Friday, July 10, 2015

In the Garden!

The theme for the first full week of July was "In the Garden". Summer camp has officially started! This year I decided that I wanted to make it more of a camp feel, and less of an extension of the school year, so I created themed days that rotate throughout the week. I'm excited!

This week we read: My Garden by Kevin Henkes
                                        Backhoe Joe by Lori Alexander
                                        Living Sunlight by Molly Bang
                                        Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail by James Horvath
                                        Mortimer's First Garden by Karma Wilson

The older children that join my class for Summer Camp do not nap during rest time. They have time in the gym in a small group while my class does. To keep them working on their skills, I make them  packet to bridge their grades.

The games that we played this week at morning meeting were so fun!
"Pop!" is a really fun game, and definitely a favorite. We stand in a circle and each child says one number as we go around. But each round there is a pop number. Instead of saying that number, you POP! the person that would be next, out. We work very hard on having good sportsmanship, and the kids have fun even if they're out because they know they get to play again in the next round!

"Pass the Vader" is a fun game. It's just like Hot Potato, except we do it with a small stuffed Darth Vader that children gave me this past Valentine's Day. Love it!

We played "Find the Clothespin". I found this game on KindergartenSmorgasboard, and I thought it just sounded so fun! While the children are not peeking, I hide a clothespin one myself, on a child or somewhere close around us. When they look for it, they can't yell out where it is, they put their finger on their nose! They have so much fun searching.

We played "Crocodile Snap". I found the idea for this game last year and adapted it to be my own. I turned a box into a crocodile with bulletin and construction paper, then filled it with little cards that have a letter, number or shape on them. The children have to reach into the crocodile's mouth (while he's sleeping of course), pull out a card and name what's there. Also hidden in the belly of the crocodile though are SNAP cards (the crocodile wakes up and SNAPS his mouth shut!). Once we pull three SNAP cards, the game is over!

We played "1,2,3" which we have played before and is definitely a fan favorite! We stand in a circle and each child says 1,2 or 3 consecutive numbers starting with 1 up to 9. So for example: "1,2,3" "4" "5,6" "7,8,9" and the next child who would have to say 10 sits down and is out of the round. Then it starts back at one. My class really loves this one, and usually if we play it in the morning, I will hear them in centers or at their lunch tables playing their own facilitated versions of the game.

The special activities this week were a blast. Since we are the oldest in the school, I thought it would be great to take over the little school garden. We spent time weeding it and getting it ready for all the things we had sprouted in the classroom during our Going Green week.

I thought having a bubble day would be so much fun each week. This week I brought out this adorable small bubble machine that I found for $3, and just let it do it's thing. the children had an amazing time running around in the hundreds of bubbles.

Every Wednesday my class has sprinkler day. This is always a fan favorite. The children wear their bathing suits and water shoes, run around in a sprinkler outside, and play in a water sensory table. It really helps beat the summer heat!

Exercise is very important, so I thought it would be fun to have some kind of special exercise activity each week as well. This week, the children moved their bodies like insects. This pin gave me great ideas of what to call out, and the children really enjoyed it! 

I LOVE having a movie day in the summer. It gives the kids a chance to relax, wind down and just enjoy themselves. Plus we have snacks and make it feel like the movie theater... who doesn't like going to the movie theater? This week we watched A Bug's Life.

Our question of the week was "What do you want to grow in your garden?"

For our theme "In the Garden",  we talked about things happening in a garden! In small groups the children played "The Ladybug Game". We've played this before, and the children really enjoy it.

On TeachersPayTeachers I found a great FREE worksheet that is not only a cool coloring, cutting and gluing project, but really helps kids with those tricky teen numbers!

The children wrote in their journals about what they would plant in their own gardens.

We sang "I'm a Little Watering Can" to the tune of teapot.
I’m a little watering can, Tall and thin.
To fill me up, Just pour some water in.
When you tip me over, And the water sprinkles out.
“Thanks for the drink,” The flowers all shout!
(C) 2001 - 2011 Jean Warren

In the summer I have elementary children that join my class. While my pre-k students write in their journals, the older children work on a reading response page based on the book that we read at morning meeting.

We talked about how plants and flowers drink their water up from the ground and I thought the best way to illustrate that would be the celery experiment! SUPER SIMPLE TO DO!
I got 4 celery stalks (full stalks with the leaves at the top) and put one in plain water, and one in each dyed water blue, yellow and red. I showed the class the set up and we made hypotheses about what would happen to the celery. (I made the worksheet up for this one).
Then we looked at the celery that had been sitting in the water for a few hours t osee what actually happened. That was what we recorded on our papers.
Just for fun I kept the celery around to the end of the week and it looked SO COOL!

The children painted flowers.

We have begun using the Creative Curriculum's Studies, which seem pretty cool. Each study lasts as long as the children are interested in them, and they can be customized to the class's interest in the subject. We decided as a school to start with the  study "Buildings". In the sensory table I put some building blocks in dirt to make a construction site.

We began by exploring the topic. We went outside our school and sat in front of it, and each drew an Observational picture of it. It was really cool to see the the children take such an interest in it.

Using different size and shape blocks, the children worked in pairs to build.

We talked about different kinds of buildings and the types of things that happen inside them.

The children each picked a kind of building to draw the inside of, and we turned it into a book.
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