Heartworks Shelburne C June in Review

Meg and Kaylie
The children in class with Meg and Kaylie had so much fun exploring their senses in May and June. The highlight of the experience was when all of the friends had a chance to taste a real lemon. Their reactions were fun to watch and each facial expressions was captured for the “When Life Gives you Lemons” photo series. Also during these last few weeks the children have had a chance to explore outside in the grass, get their hands messy in the classroom with soil and explore light and shadow as the teachers made shadow puppets on the walls. Everything new is so exciting for the children in class with Meg and Kaylie, and it has been a delight watching how each child has approached new experiences.

Marina and Kristen
Exploration of light and shadows was also an exciting event for the children in class with Marina and Kristen. The children really enjoyed examining their shadows as the teachers moved the light making the shadows larger and smaller. There has been opportunities for the children to experiment with touch and sound as they used water and dry sponges to learn about hard and soft and played rhythm sticks outside on different objects such as the fence, the ground, plastic buckets and large rocks. It was quite a musical menagerie. 

Anne and Jacey
During the months of May and June touch, sight, sound, smell and taste were the topics of discussion in the class with Anne and Jacey. The children had a chance to experiment with their sense of smell and sense of taste as they explored scents such as spices and herbs and tasted lemons, pickles and maple syrup. The children shared their thoughts and the teachers graphed their reactions. The senses of touch and sound were also fun to learn about as they created textured art with rotating sander sandpaper and made musical instruments such as kazoos and rainsticks. We are driven by our senses and helping the children explore them in different ways has been a wonderfully fun experience.

Liz and Amanda
Science is Fun has been the theme in the classroom with Liz and Amanda and a lot of fun has definitely been had. Each morning the children have been welcomed to explore varying items in the sensory table and have enjoyed finding new ways to manipulate materials depending on how the sensory bucket has changed. Throughout the month the children learned about gravity through drip painting, dabbled in food science with taste testing and explored color mixing with primary color paints and plastic baggies. It has been so exciting watching the children become scientists during this theme.

Nikki and Cara
The children in class with Nikki and Cara have been boating, flying, driving and conducting as they have been learning about transportation. Each day has been full of imagination as the children transform  lines of chairs into trains and planes and travel around the world to far off places, even the moon! Some of the highlights of this theme have been driving trucks through paint and creating tire tracks, pretending to drive around the room in the school bus tent and using large trucks to drive on and make popping sounds on bubble wrap. Children are drawn to car and trucks and construction vehicles and this has been a wonderful theme to end the school year with.


 

Heartworks Stowe April in Review

Our theme during the month of April was “Creative Arts.” Children in Britta and Annabelle’s class learned all about  different book illustrators. Dark paper and oil pastels were used to create a mural inspired by Phoebe Stone’s When The Wind Bears Go Dancing. The class painted patterns on paper that were later cut up and reassembled to create collage animals in the style of Eric Carle. Each student also made an individual book all about themselves as well as a collaborative book all about feelings created by the whole class, discussing our feelings that were inspired by Leo Lionni.

Friends in Megan and Amanda’s class learned about a variety of Famous Artists and art styles. The children explored collage with different shapes and arranged them to create different images in the style of Picasso, and used watercolors after examining the work of Monet. The children created pencil self portraits, and we went into depth about different features and their placement and discussed paintings created by Rembrandt. We also used air dry clay and each friend sculpted masterpieces after looking at the works of Michelangelo. We all enjoyed delving into so many different art mediums.

May’s Overall Theme is People Homes and Animal Homes; the upstairs classroom will focus on the Life in the Rainforest and the downstairs classroom will explore Life in the Mountains.

Heartworks Shelburne C April in Review

Meg and Kaylie
April was the month of movement milestones in the classroom with Meg and Kaylie. All of the children have found ways to explore the classroom as they have progressed from rolling and scooting to full crawling and walking! It is such an amazing experience sharing these developments with the children and watching their independence grow. It is hard to believe that these wonderful friends came to us barely knowing how to sit and only exploring on their tummies for just a few minutes at a time. They have grown so much and have captured all of our hearts. During the Spring and Gardening theme Meg and Kaylie created a flower growth chart and measured how tall the children have become. They have all enjoyed having more opportunities to go outside and are looking forward to the warmth that spring will bring.

Marina and Kristen
During the month of April, the children with Marina and Kristen began their exploration of the Spring and Gardening theme examining soil and seeds as they planted grass in small cups. 
They “tiptoed” through the tulips as the teachers painted their feet to create footprint flowers, used orange and yellow tissue paper to decorate a contact paper sun, went for walks outside to search for signs of spring and painted colored construction paper that was folded in half to reveal colorful butterflies. Another fun milestone reached in April by the children in class with Marina and Kristen was moving out of the cribs and onto mats for nap time! It is so sweet to walk into the classroom and see all of the children snuggled up on their mats, sleeping peacefully. It is quite the reminder of how much they have all grown since the beginning of the year.

Anne and Jacey
Spring was also welcomed warmly in the class with Anne and Jacey. The room is blooming with plant life as the small seeds and beans the children have planted continue to grow and thrive with the children’s loving and attentive care. Everyone has shared in the responsibility of caring for the plants and making sure they have enough light and water to continue to grow. These activities foster a wonderful independence and respect and care for the natural world around us. The dramatic play area was transformed into a fruit and vegetable stand where the children used their imaginations as they sold to one another their harvested crops, pretended to make vegetable soups and presented teachers with bouquets of flowers. The children have really enjoyed taking what they have learned in the classroom and translating that information into their explorations outside as they have searched for and discovered signs of spring. 

Liz and Amanda
Rhyming and Poems was the theme for the children in the class with Liz and Amanda. They explored rhyming stories, songs and words focusing on a few well known poems as well as introducing new ones. The children engaged in many fun activities surrounding each poem they learned and explored social interactions through cooperative games, learning blocks and explore times. The children have all been working on developing their verbal communication with one another and the words, sounds and feelings expressed in poems help to encourage vocabulary development. Hands on activities were another big focus during the month of April and the children were welcomed to explore in a sensory bin that held different items every few days. One of the children’s favorite activities was the rain and wind process art which was created by using straws to blow around blue paint on paper. The children had a lot of fun being wind, inspired by the weather and rainy day poems such as “Dripsy Dropsy” and “Rain, Rain, Go Away”.


