Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and special moments from our OCP classrooms this year. First, a visit with the Chickadees and Larks…
Chickadees – Birthday Branch
To honor each child on his or her birthday, our Chickadees’ teacher Kate has created a “birthday branch” that hangs prominently in the classroom. On a child’s birthday, all the classmates help decorate a piece of wax paper secured by an embroidery hoop. They use paint, feathers, glitter, and objects they’ve gathered in their nature boxes, like leaves, flowers, and grasses. Kate then hangs the hoop from a string attached to the child’s picture (labeled with a birthdate), which hangs from a branch. By the end of the year, all the children will have a decorated hoop on the branch–and the classroom will have a beautiful display of all their special days.
Larks – “Daisy”
This year the Larks welcomed a new member of their class – Daisy the Dinosaur, a “for real pretend” pet! She arrived in a glacier that Ms. Shannon’s friend Professor Higgins found at the South Pole, with these instructions: “You will need to care for her with gentle hands and kind words.” After she melted out of her icy enclosure, Shannon asked, “What do you think of our new class pet?” Replies from the Larks:
“I love the pet!”
“We can make the box her home.”
“What will be the dinosaur’s food?”
“You have to be careful with her; she is shy.”
She quickly became a fun and beloved friend, as well as a great way for the Larks to talk about what living creatures need to stay healthy and how to care for ourselves and others. To care for Daisy the Larks have four helpful tips to follow; she must: #1 eat veggies, #2 drink water, #3 potty at school daily, and #4 take a rest in a cozy habitat each day (which was lovingly decorated by the Larks!).
Each student had a chance to take Daisy home for the weekend and introduce her to their family. They also took home a journal to record their adventures with Daisy. Activities Daisy participated in while visiting the Larks’ homes included:
Cooking dinner, playing, meeting family pets, riding in the car, dancing, learning how to brush and floss her teeth, eating breakfast at the Waffle House, visiting Fernbank Museum (rock climbing and seeing other dinosaurs!), napping, reading books, eating fruits and veggies, singing, swinging and playing on the monkey bars, doing gymnastics, playing in a tree house, going trick-or-treating dressed as a DAISY on Halloween, watching a puppet show, going grocery shopping, playing soccer, visiting the library (where they checked out dinosaur books), taking a bath, enjoying movie night w/ hot cocoa, learning about ‘Face Time’, playing dress-up, going to Athens, GA, for a trapeze performance, attending a birthday party, taking a road trip to North Carolina, meeting lots of relatives, going on a pajama walk, going to a pageant rehearsal, attending Festivus, and visiting the Atlanta Zoo (where she saw tigers, pandas, a komodo dragon and lots more animals). Whew!
Daisy at the Zoo with the Sumatran tiger