So much excitement this week! Two of the eaglets hatched, we worked on leprechaun traps with self-selected groups, and we looked forward to St. Patrick's Day.
We have all enjoyed watching the eggs pip then hatch this week. DG3 pipped and quickly hatched on March 14, DG4 was a little more leisurely taking about a day to hatch after pipping, and now we are waiting for DG5 to pip. DG5 was laid about three days after DG4 so we should see something this weekend. Let's hope for three healthy eaglets. The children have enjoyed watching the eaglets as they learn to control their head. At times it looked like the eaglets were dancing! They also commented on on DG3 was using the other eggs like a chair and putting his/her wings on them like the arms of a chair. We have seen them learn to be fed from their parents and seen the challenges since their eyesight is not fully developed yet, and they are still trying to sit up and control their head. We have seen some healthy feedings and a crop, a big bump on their neck, where the food stays until moving on down into their stomach. I'm working to set up a Zoom time where one of the moderators of the nest can answer the children's questions. We often have the sound off on the nests, but in the morning it is fun to hear all the chatter of the wildlife in the area, especially the turkeys, and if you are online at night, you might hear coyotes as well as other animals. I miss the Arborteum nest, but I have to say I'm glad the children are hearing more wildlife then sirens, like we heard on the other nest. Although the screen in our room is larger and the picture clearer, when I am watching these amazing birds with the children, I can't help but think of my elementary school teachers who carried in their own little tv's to our classroom to watch rocket launches during the Apollo era. 32 of us crowded around that little tv was exciting, and the shared experience is something that is still as available today as it was then. The children are working in their eagle journals most days to record some of the highlights of this nest.
We had the best time this week working on a STEAM project. The children had to work in a group to plan how they would catch a leprechaun. I let the children self-select to work in groups of 3 or 4 and had them decide who would write on the planning sheet, who would get the materials, and who would put materials back. Working in the planning phase seemed to be the easiest part of the process to work as a group. They worked using quiet voices and came to agreement on their design with only one intervention from me with one group! That was amazing, but I think all the play we do in the classroom made that an easy task. They seemed to want more complex traps with many diversions for the leprechaun. They also had to decide on bait to get the leprechaun to their trap, and while most chose sweets or cauliflower, ugh, one group used signs that said they loved him to get him to go to their trap. This is why I never want to leave teaching kindergarten. The children did a really great job building, re-designing as they found some materials wouldn't do what they wanted, and trying to put it all together in the time alotted. They also had time on Friday morning to decorate their traps, to put the A in STEM to make it STEAM. Finally, the groups shared their traps and talked about how the trap worked and how they worked as a team. I can't tell you how proud I was of all of them. Throughout the project they were engaged and busy! I could see that the children were inspired by the study of the spider web and the venus fly trap in their design. When I introduced sticky tape, several of the groups changed their plan to incude it to trap the leprechaun. Several groups were also inspired by the Rube Goldberg video we watched and included several challenges in their design before the big trap. It's a messy project, especially when they decide to "shave" the styrofoam, their words not mine, but they are very good at cleaning up most of the time! Ask me to tell you about how the leprechaun trap worked that I worked on. Here are some pictures of the process!
We had a great St. Patrick's day with a fun game of five minute Bingo and CVC, consonant-vowel-consonant words. Each child got a sheet with just five words for Bingo, although we didn't shout Bingo we decided on shouting "Lucky Charms" instead. We also used gold and green coins in math to work with number bonds. The children got little bags of coins that they used to record a number bond and a number sentence starting with the whole. They did a great job on the number bonds and switching bags so they had four different number bonds, but had some difficulty understanding that their number sentence had to start with the whole. For example, 9 = 4+ 5. Some of the children just plugged in the numbers not thinking about what they represented, so they may have written 4 = 5 + 9. We will be working more on this and making sure our number sentence makes sense. We do this mostly by using words to tell the number sentence such as 9 is the same as 4 and 5. We will also be using a number balance scale to show that both sides need to be equal. I'd love to pull small groups for this but so many children did not put their name on their paper and being reminded 3 times. We have been talking about this is an expectation on all papers, whether there is a dedicated line for their name or not. Monday, anyone who turned in a paper without a name will be doing another paper during playtime, which I don't like to do because I believe play is so important, but I need to get their attention and reinforce the expectations. I am not going to continue to say it because this is only enabling students to ignore words and directions. I have also talked to them about not putting their name on their paper will be reflected in their routines grade on their report card.
We enjoyed an Irish folktale by Tomie de Paola that was much like his Strega Nona story we read recently. We read Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. Ask me to tell you about the folktale.
We ended our day with some fun with green moustaches, although it was more fun for me than some of my friends! Here are some quick pics I took of the kids who wanted a moustache.
Have a great weekend!
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