Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tracking Small Humans

So it turns out that the stomach flu is going around. Five teachers, countless students, and a few parents down so far...including me. Strangely enough, cleaning up after the kids and holding their head while food comes up is highly contagious.

On a much happier note, today is almost Friday!

I've started a Facebook and Instagram account for my new pet cheetah, Rita. She's a cool cat who likes to go on all kinds of adventures, and posts photos about her interesting encounters. Who knows, someday she may travel the world and save it from the evil villains who are trying to take over, or possibly aliens. Who knows? The lava monsters in Kona might need a good solid Cheetah fight!

Today was a day of footprints in the sand! We are discussing foresters and tracks that animals leave, in continuation with our forest theme, so of course we did the whole "painting with our animals". Who doesn't do that? I also made a book with the ABCs of different animal tracks (A is for Armadillo tracks, B is for Bobcat...etc) which is in their writing center.

Speaking of writing, I finished creating the writing packets today. They are in their infancy still, so I don't have them ready for viewing yet, but as soon as I am done I shall post them online for all to see!

Moving on.

We started our "human tracks" experiment with some wet sand. We all thought it was pretty plain, so of course we added some liquid watercolors to make it more beautiful! What started out as plain white sand (filler for a sensory table, of course) soon became a blast of colors!

And, because we've been talking about primary colors, and I'm not one to miss a golden (and red and blue) opportunity, I chose three specific colors.

Which we then, of course mixed. Rainbow sand! Can you guess what color it ended up as? Definitely not rainbow...

After making the sand and eating snack, we kicked off those old shoes and stepped in the sand to make our own tracks, seeing how our feet (and later our hands and our dinosaurs) made impressions in the sand. We talked about how a forester can use these tracks to determine what kind of animal made them (see how the shape of the footprint matches your foot?) and also can follow them to the animal and see where it has been. Afterward, we of course documented our experiences by drawing our footprints and tracing our hands and feet.

I got several good questions: what kind of tracks does a dragon make? How about a snake? We discussed what these would look like, and used our beaver as an example for some--he has a low tail which drags in the sand.

To finish, here is a bit of a conversation from yesterday while on the playground.

"I am a tiger!" -Monkey
"I am a dragon! ROOOOAR!" -Bean
"I'm a TUBA!" -Shoes

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