Saturday, November 3, 2007

Annelids Abound!!

What's an Annelid, you might ask? As we learned this week, the organisms in the Annelid phylum are segmented worms, like earthworms (and leeches). We were fortunate to have Lucas' pet earthworms spend some time in our classroom, for a worm-tastic experience! They had visited our classroom previously, but we had so much fun with them, we just had to ask them to come back!

Most of the children were excited to handle the worms, with comments such as, "It feels cold," "It tickles!," and "The worm kissed me!" Who knew worms could be so affectionate? Perhaps it's because they have FIVE hearts, one of the very cool worm facts we learned from "Earthworms," by Sue Barraclough.
We also learned that earthworms do not have any eyes, but instead use eyespots to detect light. We were able to experience this (roughly) by closing our eyes, and putting our hands over them, and then removing our hands (eyes still closed) and noticing how we could sense the light but not really see it.
Other worm information: they can regenerate broken segments (like sea stars), enjoy eating fruits and animal remains, help make gardens grow with their waste, and are tasty snacks for frogs and snakes. Not all of this information came from the book; many children were raising their hands during our discussion with these facts already in mind. (PS: we were sure to wash our hands after handling the worms).

Our cooperative math workshops have been going very well. All the children look forw
ard to working with our friends next door. It's great to get to know some new people while becoming more familiar with many of our math manipulatives.

During Extended Day last week, we came upon a large empty cardboard box. When I was younger, I was able to entertain myself for hours large empty boxes. Rocketship, boat, house, cave; it can truly become anything.
Fortunately, some things never go out of style. We aske
d the children what they would like to do with the box, and they enthusiastically voted to turn it into a jack-o-lantern. They worked very hard on the transformation, and were in complete creative control from beginning to end; teachers assisted only with cutting out the holes.
Afterwards, on Halloween, we used the box to play "Pumpkin, pumpkin, what do you see?" ("I see ____ looking at me!") Everyone got a turn to crawl inside the pumpkin and tell the class what they could see.

Additional Halloween festivities included
making pumpkin bread (with whipped cream!), enjoying some delicious pumpkin seeds courtesy of Eliza and her family, and reading a few holiday-related stories. There was such a 'buzz' throughout the room for that entire day- I think everyone was really looking forward to going trick-or-treating!

On Tuesday, we had a sample tasting of three different apple varieties, to determine which color is our favorite. The results, which you may want to consider during your next trip to the grocery, are below:

And, thanks to the blustery weather, some children were able to fly their homemade kites on the playground outside:

Don't forget about parent-teacher conferences this week!
October photos are now on Snapfish!
And with holiday seasons coming up, please feel free to come in during class to teach us about how your family celebrates certain holidays. This is a great way to introduce children to new cultures and traditions, and also helps us get to know each other better! This can include a cooking workshop, reading a story, or showing photos. Let me know!

And one more thing: please feel free to leave 'comments' on this website. At the bottom of each post is an option to leave a comment, if you desire, which can be read by everyone.

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