Nikki and Cara
The days with Nikki and Cara were full of Nursery Rhymes during the “Stories from Around the World” theme. The children revisited many well known nursery rhymes and acted some out while creating art and baking goodies inspired by others. The walls of the classroom were covered with itsy bitsy spiders surrounding a waterspout, a clock teaming with little mice running up and down it, and painted sheep that were hiding from Bo Peep. The class also worked together measuring, pouring and stirring to bake muffins just like the muffin man and kindly shared them with all of the teachers at school. Nursery rhymes are so much fun and the children always express delight when a poem or rhyme they recognize from home is introduced.  Spring quickly found its way into the daily rhythm as the children planted lavender seeds and hiked through the forest discovering the growth of new plants and leaves. Everyone in the class is looking forward to Outdoor Exploration and sharing with the children the different ways we can take care of the world around us.
 

Heartworks Shelburne April in Review

April’s Theme: “Stories Around the World”

The children taught by Sherri and Sandra really enjoyed the Nursery Rhymes theme this month. The classroom was full of song, rhyme and movement. The children jumped over “candle sticks” while learning Jack Be Nimble, fingerprint painted sheep and tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together again!  They celebrated their hard work this month by learning the Nursery Rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie” and had a special pajama day together! 

The children taught by Kaylah and Hunter and Danielle explored the magical world of Fairy Tales this month. They went on hikes in the woods to find Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The children made porridge and shared it together for snack. It was so sweet to see the children play kings and queens as they read through the story and put on the Rapunzel play.  They also truly enjoyed dancing and singing together. 

The children taught by Hilary and Haley learned all about Native American stories this month. The children heard many tales about Native American life and traditions. They carefully constructed their own Tipi, made their own Native American drums and even crafted dream catchers.  It was wonderful to see how proud the children were of their creations and excited to bring their dream catchers home to hang by their beds. 

The classes taught by Amber and Angela studied Greek Mythology this month. It was a month filled with stories, dramatic play and amazing artwork. The children got a sense of what it was like to live like a Greek by tasting traditional foods, wearing togas and even participating in the Greek Olympics! 

Heartworks Shelburne STEAM

STEAM
    What a month full of amazing STEAM creations, experimentation and predictions. The classes taught by Haley, Danielle, Amber and Angela have been hard at work.  On Science Mondays, the children used their observation skills and magnifying glasses to look at different animal footprints and dissect and complete a dandelion discovery experiment. Gears! Gears! Gears!  On Technology Tuesday the focus was gears!   The children discussed why gears are important, how they work, and went on a gear hunt to identify all the objects that might use gears to work.  On Engineering Wednesdays the children studied Greek architecture and built a large reflection of the Parthenon.  On Art Thursdays the children have been learning about Michelangelo.  The teachers put large butcher paper on the underside of the classroom tables and the children laid on their backs pretending to paint the Sistine chapel just like Michelangelo.  To end the month of April the child put on a puppet show in the big room for each other.  Each class acted out a different book using puppets.  It was so wonderful to see the children so supportive of their peers!

Heartworks Shelburne B Closing Ceremonies

Closing Ceremonies
At Heartworks we have established a tradition to conclude our school year with a ceremony for the children in our older classes.  The ceremony includes a performance of songs that the children have been working on with Joanna followed by a presentation of a certificate for each child.  It is a wonderful way to mark the end our year together.  The closing ceremonies will held in the “Big Room” in Heartworks Shelburne.  School will close at 4:30pm this day to accommodate the ceremonies.  The ceremony times are as follows:

Ceremony at Heartworks Shelburne Big Room
Hilary - 4:30
Angela- 5:00
Danielle- 5:30
Haley- 6:00
Amber - 6:30

We look forward to seeing you there, as this is a cherished occasion for the Heartworks community.

In preparation for the Closing Ceremonies, Joanna will be conducting rehearsals at school.  The dates and times of each of the rehearsals are listed below.  If it is not your child’s day to come to school, we encourage you to bring them to school for these rehearsals so they can feel more confident with the rhythm of the ceremony.  Please arrive 5 minutes before the allotted rehearsal time and we ask that you remain on site for duration of the rehearsal.  Thank you for your participation and support.

Rehearsals:  Friday, May 19th and Thursday, June 1st
Danielle- 9:15-9:45
Haley– 9:45-10:15
Hilary– 10:15-10:45
Amber - 10:45-11:15
Angela – 11:15-11:40

Heartworks Williston Closing Ceremonies

Closing Ceremonies Williston
At Heartworks we have established a tradition to conclude our school year with a ceremony for the children in our older classes.  The ceremony includes a performance of songs that the children have been working on with Joanna followed by a presentation of a certificate for each child.  It is a wonderful way to mark the end of our year together.  The closing ceremonies will be at Heartworks Williston in the “Big Room” on Friday, June 2nd.  School will close at 3:30pm this day to accommodate the ceremony. The ceremony times are as follows:
Georgia- 4:00
Amy- 4:30
Cassie- 5:00
Maria- 5:30
Leah- 6:00
Caila- 6:30

We look forward to seeing you there, as this is a cherished occasion for the Heartworks community.

In preparation for the Closing Ceremonies, Joanna will be conducting rehearsals at school.  The dates and times of each of the rehearsals are listed below.  If it is not your child’s day to come to school, we encourage you to bring them to school for these rehearsals so they can feel more confident with the rhythm of the ceremony.  Please arrive 5 minutes before the allotted rehearsal time and we ask that you remain on site for duration of the rehearsal.  Thank you for your participation and support.

