Well, that sneaky little leprechaun foiled us again despite our cleverly hidden(?) traps. And not only that, but he also felt the need to hide one of each of our shoes, have a campfire, complete with marshmallows, play with the farm and toy animals, leave a potato in our traps and green and gold clovers all over our room. If I didn't know better I would say our resident compact green guy invited his friends and they had a big party and forgot to clean up afterwards. We were excited to find he left us a nifty poem stating that he won't be returning (Boo!) and part of his pot of gold (Yay!). Team Awesome was glad he came to visit us but sad to learn he won't be sticking around. We talked about building traps at home in the hopes that we might catch a leprechaun there. If you do happen to catch one, don't forget they disappear in the blink of an eye- and please don't give him directions to our classroom. One leprechaun party a year is quite enough.
There were squeals of delight and excitement this morning as the children checked their leprechaun traps and discovered green and gold glitter around their traps and our classroom, as well as a few little shamrocks. But alas, no leprechauns. As we looked around we discovered the smartypants had had a sleepover in the tiny doll centre, complete with juice and snacks. He also tried to hide some of our shiny necklaces under his pillow- no doubt he had plans to come back for them later. Cheeky cheeky fellow left us a note written in blocks on the carpet- "Thanks". We resolved to catch him tonight. To that end, we shared how our traps were supposed to work, why we thought they didn't, and how we could improve them and this afternoon some of us spent some time upgrading our designs while others had had enough of the sneaky little guy and played with centres. A few of us made totally new traps. Bigger and better traps. And a few of us tried to be sneakier when setting them up- we put them in places the unsuspecting leprechaun is sure to go based on where he went last night or we tried to camouflage them. Our fingers are crossed that we will be luckier this evening than we were last night. May the luck of the Irish be with us!
As the children entered our classroom this morning they slowly noticed a wee bit of untidiness- books and blocks spilled, papers on the floor, pencils left about and things turned upside down. And as some students in the hallway were talking yesterday about a cheeky leprechaun, Team Awesome was already aware that a little trickster had been hanging around. And you know Team Awesome- they wanted a piece of that action pronto! Which led to a flurry of activity this morning during our time with Mrs. Farber's Fiends as the children built their own traps to catch the little man. If you picked up your child at the end of the day you might have seen the traps placed willy- nilly around the class, looking mostly like pieces of recycling that hadn't been picked up but boy did a lot of thought and effort go into them. If we don't catch the leprechaun this evening we might have to revisit and revise our traps as many of them don't actually have doors that close. So while a few traps have some bait in the form of shiny things to lure the fairy creature inside, there is nothing to keep the leprechaun in the trap after he steals the bait and has a nap. And that's what scientists do- revisit and revise ideas if they don't work the first time! We'll keep you posted on our leprechaun adventures.
As part of our health and nutrition unit, we learned about brushing our teeth as a way to take care of ourselves this past week. Of course, this is a subject that Team Awesome is familiar with and they had a lot to contribute on the subject. We read some books, learned about bacteria in our mouth and plaque and did two experiments to bring home how important brushing and flossing our teeth regularly really is. Oh- and we listened to this song a number of times, but beware, it gets stuck in your head and will pop up at the most inopportune times and you just can't help but sing the chorus out loud. Crawford The Cat gave us a few pointers and we learned how toothpaste and tooth brushes are made as well. I hope that seeing why brushing is so important will help lessen the nightly arguments over taking care of our teeth.
Cabin fever? Spring fever? Too much togetherness? Not enough sleep? Maybe it's just me (with not enough sleep)? Call it what you will but it's been a bit of an off week for Team Awesome. A week apart to recoup and regenerate will be good for all of us.
So many countries have a better sense of what children need in terms of challenging their physical abilities and managing their own sense of risk than North America. Children need to maximize their life’s experiences, and taking risk both emotionally and physically is at the heart of their play. There is a natural desire in children to take risks, to challenge themselves and to weigh the risks against the benefits. In doing so, they develop their own innate calculus that enables them to make their lives interesting and fulfilling. Yet as adults we allow red tape and risk adversity to limit the opportunities children have to flex these muscles. Without risk-taking children do not reach their potential, yet the debate between risks and benefits still ensues. Children have an enthusiasm for making choices, investigating, exploring, questioning and experimenting. In essence, taking risk. A risk-taker becomes an independent thinker, who develops into a confident learner who is willing to take that step into the unknown following their innate learning path. Empowering children by developing this independence, giving them the power over their choice of risky decisions, will better prepare them to be autonomous individuals at a young age and acknowledges their right to be seen as individuals now, rather than an adult in waiting. Check out The World’s Coolest Playgrounds.
Young children are inherent measurers and this is reflected strongly in everyday language when they compare, order and match – I can swim right across the pool now; it’s too big for me to lift; it won’t fit in the box; my hand is bigger than your hand. Personal experiences, such as playing with toys, interactions with other children and conversations with parents all reinforce children’s early development of the concept of attributes that can be measured. Students need experiences that lead to an understanding of why measurement is necessary and helpful. They need to work with non-standard units and to create their own measuring instruments, and to discover for themselves the necessity of having standard units and the efficiency of having measuring instruments to count the units. Team Awesome will begin exploring length, weight, area and capacity through hands-on activities with these objectives in mind.
Mrs. Bowden &