Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Team exploration at Hillsborough has been up to...

While classroom teachers are having some valuable meeting time, Team Exploration (Erin, Brandie, Amanda and Ali) have been busy offering the classes many exploration opportunities.  Here's what we've been up to lately...

Explorations - 
Team Exploration have been making Snow Dough concoctions with the kids with flour or cornstarch and baby oil.  It has been a great science experiment and of course most kids love the sensory/tactile experience.  We have also been feeding the birds in the Fairy Garden from the big bin of birdseed.  The kids also love this sensory experience, as they sift the seeds through their fingers, and have noticed several types of seeds they recognize, corn and sunflower.  We have practiced being still and quiet so we don't scare the birds.  The birds are now coming and perching in our trees and eating the seeds.  Feel free to let your kids throw more birdseed into the Fairy garden area!   We have also been offering Kindness Week art activities to help spread the LOVE and kindness. 

Yoga - 
We also have begun doing more yoga with the cold/ rainy weather limiting our long walks in the woods in the mornings.  Both Amanda and Erin are able to do yoga with the kids both in the classroom and in the yoga room.  

Gardening - 
We are starting to prepare for our Spring plantings in our Courtyard Gardens.  Compost has been ordered.  Seeds have been ordered.  And we have a new 4-wheeled dumping wagon for transporting big loads of dirt!!!  (Sorry, I am really excited about this cool garden vehicle).  Ali is planning on starting some seeds with the kids in the art space.  

Woods Explorations - 
On nice days, we try to get out into the woods as much as possible.  We do several safety exercises like the "Freeze" game as we cross the parking lot to keep the kids listening and aware.  We have made pinecone bird feeders and hung them from trees, picked up trash from the construction site, and followed a stream to see where it goes.  The kids are all seriously improving their tree-climbing skills and body awareness.  We have also practiced walking slowly and quietly, listening for bird calls.  Several groups have gotten to see an OWL fly from high in a tree!

Overall, we have started doing a lesson plan that we follow for 3-weeks, giving each small group an opportunity to participate in each activity.

Keep Exploring!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Protecting our (Baby Dolls') Bodies!

North Carolina certainly has an interesting weather system that fluctuates regularly so it is important for us to be constantly learning how to take care of our bodies. Last week it was quite cold, with the ice from the previous weekend melting, our activities in Team Woods centered around taking care of our bodies in cold weather. We read Under my Hood, I Have a Hat which goes through all the clothing one wears in winter with several classes including the Super Heroes, Eloquent Elephants, Rocketeers, and Magnificent Mini’s. Afterwards we delved into dressing our baby dolls for winter using fabric, string, pipe cleaners and scissors. The fun and adorableness quickly ensued, I will let the pictures and quotes speak for themselves about what happened:

Owen focused for a long time on cutting this very large piece of fabric
into smaller pieces to dress his baby doll.

"I'm a pink chef!"- Olivia

Ethan made sure to give a shirt to keep
his baby's tummy warm

"I need to cover all her knees"- Adelaide
Elise decided she would make beautiful summer clothes for her baby!
Lucy was excited to dress her bunny
for winter. And focused on keeping
the ears warm!
A few other fun quotes:
"I made a hole for my baby to fit its head through"- R
"I made a ninja baby"- W
"I am going to use a pipe cleaner by myself"- Hazel

All of the kids were proud about what they were able to make with their hands. There were moments of frustration and times when they asked for help but many of the children were happy and excited to do it by themselves, feeling empowered to help their dolls.

-Ali Huber