Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ice Days

Each late fall the Dolphin and Orca classes explore ice, and we have Ice Day. The children freeze different size and shape pieces of ice at home. They get to be creative and decide what colors the ice will be, and what they will add to their ice before it freezes. So many wonderful pieces of ice come to school!

We build ice castles. The Orcas first wrote about who would live in their ice castle. Then we experiment to see if sprayed water or sprinkled salt helps hold the ice pieces together better.

Then we squirt watercolors onto the ice castles, making them even more wonderful! The salt and water create different holes and such in the ice, and our colored water looks cool as we squirt it into the holes and onto the ice.

In the Sea Otter class...

The Sea Otter class is growing and learning. Not only has our class size increased by several new friends, but the children are mastering separation and independence at school.

Play dough is a favorite, and each child expresses themselves differently at this table.

We love it when our moms are teachers, and it's even more fun when our dads come to school!

This January we have been practicing our scissor skills.

We have strips of paper and drinking straws. We snip and snip.

The pieces of straw fly everywhere. Some children like to collect their pieces and take them home in envelopes to show their families.

November Nature Day in the Orca class

We all look forward to Nature Day in the Orca class. This is one day a month where we hold class in a wonderful natural setting somewhere on the Island. Here we are exploring Meigs Farm. There are a lot of paths at this park, so we learned to mark our trail in two ways: one is to leave a stick arrow pointing to which path we choose to take (this required voting at every crossroads), and the other way we marked the path was to tie a piece of yarn on a bush by the chosen path.

We wore our nature backpacks, and carried our nature journals and our own water bottles.

Look at this interesting gate! We had lots of discussion figuring out what animals these were.

Poop! Whose poop? Coyote? Raccoon? Dog? 

We tried camouflage and hiding in the bushes to surprise our friends on the path. Can't wait for our next Nature Day at Fort Ward Park!

In the Penguin class...

We all look forward to our time together on Thursday mornings in the Penguin class. The children have become so independent, trying many new things, and the parents are always happy to see each other and catch up on life and parenting. Here we explored the shakers, tambourines, and bells during Circle Time.

This little girl enjoyed reading books up in the loft.

During our Celebration of Light the room was filled with hundreds of Christmas lights.

We explored with flashlights, and rainbow blocks.

We sang songs with the bells.

Now that we are in the second half of the school year, we are using new art materials like glue and paint. This little guy had a busy day experimenting with the glue. Bot only did he try pouring it, and brushing it, but he explored the texture and feel of it by brushing it on his hand, the teacher's hand, and his daddy's hand. That's what school is all about! Exploring and experimenting! Bring on the mess!

Pajama Days at ICP

Pajama Day is a perennial favorite with all of the children. Who doesn't like wearing your jammies to school, and then spending the day together in a big bed?

We make pancakes for snack. It is hard to wait for them to cook!

Here a bunch of little children were jumping on the bed, and they all fell off and bumped their heads!

Maybe you prefer breakfast in bed? Don't these look yummy?

Sometimes the pancakes are made from scratch and require some cooking skills to make.

Look! Even Daddy wore his pajamas!

Snuggles and giggles in bed.

The Sea Otter class worked together to make their yummy pancakes.

This little boy's grandma was visiting from Japan. What fun to have her there on this special day!

Grandparent's Day

Every year in November, while learning about our families, we host Grandparent's Day at ICP. All classes have their day, and it is always so special to have our guests come and play. In the Orca class we play games that grandparents often played as children, like marbles.

Sometimes aunts and uncles come, too. They also enjoy joining in the play.

Both the children and the grandparents have fun together.

The Orca class made Table Talk jars full of conversation starters for the dinner table. They took these home, and some of them used them at the Thanksgiving table.

It is interesting to see who remembers the rules for some of these childhood games. It has been a long time since some folks have played them.

ICP is all about family, and grandparents are a very important part of our families!

Orca Self-Portraits

The Orca class draws self-portraits several times a year. The children look in mirrors, paying close attention to the details of their face. The portraits are done in black and white, which allows the children to focus on the details and not become distracted by colors. As the children mature and have more practice holding a pen or pencil and gain control over their pincer grasp and their small muscles, the portraits change and develop, too. These are posted in the class along with a photo of the child.