Tuesday, January 25, 2011

F is for fish, fox and frog!

Teacher Jen wasn't at TOP today because of a sick kid at home so a big THANK YOU to John's mom who helped out today.  And a THANK YOU to Delaney's mom, 2 weeks ago.  Since we don't have much back up help for TOP, we really appreciate those parents who can come and help out if one of us isn't able to be at school.  Please let us know if you would like to do this (I totally understand if you have kids at home, a time conflict or any other reason that makes it impossible to come to school.)  If you would like to come and help out someday-I will put you on a list and try to let everyone have a turn.  Just a caution though....Being a helper at TOP is often, dirty, wet, busy, a bit overwhelming and lots of fun!

This week we are talking about the letter F.  We began the day by coloring in a picture of a fish and tracing the letter F.  Some of the kids heard the story The Rainbow Fish.  We began today's excursion with a look at a large backhoe that was moving an old building near the barn.  We got the chance to talk to the workers a bit.  This was a big hit!  We then looked for the piglets, which are no longer at the farm (and wondered where they might have gone...)  We petted Daisy the cow and stayed away from the big billy goat, who smelled awful! 

On our hike we stomped on molehills, balanced on fallen logs, found a miniature waterfall, hunted for jewels, pretended to fish and ran down the paths with abandon.  Many kids stomped in the mud, splurting mud everywhere-and some people liked that very much and others not so much.  We practiced telling others, "I didn't like getting mud on me!"  And "Please, could I have a cup for my jewels." 

We ended the day singing "Happy Birthday" to John who turned 4 over the weekend.  He brought in a fun book about helicopters and fruit leather.  Yum!

Update on TOP:  We continue to work on listening to instructions from the teachers. Some of the big ones are when to run ahead and when to stop.  When and where to play with sticks and when to put them down.  How to treat found spiderwebs-(look closely at them, but don't destroy them so the spider has a way to catch their next meal).  How to not pick mushrooms so forest animals can eat them if they want. How to keep our voices down so the animals don't get scared.  How to ask a friend to play with you.

Everyone is working hard toward these goals as a class.  We see new friendships beginning every day and children taking new chances with climbing, exploring and talking.  It is a very exciting place to be as a teacher! 

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