I promised to put the new calendar up as soon as I had time to put everything together.They decided to help me put the numbers on, so I made it into a number and pattern recognition game.
They worked together to make a river with our colored plank blocks and filled it up with the "funny ducks" (nativity character rubber ducks) floating down the river, along with some other river wild life.
I had high hopes of going on a field trip to a nearby bug museum and butterfly house, but apparently teachers for 600 other local elementary students had the same brilliant idea on the same days. We opted for a short jaunt over the the river back to sky park for 1/2 the day on Friday. We made observations about the river and the bridges we crossed on the bus ride.
I brought along bubbles and the giant parachute to make connections with the new theme. It was a little bit windy so it was tough to capture photos of children and bubbles at the same time! We were on the look out for bees and butterflies as well. One child reported seeing "big, little, AND medium sized bees".
At one point, while shaking the parachute vigorously, one child exclaimed,"Kairu sensei, it looks like the river!" I was feeling pretty proud that she made that connection without me saying anything at all.
When we returned to school in the afternoon, the kids made their river collages. I had some different kinds of sand, so I allowed them to choose which one they wanted. By the last small group, they had discovered they could mix the sands together to change the color and texture along the river banks. I also gave them a choice of green felt or paper from the scrap bin. For the sake of time, I cut out the grass and bushes, but under the direction of each child (long, short, tall, big pieces, etc.)
The collages turned out so cute, and the kids really thought about what they saw along the river on the field trip and how they could put that in their pictures.