Butterfly Races + Earth Day!
We finished butterflies this past week by learning about different names and kinds. We went on a trip to the "butterfly museum". And the best part was, it was right in our own classroom! The students took a Butterfly Hunt sheet around the room and marked off each butterfly that they found. I was worried this might be a little advanced for my 3 year olds to follow, but they were pros and this was their favorite activity for the day!
Three besties just puzzling away during free choice!
We enjoyed cupcakes with a butterfly ring that a student brought in, we worked on puzzles and created our own monarch butterfly "kites". (They flew in the air as you ran with them in your hand. We also learned about symmetry and the students chose whether to make their wings symmetrical or asymmetrical.) We then went to the back yard to have butterfly races, which was my 4 year old's favorite activity for the day!
Oh that face!
We played some letter games. Their favorite being one where they used a sticky butterfly to catch uppercase letters and match them to lowercase letters on the wings of their butterfly cards! They loved it so much that they have begged to play it every day since! And yes, MGT (Mother Goose Time Curriculum) sends me with all the little items needed for this, including the now beloved sticky butterfly!
We also worked on positional words with our bees & butterfly beads from MGT.
For our math activity, we practiced graphing by playing a "Would You Rather" game. Here you will see them playing and answering if they would rather be a bee or a butterfly. It was definitely unanimous!
We celebrated Earth Day a day early since we don't meet on Fridays. MGT sends special Celebration Kits usually each month for special holiday activities. This month's was all about Earth Day!
We started our with a song about "Five Little Worms" that found compost items that they used for their "Junk Lunch!
I have been dying to teach them about recycling since we just got a new curb-side recycling program here in St. George and I've been a recycling advocate since serving as a mission in Canada! I had picked up some recycling sorting games from Dollar Tree at the beginning of the year and they came in handy for Earth Day. They sorted the trash stickers into the appropriate cans and we discussed ways we can help save our planet!
We also played "Dirt, Dirt, Tree", an MGT variation of "Duck, Duck, Goose." The farmer went around the circle and decided where he/she was going to plant a tree. We added in a green scarf so that the farmer would drop the scarf when he said "tree", the tree would then grow into their green leaves and chase after the farmer! This is another game they could have played for an hour or so!
I love technology! I often use my Chrome Cast to pull up images or videos for quick demonstrations in the classroom. This day I pulled up pictures of the earth from outer space to discuss what we saw and what colors they were represented by. It was also a shock to them to see lights in large cities from outer space. We talked a lot about conserving electricity to help save our precious Earth.
We had a really interesting craft this day. I had to read the instructions about three times before I understood because it was so different than anything we have ever done before. But very experimental and entertaining! Learning that the earth looks mostly green and blue from space, we placed those paint colors on the back of a paper plate and then used our hands to "rotate" the earth on the white paper, which then formed a beautiful swirl of blue and green. We experimented with how much paint we used and the location in which we placed it on the plate. They used their black outer space paper with white chalk to draw the moon, stars, meteors, rockets, aliens, UFOs, black holes, and anything their creative little minds could come up with!
They question every day is "Can we do the volcano dance now, PLEASE!" They love the Dance N' Beats dances that we do for a movement break during the day and they always want to end it with the volcano one! So here they are, erupting like volcanoes!
As for me, my favorite part of the day was whipping out the new graduation gowns and caps that came in the mail the day before to do a size fitting on each of them. I am in love with the colors and it took me a long time to decide on these particular ones. They were pricey, but I love what they do to my heart! Every time I see them, this surge of excitement runs through my veins, but a tinge of sadness also beats in my heart. I will have to say goodbye to these little humans that I love with all of my heart. They will be big kindergartners next year! As preschool teachers, we always joke about how we are some of the most important people in a young person's life as we help them build a foundation for success, but that those young people will never remember us. And it's true...I don't remember my preschool teacher either. But I wouldn't change this for the world! I've done my share of teaching in other venues and varying industries, but preschoolers are who truly hold my heart as students.
Aren't they beautiful?