Rehearsals:  Thursday, May 25h and Friday, June 2nd
Georgia – 9:05-9:30
Amy- 9:35-10:00
Maria – 10:05-10:30
Cassie– 10:35-11:00
Leah – 11:05-11:30
Caila – 11:35-12:00 

Heartworks Burlington Closing Ceremonies

Closing Ceremonies
At Heartworks we have established a tradition to conclude our school year with a ceremony for the children in our older classes.  The ceremony includes a performance of songs that the children have been working on with Joanna followed by a presentation of a certificate for each child.  It is a wonderful way to mark the end of our year together.  The closing ceremonies will be at Contois Auditorium in City Hall, Burlington on Wednesday, May 31st.  School will close at 5:00pm this day. The ceremony times are as follows:

 5:00 The classes taught by Susan and Clara
 6:00 The classes taught by Dominique, Leah, and Loraleh

Please arrive with your child 10 minutes prior their designated class time. Your child’s teacher will be greeting and directing you to the meeting area. The children should wear their “best dressed” clothes for this occasion.  We look forward to seeing you there, as this is a cherished occasion for the Heartworks community.

In preparation for the Closing Ceremonies, Joanna will be conducting rehearsals at school.  The dates and times of each of the rehearsals are listed below.  If it is not your child’s day to come to school, we encourage you to bring them to school for these rehearsals so they can feel more confident with the rhythm of the ceremony.  Please arrive 5 minutes before the allotted rehearsal time and we ask that you remain on site for duration of the rehearsal.  Thank you for your participation and support.

Rehearsals:  Friday, May 26th and Tuesday, May 30th in our school library. The rehearsals will take place at the following times. 
Susan: 8:45-9:15
Loraleh: 9:15-9:45
Clara: 9:45-10:15
Leah: 10:15-10:45
Dominique: 10:45-11:15

Afternoon STEAM Explorations in April at Heartworks Burlington

Afternoon STEAM Explorations in April: 

Science: 
*Creating homemade bubble solution and different types of wands
*Experimenting with Oil & Water
*Melting crayons to make larger crayons
*Observing clouds outside 

Technology: 
*Working with batteries
*Exploring sound with tubes
*Dissecting an old computer keyboard
*Learning how a photocopier works

Engineering:
*Designing structures out of popsicle sticks
*Making functional paper airplanes
*Drawing real blueprints
*Building paper and block bridges

Art:
*Rain painting with bubble wrap
*Oil crayon layering and scraping
*Printing with cardboard tubes
*Making homemade paper for Earth Day

Math:
*Recognizing shapes in the classroom
*Graphing letters in names
*Charting the weather forecast
*Playing a ladybug counting game

End of Year STEAM reflection: 

Teachers: “What did you like best about STEAM  this year?”

Children:
“I liked using the mixer to make pudding.”
“Writing my name and counting the letters to put on the graph.”
“I like learning things.”
“I like making whatever we want. I like those days.”
“Building bridges is really fun.”
“Engineering day!”
“Being artists.”
“You get to learn lots of new stuff.”
“I like learning outside.”
“I liked painting.”
“It is really fun.”
“Building with blocks is fun.”
“I liked making experiments.”
 
 

April Highlights from Heartworks Williston

April’s Theme: “Water”

The two-year-old class had a great time with their theme: “Water is Fun.”  They experimented with something new in the water table each day: bubbles, ice cubes, squirt bottles, and even bubble baths for the babies; what an exciting way to start each day!  They were introduced to the water cycle, painted with eye droppers and watery paint, painted clouds, and even created the H2O molecule out of beads!

The three-year-olds with Erica, Georgia and Amy learned about rivers and streams.  They learned about the characteristics of rivers and streams as well as the various animals and plant life that can be found in and around them.  Amy’s class set up a campsite next to their river, complete with a campfire to cook their food on!

Friends with Cassie focused their studies on oceans.  They learned where the oceans are in the world and the variety of creatures that live in the ocean.  They created a beautiful mural full of all the various creatures that they studied including fish, dolphins, sea turtles, scallops, and jelly fish.  They used beautiful specimen of shells to create art and necklaces.  

The Pre-Kindergarten classes taught by Maria, Leah and Caila studied lakes and ponds last month.  Each class made wonderful representations of the wildlife that live in and around ponds.  They also studied the water cycle and did activities which integrated the different phases of water.  They also discussed the impact of water pollution, which correlated nicely with Earth Day this month.  

STEAM

Science: 
Classes observed a tapped maple tree in our Magic Forest and kept track of the amount of sap that was in there over the course of time.  They conducted maple taste tests, sampling the various grades of syrup and also “real” versus “fake” syrup.  Children also learned about the animals that are waking up from hibernation.

Technology: 
Sugaring season in Vermont relies heavily on technology to harvest the sap and produce syrup, and the classes looked at taps, tubing and gathering tools needed for this process.  

Engineering:
Classes engineered sap buckets.  They were also challenged to make mountains out of cups - they realized that working together as a whole group would yield the largest mountain possible.  Children also constructed wind mills after discussing wind farms.

Art:
Children made mosaic maple leaves - even being challenged to use the shapes of the pattern blocks to fill the given area of a maple leaf outline.  They challenged their visualization skills by playing “Pass the Story.”  The children also designed their own maple syrup labels.

Math:
Classes were able to sequence the tapping process.  Children figured how many gallons of sap it would take to make one gallon of syrup. They worked on the one-to-one correspondence following the book, “Ten, Nine, Eight.”

Giant Map
Thank you to Janne Giles, grandmother of Aidan Giles who is in class with Caila, for bringing in a giant map of Vermont for each of our classes to explore.  The children took part in various activities on the map including following rivers or swimming in the lake!  What a special experience, thank you!

April Highlights from Heartworks Burlington

April Morning Classroom Highlights:

April was a wonderful month of experiments, discovering, and wondering as the children were immersed in the Science theme. 

The friends with Jen and Megan learned all about Transportation. The children had such fun learning all about the different modes of transportation on water, land, and in the air. The class enjoyed making a car ramp painting using cars, an inclined plane, and paint! The children also were fascinated putting together their balloon rocket and watching it fly across the room on the string. 

The children with Caitlin loved learning all about the Five Senses. The children performed many senses “tests” and had to guess identify various items by using their senses of smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch. The class made delicious banana bread and really enjoyed using their sense of taste! The children keenly used their sense of hearing and painted beautiful pictures while listening to music. 

