Chicks rule

Dear parents,

Our Monday began with the arrival of Farmer Chris and twelve baby chick eggs. He introduced us to the mama hen and daddy rooster, Jack and Jill. Everyone who wanted got a turn to pet them. The children asked a couple of questions: Do you have any cows on your farm? and Do the chickens sleep? The answer was the same to both questions. Farmer Chris tried like the dickens to get Jack to cock-a-doodle-do but to no avail. He asked us to cock-a-doodle-do to encourage Jack. The children replied loudly but still Jack only stared. We learned about the rooster's hackle feathers and spurs that he uses to protect Jill and the baby chicks when the fox comes around. We learned that many other animals live on the farm.

We read Out Of The Egg, a version of The Little Red Hen. We also read From Chick To Egg and saw illustrations of what goes on as the chick grows in the egg. We guessed whereabout our chicks were in the process based on what Farmer Chris told us. We learned that a chicken fetus, a fish fetus, and a human fetus all start out looking the same.

Wednesday we made a list of machines we know. We asked what makes the machines work? The children responded gas, motors, and electricity depending on the machine. We looked at a hammer and asked what makes this simple machine work? The children answered hands and people. After hammering a nail into a wooden 2 x 4, we asked the children if they thought they could pull it out. Everyone who answered yes (all but one), got to try. Then using our simple machine the lever, aka hammer, we pulled it out, demonstrating our definition of a simple machine: makes work easier.

We have been reading books about farm animals and baby animals all week while observing our resting, growing baby chick eggs. Yes, an incubator made it onto our list of machines.

We made a list of baby chick rules so we know how to handle them. 1. Sit criss-cross applesauce. 2. Be nice. (No hitting) 3. Quiet body. 4. Wash hands after. We asked someone in our class who has a new baby at home how she has to hold the baby, the rules were almost exactly the same. We talked about other animals that bite and scratch if not treated gently. A few children eagerly gave examples of dogs and cats at home that have bitten and scratched.

In the big room we have been building with big blocks, rolling on wheels, floating in the boat, climbing, playing with dress-ups, babies, and pretend food. The children are continuing practicing asking and waiting for turns. They are becoming more successful at both. We added more pretend food and two boxes of pretend tools. The children hammered, sawed, and screwed a big piece of wood on the stage. We read The Toolbox and talked about the difference between real tools and pretend tools.

We asked the children if they could pick up a teacher. Many responded with an enthusiastic, "Yes!" All who wanted to attempted and some wanted to try again still convinced they could. We then introduced another kind of lever and let the children try again. It turns out they could pick up a teacher!

Many continued playing with the big lever in the big room picking up each other. We used a big piece of wood and a small one from our blocks to make a sort of see saw. When one person realized it took three students to pick up a teacher on the lever he wondered if the same three students could pick up a teacher using their hands? Hmmm.

Have a restful weekend,