The last couple of weeks have kept us busy!

We had our first round of swim lessons at the Stone Mountain YMCA.  This crew looooved being in the water, and learning from Coach Marissa.

Feel free to bring in towels and bathing suits ahead of time, if you are worried about forgetting them on Mondays!  I will clear a space in the cabinets or cubbies, to store them if so.

In Math, some of the class is continuing to work on number identification, while others are trending towards comparing and combining numbers.  We have been using group games to learn and review concepts, and even set up a couple of new math “tubs” where they can explore math games more independently as well.  One of the new favorites is a game where they “race to fill” a cup.  This is a super simple game, where they can use dice to visually recognize numbers.  The cool thing is that this is so easy to mix up for each students level.  By adding a second or even third die, they can practice combining and adding numbers as well.  And they love the challenge of seeing how quickly they can fill the cup!  As the weather beckoned us outdoors today, we drew a number line to hop by 1’s, and then 2’s and then 5’s.  We also created a hopscotch board into an opportunity to practice counting by 10’s.  It was so much fun, that these guys didn’t even realize they were in “class!”  Which is when I truly believe the magic of learning is best.  ; )

 In addition to continuing to focus in phonemic awareness in LA, we have continued working on rhyming words with visual and auditory games.  With Dr. Seuss’s birthday coming up, it only makes sense to read as many of his classic and fun filled rhymes as possible.  Hop on Pop, The Cat in The Hat, and One Fish Two Fish have all been repetitive hits.  We introduced Put Me in The Zoo this week too, and it may be the new favorite for them…..until the next book at least.  ; )  We have made our way through the entire alphabet, visually and phonetically.  Now we are beginning to review letters again, but focusing attention on lower case letters, as these tend to be the ones that are trickier for them to identify.

We have also played with a new art medium this week.  Bleeding tissue paper!  This process and project combines fine motor skills with a sensory experience, along with planning and creativity!

Each kid was given a set of bleeding tissue papers to work with.  They then could decide rather to cut or tear their tissue paper in to strips or pieces.  Then they laid the tissue paper onto their “canvas,” in any design they chose.  It was really neat to watch how they each had their own ideas and special techniques and design.  They then used water to paint over the tissue paper, causing it to “bleed” onto the canvas.  And the last step was to peel the tissue off, and see what they had created.  There was SO much exploration and learning, tied into this fun project!  We also mixed a little Math, Science, and Art together as we made our own sidewalk paint, to jazz up the sidewalks.  We compared the sidewalk paint, to sidewalk chalk, and then played a relay race phonics game.  Again, they didn’t even seem to notice they were in class!  ; )

During our outdoor exploration, the Hummingbird class has been enthralled to find Dandelions growing pretty much everywhere.  They have taken it upon themselves to go on daily dandelion hunts, and we have explored them with a book on dandelions, and then by dissecting them and examining them with the magnifying glasses.  We are also experimenting with a patch of dandelions that we have agreed as a class, to let alone so that we can watch them grow and change.  Today we found our first soft, white “puffy” dandelion!  We took the time to compare it to the yellow blossoms, and then compared the differences.  Eventually we carefully dissected it, then observed and admired the seeds before blowing them away, and sending them off to start all over again.   In the coming days, we may harvest and sample a dandelion salad, as these guys are so curious about the fact that they are in deed edible, and even medicinal.  We are focusing on safety for now however, and gaining an understanding that we should never eat a wild plant or berry, without a knowledgeable adults permission first!

As we move towards March, the Hummingbirds will continue our explorations with a fun unit on plants.  As a class, we will try our hand at growing our own micro greens, and explore local community gardens.  We will also sample different locally grown produce each week, such as spinach, kale, arugula, carrots, radishes, etc!  I’m super for this unit, as kids tend to be MUCH more excited to try new and healthy foods, if they are able to see and watch them grow.  And even more so if they are able to be part of the harvesting experience.  Reggie and Roger Ramos of Grow With The Flow have also agreed to give us a tour of one of their local Farmers Market garden plots, and teach us a bit about Urban Farming!     I’m SO excited about March, and Spring!