The friends with Susan were weather watchers this month and carefully graphed the weather for each day in the month of April. The children learned about the impact of weather on plant growth and performed experiments of light and shade after planting seeds. They learned about the water cycle and loved learning a song with lots of great weather vocabulary! 

The children with Clara were also weather watchers and created an outstanding weather mural complete with the sun, clouds, raindrops, and rainbows. The children really enjoyed learning about wind and did many fascinating experiments to show the power of wind by blowing paint with straws to make a picture and having cottonball wind races. 

The friends with Leah set off to explore the Solar System! They made a beautiful solar system mural along with many different star constellations. Each child made their own rocketship out of recycled materials. The children could often be heard singing their planets and astronauts songs all month long. 

The children with Dominique made rockets and blasted off to learn more about our Solar System. The children each made a colorful planet and put them in order to create an impressive solar system mural. They explored the characteristics of gravity using ramps and pom poms. The children each made a stargazing telescope to observe the night sky. 

The friends taught by Loraleh really enjoyed learning all about the Solar System. Each child made a ‘Planet Book’ containing explicit characteristics of each planet and worked carefully writing the names of each. The class made a collaborative 3D beautiful moon phase mural. 

March Highlights from Heartworks Stowe

Spring is finally here! The children all have Spring fever and are enjoying playing outside and soaking up the sun. Some highlights of this past week have been having picnics in our outdoor classroom and doing Story by Heart on the playground as a whole school.

During the month of March, our school’s morning theme was Science.

Children in the downstairs class learned all about weather. The children were especially excited to take on the responsibility of being the weatherperson. They learned how to graph the weather on a weather chart. Children observed and documented the weather over the entire month. They were also introduced to the water cycle, made rain sticks, painted canvas clouds, created a weather mural, made tissue paper flowers, stained glass butterflies, and jumped in muddy puddles.

In the upstairs classroom children learned all about the Solar System. Children transformed the loft into a rocket ship, made a mural of all the planets, created their own space slime and even wrote space books. Rocks were collected and studied just like real astronauts which led to discussions about the kinds of journey rocks may have taken or what materials they might be made of. Planet movement was also introduced through yoga and dance as the children stretched and blasted off like rockets, and orbited like the planets around the sun.

For April the theme is Creative Arts.
Downstairs classroom will focus on Famous Artists.
Upstairs classroom has an author study and will focus on the works of Eric Carle.  
The children are all so engaged and eager to learn!

 

STEAM Afternoon Highlights

Science - Children have been fascinated in observing the river and how it changes as Spring begins.

Technology - The children enjoyed learning about water filtration and built our own water filters.

Engineering - The children built and tested ramps and angles to discover things that roll.

Art - The children made structures with straws and tubes and counted how many bears they could hold.

Math - On the first day of Spring, children created a recipe, gathered and measured ingredients for maple on snow.

March Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne C

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The classroom was decorated with tractor footprints, rainbow chains and silver lined clouds as Meg, Kaylie and the children welcomed the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and the Farm and Farm Animal theme during the month of March. All of the children seemed to have grown so much over February break and delighted in using their new skills at school. To begin the Farm and Farm Animals theme, some of the children participated in “clean” full body painting. They had the opportunity to move red paint around on a canvas cut into the shape of a barn. The canvas was covered in a clear shower curtain, so those friends who do not yet enjoy the sensory experience of paint on their hands and arms had a chance to participate and still see the paint moving around without getting messy. Throughout the month Meg and Kaylie read farm stories and sang farm songs as they modeled to the children the different sounds animals can make. The children will continue to explore new words and sounds as we move into the next theme. Look for the children to be “Sailing in Spring” during the month of April.


Class with Marina and Kristen

The children in class with Marina and Kristen had so much fun exploring farms and farm animals during the month of March. The classroom was full of the sounds of horses, cows, pigs and many other farm animals as the children experimented with making different noises and singing “Old MacDonald.” Some of the enrichment activities included using paint brushes, brown paint and pink pig shapes to make mud covered pigs, finger painting on bubble wrap with yellow finger paint to create textured ears of corn and using forks and yellow and brown paint to pretend to be chickens leaving footprints on white paper. All of the children had so much fun exploring different art media and textures involved in each project. Farms and animals are so beloved by all the children and March was such a fun month for everyone.

Class with Anne and Jacey

The children in class with Anne and Jacey really enjoyed hearing about the leprechauns and entering into and exploring their very messy classroom on Saint Patrick’s Day morning. They delighted in finding the animals wearing all of the inside shoes, had snack at the table in the circle area and drank delicious magical green water. It was such a wonderfully fun day for the children and teachers alike. Also during the month of March the class learned about Farms and Farm Animals and sugaring too! The children followed Anne outside to the courtyard and stood with Jacey, and they watched the tapping of a maple tree and learned all about sap, sap lines, and how maple syrup is made. Each week the classroom ventured outside to observe the sap bucket and collect the sugary liquid. Many enrichment activities involved the use of maple syrup as the children taste tested different grades, baked muffins with maple syrup and mixed together hidden veggie cookies with maple syrup. It was quite a delicious month.

Class with Liz and Amanda

Water Play was the focus for the children in the classroom with Liz and Amanda. Everyone had so much fun exploring the different ways that water moves, experimenting with items that sink and ones that float, and even painting with frozen water. Water is such an important part of everyday life and can be found in different forms all of which the children delight in experimenting with. Liz and Amanda brought warm soapy water into the classroom to bathe the babydolls and in contrast also brought in freshly fallen and very chilly snow for the children to dig, scoop and with which to build. Both activities brought a lot of smiles and laughter to the day. Another interesting activity involved the concept of absorption, as the children helped to pour tiny beads into a bin of water that then expanded into a fun water bead sensory experience. The visit from the leprechauns really helped to top off an enriching and magical month. 

