Even as an experienced teacher, I can’t exactly say I’ve done a bang-up job in transitioning between our apple unit and our next units of study. I am still navigating my way through preschool curriculum for the first time, and there are rocky parts to be sure. Not the least of which: I am finding myself in the middle of a “Moon-Leaf-Halloween” unit without any real hook connecting those elements except for “Harvest.” It will be one of those things I need to create as I go.

Despite a rather abrupt transition, however, we did make sure to have closure (although we will still continue to enjoy our apple counters and apple literature this month) on our apple unit.

We enjoyed making caramel apples with my mom this past weekend, and on Monday morning, we finished our KWL chart. Katie answered, “What did we learn?”

* I like Red Delicious and Gala

* How bees collect the pollen from the apple blossom

* I learned how to make papier-mâché

* How an apple tree changes during the year (seasons)

* Johnny Appleseed traveled and planted apple seeds

* The parts of an apple blossom

* They have eight seeds

* What the parts of an apple are called

* We learned how to make a graph

* Learned to make caramel apples

Then, it was on to our Goodnight Moon Unit:

We laminated moon phase cards bought from the Montessori Printshop, an excellent online resource. We actually started working with these on October 1st, because we have a moon phase calendar for this whole month. We have been trying to get outside every night to watch it progress (the kidlets we tired tonight, though, and I had them in bed before remembering this task). Katie is able to identify the new, crescent, quarter, gibbous, and full moons—though she is still working on remembering how, for example, the waxing crescent moon differs from the waning crescent. We have a whole month of practice, so we’ll she if she can put these in order by the end. Hey, even I have to stop and think about which side of the moon is showing, sometimes. I will be happy if she just can know the names of the general shapes (which she already does) and to understand that the moon appears in a cycle. Anything else will be icing on the cake.

We’ve been doing more slate work, as well. Sometimes basic teaching does the job fine, and lately it has served us well since I am behind a bit in prepping the next set of art projects. For our Monday slate work, Katie wanted Halloween-themed words to trace and then to write herself: here, she is practicing “zombie” and “goblin.” We also use the slate extensively to work math sums. I love this portable whiteboard—definitely a great investment for us, as we use it constantly. It is easy to check the work, to re-do work if necessary, and it is conducive to immediate feedback.

Also on Monday afternoon, Kd came over to finish sewing her quilt top!

Cousin love!

What I love about Kd is that she is so easy to be with. We love to talk and catch up, yet she is one of those people who are very comfortable just to “be” with. You know what I mean? I can really be myself and go about my business with the kiddos when she is her, and she is content to sew happily and doesn’t mind if I pick up a conversation we started ten minutes before, after getting Eric’s lunch. I cherish my relationship with her, because I feel that we are ourselves—ourselves without pressure, without judgment. We don’t feel like we have to entertain each other for there to be value—I just naturally find her entertaining and fun to be with. We are the first and last of Grandpa Don’s grandchildren. When we were growing up, it seemed we were ages and worlds apart, but I don’t find that to be the case so much now. We may still be in different life phases, but we find ourselves wondering about the same big things now and how to be our best selves. I love that, and I love her, too.

This evening, as the rain made everything so cozy, the kiddos and I made trash bag ghosts:

We will hang them up tomorrow. Katie LOVED this! Loved it.  This project randomly popped into my head today… Goes to show, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is the simple and unplanned things that do the trick.