Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

Once again, the masterful design of Mother Goose Time saved me from a frantic search for the perfect activity to celebrate an uncommon holiday. This time...LEAP DAY!

The timing of our Food and Fitness unit is such that we will conclude the theme in Mid-March, just in time for closing ceremony for the 2015-2016 school year. Friday, as I was looking over the daily topic bags for days 11-15 and racking my brain for fun Leap Day project, I found Day 12 - Jumping, all set and ready to go. The only scrambling I ended up having to do was grabbing more paper and cutting more leap frogs in specially requested colors. Namely, pink. I should have known! Haha.

During free play, one student did "leap counting" by 2 with the number puzzle. She has both a creative and analytical mind, so I was not surprised by what she had come up with when she called me over to see her "work".

At morning meeting, we talked about all the different words we can use for "jump", including hop and LEAP. We discussed what body parts we use for jumping, and did a little exercise experiment in which we all attempted to jump without bending our knees. Then they bent their knees a little bit, and finally a lot, and discussed how that affected the height of their jumps. We looked at the calendar and sang "30 Days Has September" to help clarify why February 29 is such a special day.

I used the movement game that came in the Valentine party pack for small group centers. They had a great time stretching, jumping, and touching their toes. But mostly, they LOVED rolling the giant foam dice!

The Geo Boards provided more opportunity for finger stretching, and sharing with friends. There were some very complex designs, and even a clock! Sadly, the battery on my phone died before I could capture all the amazing creations.

We paired art with literacy today and practiced writing the date on the back of their leap frog head bands. I had inevitable requests for pink frogs (and paint) as well as a red and blue frog, so I cut extra headbands. I had a handful of little plastic frogs from a leap frog game, which we used to "leap" into the paint and paint the frog faces.

I ended up doing a similar version of the same project with the kindergarten boys upstairs. That class drew shaped speckles on their frogs after we read The Five Green Speckled Frogs. They worked together to come up with a list of rhyming words, then wrote some sentences with the words they chose.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing "leap frog" (also known as hopping around the room bumping into each other) and laughing about Silly Sally, who went to town leaping backwards upside down.

What a fun Leap Day! It's too bad we have to wait another four years to celebrate it again.

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