What a fun day! The children arrived this morning dressed as their favorite book character. They began with a parade around the bottom floor of the school, slapping the hands of upperclassmen lining both sides of the hallway and entering the Dining Room to their parents' flashing camera lights. They paraded back to the room to enjoy fall centers: Making Autumn colored leaves sponge painted with fall tempera and then washed in water to make the colors run, a wreath of jack-o-lantern shapes, using permanent pens to paint real miniature pumpkins, stringing fall colored beads and foam shapes to make a Fall necklace, colorful Fall trees with the hand and forearm used as the tree shape and finger prints used for the Fall leaves, pumpkins and bat acrylic tattoos, and decorating sugar cookies to look like pumpkins. As the children went to lunch the teachers prepared the room for a second set of Fall activities that included cutting a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, predicting the number of seeds, estimating the circumference of the pumpkin, using pattern blocks to vote on a design to cut the jack-o-lantern eyes, nose, and mouth (triangle eyes, a rhombus nose and a trapezoid mouth with rhombus fangs!) and finally decorating a group picture to take home. And, of course, there were a few festive read alouds in between activities. It was a day of fun but also included applying some of the skills we have been learning into problem solving activities.
The evening brought the children back to school as the teachers passed out candy around the bottom floor and the children converged on the playground to find rides and jumping houses and food and games! It was a carnival night for families and just good fellowship with friends. This elaborate celebration is a combination of work between teachers, administration and loads and loads of parents. This reminds me that schools are still the center of many communities.