Birdies, Balls, and Black Beans...
This morning during our calendar and weather routine, the children noticed two mourning doves pecking at seeds under the birdfeeder. We were surprised because the usual sparrows, juncos, doves, and chickadees haven't been around lately. We talked about why that might be and came up with a few ideas- we have found a few places where it looks like birds have been attacked, so perhaps a predator has been scaring the birds off. I also changed the formulation of birdseed I've been putting out for the birdies, so perhaps the birds don't like the new kind.
It was interesting to see how hard the kids thoght about this question. We talked a little bit about next month's Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and how we would count birds visiting the feeder at the same time every day for a week. The children were excited about the GBBC and wanted to see more birds, so I scrounged up some of the old formulation of birdseed and put it out. The children went back to the window often during free play time to see if the birds had come back, and indeed, after about an hour, they had!
'After our morning routines, we had lots of fun singing several of our winter songs for music time. We also incorporated the old favorite I learned at a Childhood Ed conference. It's a fun way to learn animal sounds and it goes like this:
There's a dog [or other animal] in our school
What are we going to do?
If there's a dog in our school,
It will have to learn the rules,
And it will have to learn the alphabet, too!
[kids make appropriate animal noises to the tune of the Alphabet song]
I always wish I could get good pictures of the children while we do music, but I can never seem to get a good picture because I have to stop playing!
While the children were enjoying free play time today, we had lots of fun bringing out the train tracks again. This time we built sections with hills and sections with bridges. The littles and I took some time to do some one-on-one block stacking sessions. Lastly, I read James and the Snowman to the children one by one. Everyone loves this book because it has lots of flaps to lift.
After that, it was movement time, so we cleared the floor and had tons of fun chasing down balls. All the kids really love chasing after the balls and particularly enjoy having to figure out how to get the balls out of tricky areas.
I feel very lucky to have such a great group of speedy and coordinated kids!
Once we got the toddler jitters out, we focused on cooking veggie chili together. We took the time to observe all the ingredients. We talked about the colors of what we were adding- orange carrot shreds, yellow corn, black beans, red tomatoes, and white onions. Everyone had a chance to smell the spices we were adding- mild chili powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of cumin. Some of us liked the smell better than others!
We dumped the ingredients into the pot together, then I put the pot on to simmer while we read some more stories. By the time we had read Just a Snowman and One Snowy Day, it was time to eat!
As you can see, some of us truly enjoyed the chili! Yum!