore seeds and plants. At the beginning of the week, everyone was excited to see the speedy growth of the wheat grass. "Look! It grow bigger and bigger!!"
We invited the girls to create observational drawings of the grass. They took their time and created masterpieces with black pens.
"I draw the grass."
"I did zig zag."
"I'm going to draw the biggest grass of all. It's a tree!"
"A tree is taller than a giant."
"These are roots!"
"Where is the grass?"
"That's the grass."
"That's that part. (pointing) It's a seed. I'm drawing a seed!"
"I'm coloring black."
"Seeds grow lettuce."
"I'm drawing this for sunflowers. I wanted to see one for years!"
The class played in the dirt at the sensory table.
"Stir, stir, stir."
"Lots of dirt in here."
"Can I rake?"
"It's a worm!!"
All of the girls enjoy planting seeds, so they planted more wheat grass at the sensory table. The students took turns shoveling the soil into the pot, planting the seeds, and watering the final product.
"Can I have a turn?"
"They are planting!"
Our germinating seeds have begun to sprout. The girls have seen the tiny sprouts grow larger and larger over the last few days.
"What are those gonna grow?" [We explained, and the student later told her curious friends what was growing in each pot.]
"What is this?"
"Let me tell you. These are gonna be daisies, these are gonna be poplars [poppies], and these are sunflowers."
We all looked at which sprouts were the smallest and largest to compare the height of each plant.
We read Planting a Rainbow during our circle time. It taught about planting seeds to grow flowers. The girls called out the colors they saw in the flowers. They listened carefully to the names of each flower. We looked at the stems, leaves, and petals on the flowers. This story inspired the class to paint beautiful flowers.
"I'm painting a flower over here."
"What are you painting?"
"But I don't see a stem?"
"I'm making a rainbow."
In continuing to learn about birds and nests, we read Flap Your Wings. This book taught the girls what birds like to eat. The students pretended to be birds in their dramatic play and the mommy bird fed them plastic bugs.
"Do you see any little bird food?"
"We better get a little snack."
"Tweet, tweet, tweet."
"Nom nom nom. Munch munch."
"They're eating them all up."
"I don't like those beetles."
"Aw, look. They're all friends together."
"Caterpillars and spiders."
The girls painted pictures with plastic eggs instead of paint brushes. This art activity helped build their fine motor skills. They had to use the tips of their fingers to hold the eggs. The students inspected the circles created by the egg pieces.
"We are making circles!!"
In Movement, Mrs. Parsons taught the girls to curl up into egg shapes. Next, the students acted like fried eggs sizzling on the ground. After sizzling, the students stood up and ran around in circles to act like scrambled eggs. The girls loved this silly game! Mrs. Parsons introduced the large colorful balls as giant Easter eggs. The girls threw the balls and kicked the balls. These movements encourage gross-motor skills.
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett inspired us to have an Easter egg hunt in our Little Hive classroom. The girls loved searching for the eggs and stashing them in their bags!
Some of Hutchison's middle school students visited our classroom at the end of the week. They read books to the Little Hive girls. The LH girls loved sitting with the big girls and listening to stories.