The Detective Post #7

With Winter winds beginning to blow, the Nature Detectives have been observing the changing of the seasons all around us! From the abundance of crunchy leaves on the ground as opposed to the trees, to that bright winter sun, the preschoolers have been hoping for snow on a daily basis!

 

With the sunlight dimming and moonlight coming ever quickly, we finished off our Planet Pal unit by meeting Moonbeam, Sunny Ray and Starbright! The students were easily able to connect with the brighter winter Sunlight we were playing under, as well as discussing how we are all noticing that the moon is coming out earlier. The afternoon class was even able to observe the moon in its different phases, over our playground!

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On our Naturalist hikes, we also explored the ideas of sunlight and what might happen when the moon is out! Ms. Julie took the AM class on an animal track hunt, searching the mud in the pond for tracks that may have been left by animals during the nighttime! In the afternoon, Ms. Gail brought back her trusty measuring stick, and the Detectives took turns measure their heights in that winter sun! She showed the class different pictures of how our shadows change as we spin towards the sun throughout the day.

 

With the surprisingly warm sunlight, the PM class enjoyed a few all outdoors days, taking advantage of the preschool parking lots to experiment more with tracing our shadows. The AM class took the woods to their ever favorite, “Log Area,” where their planet pal super hero play was beautifully inspired by the backdrop of a bright, winter Sunny Ray

 

 

Indoors, the students also were kept busy by exploring more of the natural science behind our Planet Pal friends! At our meetings, we discussed that while Moonbeam is made out of rock which is a solid, Starbright and Sunny Ray are made out of gas! Since gas is invisible, we did an expirement where we mixed vinegar and baking soda together in a bottle, to which we then popped a balloon on top of the bottle to collect the gas! The students made lots of different hypotheses on what would happen to the balloon, and were all excited to see our Starbright balloon fill up with gas, just like it does up in the sky!

 

The classroom was also full of Planet Pal inspired play, from building Planet Pal headquarters in the block area, to experimenting more with the science aspects of orbiting with magnets in the lab table. We also did lots of hands on discoveries, creating stars and moons in the play dough, as well as using yellow shaving cream to create our own Sunny Ray inspired art!

 

We ended our Planet Pal unit with a scavenger hunt in the woods for all of buddies we have met over the last two weeks, followed by creating our very own Planet Pal class book!  On our hike, the students searched for Mother Earth, Breezy, H2O, Fluffy, Green Bean, Moon Beam, Sunny Ray and Starbright, using clipboards and charts to collect their findings. Indoors, the students had the chance to create their own Planet Pal, or write about their favorite one for our class book. It was so wonderful to watch their imaginations create new Planet Pals with our conversation ideas, and see them putting all of their science knowledge into action!

 

 

This past week at Woodend, we have been diving into what the different animals that call Audubon their home are doing to prepare for the coming winter weather! This past week we focused on the concepts of adaptation and migration.

 

We began the week by meeting a new animal fried- Bella the deer! Bella was dressed in warm winter clothes, which we all agreed was quite silly as we’ve never seen wild deer wear coats and hats! The Detectives thought of ways we adapt to stay warm, some ideas being: wear a warm coat, go inside, and enjoying hot chocolate! While those are things we might enjoy, we learned that deer adapt by growing warm coats and storing fat, as well as losing their antlers which take lots of energy to grow. To exemplify this idea, the Detectives experimented with an “Adaption Mitten,” which was a pretend mitten coated with a layer of Crisco to act as animal fat. The students were able to put one”Adaptation Mitten” on one hand, while the other stayed bare. The Detectives proceeded to put both hands into chilly water- observing that the “Adaptation Mitten” kept their hands nice and warm in the cold water!

 

The Detectives also took to the woods to play a deer antler hide-and-seek game! The students were able to take turns being a winter buck, and “lose” their antler in the woods for other students to find.

 

With less leaves on the trees, the birds have much easier to spy as pops of color up in the tree tops! We took to the woods to observe which birds are wintering here at Woodend, while others will migrate south to warmer weather. The students were also excited to leave sunflower seed out for the migrating birds, as they often take a stop off at Audubon to rest on their flight south! Indoors, we also created our own bird feeders with cereal and pipe cleaners to hang in trees.

 

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To prepare for our winter celebration, the Detectives capped off the week with pine cone hunt in the woods! We learned that some birds that winter here have just the right beaks for pecking into those pine cones for a tasty winter snack! Indoors, each student got the chance to decorate a pine cone with white snow and glitter, that will hang from the ceilings for our winter celebration.

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The students also enjoyed playing with trains indoors, as well as covering themselves in shaving cream snow! We also opened up a warm winter den in the dramatic play, as well as practiced building them in the block area.  The AM class also got to enjoy a felt board version of one of our favorites- It Looked like Spilt Milk, while Ms. Susan brought the PM class her giant map, where the students got to look at migration patters. The Detectives are rearing and ready to go to finish out our winter animal exploration next week and conclude with our exciting winter celebration!

 

 

Books we Read:

There’s No Place Like Space! By Tish Rabe

Planet Pals Book by the Nature Detectives

When It Starts To Snow by Phillis Gershator

Those Darn Squirrels Fly South by Adam Rubin

Crow in the Snow by Lesley Sims and Fred Blunt

Moon Cake by Frank Asch

 

Weekly Top Hits

Moon Moon Moon 

Moon moon moon shining bright

Moon moon moon my nightlight

Moon moon moon I can see

Moon moon moon you’re taking care of me

 

Look up it’s the moon

Look up it’s the moon

Look up it’s the moon up in the sky

It’s big and round and I have found

That it looks just like a pizza pie!

 

Sun Salutation Song 

Sun salutation, dance for the sun
sun salutation, dance for the sun
sun salutation, dance for the sun
I can do it,
you can do it,
we can do a sun salutation!
stretch up high -reach for the sky, hang down low – tickle your toes
feet jump back – just like a frog
belly on the ground – look toward the sun
now downward dog
and breathe, and breathe
feet jump up – just like a frog
hang down low – tickle your toes stretch up high – reach for the sky, now mountain pose – look what you’ve done (repeat)
sun salutation, dance for the sun
sun salutation, dance for the sun
sun salutation, dance for the sun
I can do it,
you can do it,
we can do a sun salutation!

Audio version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_SZ0A7iXA8

 

Winter Animals (She’ll Be Comin Round the Mountain)

Winter animals stay warm, yes they do!

Winter animals stay warm, yest they do!

They grow fat for adaptation,

Sleep long for hibernation,

and fly south for migration, yes they do!

 

Spoiler Alert: Next week we will be learning about hibernation and prepping for our Winter Celebration!

 

 

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