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!