In the month of January, we focused on learning about volcanoes. We learned about the different parts of the volcano (magma, conduit, cone, etc.), about the difference between active, dormant, and extinct volcanoes, and about the scientists that help keep humans safe by studying volcanic activity. I was lucky enough to borrow a jar of ashes that my friend's grandmother collected from her yard after the Mount St. Helens eruption. The children were greatly intrigued by the ashes and often looked at the jar. We looked at before and after pictures of Mount St. Helens, the change was quite dramatic and made a great example. One work children used involved sorting various pictures into three categories, before, during, and after an eruption. Another work was designed to give a sense of where volcanoes are located and showed pictures of volcanoes from all over the world along with a map of the continents indicating where each volcano was. A number of children practiced handwriting while making their own book about volcanoes. In the Art area there was a fun volcano gluing work with which children would practice finger dexterity and strength by tearing paper (lava) and then gluing it to a volcano. Julianna's mother, Jenelle, offered a model volcano with which we emulated an eruption with the classic vinegar and baking soda mixture. The kids loved it!
In February we will be learning about birds, including their life cycle, what they eat, where they live, and how they get around. There will be a fun memory game with bird pictures, as well as nomenclature cards that children can use to practice visual discrimination and language skills. There will be materials in both the Practical Life and Art sections that will integrate birds. We will also be painting individual bird houses that the children will be able to bring home.