N is for nature, night, noodles, necklaces, neon, and so much more!
This week, our learning and play invitations had our students thinking about nature. We learned how different animals construct their nests and explored some of the materials they use to create their cozy dwellings. A highlight of this week was checking out the Big Bear Bald Eagle Live Nest Cam! The nest is located in Big Bear Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. It is about 145 feet up in a Jeffrey Pine tree. The nest is the current home for Jackie and Shadow, a local bald eagle pair. Here is a link if you would like to keep watching them from home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4-L2nfGcuE There are two eggs in the nest!
We set up a tent where the children could imagine they were outside at night and we talked about the things we hear at night that we sometimes miss during the day. Students illustrated what they hear at night in their journals. Layton said, "I hear frogs and tadpoles splashing around."
Enjoy this clip of three raccoons sneaking into the tent while the campers were away gathering supplies!
Vincent van Gogh was our inspiration artist again this week. Last week we created our own version of van Gogh's Sunflowers, this week we took inspiration from his Starry Night. Our young artists used glass stones to create a Starry Night mosaic and used watercolor to paint their own Starry Night. Additional art invitations included paint sticks and our open supply shelf where students can choose their materials and create whatever they imagine. This week, the pompoms and googly eyes were VERY popular!
In the Wiggle Room, we played Noodle Ball and worked with the concepts of navigating and negotiating. Noodle Ball has players using pool noodles to push and guide their balls into hula hoops. Below, you'll see students working in pairs. One student is working as the navigator to help their partner through the maze. Games and activities may look like play on the surface, but they are accomplishing a lot! Students are building both gross and fine motor skills, building a movement vocabulary, learning to work collaboratively, and so much more.
At this point in the year, students have mastered counting up to 30 and beyond. We still work on number recognition daily and we are now adding numbers together. M&M Math has students counting, identifying, and adding. Check out Eleanor rocking some addition this week!
Here's a look at some of the other things our Smart Start students enjoyed this week!