We are wrapping up our unit on friendship this week, and it has been a lovely thing to be examining with the kids. Thank you so much to everyone who came to the friends day potluck last Friday! That was an incredible feast and a fun celebration of community.
This week Ginger read the beautiful, poetic book The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor, and practiced extending our friend making abilities and listening skills to the non-human entities around us. We read Leo Lionni's classic story Swimmy about small fish working together to scare away the big fish, and talked about cooperation and it's importance. We played a chasing/cooperation game based on the book and made fish print paintings. Today Arielle is reading another friendship adventure classic, Little Blue and Little Yellow, and will be making a color mixing painting activity. Tomorrow is cooking day and we hope to be taking advantage of this fine weather to enjoy some camaraderie and cook over the open fire again.
We had some gorgeous sunny weather this week and we have heard increasing bird songs at the forest each day. We are watching the camellias slowly open up more and more. We caught sight of a hummingbird feeding in a blossomed out tree, and had an amazing view of a bald eagle in full adult plumage soaring low over the upper reservoir, considering eating some bufflehead ducks. The buffleheads escaped.
When we get back from break we will be focusing on birds and music for the month of March. See you next week for conferences!
It's been a fun week talking about friendship. We talked about trust, listening, acceptance and communication. We talk about these things a lot anyway, but we've been able to spend more time on them than usual. We read Leonardo The Terrible Monster, Hey Duck, The Rabbit Listened, and Love Monster and the Last Chocolate. We did a trust walk. We practiced taking turns choosing games to play in small groups. Each child got to decide what we would all play for 2 minutes, (my group played puppies, freeze tag, ninja turtles, and kittens!) We also practiced mindful, active listening , and learned how to play Simon Says, (although not at the same time ;) We've been busy making our valentine bags to collect valentines with. We look forward to seeing everyone who can make it for the potluck tomorrow at 12:30. The children will be making fresh cutout cookies to share at the potluck during the morning. We hope to have the event outside around an open fire in the back yard.
We had some really fun animal sightings this week. While we were sitting down at circle one morning two raccoons padded along the back wall of the yard and walked right by us. Arielle caught a hint of it in a photo below. We all got a great look at them going about their business. We saw a sharp shin hawk above the play yard one afternoon. We heard and saw a lot of different birds at the park; woodpeckers, pacific wrens, crows, jays, bushtits, creepers, juncos, robins, varied thrushes, hummingbirds, kinglets, chickadees and nuthatches. We caught a lovely look at a red tail flying over us one day too, and were able to watch it soar along straight winged and maneuver its tail feathers to glide lazily over. We had a lot of fun with mud and water as usual. We've been watching the camellias slowly open and finding violets in the grass.
We have had a busy week playing and exploring with water, mud and weather. On Monday we read the charming book If Frogs Made Weather, and talked about the different types of weather that different animals enjoy, and what our own favorite types of weather are. On Tuesday we looked at some beautiful photos in the book A Drop of Water, and talked about some of the different aspects of water and what happens to water as it changes states and moves through the water cycle. We did some guided imagery and went through an imaginary journey as water drops. On Wednesday we read The Storm, had a lively discussion about storms, (lots of people had stories and strong feelings about stormy weather), and we did a group activity of making a sound storm. Today Arielle is leading the group in some experiments with water flow and watersheds, and tomorrow they will observe water moving from ice to liquid to boiling and evaporating and then they will take the boiled water and make oatmeal for cooking day :) We did some drippy and colorful art activities painting with colored ice cubes and making colored water drop paintings with droppers.
We have been having some fun with water and mud in the mud pit. We've been playing with ice in the sensory bin. We've had some fun with mud and puddles and rain at the park. We've been starting to hear the sounds of spring! Woodpeckers have been calling and drumming. Winter wrens and robins and song sparrows have started singing. The red tails hawks are out and busy soaring over our heads and being mobbed by crows and jays. The camellias are slowly starting to open. One of the beauties of being outside so much and so consistently is that we really get to notice these small and subtle changes. They have time to infiltrate into our consciousness and our daily experience and as we reflect on our inner and outer worlds, we can draw connections between the two. This is at the heart of what we do at Fiddleheads. Through this regular exposure and reflection, we encourage a connection that enables students to draw on and come back to the enduring generous simplicity of this human to earth relation throughout their lives for solace, guidance and inspiration. We certainly recommend that you think and talk about personal and seasonal earth connections at home when you can as well.
Next week begins our unit on friends and cooperation. This unit is more about our inner world than our outer one, but it is nature based in that it is drawing on the natural inclinations at the heart of every preschooler's experience. So much of what this age is learning about and what we do here at school is about making friends, being friends, and all of the important learning that comes along with that. We will hold our "friends day" family potluck at lunchtime next Fri Feb 14th. Please come if you can even if your child does not attend school on Fridays. Every child will have a friend valentine bag and we will be exchanging valentines. Please either bring or send a valentine for all other children at the school. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. If you can't attend we will help your child pass them out.