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5-Day: Starfish, Snowmen and Celebrating Mardi Gras

This week was sooo busy. We started with a visit from the New England Aquarium and ended on a high note of Mardi Gras. The Aquarium brought the tide pool to Bowen on Monday. The children had a great time learning about snails, starfish, clams and crabs. Best of all, they got to touch them, watch them move (or not!) and they found out that a starfish has eyes on the end of its arms.

Even though our weather has been unseasonably warm this week, there was still snow in 5-Day. The children began the week by creating their own crystal snowflakes to decorate our tree. After reading Snowflake Bentley (an interesting, true story of a man who figured out how to take pictures of snowflakes), we designed our own 6-sided flakes. The process was to trace a crystal shape with glue, sprinkle it with salt, then carefully touch the salt with watercolor. The color was absorbed by the salt and traveled along the design. We also used Epsom salt to create an icy winter picture. First, each child used crayons to draw a picture. When they were done, they brushed a solution of warm water and Epsom salt over it. The results, when dried, were crystallized pictures! The children also painted with ice popsicles and salt at the easel.

Through the book, Snowmen at Night, we explored some literacy and math concepts. After reading the book and some group discussion, the children came up with their own ideas of what they would do at night if they were snowmen. They brought their ideas to a table and drew a picture as they dictated to a teacher; this activity allowed the children to practice plot design and sequencing. Through a cut-and-glue project, they placed pictures in order as they appeared in the story. It was wonderful seeing the children refer back to the story to check if they had it in the right sequence, a strategy which will help them in future classrooms.

The children practiced their fine motor skills by helping put gel snowmen back together and by having fun with slime explorations. We further supported this development through tracing activities and working with dry erase markers. We reinforced math concepts through a dice roll game and by tracing the numbers on a February calendar.

During the week, the children ice skated at the 5-Day rink, had snowball fights in the dramatic play area, played with ice and snow at the sensory table and created fun snowflake designs at the light table.

Thursday was our Mardi Gras Day. Thank you to Lisa and Luke for bringing masks for the children to design, beads for them to wear and king cake for snack. We had a great parade through the school and a dance party in the upstairs big room.

Some books we read:

Snowmen at Night

The Snowy Day

How to Build a Snow Bear

Snowflake Bentley

A Story of Mardi Gras

Trombone Shorty

Next week, we will concentrate on love and friendship for Valentine's Day. The children will be painting and decorating a special bag. If you choose to bring in Valentines, please bring one for each child. You and your child can then "mail" them for the class to take home on Friday.

Thank you,

Caroline and Cathy

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