Sassafras

Wendi Rowland

Wendi Rowland

Sarah Duvall

Sarah Duvall

Sassafras Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Sarah Duvall and Wendi Rowland are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Australia is such a fascinating continent! We spent another morning in small group lessons learning a little bit more about this unique country. First we reviewed why it is called “The Land Down Under” and how its seasons are opposite from ours. Looking through books we talked about some of the landmarks and important places that can be found there. For example, Uluru, the largest rock in the world is near the middle of the continent in what is known as the outback. Most people live near the edges of the continent because the outback is so hot and dry. There aren’t neighborhoods in the outback, those who live there have to travel great distances before getting to a neighbor’s house. Because of this the children don’t go to school, they have school at home. In the past they would use radios to communicate with their teachers, now they can use computers and the internet. We discovered that Australia has miles and miles of beautiful beaches and that many people in Australia enjoy water sports such as surfing, swimming and snorkeling. We saw pictures of the Sydney Opera House-several of the children commented on how it looks like it has sails on the top of it! The last thing we explored was the Great Barrier Reef. What a beautiful and amazing structure. The children were very interested to learn that the reef is made from tiny animals only about the size of an ant. They also enjoyed looking at pictures of just some of the sea creatures that call the reef home.

In addition to the lessons the children had in small groups, two of our kindergarten students researched and presented to the class information on other animals of Australia. Sabina shared her research about the wombat, another marsupial and Presley shared with us information about the Tasmanian Devil!

Even though March 20th was the official start of spring, the children were all wondering why the weather didn’t feel more like spring. It was a perfect time to introduce some new work about weather, seasons and clouds. We began by reading a book about a raindrop and its journey and then talked about the water cycle. We saw how water falls from clouds to the Earth. Depending on the temperature it can fall as rain or snow-which it kind of did both that day. We then talked about the various places the water could go-puddles, the ocean, rivers, a pool. But eventually the water evaporates and goes back up into the sky where it collects with other small bits of water and dust to form clouds. When the clouds become too full the water falls back to earth. The children enjoyed experimenting with this first hand. Using a cotton ball to represent a cloud the children could add drops of water until the cotton ball became so full of water it started to “rain”. In another work two pictures of thermometers were placed at the top of the rug, one showing the temperature to be hot the other showing the temperature to be cold. Then the children would sort pictures of clothes according to the temperature they would be worn in. Some children enjoyed playing a matching game with pictures of various weather conditions such as foggy, partly sunny and icy. Other works that can be found on the shelf include sorting pictures by the seasons, cloud nomenclature and the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk along with felt pieces so the children can retell the story.
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Starting Date Moved Back a Week

Parenting Young Children – Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)

Do you need a system for effective parenting? You are invited to attend a six-week STEP parenting class (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting). This class is targeted for parents of children from birth to age six (6).

STEPbook

The STEP class will be held on Tuesdays at the Toledo Campus in Central Park from 6:30-7:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 15, through Tuesday, May 20.

There is no cost for the class. However, each family needs a copy of “Parenting Young Children” at a cost of $15. The books will be distributed before the first class.

Sign up by contacting Kathy Heckert at (419) 866-1931 to reserve a space. Class size is limited.

 

We had a great time at our St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  The children enjoyed creating shamrocks and leprechaun hats.  Green was abounding at the snack table-green peppers, green grapes, green apples, celery and cucumbers.  To end the morning the children sang songs with Risa and the rest of the children from Children’s House.  They were also treated to a special Irish dancing performance by  Molly (from the Rose room) and her daughters.

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The children put another stamp in their passport as they traveled to Australia!  We learned about why it’s called the Land Down Under, as we found it on the continent globe and saw that it is located below the equator.  Therefore, Australia has opposite seasons to us.  Australia is the only country that is a continent, and it is the largest island on the planet!

We learned about one of the animals that lives in Australia, the Kangaroo!  A kangaroo is a marsupial, which means the females have a pouch.  When a baby kangaroo is born it is only the size of a grape!  The baby kangaroo, or joey, climbs into its mother’s pouch for another 6 months where it will stay warm, sleep, drink milk, and grow!  Adult kangaroos eat mostly grass and grow to be as tall as 6 feet!  Using a piece of yarn, we went into the hallway and measured to see how far a kangaroo can jump in just one jump-they can jump 30 feet!  The children enjoyed getting to see how many jumps it would take them to go as far as one kangaroo jump.

Later that day we talked about another type of marsupial, the koala.  They spend most of their time in eucalyptus trees, resting and sleeping for up to 18 hours a day.  They also have a pouch where the baby koala, also called a joey, will eat and sleep after it is born.  A koala joey is only the size of a jelly bean when it is first born.