Class with Nikki and Cara

During the month of March, the children with Nikki and Cara also explored water and learned about absorption, evaporation and where rain and snow comes from. They made rain clouds in water glasses and then used eye droppers to drip colored water through the clouds making it rain in the glass. Discussing the rainclouds invited a conversation about snow and then moved to experimentation with ice. The children observed ice as it melted and used their hands to manipulate the cubes to see if they were warm or cold and wet or dry. They were even able to see how the warmth of their hands contributed to the speed of how the ice melted. The celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day also involved water experiments and color mixing to create a water walking rainbow. The friends worked together to fill three jars with the primary red, yellow and blue water colors and lined them up with regular uncolored water jars. Paper towels were placed connecting each of the jars and after several days the water began to climb the paper towels and mix together creating a beautiful line of rainbow colored jars that the leprechauns had a lot of fun mixing up!


 

March Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
We had a wonderful time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as a school community! What a treat it was to have so many families join us to see the mischief those silly leprechauns had caused. The children are always shocked and excited to see what they do in our school late at night. They even turned our water in the snack pitcher green! It really was a wonderful day!

Classroom Morning Theme News from March
The children taught by Sherri and Sandra really took advantage of their Water is Fun theme this month. They created some amazing art work painting with watercolors and ice paint! The children had a water drop race on wax paper using eye droppers. It was amazing to see the control they had while using the eye droppers. The children were scientists while performing a sink or float experiment as a class and even made their own predictions!

The wonderful children taught by Kaylah, Hunter, and Danielle dove into learning about Rivers and Streams this month. They went on many hikes through our woods searching for rivers and streams. The children created their own river murals which they added plant and animal life to each day. The friend’s in Kaylah and Hunter’s class learned about beavers and created their own adorable beavers out of paper plates. The children taught by Danielle painted beautiful river fish using watercolors to add to their classroom mural. 

The children taught by Hilary and Haley explored the depths of the Ocean! This month they created a wonderful mural of the plant and animal life that make the ocean such an amazing place. They conducted a number of experiments testing if salt water would freeze and played sink or float. The class enjoyed pretending to be baby sea turtles who had just hatched out of their eggs. It was so sweet seeing them move so carefully around the classroom together. 

The friends taught by Angela and Amber were focused on Lakes and Ponds this month. The classes each created beautiful murals that displayed plant and animal life they were learning about daily. A big focus for the children was the life cycle of a frog. The children created amazing models of frogs in each of their stages of life.  They also made adorable cat tails, and  really enjoyed playing Lake and Pond animal charades having the chance to act out an animal and guess which animals they are pretending to be. 

Afternoon STEAM Highlights from March:  
The children taught by Haley, Danielle, Amber and Angela have been hard at work in the afternoons.  The teachers have spent the month focusing on projects and experiments that have the children working collaboratively.  Our afternoon STEAM program has been filled with hands-on learning investigations in each of the five different curricular areas.  

A highlight from Science Monday was making large bubble wands in small groups and testing to see which design of bubble wand would create the largest bubbles. The children loved making a prediction chart, drawing out their designs, creating the wand, and finishing the experiment with testing to see which design would work to make giant bubbles.  

On Tuesdays for Technology, the children  have been working in teams to come up with their own machines made out of recycled materials. This project began with a discussion where the children brainstormed what they wanted to make.  They finished the day with  creating large robots using many different tools. The children have also explored a variety of tools including a magnifying glass and most recently the  ruler.  

On Wednesdays, the classes have  been busy engineering and working as part of a team to build bridges. During this particular activity the children were put into groups of three. They were able to  work collaboratively with their peers to build strong and sturdy bridges. Once completing their bridge, the children then enjoyed acting out the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, using the bridges they had built and the three pretend goats in the classroom. 

On Thursday’s the STEAM classes have enjoyed putting on puppet shows, cooking, and making art projects through wonderful art exploration. On Fridays, the children have seemed to really enjoy the fun and interactive math games that we’ve been playing together. These games have encouraged the children to practice taking turns as well a variety of important math skills.  It was such a wonderful month working as a team! 


 

March Highlights from Heartworks Williston

March was a special time of learning as the themes were “Teacher Choice” this month.

The children taught by Sarah and Amy had a classroom full of feathered friends!  They brought the theme of Birds to life by welcoming some special guests, a pair of parakeets named Sunshine and Ray.  Thank you to Leah for bringing them in to visit the children, it was thrilling! The children also created wonderful bird feeders and set them up outside with window; with a field guide near the window to help identify any visitors.  The class built a life-sized nest, which was a favorite place to play.  There were many creative art projects and songs to help highlight the featured flying creatures.  

The children with Erica learned all about Construction in March.  They learned about blueprints and how to design structures before construction begins.  They learned about the tools and vehicles and special safety equipment that are used.  They built several different kinds of structures throughout the month with multiple kinds of materials.  Certainly the highlight of the month was when Anna’s parents Jacquie and Nate Dagesse brought in an excavator for the children to explore, climb aboard and were able watch a demonstration right up close!  Not even the rain could keep them away from that experience.  

Going and Growing Green was the theme for the friends taught by Georgia last month.  They learned about taking care of our environment by delving deeper into recycling and composting, and they talked about it impacts living things on the Earth.  They discussed what plants need in order to grow and how to support their needs.  

The friends with Amy engaged in Light and Color Exploration.  They discussed the different types of light including natural light such as fire and sunlight versus light crafted by humans like flashlights and electricity.  They made a shadow puppet theater and explored light refraction which is what makes colors.   

Cassie and her friends studied “Life on the Farm” during the month of March.  They explored animals that live on farms and went beyond to discover the process of raising crops.  They discussed the importance of farms in our everyday life.  It was such a nice unit that raised the children’s awareness and appreciation for where our food comes from. 

Maria took the children on an excursion to Egypt.  They learned a lot about the climate and culture of this African country.  They were completely engaged in building pyramids out of various materials, and they enthusiastically explored hieroglyphics.  They also learned about King Tut!  The children were able to compare Egypt to the other cultures that they have learned about already this year.  For the children, the world is becoming ever smaller with each new nation that they visit.  They are learning that various ways of life are acceptable and exciting!   

