Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May at Wellspring

We welcome spring!  Our garden is the source of many lessons this month including: math lessons categorizing by size and charting by taste and science lessons exploring roots, characteristics of emerging plants, and why the radishes with big leaves are smaller than the ones with the small leaves.  We have enjoyed our lettuce and radishes for snack.
Our World Cultures Program took us to Japan and Israel this month.  We celebrated Children’s Day, a Japanese tradition with Ann Rosen in the beginning of the month.  The children enjoyed making carp kites, learning about traditional dress, and the Japanese alphabet.  The children also learned how to sing If You’re Happy and You Know It in Japanese.  Dōmo arigatō, Ann!
Caryn and Josh Rosenberg came in to explain and celebrate Shavuot, the spring harvest festival in Israel.  They shared traditional foods and a ram’s horn instrument (bukkehorn) for all to try.  Caryn introduced the alphabet to us and wrote everyone’s name in Hebrew.  Finally, Grandma visited to read a story called Chicken Man about living in a kibbutz.  Toda, Rosenbergs!
The blue bird project has been exciting this month.  On Thursday, we checked the boxes to find both eggs and baby chicks!  FINALLY!  Each child was able to peer into the box and count the eggs.  The baby birds were huddled together and difficult to distinguish.  We took a picture and counted four babies when were returned to school.  Before the end of school the tree swallow eggs and blue bird eggs will hatch, offering a nice opportunity to compare species.  The children should be able to monitor the birds until they are fledglings.
The children are also monitoring the life cycle of the caterpillars.  They have documented the caterpillar and chrysalis stages and awaiting the emergence of our painted ladies.  We have observed these butterflies in the meadow this spring.
Lastly, several children took the opportunity to sponge paint “their meadow” at the request of the town.  Our artwork should be hanging in the Rock-a-Bye meadow display box shortly.  Please try to stop by to take a look.  If you also choose to peek in the bird boxes, please gently tap on the outside and step away from the opening before you lift the side.  Just a bit of bird etiquette on this last day of May,

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