Friday, April 21, 2017

Our journey from Earth to Neptune!

Hello Purple Room Families,

We've been talking all about our planet Earth -- the friendly planet, the planet where we live, the planet that provides us with all our social and biological needs! We created models of Earth using the technique of paper mache. We also made a planet earth mosaic using contact paper and tiny cutouts of blue and green paper to represent water and land respectively.

Learning about the four layers of Earth!

Mars - The Red Planet!
Our planet Mars discussion hovered around the satellite ROVER and the two potato-like moons. Children were deeply interested in these and talked about it for weeks!

We pretended to be the ROVER and using our hands picked rocks, painted them red, and put them in our "sample case." We also used a little remote-controlled car to learn more about the concept of how scientists control the ROVER from Earth. They loved being scientists and working the controls!

Later we created our model of Mars using clay and tiny red rocks.

Jupiter - The biggest planet with a Red Spot!

The storms of Jupiter was a topic of attraction for our friends. We learned how and why Jupiter is a striped planet and that its big red spot is really a big storm! Then we created Jupiter bean mosaics and a model of Jupiter to add to our solar system.

Saturn - the planet with 13 rings!



Our field trip to the planetarium!!!

We enjoyed the "secret of the cardboard rocket" show that took us on a fun exciting journey to the solar system where we landed on different planets one by one and further learned all about the stars and constellations. Our kids wowed the planetarium staff with their knowledge!

Other projects:
Creating aliens from a mix of human and animals eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, hair, and ears cut outs from newspapers and magazines. Life could look like anything, so we used our imaginations...

Saint Patrick's Day!!!
Friends designed their own leprechaun traps and then worked together to create one as a group.

Putting together the trap!

Decorating shamrocks!

So, did our trap work? Drumroll... yes!! We did have a visitor in our trap who was witty enough to escape, leaving behind some cool treats for us along with a special note addressed to our room children ;)

We are diving into new spring projects and children are excited to see what next discussions and activities are in store for them!

Keep seeing you all around,

Teacher Rashida.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mercury, Venus, & Valentines!

Hello Purple Room Families,

After exploring the stars, constellations, sun, and moon, it was definitely time to orbit our theme around the planets. Starting in order from the sun, we dove into learning all about Mercury.

We also did a cooking activity of making Oreo pudding and dropping chocolate chips into them from different heights to see the impact of craters on the surface. This applies to understanding lots of moons and planets in our solar system.

Next, we flew our imaginations to Venus. Just the fact that Venus had an atmosphere of poisonous clouds and hundreds of volcanoes brought excitement in our children and they wanted to explore in more detail. These were some of the Venus facts we came up with together included:
- It's the hottest planet (due to the thick atmosphere).
- It's about the same size as Earth, so we're sometimes called "twin planets," even though we're not the same color. Venus is more yellow/rust/brown colored, while Earth is of course blue and green.
- Venus spins the opposite direction from Earth.
- Venus doesn't have a moon.
- Venus has more than 200 volcanoes.
- Venus has craters on its surface.
- Venus has no water and no life. The atmosphere is poisonous sulfuric acid.
- We can see Venus from Earth on some clear nights.

And we also went ahead to create our own three-dimensional planet!

The "space dress up" brought so much creativity and our children talked to each other in character according to their costumes!

They also opened an entire NASA on our rug where they studied and experimented all about being an astronaut and going to space!

With Teacher Rosemary in our science activity, we explored the following:
"Continuing on our space theme, we learned how astronauts sleep in space, eat in space, and even wash their hair in space without gravity. Ask your child what they experienced as a little treat -- yummy astronaut neapolitan ice cream! We also learned about "force" and "thrust" which pushes a rocket or aircraft through the air. To demonstrate thrust, we had balloon rocket races to depict how rockets work. It's all about the air movement -- as the air rushes out of the balloon, it creates a forward motion called thrust. That same thrust is created by the force of burning rocket fuel as it blasts from the rockets engine -- as engines blast down, the rocket goes up! Exciting!!"
- Teacher Rosemary


Trying out astronaut ice cream!

Valentines Day brought the love, cheer, excitement, friendship, and warmth of the relationships we share with each other. We enjoyed our annual book exchange (in lieu of giving cards to each other) and our party which spanned both classrooms.

Keep seeing you all around,

Teacher Rashida

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Continuing our exploration to space!

Hello Purple Room Families,

It feels so engaging when our children show such an immense interest in learning about space! After exploring constellations, we soon got involved in learning all about the sun and the moon. Sharing facts and information about space has become an exciting part of our circle time every day. Friends came with books from home and other informational sources that intrigued them and shared with all their other friends in the classroom. The sun was our focus first, and we talked about it being the gaseous ball -- the biggest, the hottest, the most powerful, yet kind, giving, and taking responsibility for all the life on Earth. Friends enjoyed making their own golden sun with the main ball in the middle and the fire sparks as the rays...

We learned about our own satellite, the moon, and went ahead to do some hands-on activities to be able to understand certain concepts.

We first watched the footage of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, heared him say the famous quote, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," saw him land, dance, sing, and even ride the space rover! The children went oooh and aaah and talked excitedly about being an astronaut themselves one day and visiting these exciting places!

Next, we talked about the surface of the moon. How did it get so full of craters? We used a tub of flour and different-sized rocks that our friends dropped in one by one to make craters in the flour!

We also created our own moon...

Friends added glitter and made craters with their fingers....

We decided to hang it up so that friends could have moon adventures!

Making "moon sand" and exploring the sensory feel of it!

Well how could we enjoy our space dreams without a rocket ship? We had to be creative and use our comfy box to transform it into our own rocket. We added holographic starry paper and fun lights to make it look high-tech! Friends made many imaginary journeys and came back with a lot of stories to share :)

Dressing up like astronauts...

We even had a bear join in the space adventure! They named it Beary-naut :)

Now this was neat. While children were playing marble runs, some children brought to my attention how some marbles looked exactly like the colors of the planets. This sparked an idea in our minds and we made our own "planets in their orbits" model on paper using marbles and tape. It was such an out-of-the-box type of thinking coming from them! None of the adults had seen the marbles that way, but preschoolers approach everything with a unique eye and creative connections. I love it!

We first lined them up after sharing facts and getting into a deep discussion...

In order to save the model we transferred it on a paper and created orbits. The children knew without a doubt that each planet has its own orbit and it has to stay there :)

The best part of this project was when they explained the model in their own words to their parents and grandparents as they came in :)

Letter Z!

Making Zucchini bread, practicing reading recipes...

We tested a few ingredients before putting them in our recipe and hypothesizing how that ingredient will taste in the bread..

Lemon to test...

Cinnamon to test...

After the tested ingredients were approved by our friends :) we proudly put them in!

Learning about the process of grating zucchini...

We definitely needed the help of some extra muscles to do the mixing!

Collaging letter Z into a zebra...

Zebra stripes painting with tissue rolls and yarn...

We are throughly enjoying our outer space theme and the children are excited to know what is going to come next in terms of both discussion and activities. Stay tuned!

Teacher Rashida.