Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ducks: Waterproof, Migratory and Obedient

We learned three facts about ducks today, and then we made our own paper ducks out of different geometric shapes (most of which most of the kids could identify). All of the kids did all their own gluing, except Sadie, who just was not that interested when there were other toys around!
We learned that ducks follow their moms everywhere and always obey their words. We played a game about this that devolved into just racing around the center of the house. I would alternate between being the Mommy Duck and being a Bad Fox. My cue to transform would be the fear level of the children. Henry went from excited to almost in tears. Then he became the Fox, which was must less scary for him.
We also learned that ducks are waterproof ("They can't get wet") even though they spend much of their time in the water. We learned that this is because they have oil glands at the base of their tails that the ducks stroke to spread oil ("preening") all over their bodies.
We conducted an experiment in which the kids used droppers to coat some feathers in oil and then other droppers for water. We saw that the oil repelled the water. (This is what Grace and Henry are doing here.)
The third duck fact we learned was that ducks migrate.
They fly from Virginia down to South America when it gets cold here. They come back when it gets warm again. We talked how it is winter in South America when it is summer here, and the birds fly back and forth to escape the cold.
We used the globe to show the continents. All the kids were excited about it, but not enough to remain for the entire lesson. Henry is not pictured here bc he was riding the trike I have in my kitchen. All the kids took a turn doing this.
Moriah was very concerned about Will and tended to him very gently. She was a nice little mother to him.
The only activity that every participated in 100% was the playdough at the very beginning. Sadie started a game wherein the cars she brought to the table were stuck in the mud. All the kids copied.
Except Peekaboo, who made a cake. She offered it to Henry, who was disgusted.
The kids were a lot of fun. I over-planned, once again, and we didn't have enough time to get outside. I tried to take them out, but it was too much to get them all ready. Henry got himself entirely dressed, though, and let himself out into the backyard where he collected some prickly balls. He amiably returned. It was very cute.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

L is for Learning -- March 3, 2009

We had a great time learning about Learning. We talked about all the things they have learned to do now that they are big kids. Andrew demonstrated how to throw a football: fingers on the laces. We had a fun time throwing and catching. PKB offered that she has learned how to do a princess dance and demonstrated her dancing grace to us all. Sadie showed how silly she can be. And Moriah said she learned to use the restroom. Each child showed how they had learned balance--they each balanced on just one foot!

We then talked about learning to help in the kitchen. The children helped to make bread. They each rolled dough to form individual loaves. Next, they made "surprise" bread by kneading in raisins and chocolate chips, then rolling it into a mini loaf. After the dough had risen and everyone touched the dough to feel the springyness of risen dough, the children "painted" the dough with an egg wash and to "glue" on the colored sugar we used to decorate the loaves of bread. The children learned that bread has to bake in a hot oven (350 degrees F.) and that bread is cooked when it is brown with an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. They were great chefs!

Although they were proud of their bread creation, they all seemed to prefer their lolly-pop (L is for lolly-pop) more than the bread.