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Feel the love for learning in February kindergarten 1! This month our story character is traveling to other lands, learning about how different animals and cultures can be found in different climates.
Our Froebel gift to play with for the month of February kindergarten 1 is actually two parts for Froebel gift 5. I will introduce them 2 weeks apart.
The first one, gift 5, consists of cubes as with gift 3 except now some have been divided diagonally into triangles. Viewing a cube top as a square, three have been slashed across once to make two triangles, and three have been slashed across twice in an X to make four smaller triangles. Figuring out how to arrange them for the right size cubes to go back in the box is a good challenge.
With this gift, supposedly you can illustrate the Pythagorean theorem, but we haven't tried that. She built castles then I made some more symmetrical arrangements using all of the pieces. I thought one resembled a dressed up person, maybe a tribal dancer with a fancy hat. She then built a village.
The second one, gift 5b, consists of cubes like gift 5 except some have been sliced to have half cylinders inside. She immediately started building a decorated tower and making it symmetrical on her own. I have never told her to make her structures symmetrical. I've encouraged her to use all of the pieces, as you are supposed to using them the Frobel way, but she rarely listens to me.
To celebrate Groundhog's Day, also known as Candlemas, we made a groundhog shadow puppet and rolled a beeswax candle for the nature scene. We also read Brigid's Cloak. Again, this is laying a foundation for later, the studies of saints in grade 2, right now it's just a pretty book.
This is a very special month in our Waldorf Essentials curriculum. Super Sam is on a big trip! His first stop was a cold, snowy island where he met Brigit and learned about fish and candle making.
Sam keeps a journal with notes and drawings about what he's learning, so we are, too. We drew a fish in the book, just like we will draw and take notes later for a science journal of nature observations. We did another larger drawing for an ocean scene using oil pastels that we painted over with watercolor paints. It was her idea to get out the deck of Go Fish cards and copy the pictures on those as ideas.
We read some non-fiction books from the library about fish. We're still working our way through the Sophie Mouse series. Right now we're on the one called "Winter Is No Time to Sleep!", how true!
Our nature scene now contains a white carnation sitting in blue water, although it's a little hard to find with so much origami all over. We received the carnation at a STEM library program. We also attended a fun glow party at another library where we learned about phosphorescence and received some glowing balloons which have been great for indoor movement games.
We celebrated Valentine's day with a sticker kit to make a heart box. On the days leading up to the holiday, we made lots of cards for friends and family using paper doilies, a heart hole punch, and colorful papers.
This week in our story, Sam went somewhere warm to meet Sita and several African animals. She chose to have him draw the crocodile, elephant, and lion in his journal, and she also drew those in her journal. We also did some fun movement rhymes and sang Obwisana while tapping a rhythm with blocks.
We read some books about the African continent, made more origami animals, and tried some step by step drawing books. The Tom and Tabby Social Skills lessons were about feelings, so we played with expression eggs (which we've had for a couple of years, a grandparent gift) and drew them.
We also made a little paper sloyd book basket and a couple of books for the gnome home.
Our nature table has a wooden spile from a maple tapping program we attended at Oregon Ridge nature center. The maple syrup samples were delicious! We had a full range of outdoor activities this week including a walk in the snow, flying our kite at the park, and wearing boots to splash in puddles.
Sam visited a jungle with Amazon rainforest animals. Ixchel explained how it rains daily and the rain gathers together to form the river. She demonstrated by pouring water into a squiggle in the mud, something we recreated outside. Sam took a ride on a parrot to see the wider view of what the whole river looks like. Lots of different animals were added to the journal!
We read some books about South America. Sam is returning home next week, but we will continue reading continent books since they're of interest.
We used our Snapp card reading games to review the silhouettes again and to practice drawing lines.
Something came in the mail with interesting packaging that was like rows of little plastic cups, so we used these and a pipette to mix watercolors. She then dripped and squirted them onto a paper to make a drip painting.
We added a blooming branch of witch hazel to our nature scene. It was from a friend. On our nature walks, we found snowdrops, crocuses, and pussy willow.
This week Sam traveled on a big boat for his return trip home. The story was about all of the new friends he met on the ship and I needed a way to show things inside (and I was tired of making everything else!), so I decided a drawing would be best. Sam is still represented in 3D with food on a wood block as though part of the wooden ship.
I made the drawing while telling the story and used block crayons. We didn't have brown -- the various brown shades were created by layering colors on top of each other. Seen from a distance or smaller on the computer, they all blend together to appear brown!
There has been a renewed interest in playing dress-up with the playsilks. I'm amazed at how detailed costumes can be when you start tying scarves together. Now we have shirts with sleeves in addition to the capes and aprons.
We finished reading Mouse and Mole: A Winter Wonderland, a read aloud favorite from last year. We also did some more dropper paintings outside when the weather was nice. She learned how to play checkers and pick-up sticks. She's also spontaneously expressed interest in the rhyming game from last year without knowing that we are going to be doing some rhyming when we start the pre-reading lessons next week.