Monday’s class was celebrating the harvest of apples! Continuing on with our Fall theme, the children expanded upon what they learned about trees (what is food for them, how does the temperature/amount of day light affect the tree’s ability to “feed” it’s leaves, nuts and fruits). We again played the “tree” game, picking up the colored pieces of paper that represented the nutrients essential for the tree’s survival. This time the children were much more in tune with how much of each food source they picked up and if they would be a fruitful fall tree , a seed or perhaps a cactus, based upon what they picked up. We then used those pieces of paper to create apple tree pictures. tearing them smaller and gluing them onto a paper in the appropriate spots to create sun, dirt and rain. They children mixed red and green paint in order to paint the trunk and branches of their apple tree and used cotton balls and red paint to make apples.
1:1 work in the morning was apple tree math and apple fractions. I worked with each child to cut apples haves, discussing the appearance of the fraction (1/2) and pointing out how “1/2 plus 1/2 equals a whole or one.” The children cut the apple halves and placed them on the appropriate outline on their paper. They also identified numbers written on trees and used red paint to place the correct number of apples on each tree. There were dots written below each tree and many children had to count out the dots in order to help them identify the written number symbol. We then counted aloud as they dotted their apples accordingly.
Of course, we introduced the appearance and sound of letter. We described upper case D as a long line and a semi circle, while lower case d was a circle with a long line touching it’s right side. We then compared lower case b to d, noticing that they looked at each other, like looking in a mirror (they look like reflections of one another). We put our hands on our throats and in front of our mouths, making the sound of D and determining if it was loud or airy. Although we could feel air on our hands, we all agreed that it was mostly loudddddddd!
Finally, we cut up apples and made apple juice. We learned how to cut small apple slices with butter knives, holding one end of the apple slice and maintaining awareness of where our fingers where and the angle of the apple and the knife itself. We talked about why some parts of the apple slices were slightly brown, as their contact with the air caused oxidization of the surface of the apple. I asked the children if they thought that the juice might oxidize and turn brown, and they all thought that it would. One child at a time, they loaded their apples into the juice, pushed the plunger and watched the juice fill the pitcher. It is amazing what a small amount of juice is produced from a great deal of apples (what a good reminded that whole fruit is much better for us than juice)! Once everyone had a turn helping to make juice, we filled our cups, celebrated the harvest of apples and agreed that fresh juice is better than any other!