Summer means that Zoey is out of school but that I am working at the Montessori summer camp sessions. I have to say that this year is off to an amazing start! I am pumped and feeling good about where I'm at as far as organization and feeling prepared. It's always a bonus when I can bring Zoey to work with me! I open early in the mornings and I love getting to the school before anyone else does and getting to see the sun slowly creep in the windows with it's golden glow. I love, love, love this part of my day. :)
Our theme for June is arachnids and insects and boy are we having a blast with this theme this year but I am finding that I'm coming home all itchy!! :) We have learned several interesting facts so far and between crafts, science exploration, food preps, line activities and songs/finger-plays we are pros!
Here are some photos of our classroom this month.
This is our practical life area. We have children from the age of 2 1/2 years on up to age 9 for the summer camps so this area is most popular with the younger crowd but it's an important area for helping hone in those fine motor skills!
For a fun science station I set up two sticky spider webs using contact paper...on one web the child was to use their hand and touch the web and see how their hands stuck to the web. We then talked about how spiders actually have hairs on their bodies that have special oils on them that prevent them from sticking to their web but allows for them to catch insects and we explored that idea by dipping their fingertips into some oil and then walking on the other web and noticing how it was no longer sticky for the "spider"! The kids were lined up for this station and they wanted to do it over and over. So fun to see their excitement!
We then made a spider snack using ritz crackers, pretzel sticks, peanut butter and mini chocolate chips.
The kids made these entirely by themselves and loved getting to tell mom and dad that they ate spiders at school that day!
One of our crafts was making spider puppets which we used at line time for singing our special songs.
Every single child knows that a spider (which is an arachnid), has 8 legs and that they can have 8 eyes, 6 eyes, 4 eyes, 2 eyes or even 1 eye!
Another spider craft that we made was Little Miss Muffet's spider...tomorrow we are going to be making "curds" for little Miss Muffet's curds and whey. I'm sure some of the kids will LOVE it and some might be a little grossed out about that! We'll be combining milk and vinegar.
Later in the week we talked about ants and the differences and similarities between spiders and ants. Arachnids and insects...
The kiddos not only got to eat spiders but they also got to make and eat ant hills!
For this snack we had the kids put dirt in a cup (chocolate pudding), and then they crunched up some graham crackers (which was sand) to put on top of their dirt and then the ants were the mini chocolate chips.
It's pretty safe to say that this was a popular snack for everyone, including the teachers!
One of our line activities consisted of my taking a basket of wooden spools and asking for one volunteer. I then scattered the wooden spools all around the floor and asked the volunteer to pick up the spools and put them back in the basket. We timed how long it took the one volunteer. It took a long time! I then asked for five volunteers and did the same thing, scattered the wooden spools all around the floor but this time asked my five "worker ants" to work together to put all the wooden spools back into the basket. This time the spools were put back much more quickly because there were many hands working quickly together. Kind of like how the worker ants all work together collecting food and building for the Queen.
We also made ant puppets and then did some marching to the song The Ants Go Marching Two by Two Hurrah...we marched outside to so some observing of some of the ants on our playground. We followed one worker ant in particular.
And this isn't along the lines of our summer theme for this month but here is Zoey working with a friend on the thousand chain...love that she gets to be a part of this with me!
Next week I have some super fun things planned for learning about bees! I can't wait!