This week at camp, the children learned that some islands are made from volcanoes in the sea while others break off from the mainland. They watched an experiment with baking soda and vinegar that gave the impression of an erupting volcano.
We then turned our attention to the Galapagos Islands and focused on one of its most famous inhabitants, Lonesome George, a male Pinto Island tortoise, the last of his species. They saw pictures of him and learned that he was very big. The children then made their own versions of him. If they wanted their creations to swim, they made turtles instead.
The beautiful weather allowed us to spend many hours outside.
During our second week of camp, the children learned how squirrels talk and where they make their nests. We talked about wild animals in the neighborhood and then they made a mini version of their own backyards. You can take their projects home this week.
The children were also excited about fireworks and made pictures of them.
The children enjoyed making their puppets and learning how to bring them to life. Some children gave their puppets specific characters and voices.
Marionettes and rod puppets introduced themselves in our morning circle and explained that puppetry is filled with many kinds of puppets.
The children played outside at our water tables, sandbox, swings, and slides as well as running and catching some of the staff.
Have a wonderful summer and we will see some of you next week.
It is with mixed emotions that we come to the end of the school year. We are sad to be saying goodbye to some of our families who have been with us for many years. But we are excited for all of our graduates and wish them a happy and successful beginning of their elementary school education.
We have gotten an idea of how everything changes, beginning with a presentation by a paleontologist last week. He showed us fossils that he found, and he let the children feel them. He described fossils in ways that the children understood, using imagery such as a footprint in the sand as a wave pulls back into the sea.
Last Friday, many of the children witnessed butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. They saw them fly out of the cage and up to the sky.
Auntie Numero has taken all of the numbers through 10. She said goodbye to the children and promised to try to stay away from numbers for the summer. The children also told Duck that it is not nice to say that he is better at guarding the numbers and alphabet than his sister. "It would hurt her feelings if she heard you say that," one child said.
We have begun our unit on dinosaurs. The children are learning about various types of dinosaurs. They are making their own versions of them.
Auntie Numero, the number-eating snake puppet, has begun to take numbers. To date, she has taken the numbers 10 and 9.
We are getting ready for our art show, which is this Saturday, May 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. It is open to all family and friends. Your children have worked hard on their artwork and can't wait to share it with you!
Welcome to Jackson, Ava's younger brother!
The children are working on two types of collages inspired by Matisse. In one collage, they place shapes of various colors on paper and in the other, they first tear paper from magazines and then glue it on to paper. Children who are able to use scissors then cut their collage and, after a few steps, they create an animal or object.
The older children also did a science experiment with Laura that entailed making predictions about what will protect an egg from breaking when it is dropped. They enjoyed both predicting and watching eggs either crack or land safely on the table.
Duckalina has not proven to be better at the job of guarding the alphabet. The children have told her that she shouldn't boast that she is better than her brother, and that he is nice. She will try to take their advice to heart.
Some children are writing stories that they will act out at a later date.
It was fun to see Ruhi on FaceTime this week. She told us that it was nighttime in India and showed us some of her toys.
Maybe by the end of next week, spring will finally show its colors.
The blog is back after a hiatus!
Welcome to Oliver, Eloise's younger brother, who had his first school experience this week.
We have finished the last of our Jackson Pollock–inspired paintings. Our next endeavor will be a group project based on Elizabeth Murray's painting, Do the Dance.
One of our students, Rose, moved to Switzerland a few months ago. We spoke to her via FaceTime.
The children have enjoyed playing in the snow, digging in it, rolling it, and making "ice cream" with it. They have also spontaneously held pretend birthday parties and picnics, and built cities together.
The older children have been interested to meet Duck's sister, whom they have named Duckalina. She will make an appearance shortly. (I have to create her.)
We had a request to spend a little time learning about India before school is over. The children watched Napur, who has been volunteering in the classroom, do a Bollywood dance. They also tasted Shilpa's Indian pudding (one child had three helpings). They have been creating images of Indian elephants while also learning some facts about them.
This week, while we are finishing our elephants, we will be making puppets for The Very Busy Spider. The older children are excited about their parts. The Kindergarteners are busy making puppets for their play and all the children will help with the scenery.
Our classroom has been visited by Auntie Numero and by the family of number crunchers. These puppets enjoy taking our numbers. Luckily, they are reasonable when the children discover that they have taken numbers and give them back without complaint.
This past Friday photographs from our art show appeared on the front page of the arts section of the Ridgewood News.
The children are in the midst of making art inspired by Picasso. They are making faces that reflect techniques that he used during his Cubism period. We will also look at Monet, Calder, Pollack, Broodthaers, Basquiat and others. If you find pine cones, please bring them to school, as we will use them in an art project shortly.
On another note, if you are planning to send your child to summer camp and/or to school next year, please bring the forms in ASAP. Some spots are filling up and we want to be sure that we can accommodate all of our current students.
The children are in the midst of making scientific discoveries. They are learning about how air moves things. This past week, the children watched as Laura demonstrated how water will stay in an air-tight bottle that has a hole in it. When Laura opened the cap, the water poured out. The children are making pinwheels that demonstrate this concept.
They have also been making predictions and doing experiments with color. This week, they will also make predictions about how much things weigh.
Our next unit is the study of Picasso and other artists. The children will look at Picasso's simple line drawings and will make their own ones inspired by what they see.
Some of our older students began making puppets when we were learning about Africa. I will work with them to create an African-themed story for a puppet show.