Dear Stems families-
Hello! Welcome to the weekly blog and welcome, July! First of all, we want to share some exciting news with you-Ms. Cynthia became a mama last weekend and delivered a healthy and beautiful baby boy! We also warmly welcome Ms. Sondra into the Stems class as the 2nd teacher! Please introduce yourselves to her when you’re in the room. We are happy to have her as part of our team!
In this blog we will cover:
- Spider Trap
There were new items placed in the tinker tray; pipe-cleaners, rocks, yarn, numbers, and a variety of loose parts. As the Stems have shown interest in lines and connecting over the past couple of weeks, we wanted to reflect on the materials that were currently in the tinker tray and question ourselves whether or not the materials were being utilized by the children and whether or not they were supporting their interests.
On Monday morning during assembly, we introduced the new materials to the Stems as well as introduced a variety of new paper (scrapbook paper in various sizes, paint samples, and large paper). During exploration that day, a majority of the students went and tinkered in the tray, constructing a vast amount of creations! We observed the Stems using toothpicks to poke holes in paper and spinning the toothpick so the paper on top spun around, connecting toothpicks and craft sticks together with yarn and pipe-cleaners, hanging lines of paper-clips from yarn, wrapping yarn and pipe-cleaners around toothpicks and craft sticks, sticking toothpicks to yarn by poking the toothpicks through the yarn, creating a game involving the plastic circles and dowels, as well as bringing some of the materials from the tinker tray to the drying rack to create a trap.
Here are some of the thoughts we heard from the Stems as they were constructing in the tinker tray-
“It’s a steering wheel!”
“This is a trap for the spider.” (The Stems had seen a spider in the room earlier that a.m.)
“I made an airplane!’
“Look at my Ferris Wheel!”
“It’s a boat.”
“It’s for washing your hair!”
We have continued to observe the Stems show great interest in writing. You may recall the list of words that the Stems wanted to learn how to write last week. This week, they were interested in learning to write a few new words-
“love dad” , “Tahiti” , “summer” , “vacation” , “spring” , “fair” , “grandma” , “grandpa” , “New Zealand” , “fireworks” , “monster” , “spider” , and “dinosaurs.”
The Stems have also been using their creative, expressions, and fine motor skills to write and draw on the windows with dry-erase markers. This began when we wrote a message to Ms. Linda outside, thanking her for washing our window! The Stems would frequently yell at the window, trying to get their friends attention outside. Perhaps these dry-erase markers will be used to communicate more effectively with their peers outside! 🙂
On Tuesday morning, the Stems did an art project with Ms. Amy where they used a couple of different type of utensils (oil pastels and a variety of markers) to draw their classroom on canvas. One of the Stems noticed that the canvas felt different than usual as “it has these things.” (the texture). A few comments we heard while the Stems were drawing were as follows-
“This is me and my grandma and the lunch cart.”
“This is the windows and roof.”
“This is the swinging rope.”
“This is the flowers over there!”
“It’s the lunch cart.”
The Stems have shown a lot of interest in building structures with blocks and loose parts/materials. We have observed the Stems building from a variety of perspectives- at eye level, bird’s eye view, building away from one’s self, from the side, and building up. We have also observed them building vertically and horizontally, tall and short.
On Tuesday, the Stems spotted a spider in the classroom. When trying to get close to it, it ran under the lunch carts. During exploration that day, Phoebe and Hank worked on creating a “spider trap” by connecting and wrapping yarn, toothpicks, pipe-cleaners, as well as other materials from the tinker tray, to the drying rack.
On Wednesday during morning assembly. we showed the photos of Hank and Phoebe’s spider trap and had them explain to their peers what they had created. We heard a lot of wonderful conversation and debate.
“We created these like cool things and I build it for the trap and I cutted out some paper that was little pieces so the spider could eat them ’cause we wanted to make a trap for him and we like got a tangled string up and put toothpicks in there and there were a lot and it was cool and Hank’s was cool too and I put it in the trap.” Phoebe
“The spider needs to jump on the toothpicks and the spider be killed.” Hank
I wonder… do we want to kill spiders?
“Noooo!” “Yes.” “Leave them alone.”
