Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
We had so much fun in PreK last Thursday I hope your child shared some stories with you. I am writing to share more details and a few pictures! Learning to read and write, add and subtract and become a successful student is what school is all about. Teaching your students to LOVE school is what my job is all about. I am having so much fun introducing your child to the subtleties of language, science and mathematics they do not even realize they are learning while we have so much fun. I honestly do not know what teachers did before the internet.
Last week I introduced the story of St. Patrick, a man who was very devoted to God and teaching the Good News. Your child learned that a shamrock is very useful for explaining the idea of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I then talked about how holidays are expanded to provide fun for everyone. Eater is not all about eggs and bunnies anymore than Christmas is all about trees, ornaments and presents. St. Patrick’s Day has become Americanized to include crazy leprechauns, green costumes and legends of pots of gold — so much fun in a PreK classroom!
We have been talking a lot about rainbows, so last week we preformed two science experiments to learn more. After watching a Mystery Doug video online, we went outside and tried the experiment ourselves. We placed a cup of water on a bench and were able to see how the sunlight separated into the colors of the rainbow as it passed through the water and onto white paper on the ground. Of course the experiment quickly dissolved into all of us exploring our shadows, but that is how science works – one question leads to another and another. Next I placed six cups in a circle. One had red water, one had yellow and the third had blue water. I then placed a folded paper towel in the colored water and into the empty cup of water between the colors (see picture below). The colored water “crawled” into the empty cups and mixed to create the other colors in the rainbow – orange, green and purple. We then recorded our observations just like real scientists do. Please look for them in Thursday’s packet. These experiments provide baby steps for getting excited about science.
On Thursday when your child came into class, necklaces were hung from the ceiling, the only pens available to use were green and the Styrofoam cup hats we decorated on Wednesday were shrunk down to the size of a leprechaun’s head.
We showed each other our green clothes and then continued our exploration of rainbows and mixing colors. Each student was given a pipette to drop colored water onto wax paper. They squirted, mixed and combined droplets as the created new colors. The students were so involved, they did not notice a green tray placed in the center of our circle time rug. The tray contained small bags of “Leprechaun Dust.” The students were instructed to perform an Irish dance and then add a couple of tablespoons of milk to the “dust.” If the dance was good enough, the “dust” would turn green and they could eat it after a couple minutes of mixing. The “dust” was actually pistachio pudding, but most of the children did not like the taste. Oh well, lots of fun dancing!
It was time for a recess break! While the students were outside, Liam the Leprechaun changed the classroom around – the rug and bookshelf were at the front of the room while the desks and cubbies were at the back of the room. WHAT?! The children screamed with surprise and delight. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), no leprechauns were caught in our traps.
We ate snack and quickly discovered a box of Lucky Charms and some worksheets to observe and sort the marshmallows. Tempting to eat right away, but everyone was diligent about finishing the work before they were allowed to eat their work. Finally, we moved to the rug to read a book when someone discovered a note under the rocking chair. It was a scavenger hunt for treats. Everyone took a turn finding the next clue until a bag of treats was found for everyone to share. So much fun!! We settled down with a book and a prayer of thanksgiving before we headed out for recess and lunch.
Our morning friends went home and the afternoon students went to PE. What an exhausting day, but Liam the Leprechaun had one more trick. Elizabeth found a container of green rocks and a bottle of Lucky’s Magical Solution left to “wash” them. Each student quickly dropped their rock (green baking soda) into a tub of the “wash solution” (vinegar) and they began to bubble. Eventually the “rock” melted away to reveal a gold coin. So exciting!
Phew, I am still exhausted thinking about all the fun we had! I hope you enjoy the pictures. I am sorry they are not great quality – my phone does not do well with the lighting. Please be sure to ask your child to tell you all about the things they learned.
Okay, I better get some sleep so I am ready for Monday morning. Have a great week!