February is a short month, but we were able to experience and absorb so much in these few weeks! We said “cheerio” to Australia and have ventured much further south to the subfreezing continent of Antarctica. In the past week, we have talked about the continent, its climate, the icebergs, and we will look forward to learning about the scientists that perform research there. Notably, we recently learned that large icebergs are called “ice islands”, and small icebergs are called “bitty bergs”. (We all thought that last bit was hilarious!)  The children are learning about what it means to be a research scientist. They are developing questions and researching the answers using our library of books on Antarctica. If you have any interesting information about Antarctica, please come for a visit and share with us!

Sink or Float? In encouraging an inquisitive mind, we introduce many areas of science through hands-on experiments and activities that teach the children to hypothesize, like true scientists! In our sink or float activity, we place many different objects in a bowl filled with water, and the children predict if the object will float or sink. They eagerly drop objects into the water creating small splashes while also learning about how objects float on water. After the experiment, the children classify the objects under either sink or float.

We are also enjoying an experiment with magnets. In this experiment, the children focus on which objects are magnetic or nonmagnetic. We brought together common objects such as a paper clip, coins, etc. and then observed whether it would react to the magnet. The children quickly realized not all metals are magnetic. After the experiment, the children placed the object under the corresponding card labeled magnetic or nonmagnetic. Lastly, the children were invited to venture around the room to discover if various items were magnetic or not. 

Focusing on colors, the children are learning how many colors are made through combinations of the primary colors. Using bottles of red, blue, and yellow food coloring, they are able to see how combining the primary colors create the secondary colors. The children preform the work by placing one drop of red and yellow coloring into a bowl of water to make the color orange. They repeated the experiment with blue and yellow to create green, and red a blue to create purple.

We have completed our self portraits and look forward to sharing them with you at conferences. We will draw another self portrait in May and observe the differences and growth. Our current exploration in art is with Still Life. We have introduced Monet and used the words Still Life in describing the way he painted flowers. The children are using watercolor pencils and a paint brush to draw and paint tulips. The paintings are beautiful, and so is the great focus and integrity with which they are painting!

In Practical Life, the children are practicing and savoring orange juice squeezing. With this work, the children are able to take half of an orange and use the strength of their hands to press the orange down onto a juicer. They twist and squeeze so that all the juice comes out. Then, they will scoop out the seeds and pour the juice into a cup. Delightful! Once complete, it is then the child’s responsibility to put the rind in the compost and prepare the work for the next person. Hidden within this work are the strengthening of the muscles in the hands and development of careful coordination for pouring. The child is also developing a sense of respect for the environment and community through preparing the work for their classmates.

We hope you all enjoyed seeing, feeling and smelling the soft and fragrant lavender hearts that came home with your child for Valentine’s day. The children worked hard to complete this sewing project as there were many steps involved. First, the children chose the color of fabric heart and then the color of the thread. Before the sewing was complete, the children added fluff and dried lavender to make a heart sachet.  Many children attempted to thread their own needles and completed the sewing without assistance from a teacher. A few children took a particular interest in sewing and acted as guides to assist the younger ones. It was wonderful to see the older children spontaneously taking on a leadership role. Likewise, the younger children admired and appreciated the help of a slightly older classmate.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our message center and makerspace/art shelf. The children have been thinking of incredible designs and bringing them to life with the use of recyclable and unique materials. They work with vigor and enthusiasm to create meaningful art that carries a story. Thank you all again for the contributions to our makerspace.

Warmly, Ms. Kumudini & Mrs. Parham