“Samanvi saw a scorpion.” Madison
“They will bite you.” Clara
“When he (the spider) hops on the toothpicks, it’s going to hurt him, and then he’s going to slide down the toothpicks and it’ll make him die.” Phoebe
“Leave it alone.” Madison
“We just have to kill little spiders.” Hank
“That was a Black Widow.” Phoebe
“You don’t get to kill spiders because spiders eat scorpions.” Delfina
“They do not, they eat mosquitos!” Phoebe
“Mosquitos can eat scorpions and we cannot kill spiders or scorpions. You cannot kill some caterpillars ’cause my mom just stepped on a caterpillar.” Madison
“So one day my mom’s going to take me to the real desert one day and I’m going to see a real scorpion.” Mateo
“You can hold black scorpions that are little.” Phoebe
“But the only ones that can bite you are the yellow ones.” Mateo
“If you be nice to them they won’t bite.” Phoebe
“The only way to get Black Widows and scorpions and sharks and other animals that are bad you just have to be kind to them and they will come towards you and be kind to you! We only need to kill the Black Widow spiders.” Hank
“At home my mama has a fly swatter at the house.” Eden
“If you be nice to spiders or ants or caterpillars or scorpions or whales or witches, they’ll be nice to you.” Madison
“Some days when spiders are in our house and I have a bug sucker and I suck them up with my bug sucker and then I just let them out sometimes and my daddy lets them out sometimes too. It makes spiders get out of our house and make them go outside.” Dax
“Super long dragon fly eat mosquitos.” Asahi
“When you bite some spiders some animals be nice if you be nice from people.” Smayana
“If you go close to the Black Widow, then you might get bited. And the baby spiders can’t even bite you because if you be nice to them, they won’t bite you.” Eden
“You can’t kill spiders ’cause if you be nice, spiders will bite you but if you be nice to them they won’t ’cause sometimes my mom steps on them.” Aditi
We heard a lot of, ‘if you’re nice to spiders, or animals, they’ll be nice to you. How do you show that you’re nice to each other?’
“You can say nice things to each other and say happy smiles and hug each other and have a high five.” Eden
“You could say I love you.” Phoebe
“You can make other friends, too!” Eden
“At my house I have 3 cats and I say goodnight, Gracie. I love you, Charlotte. I love you, LuLu. I love you, Gracie. Like that to them.” Phoebe
Do you think the kitties heard you?
“Yeah, Charlotte was sitting on the couch where I was so she heard me and Gracie was where the TV was and LuLu was downstairs.” Phoebe
That day during exploration, Hank and Phoebe brought water, cups, and loose materials by the original spider trap.
“We’re making potions for the spider. The spider is going to love it!”
That day during clean-up, the Stems spotted a spider (perhaps the missing one from yesterday) cruising on the floor. During reflection, the Stems sat around the spider to brainstorm what to do with the spider.
“Find a new home.” Delfina
“We have to find a spider web and that’ll be it’s home.” Dax
“There’s spiders outside.” Phoebe
“I can put it in the spiderweb at home.” Anvi
“We can put the spider outside in a spider web. When we want to see it, we could go to see if it’s there. If it’s not, we can check another day.” Mateo
“Use a book to bring him outside.” Madison
“Hold him on your arm like gently and softly like petting a dog. Put in the middle of the web because it’s stronger.” Hank
“Put it in the cup and then put it in there gently.” Mateo
Dax put paper under the cup.
“Put it on the paper and bring it.” Quinn
“Put your hand under the paper and carry it outside.” Annabel
So a plan was formed as to how we were going to transport the spider outside! The Stems put on their sunscreen and went to the restroom per usual, getting themselves ready to go outside.
However, when the spider was about to be transported, there was a slight problem…..….
THE. SPIDER. WAS. GONE
- Moving onto next week
- Self Portraits discovery through mirror- phase 1
- Responsibility list with children for the classroom
- Math concepts of volume, scale
- Planting outside- Measuring the new planters
- Line and it’s stories! Explore it in different areas of the class inside and outside
- Colour and emotions
- Letter, words and making our own books!
- Small group formations
- Family book
- Ms. Sondra will be working with Ms. Krista in the Stems, she is looking forward to getting to know all the Dots and families.
Hugs and Kisses,
Ms. Krista, Ms. Mazi, Ms. Sondra