Saturday, February 28, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: I'm Yours !

On Thursday, we took a trip to Cathedral Station Post Office, the 3rd largest in the city, with over 130 mail carriers working there. WOW! Located on 104th St between Amsterdam and Broadway, this is really a very large post office. As customers, we are so used to seeing the relatively small area (the lobby) where you wait in line, buy stamps, wait in line, check your PO Box, fill out labels, and wait in line. However, once you have the All Access Pass, as we did, and you get to go behind the scenes, you realize how much space is required to run the post office. Howie taught us how meticulously organized they are, and showed us how mail goes from sender to recipient. We saw the different uniforms the mail carriers wear, as well as the different types of bags and carts they carry our mail in.
Our main reason for going to the post office was to send our letter to President Obama! Part congratulatory, part fan mail, the children helped write a letter to him, and made paintings and drawings for him too. Howie purchased a stamp for us ($1.51) and told us that it should arrive in D.C. by Saturday. Our letter was put in a special area for large envelopes (we wanted ours to be super visible), and we saw where the mail truck would come to pick it up.

Aah! Animals! Jennifer from the Greenburgh Nature Center came to our class on Tuesday with some awesome animals for us to see (and touch!) including a constrictor snake, a morning dove, a very old box turtle, and a chinchilla, which is truly softer than a cloud full of cotton. The animals were allowed to explore our classroom, and the dove even took a quick flight over our heads!

Carly's grandma Leslie came into class on Wednesday to help us with a fantastic art project: monotypes! The children chose a color ink to work with, and used a roller to spread it out over a clear plastic square. Then they used their choice of tools (cotton swabs, tongue depressers, toothbrushes) to create a design in the ink. Next, they brought it over to the next station to press the image onto some nice, high quality paper. Everyone had a great time with this project, and I can't wait to display the monotypes at our art show (May 7... I know, sounds like it's far away, but we start preparing NOW!). Thanks, Leslie!!

Food, nutrition, health, the body: it's all covered in our classroom. Amanda has been helping the children learn about making smart food choices, while discussing the benefits of diverse diets. Hooray for whole grains! We've learned that some foods give us a quick burst of energy, and some give us longer lasting energy. During lunch, we ask the children to observe what they are eating, attempting to categorize based upon the food groups as seen in the Food Pyramid (which, as of 2005, runs 'horizontally,' and emphasizes exercise and moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle). And as you can see below, it is OKAY to play with your food!

Here are some photos from our Valentine's Party preparation... we made cherry cupcakes (with a sweet surprise in the middle), and strawberry/marshmallow kebabs. We celebrated with McKenzie's class, and although I was unable to attend the party (hernia surgery), I heard it was a blast. The children made many valentines to pass out to their friends, and they loved delivering them to their personalized mailboxes, which resided temporarily in our dramatic play area.

Remember: Photo Day is Friday 3/6 --- Comb that hair, tuck in that shirt, wipe that nose!