Leah led students on an exploration of Dinosaurs and Paleontology.  They were introduced to the concept of paleontology discovering fossils and learning about dinosaurs.  The children made their own fossils and dug for dinosaurs in the sand table.  They learned about specific dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Pteranodon, and the Brachiosaurus.  They learned where on earth they lived, what they ate and how big they were.  There were wonderful opportunities to measure.  It took the whole hallway to measure the size of the Brachiosaurus, and they estimated and found out how many of their shoes could fit inside a Tyrannosaurus Rex footprint!

The friends with Caila ventured north to Canada this month.  They learned about the culture and geography of the large country.  From the language, provinces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the igloos up north - there was a lot to learn!  The children connected their studies to their former lessons about Kenya, so they were able to compare similarities and differences between the two nations.  How wonderful to learn to appreciate different cultures; becoming familiar with various regions cultivates a sense of acceptance and respect.  

STEAM

Science: 
Children discovered the wonder of oxidation as they doused pennies in vinegar and observed how they turned green over time.  They learned that this is how the Statue of Liberty got to be the color that she is today. Students planted bean seeds in clear cups and have been documenting their observations in their plant journals.  One class was visited by Farmer Corey from Shelburne Farms who “planted” grass seed on paper towels with the children.  Some children conducted magical color chemical reactions which were enthralling!

Technology:
Children used flashlights to change the size and shape of shadows, they created static electricity and connected it to how this energy can be channeled.  Students learned about the different tools used in planting and cultivating plants.  One class even went further in how to enjoy the harvest that comes from some plants, by using a popcorn machine to pop dried corn kernels!

Engineering:
Some children engineered flowers this past month, labeling all the parts and identifying their function in helping to support the structure.  Children also engineered volcanoes this month.  One Wednesday paper triangles were placed before the children and they were challenged to use them as the building material to engineer a structure as tall as possible.  

Art:
Colorful “stained glass” window decorations were created to celebrate the beauty of all the colors.  Children also used water colors to paint and then sprinkled kosher salt on top to watch the effect the salt had on the pigment.  There was open-ended art exploration with various materials and “carte blanche” to design a masterpiece.  The life cycle of a butterfly was dramatically represented as well this month.

Math:
Given an egg carton and a wooden cylinder block, children were asked to create a balance scale. Once they experimented with different ways to carry out the challenge, and succeeded at designing a functional scale, the children used it to measure and compare the weight of various objects.  While baking Blueberry Cobbler, a class used the measuring cups to explore fractions.  They determined that 4/4=1; exciting discoveries!


St. Patrick’s Day

What fun was had on St. Patrick’s Day when we arrived at school to discover the mischief that the leprechauns had left in their wake!  The classes were prepared for their visit, making traps in hopes to catch one to see one in person, and to no avail; no one was able to secure a leprechaun, they are too tricky!  We look forward to trying again next year!

March Highlights from Heartworks Burlington

March Morning Classroom Highlights: 

The children with Jen and Megan had so much fun listening to many classic and sweet Nursery Rhymes. The class has listened to Humpty Dumpty and made a classroom brick wall with many Humpty Dumpty Eggs cracked and put back together again. The children acted out the rhyme Jack Be Nimble and each child was able to jump over the candlestick. After reading, Little Miss Muffet, the children made homemade curds and whey (oatmeal) to enjoy.

Friends taught by Caitlin enjoyed the world of Fairy Tales. After reading, The Three Little Bears, the children helped to make delicious porridge and carefully tested the temperature. The class germinated many magic beans after reading Jack and the Beanstalk, and built their own houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks after reading Little Red Riding Hood. 

Children with Susan learned all about Native American Stories and Native American culture. The children made an impressive class Totem Pole and eagle statue to sit on top for their guardian spirit. The class created paintings using feathers and each child made their own unique teepee out of paper bags.  

Friends taught by Clara also enjoyed the fascinating world of Native American stories. The children made stunning dream catchers, using a weaving and beading method. The class learned about the importance of the dugout canoe and each child constructed their own canoe using various recycled materials. The children also made beautiful watercolors inspired by the natural world as described in many of our original people’s tales. The children with both Susan and Clara came together to discover the importance of corn and the many ways it is cooked. Both classes also enjoyed spending time in their classroom Teepee where they prepared cooking ‘fires’ and listened for howling coyotes.

The friends with Dominique, Leah, and Loraleh all delved into the world of Greek Mythology and came all together a few times to listen to a few Myths: 

Children with Leah enjoyed learning all about the Greek Olympics and having a classroom Olympic competition. Inspired by the many myths, each child did very well making up their own unique mythological creature. The class also constructed a beautiful mural of Mt. Olympus. They did very well acting out the myth about Pandora’s Box.

Friends taught by Loraleh enjoyed learning about the ancient traditional clothing of the gods and goddesses. They spent a lot of time wearing various styles of togas and vine headpieces. The class worked together to construct a highly impressive structure of the Parthenon using the classroom blocks. The children made beautiful Greek Vases using an elaborate multi step process. 

Children with Dominique enjoyed learning about the greek god, Arachne, and spent a lot of time weaving individual webs just like Arachne. The class was happy to receive gold medals after participating in the class olympics. They learned all about Greek food and enjoyed a delicious Greek feast complete with feta, olives, honey, pita, and yogurt. 

Afternoon STEAM March Highlights:
The children in our afternoon STEAM program are enjoying their exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The children are engaged in group projects, experimenting, predicting, taking things apart, building, communicating, exploring, wondering, observing, and solving problems. 

Science: The children enjoyed getting outside to observe signs of spring with magnifying glasses then drawing their observations, conducting various snowball melting experiments, investigating water and colored oil properties, rehydrating oobleck, and carrying out various wind experiments. 

Technology: The children brainstormed how lemonade is made and appreciated the work of an electric juicer as they mixed ingredients to make lemonade, learned the function of and constructed binoculars using recycled materials, made a functioning screw using a paper towel tube and paper plate spiral, explored the workings of a flashlight, and experimented with dry and wet sponges.

Engineering: The children designed 3D structures using folded paper triangles, created a classroom roadmap using tape, constructed catapults, and learned about gravity while putting together an indoor plumbing set up. 

