Thursday, September 29, 2011

Transformation in the Library

Just over a week ago a group of Kindergartners made an exciting discovery: a Monarch caterpillar had somehow managed to form a chrysalis under our "mushroom" table.

It was an incredible sight.  "How did it get there?," was the most frequent question.   We can only guess that as a caterpillar it found its way out of the netting, down the table leg, crawled across the great divide of the carpet until it found a place that is peaceful and tranquil: our mushroom table in the garden area.  

It must have thought to itself, "Here's a perfect place to rest inside my chrysalis for awhile."  And so it rested...

On Thursday morning the chrysalis was black.  If you look carefully, you can see the wing pattern through the chrysalis shell:

The children were intrigued.

The resolution is not perfect, but the images are magical nonetheless!

This video clip is taken with a Flip camera and captures the entire emergence. It too is blurry, unfortunately:

And here she is, resting in our incubator net before being released:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taking Care of Our Books @ EES

It’s our fourth week back in session.  The children are thrilled to be back in the Learning Center looking for their favorite books, discovering our new ones, and simply enjoying spending time pouring over their selections.  

Currently we are in the midst of learning about book care.  This is a two week unit that includes the story, MR. WIGGLE’S BOOK by Paula Craig and Carol Thompson, a puppet show entitled “Don’t Monkey Around With Library Books,” and a visit from Dr. Bookster who diagnoses “medical” book symptoms.  Dr. Bookster consults with the students and together they arrive at a diagnosis for each book.  The students see examples of books with chewed corners, scribbles all over, ripped pages, torn off covers, and  wrinkled and/or stuck together pages.  Some of the students are convinced that I, myself, purposely did this to each book so I would have examples for my lesson, but I assure them I would never ever do that.  Each book is a true example of what can and does happen when they fall into the hands (or jaws) of baby brothers or siblings or pets, or seemingly innocent water bottles in backpacks.  

The goal of course, is to have all children learn to be responsible for the books that belong to all of us here at EES.  Ask your child what things they learned about taking good care of books.  You’ll be amazed at how much they know!