Sunday, January 29, 2012

Circus Week!

I have to be perfectly honest, I wasn't really looking forward to our "Circus" unit this past week.  It is not that I don't like the circus, it is mainly because we had just finished up one of the most amazing units, "The Solar System".  I was really afraid that our class might be a little bored but I think we manage to enjoy our discussions about the circus after all.  We started our unit by talking about the wonderful circus clowns out of shapes.  We all had a good time "screaming" out the different shapes we found.  Hey, the circus is noisy so we were noisy this week too! :)

I love elephants and the circus always seems to highlight the big mammal.  Several of my students had been to the circus this past week and they all were talking about the elephants, so we decided to make our own circus elephant.
Isn't he adorable?!?!?!  Our circus elephants were a hit during circle time.  Instead of using "your finger" to count the numbers, pick out the shapes, etc., we used our elephant's trunk!

We also enjoyed our "Circus Day" on Friday.  Our art project was one that I'm not very sure worked out.  We started with the child's hand print and three or four fingerprints (if you are 3 years old, you get 3 fingerprints, etc.).
After it dried we added the rest of the details

Instant clown, holding some balloons!

On Circus Day, the children were invited to come to school dressed as a clown.  It was great!  It still surprises me how many children don't enjoy "dressing up".  About half of my class actually came dressed as a clown but that didn't stop anyone from participating in our circus games.  Of course we had our "tight rope", which was a masking tape stuck to the floor in a giant square.  
The tight rope is behind the balance beams.

The "high wire" was two balance beams 

and of course there were the jugglers.  
Juggling is not easy so I found these cute little popcorn holders at the dollar store (2 for a $1.00!)  for us to use.  Instead of trying to juggle 3 balls, we used giant pom-poms and threw them in the air and tried to catch them in the popcorn containers.  FUN!  And, the popcorn buckets will be used again and again in my classroom.  I think they will be a great storage container for some of my games.

Our science experiment for the week was a lot of fun.  Have you ever seen those "circus peanuts" at the store? 

Well, let me tell you . . . they make a great science experiment by just putting them in the microwave!  Putting things in hot/cold water or in the microwave is one of our favorite things to do.  I found this post ages ago Science of Candy and it explains what happens to the marshmallows.  I know most people would think a 3 or 4 year old would understand words like, "molecules", but they do.  We make our predictions then watch what happens.

Those things really get big!  On the left is our circus peanuts in hot water.  It was a wonderful day!

Now that we have finished up our Circus Unit, we will spend next week talking exploring our unit of "Health".  It should be a lot of fun.  I hope you come back and visit us again.