As we walk back and forth from our classroom to our special classes the girls are often commenting on what is happening in nature. The leaves are all off the trees but there are nests in the tops of trees that they weren't able to see when there were leaves.
What is that in the top?
Who lives in there?
These questions sparked a discussion about what animals do when it is cold outside. We have read many books on this topic: What Do Animals Do in Winter by Melvin and Gilda Berger, Shh! Bears Sleeping by David Martin, Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett, and Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming. The girls have loved becoming so knowledgeable about what animals do in winter.
We brought several boxes in the classroom and asked the girls if they thought we could make something for the animals that needed protection from the cold. We quickly got to work building a tree and the girls have enjoyed putting the appropriate animals in the hole in the tree to stay warm.
The girls are also exploring tracks that animals leave in the snow. They are aware that some animals migrate, change colors, and grow more fur for the winter. They have enjoyed playing in the snow that we have in the tactile box. We separated the animals that sleep in winter and the ones who like the snow. From time to time we might find a deer in the hole in the tree!!! "The bear is sleeping and we do not want to wake him up".
As the girls entered the room they were very curious about what was in the tactile box. I asked them what they thought. All the girls felt like it was ice. Let's wait and see when all the girls get to school what they think. They could hardly wait to see if it was real ice. We had a discussion about what ice is.
You put it in the refrigerator and it makes ice.
What do you put in the refrigerator?
NO - water!!!
Let's see if it is real ice. I let each girl have a cube of the fake ice and some said yes while others said it is not real A couple of the girls put it in their mouth to check it out. We had a discussion what would happen if it were real ice. Then we brought out the real ice!!! The girls had lots of comments!!!
-It is wet and slippery
- It is dripping!!!
- I can eat this ice!!
-IT IS TOO COLD!!!!
Several of the girls went to the sink to get rid of their ice.
It is so fun exploring with the girls. We also walked by the lake on our way back from the gym to see if the lake was frozen!!!
Where in the world?
Before the holiday break we talked about maps and how they help us find our way. We printed out a map for each girl to see where their house is in relation to Hutchison. We have a world map that has animals from the different countries. The girls have had fun coloring and discussing where they want to go. One of the girls pointed to Australia and said, I want to live there!! I hope they share with you what we have been talking about in class.
I have been a teacher at Hutchison for 28 years. This is my 6th year as a teacher in the Little Hive. It is so fun watching these girls grow and love to learn.