Well, it seems that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow! We have had a lot of fun this week learning about groundhogs and shadows. So far, my friends and I have sung songs, played games and made these cute little groundhog headbands!
Usually when we make headbands, my kids want to wear them all day, so I wanted a real quick little project they could do upon arrival. Our skill focus was cutting practice, so students were given construction paper with circles already drawn on them. Typically, I would ask the students to trace lids from our math center to form their own circles, but due to time constraints, we took care of that for them. I think they turned out nicely, even if a few of them kind of remind me of a Jim Henson "Muppet"! The kids had fun and wore them all day, even asking if they could wear them at naptime.
I keep a bucket in my art center labeled "Make a Puppet". I keep all the materials students may need to make puppets of all sorts. Many have visited this center to make groundhog paper bag puppets, as well.One of our small group activities is to make shadow puppets on the wall, using our puppet theater and a small desk lamp. The kids invented their own game called "Guess My Animal". Yesterday we played "shadow tag" outside, but sadly, it was rainy today so we didn't get to play again today.
One of the games we played with our polar unit was the “Hibernation Rhyme Game”. Children pretend to sleep while the teacher says a pair of words. If rhyming words are said, students “wake up” and come out of hibernation.We have played it this week pretending we were groundhogs popping out of his burrow. They have asked to play it over and over again, so I know they really enjoy it!
Phil may be going back to sleep for another 6 weeks, but we will continue the groundhog fun for a few more days, even as we begin our dental health unit. Inevitably, my little friends are reluctant to let go of a good theme. They still ask for a reprise of activities we've done with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas----yesterday they requested to do a movement activity we did for Columbus Day! Oh well, at least they are excited about learning!
I have been teaching early childhood for about 20 years. I love what I do---it's the best job in the world!!! Where else can you go to work each day and do art, play games, have snack and get hugs regularly AND get paid for it?! I love to share ideas with other teachers and see what they are doing in their classrooms. Teaching is the best profession---we love to share!