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The Children's School at Stephens College

Because big dreams start early.

Wind Wands

This week we have been studying all different kinds of weather. We came up with a list of different weather words, including rain, snow, tornado, sun, fog, and wind.  The students then learned a weather song that used our weather words. Most of the weather words we came up with were types of weather that can be seen, but we agreed wind is invisible. So how do we know it exists? Our discussion led us to make wind wands out of straws, pipe cleaners and ribbon. When the wind blows the ribbons blow with it. We tested our wind wands on the playground and discovered the wind blows in many different directions and at different speeds! Sometimes the ribbons moved slowly in the breeze, but when the wind picked up, the ribbons on the wind wands seemed to be flying! Below you can see our group using their wind wands on the playground.

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Cloud in a Jar

This week students got to create clouds in a jar using hot water, ice cubes and hairspray. Each student got to lift the lid off the jar and watch the cloud move out of the jar and into the air. We explored the concept of evaporation and the process of liquid turning into gas. Some students concluded the experiment looked “foggy” or looked like it was “misting”.

 

Rainy Roxaboxen 

On the first day of spring, our preschoolers put together skills they’ve explored over the last two weeks: moving like weather and creating weather soundscapes with rhythm instruments. The two groups took turns being movers and musicians, being raindrops on a stormy day or making the sounds of the storm, from pattering raindrops to booming thunder. They did an amazing job listening to each other and creating a collaborative performance.

 

 

Dramatic Word Study

After a successful Seuss Week study of -OP words with Hop on Pop, this week our students created -AT words using their Actors’ Tools: bodies, voices, minds, and imaginations.

First, we read Jack Prelutsky’s poem “I Do Not Like the Rat!” and created statues of the animals in the poem, including the cat, bat, gnat, and rat. The, the students reached into colorful bags of “AT”s and beginning sounds to make their own words. As an ensemble, they created sentences using the words and used those sentences to create tableaux.

Look at those baby bats and their stylish hats!

It’s so hard to pick just one cat from the pet store.

What are those men chatting about on their fancy mat?

After creating their tableaux, each student chose their favorite sentence to draw and practice writing their -AT words.

Painting with Ice

Over the last two weeks, our preschool students had an opportunity to experience the water cycle firsthand. They entered Roxaboxen to see trays with watercolors, paper, and paintbrushes…but no water! Instead, each student had a cube of ice. The students had a great time figuring out how to melt the ice to get water for the paint, exploring different ways to get the paint onto the paper, and watching the paint dry as the water evaporated.

Some observations the students made were:

  • “The ice moves faster when there’s no paint on the paper.”
  • “If you touch the ice a lot, it melts.”
  • “One brush is better at breaking the ice.”
  • “When water comes out of ice, it’s melting.”
  • “Look! A big splashy puddle!”
  • “Where did my ice cube go? It disappeared!” “No, it melted!!”
    Maybe breaking the ice will make it melt faster?

    Painting the ice

 

Early attempts to melt the ice.
Mixing colors right on the ice cube!
Using the ice cube as a painting tool gets easier the more it melts.(Look at the light lines that get darker as the paints get wetter!)

Two different painting techniques with the same materials.
The students “played hockey” to get more water on their trays.
Using the ice cube to paint.

 

Finally, there’s enough water to make bright colors!
The ice has melted so much, we can use our fingers to drip paint onto the paper!
Painting with wet paint on wet paper makes the color spread out.
Using the flat side of the ice cube is different from using a corner.

What happens when we “play hockey” on the paper instead of the tray?

If we paint on the tray first, we can make prints on the paper!
“My paper is soaking wet!!!”
“I made a telescope!”
Squeezing out a wet paper.

 

Weather Station Dances

To kick off our study of weather in the preschool, our students played a dance game. They found “weather stations” hung up around Roxaboxen; for each station, Ms. Jenn played a song, and they moved their bodies around the room like that weather: rain, thunder and lightning, tornadoes, snow, the wind, clouds, rainbows, and the sun.

While everyone listened to the music and used the rhythm, instruments, and weather to inspire their movements, no two students moved in exactly the same way! Some were inspired by others to join in a group, like rainbows and clouds, and some kept their movements individual. The students used their whole bodies, and sometimes even their faces (see if you can pick out some of the “wind” and “lightning” photos) to show how they can move like weather. Some of them even incorporated yoga into their movements!

When the students reflected on the activity, some favorite songs & movements were the ones for rainbow, lightning, snow, and–of course–tornadoes.

Sunshine
Falling snow
Plopping raindrops
Wind
Wind
A cloud formation
Trees with blowing leaves
Trees in the wind
A group of rainbows
A quiet breeze
Crashing lightning
Booming thunder
Falling rain
A slow, quiet cloud
Clouds
Clouds spreading across the sky
A lone cloud
Gentle breeze
Gentle breeze
Spinning tornado
Spinning tornado
Rainbows
Rainbows

Ms. Jenn used these songs to inspire weather movement, and you can find the playlist below:

  • Rain- “Night” (Ludovico Einaudi), “Homesickness” (Emahoy Tsegue & Maryam Guebrou)
  • Thunder & Lightning- “Carnival Des Animaux: L’Elephant” (Camille Saint-Saens), “Game of Thrones Main Title” (Ramin Djawadi), “Flying with Mother” (John Powell)
  • Tornado- “Anthracite Fields: IV. Flowers” (Julia Wolfe), “Doublespeak” (Nico Muhly)
  • Snow- “Main Title Theme from Big Fish” (The London Film Score Orchestra), “Children’s Corner: IV, The Snow” (Claude Debussy)
  • Breeze- “Deux Arabesques, L 66: No. 1” (Claude Debussy)
  • Falling Leaves- “Leaves” (Rachel Medina)
  • Clouds- “Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa- Opening” (Aun J-Classic Orchestra)
  • Rainbow- “Princess Mononoke- Theme Song” (Joe Hisaishi)
  • Sun- “Songe D’automne” (Archibald Joyce), “Forest” (Cirque du Soleil- Ka)

 

Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebrations

Algebraic Relationships & Operations

Students have been exploring subtraction, addition, repeated addition through arrays, multiplication, and magic squares. Our classroom is filled with vocabulary word walls, artwork, and anchor charts depicting important conversations for these mathematicians as they explore these topics.

 

 

Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Unite!

A group of preschool students and elementary students explored sky, land, and ocean dinosaurs through books, drawings, writing, and building blocks. These pictures showcase their explorations, talk, collaboration, and learning of these different dinosaurs.

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