Art: The children created wildly unique animal masks, experimented with painting using yarn, made shamrocks with handprints, and painted in the snow.

Math: The children practiced their counting and number recognition skills while playing dice bingo, designed flowers and symmetrical butterflies with pattern blocks, found and gathered different shapes around the school, and counted lucky coins. 

February Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Our monthly theme was “Creative Arts” and each classroom was filled with music, art and literacy. The children played instruments, learned about famous artists and explored amazing authors. It was a very inspiring month! We look forward to exploring, creating and growth in the month ahead. We had a great Valentine’s Celebration! Each of the classrooms enjoyed passing out their valentine cards to their friends and teachers. It was such a pleasure to have so many families join us to help celebrate. 

Special Guests:
 During the Creative Arts theme last month, Kaylee and Trevor Contois came in and conducted a special music class for the children.  They played guitars, created a band, and sang and danced with the children. The most special part was the children had an opportunity to request their favorite songs for an all school sing along! This performance was a very special treat for all the children.  

Morning Classroom Themes in February
Children with Sherri and Sandra explored many instruments this month during their Musical Instruments theme. The children loved learning about new instruments and even getting to play them together! They made their own drums, painted with bells attached to paintbrushes and even had a parade! The highlight of the month was when the children each brought in their own instruments from home to share with their friends. 

Children taught by Danielle, Kaylah and Hunter dove into their Famous Artists theme. Both classes learned about many artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. The children explored many different art mediums such as pencil drawings, oil pastels, painting on canvas and watercolors. They recreated many famous painting such as Van Gogh's iconic ‘Sunflowers’ and made their own Pablo Picasso inspired self portraits! The children also studied abstract art and  created a beautiful Kandinsky mural for the art wall. 

Friends in class with Haley and Hilary explored Famous Musicians. The classrooms were filled with music!  They covered a wide variety of musical genres including: Jazz, Classical, Reggae, and World/Multicultural.  The circle discussions included different Genres of music, what it means to be a Famous Musician, and questions such as: Do you listen to music at home? Why do people listen to music? How does it make you feel? The children enjoyed water coloring musical notes, painting musical instruments, and of course listening to the many different genres of music.  

This month each of the Pre-kindergarten classes focused on a different Author Study. The children continued to grow their concepts of print though reading and exploring many great books. Children with Angela made their own butter to put on pancakes they had cooked in honor of Eric Carle’s Pancakes Pancakes. Friends with  Amber class studied Dr. Seuss and his whimsical stories.  Amber finished the study with a week long spirit week which was such fun for all the children. 

Afternoon STEAM Program
Children in the afternoon program with Amber, Angela, Haley, and Danielle have had  another wonderful month with the hands-on learning that takes place during our wonderful afternoon STEAM program.  

Science - we experimented with snow and melting ice with salt, dropping vinegar onto baking soda, and color mixing with eye droppers and observing the melting rate.  

Technology and Tools - we explored shovels and talked about how it is an important tool that helps us (especially on snowy winter days!).  The children also worked on their fine motor skills and used pencils to write after a discussion about graphite.  

Engineering - has allowed us to plan and build many different structures such as: bridges, playgrounds, castles, and more. The children  used paper and chairs to build bridges; they used toothpicks and clay to create unique three dimensional structures; they built towers with plastic cups, made marble mazes, designed gardens and houses.  We read The Three Little Pigs and built houses with straws, sticks and Legos then tried to blow them down. 

Art - the children used instruments and learned about an orchestra; we played freeze dance games to various types of music, created collages with magazines and shapes, painted with watercolors, made different scented playdough, made winter hats with fabric and paper, made winter tree paintings, and we learned about Henri Matisse and made cut out collages.  

Math - the children practiced various ways of counting including counting on and counting backwards! We also continued to play one of our favorite games, “I Have, Who Has.” A game that exercises the children’s critical thinking, counting, and color/shape recognition skills. The children also went on a wonderful shape hunt around the school.                
                    
 

Heartworks Stowe Studies Cultures

Our monthly theme during the month of February was “Cultures.” Both classrooms were extremely excited to use their imagination to build an airplane and fly to another country! The upstairs classroom learned about Kenya. Children were very engaged in making flags and discovering safari animals.

The downstairs classroom learned about Mexico. Highlights include paper weaving art, making sombreros, sunset and cactus still life paintings, Mexican dancing and movement, and the fascination over lizards.

This month the overall theme is Science. The upstairs class will learn about the Solar System, and the downstairs class will focus on Weather. 

STEAM Highlights

Science - We experimented with snow and melting ice. Children observed and documented the changes in the river on the Stowe bike path over a week time period. It was amazing to see the reactions amongst the children. 

Technology - We explored shovels and learned how it is an important tool to move snow around. Children extended this by building snow plow trucks and literally helped us clear out 2 feet of snow on our playground!

Engineering - Children have been busy constructing homes out of toilet paper rolls and straws, discovering ways on how to make a stable and strong base and roof.

Art - Children have been very curious to see the cause and effect of rolling marbles into paint throughout the process of Marble Art!

Math - Children learned about the process of changing a solid to a liquid through making wax crayons. Everyone collected hollow sticks that they were able to bring back into the classroom. They were eager to save their sticks to use to make crayons with. Children took their time to carefully grate crayons. Next they melted the crayons and then poured them into their hollow sticks. What a fabulous project this was!
 

February at Heartworks Shelburne

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The children in class with Meg and Kaylie had so much fun engaging in the Musical Instruments theme last month. The room was filled with all different types of music from classical instrumentals to early childhood favorites, and the children loved moving and dancing to them all. Some of the favorite additions to the classroom in February were the ukulele and the large bass drum. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sounds they could make and used different toys to bang on the drums and pianos. Music is such a wonderful teaching tool and one that Meg and Kaylie will continue to use throughout the year.  

Class with Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen started off the month exploring recycled materials and learning how to use items such as paper towel tubes, tissue boxes, and plastic containers in different ways. One of their favorite activities involved pom poms, paper towels tubes, and small containers. The children practiced feeding the pom poms through the paper towel tubes and experimented with the different tops and how to secure them onto the containers. They delighted in figuring out how to remove the tops, and it quickly became a game to see how many times they could get a teacher to help them put the tops back on. It is amazing how much joy they can find in the smallest of things.

