Dear Families,
Spring is here! Spring is here! How wonderful it is to feel the cool morning air and watch color begin to appear in the world around us!
The children always look so big this time of year as their growth spurts become evident in their longer limbs, joyful energy and engaged minds – bursting with all they know and are curious about!
Oh what fun we had with our Pockety, Pockety, Pockets!
Jane’s M/W crew focused on “Mystery Pockets.” Each day the children’s pockets contained clues and objects that would aid in the daily mystery to be solved. There were missing puzzle pieces, dinosaurs to locate, objects to be found in their group room, and art materials to find and create a painting with.
T/Th kids made individual fabric pockets that were enhanced with watercolor paint. The pockets were then sewn onto an apron for each child. Once the aprons were created the pockets held a surprise collection of items that someone who wears an apron might use: kitchen tools for baking/cooking; artists tools for creating.

Katey’s M/W group measured the depths of different sized pockets with a ruler and recorded their “data” on a pocket chart. They also sewed pockets onto aprons and then filled their pockets up with the lovely things they found on a “nature walk.”
The T/Th group used their imaginations to create “a world inside of a pocket.” They each drew the characters of their Pocket World and wrote a story about life in the pocket. All was gathered together in a piece of fabric and tied up with a bow. The portable “Pocket World” bundle was placed in their pockets to be available for play whenever desired.

Kate and Janet’s M/W group tested out lots of different pockets as they stuffed them with objects to see what might fit. They discovered that some things fit nicely and other things, try as they might, were way too big! We messed around with transparent pockets as the children grouped objects that went together. Seashells and beach things; paintbrushes and arty things: pine cones and forest things. The teachers then made vests for each of the children to wear and each day a surprise would be in the pockets. Trolls to play with in a “Troll Village; tools for “cooking” to use with play dough, etc.
The T/Th kids dabbled with quantity of objects in a pocket. They counted how many things they could fit in a paper pocket; they took on a challenge to find and put a certain number of items in their pockets – 1 robot, 2 toy people, 3 dinos …………all the way up to 6 square magna tile pieces. Then pockets were filled with items to match up to I Spy pictures. Next up was a Mystery Hunt! Pockets held clues as the children followed a map through an obstacle course to discover gummy worms in a “nest.”

Well… pockets can be considered to be “containers” for things. And “containers” can hold so many different things. It’s almost as if a “container” could be a “house” or “home” for the things that they hold. This kind of thinking led to the book A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman.

The book depicts different kinds of things that could be houses for people (tents, igloos, teepees, etc.) interspersed with all kinds of things that could be “houses” for other things: teapots/houses for tea; hangars/houses for airplanes; pea pods/ houses for peas; shoes/ houses for feet; on and on and on until it concludes that the earth is a house for us/it All!
We were ready to take a turn along the road to our next Journey!

Jane’s M/W group looked at trees and what they could be homes for. They started with dirt and roots, and moved up to trunks, branches and leaves. Each child decided on what creature would live in their individual tree.
This included a bumblebee, barn owl, hummingbird, tree snake and a blue parrot. They sketched their creatures and then used 3-dimensional objects to create them. Her T/Th kids talked about ponds and what might live there – turtles, a snake, a duck, a frog and a bird. They created pond landscapes using paint, yarn, paper, dirt and sand. Each child added things to the habitat specific to their chosen creature – nest, tree, lily pad, cattails and a bridge. Both groups of children played together with all they had created before taking it home to share with their families!

Katey’s M/W crew filled a wall with a “Home Connection Board.” The diagram showed the connection between things that could be houses and the things they housed. That was a lot of work! So next they built a “tree house” and then a “beach house” to play in. Her T/Th kids worked for weeks on an incredibly detailed diorama that included a city scape, a forest, and an ocean. They created homes and habitats for animals that could live in those different environments.

Kate and Janet’s M/W group became curious about animals that lived underground in burrows. They experimented with sand and clay and then worked together to build a six foot long mini-world that represented underground burrows (carved out of clay) and the above ground elements (trees, bushes, stones, vegetation, pine cones) that could be homes for other animals. The T/Th group enjoyed the idea of “a book is a house for a story.” That resulted in a story they co-wrote – MOO COWS. They illustrated the different parts of the story and finally the book was “published!” It is a compelling tale of cows that turn into mermaids to celebrate a birthday by eating cake in the sea!

Our final journey of this school year is a focus on the magical and fascinating interplay of light and shadow. On this past Monday and Tuesday we darkened all of the windows and immersed the children in a visit to The Land of Light and Shadow. An overhead projector provided the stage for body shadows and projected images from the screen that filled the wall. There were flashlights and tap lights everywhere. There were light tables and shadow screens and dark tents made with black sheets. The children joyfully investigated one opportunity after another.

We will dance down this path with curiosity and discovery as we explore all that we can!!!


Continuing on with our exploration of Simple Machines, we found that wedges split things apart. We hammered wedges into clay and used chisels to separate bark from tree trunks. We are currently studying screws and learning how they attach things together. Last Friday we sketched the parts of the screw; thread, post, tip and pitch. We then used an electric drill to make holes to prepare for an art project. This week we will use screws, yarn and oil pastels to complete our art project. Still to come is “How many machines can you spot in this complex machine?” and “Rube Goldberg Creations Using Simple Machines.”

Spring Conferences

We will be holding Spring Conferences to celebrate your children’s growth and accomplishments on Wednesday May 15th and Thursday May 16th. We will have sign-up sheets with time slots for you to sign up with your child’s group teacher(s). These sheets will be available beginning next week. As always your children are welcome to come.

We will be closed Monday May 27th for Memorial Day.
The last day of this school session is Friday May 31st.
Summer session will start Monday June 3rd and run through August 16th.
We will be closed to children the week of August 19th to prepare for the next school year.
Fall session will begin Monday August 26th.

THANKS and Happy Spring!!!
Jane, Janet, Katey and Kate