Smart Start Week 11: Water World
Updated: Feb 1
This week's theme was "Water in All of Its Wonderful Forms!"
The letter of the week: J
Books of the Week: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Snow by Uri Shulevitz
Monday and Tuesday, students started the day with the letter j. Ms. Debbie invited everyone to "just paint". Curious minds wanted to know what all these mysterious shapes were for.
"That is a surprise!" said Ms. Deb.
"Your job is to just paint."
These shapes are going to show up during Valentine's Week as something wild and fun!
Last week's weather was perfect for our exploration of water in all its wonderful forms. On Monday, we got lots of rain. We watched from our windows as the wind blew sheets of rain across the parking lot and we caught the rainwater in a bowl. We discovered that the rainwater was very cold! On Tuesday, the weather turned springlike! Warm and sunny goodness. Wednesday, the skies turned grey and threatened snow. Thursday, we arrived to find frozen flower pots and snow on the ground! Whether it's flowing, steaming, or frozen, water is a wonder!
One of our favorite ways to make discoveries is to set up Exploration Stations. This week's stations featured experiments about absorption, saturation, solubility, and density.
Station One: Students were presented with a variety of objects. They made predictions as to which ones would sink and which would float and then dropped the objects in the water.
Station Two: Students scooped Stevia into water and discovered that it dissolved. Next, they poured oil (dyed blue) into the water and were delighted to find that it did not dissolve, but swirled and then separated.
Station Three: We used pipets to see how many drops of water would fit on a penny (because pennies do not absorb water). Then, we used cotton balls to absorb the water once it overflowed. We let our cotton balls soak up water until they were saturated.
On Monday and Tuesday, our Creative Movement class had us jumping for the letter j! Students took on our Jump Around Challenge where jumping meets balance, counting, and the letter j.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Creative Movement was inspired by the book Snow by Uri Shulevitz. In the story, the snow twirls, swirls, dances, floats, and falls. We listened to Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Snowflakes" and moved through the space like snowflakes on the wind.
We LOVE to read. We spend a good part of every day reading and looking through the books in our Smart Start library. So often, these times curled up on the rug or the yellow couch, turn into stories we act out or ideas we choose to explore.
This week, while reading Eric Carle's The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Ms. Debbie explained how there once was a time and place where artists were not allowed to use their imagination and paint impressionist or abstract things like blue horses. (Hitler's Germany. A detail they'll come to learn later in their academic careers.)
"Why not? Why couldn't he?" Cooper
"Ms. Debbie, I want to paint a blue horse. What other animals can we paint?" Jase
It cannot be overstated how much we LIVE for these moments of spontaneous excitement, interest, and creativity. This is where the magic happens.
Inspired by the artist with the courage to paint a blue horse, we painted several animals in the book including a blue horse, a pink rabbit, and a red crocodile.
While we were at it, we painted a mystery box (again, watch what happens Valentine Week 😉) and some lettering for the February window display.
Here's a little more of the fun and discovery from last week...
This may sound like a case of the snack time sillies, but it's more than that. During snack time, we talk...a lot. We encourage everyone to tell us their stories, ask their questions, and just talk. On Tuesday, this bunch had some yarns to spin. We listened and laughed and encouraged them in their storytelling skills. Ms. Debbie told them that their stories had a beginning a middle and an end and that they were growing into great writers.
Picasso is famous for saying that "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." We hope these artists keep honing their storytelling skills. May they remain artists, writers, dancers, and dreamers whose art brings life, laughter, and light into the world.
Next week...the letter K and all the preparations for Valentine's Day! See you soon, friends!