Class with Anne and Jacey

So many wonderful things have been happening in the class with Anne and Jacey. February was focused on all things construction and the children really enjoyed this creative and imaginative theme. The used recycled cardboard blocks to build towers and bridges and explored different ways to make these constructions fall safely in the classroom. The construction theme even spilled over into the Valentine’s Day celebration as the children worked on painting tissue boxes to look like construction vehicles that were then used as mailboxes for their friends to deliver cards and treats to. This is one of the children’s favorite themes and they always have so much fun pretending to be construction workers and construction vehicles.

Class with Liz and Amanda

The friends with Liz and Amanda spent the month of February exploring the arts of Dance, Drama and Movement! It is so important for young children to move their bodies freely and part of this theme is helping them to learn how to do so safely when other friends are around. Liz and Amanda engaged in movement activities such as “freeze dance” and “follow the dancer” that modeled following one and two-step directions and how to move in both large and small spaces. To incorporate drama into the day the teachers made a “bed” out of blankets and pillows and the children all pretended to be monkeys jumping to the song “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” The children continued to explore yoga as an activity and learned a few more poses such as cobra, shark and rainbow.

Class with Nikki and Cara

Continuing the theme of music, the friends with Nikki and Cara focused on Musical Instruments including, brass percussion and strings. One of their favorite activities was listening to different music and trying to figure which instruments were making each of the different sounds. They paraded around the room with homemade shakers, danced fast and slow to different types of music and used their fingerprints to make notes along their own staff. In addition to Musical Instruments, the children celebrated Valentine’s day and heard stories about love and caring and practiced doing kind things for one another and the school as a whole. It is so wonderful to see the children helping one another and sharing their love and kindness so openly.

February at a Glance - Heartworks Burlington

Morning Classroom Highlights:

February was a wonderful month of learning, discovering, and imagining as the children were immersed in the theme: Animal and People Homes. 
 
Children with Jen and Megan had so much fun learning about the forest habitat. They went on a forest animal search all around the school, hung upside down like bats, created raccoon masks, and played a very entertaining hibernation game. The children also enjoyed sharing what they know about aardvarks and anteaters with the Pre-kindergarten children taught by Dominique. 

Friends with Caitlin discovered the hot deserts of the world. The children studied all about the fascinating saguaro cactus and it’s resident, the Elf Owl. The children planted their very own classroom cactus and got the opportunity to meet a desert tortoise. The class also presented their impressive facts about the rattlesnake to the Pre-kindergarten children taught by Leah.

Friends taught by Susan climbed mountains to learn about the habitat in higher elevations. They identified mountain animal tracks, created incredible rock cairns, and spent a lot of time studying all about the different bears living in the mountain regions. The class really enjoyed making mountain granola with friends in class with Clara.  

Children with Clara also learned about life in the mountains. The class constructed a beautiful mountain mural complete with pine trees and a snowy summit. The children took a “camping” trip in the mountains and “hiked” all around the school spotting different mountain animals along the way. Their mountain granola was a perfect treat to share with friends taught by Susan. 
 
Children taught by Loraleh took a trip to the rainforest to explore this incredible habitat. The children each chose a rainforest animal to research. They found interesting facts on each animal and made beautiful and detailed masks of their chosen animal. As a culminating event, each child presented their animal’s facts and modeled their animal masks to the whole school during an all school assembly. 

Friends in class with Leah explored the rainforest habitat and brought to life the beautiful tale of the Great Kapok Tree. The class also made delicious rainforest cookies using ingredients soley found in the rainforest. The children really liked learning about monkeys and created many mischievous monkeys to ‘hang around’ in their classroom. The children were very proud to present facts and information about the emerald tree boa to the children taught by Caitlin.
 
Children with Dominique also ventured to the rainforest. The children learned a fantastic song all about the layers of the rainforest and proudly performed it for the whole school.  The class welcomed a Champlain College professor to their classroom and  explored different tropical flowers with magnifying glasses. They especially loved making tropical smoothies with rainforest ingredients. The class was thrilled to join children taught by Jen to share information about the rainforest anteater and learn more about aardvarks. 

Afternoon STEAM Program: 

Our afternoon STEAM program continues to be highly successful, fun, and impressive! Each STEAM class begins with a group discussion where the children are presented with a question to answer or a “challenge” to solve: How is liquid measured? How are bridges built? What is inside a seed? Is wind powerful? Can you use rubberbands to paint with?

The children are encouraged to share their ideas on how to solve the challenge or answer the problem and are given the opportunity to work together, working with many different hands on materials….Let the exploring, questioning, observing, experimenting, investigating, creating, and building begin! 

February STEAM highlights: 

Science: The children investigated fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds, planted an avocado pit in water, blew up balloons using gas from chemical reactions, and experimented with wind power using straws and feathers.

Technology: The children used various sized drills to make holes in soap and sand, learned about the functions of different thermometers, dissected an old phone (the kind with a cord and a rotary dial) and then made their own phones using cans and string. 

Engineering: The children designed buildings and structures using clay and wooden pieces, constructed alphabet tree towers, and used large pegs and cylinder connectors to build a giant house.

Art: The children painted with rubber bands, designed and colored unique mandalas, and built cairn structures using many different sized rocks. 

Math: The children measured and invented ingredients to make hot chocolate playdough, used different scales to compare weights of different objects, compared temperatures, and explored shapes with building materials. 

March Classroom Themes:

The school-wide theme this month is Stories Around the World:

  • The class taught by Jen: Nursery Rhymes
  • The class taught by Caitlin: Fairy Tales
  • The classes taught by Susan and Clara: Native American Stories
  • The classes taught by Leah, Dominique, and Loraleh: Greek Mythology

If anyone has a particular interest, skill, or work experience that relates to these themes and you would like to share that knowledge with the class, please be sure to let the classroom teacher or Kathleen know. We enjoy having parents volunteer and share their interests and talents with the class.