We had the best Halloween! We kicked off our morning parading in our 3rd grade buddies classroom and showing off our costumes. Our class Halloween party was a hit! A HUGE thank you to the moms that planned and ran the party!
We wrapped up our pumpkin unit this week as well. Our guiding question for the unit was "How do pumpkins change and grow?" We learned about their life cycle, where and how they grow, and explored pumpkins with our own pumpkin patch. The students practiced their math skills by weighing, measuring, and recording the prices of the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. Lastly, we carved open our pumpkins and explored the insides. We estimated and then counted how many seeds were inside our pumpkin by placing them inside 10 frames and counting by 10s. We were shocked to find out there were 414 seeds in our pumpkin! On Friday we planted or pumpkin seeds and buried our carved pumpkin in our garden. We will watch the decomposition process throughout the fall and winter.
Next week, we will start learning about Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful.
We wrapped up of community helpers unit this week. The students learned about what type of jobs are in our community, and why they are important.
On Friday, we read Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty. We learned what an architect does and got to be architects ourselves! The students created blueprints to build a bridge, and then tested out their plans. We also talked about how it is OK to make mistakes and have to try something multiple times to be successful.
On Friday we also worked with our 3rd grade buddies for the first time! We will be meeting with Mrs. Sidell's class every other week to work on various projects together.
We had a fun week in Kindergarten! We learned all about colors in relation to our identity.
On Tuesday we had Writer's Workshop and the students wrote and drew about their long weekends. After, we activated our prior knowledge about colors and worked in a small group to brainstorm objects we knew that were a certain color, and then drew them. We also read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.
This week we opened the dramatic play center and talked about how to appropriately play with and clean up the costumes and the kitchen. This corner was crowded all week!
We ended our day on Tuesday playing on the courtyard.
Wednesday the students sorted crayons with their table group, and then as a class we added and graphed the colors. We talked about which had the most and which had the least. We read The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt. We also have been discussing the parts of a book (cover, title, author, and illustrator) as we read.
Then of course, we had time to play in centers.
Thursday we read How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney. The students then created their own rainbow suncatchers out of beads. They look so pretty hanging in our windows, I can't wait for you to see at Open House! We also made cards for our adoptive Kindergarten classroom in Houston. The students did such a nice job drawing happy pictures and writing sweet words.
We also learned about how crayons are made this week. The students LOVED this Mr. Roger's video at the crayon factory:
Friday we wore our favorite colors to school and graphed ourselves! We counted which had the most and which had the least. We read A Color of His Own by Leo Leonni, and talked about how everyone is special and different, but how we are also alike in many ways too. We did a directed drawing (where the students follow along step by step) of a chameleon, and then painted them. They turned out AMAZING! Last but not least, we played a whole class game of giant math memory, and practiced counting and number identification.
Next week will continue with our color unit, and will be discussing colors in relation to our feelings.
Our first full week of school was awesome!
We kicked off Monday with our first Writer's Workshop. I gave the students their writing journals, and asked them to write or draw any type of story they wanted. We also began learning about the block corner. Each day this week we learned how to take out, play with, and put away a different material or block. By the end of the week, the students were experts at the block corner!
We read the book How Full is Your Bucket. The book talks about how everyone has an invisible bucket that you can fill by being kind and a good friend, or you can dip by being mean or not following directions. The students really understood this language, and I heard many of them saying "you filled my bucket today!".
On Tuesday we began learning about our names. We read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, and talked about how our names make us special- and how everyone is different and unique! We counted and graphed the number of letters in our name, and then made our names by tearing and gluing colored paper. They turned out great, you can see them at Open House! We then had more block corner and free play time.
On Wednesday we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. The students took turns putting letters on our coconut tree as we read them. They then made their own coconut trees, putting in order the letters of their name. Again, you can see their creations at Open House. We ended our day with time outside.
Thursday we read Only One You by Linda Kranz. Each student said something that was special they could do such as swimming in the deep end or helping take care of their little brother. We then talked about how even though we all were special and different, we all have things in common also. We painted our rock fish and they turned out so cute! We also learned how to play outside on the courtyard (our KinderGARDEN) and enjoyed the cooler weather and playing in nature.
Friday we read a Hawaiian story called "Humu", about a fish who wanted only one color like all the other fish in the ocean. In the end, he realized all his colors made him special, and all his friends liked him no matter what he looked like. We talked about how we all look different, but it is what inside of us that counts. The students drew and painted their own unique fish! We ended our week with play time.
It has been so wonderful getting to know the students and watching their friendships with each other blossom.
Our next two weeks will be "colors, a study in identity". We have a lot of fun projects coming up!
We have had the BEST two days of Kindergarten!
On Thursday, we got to know each other with some name games, coloring, playing, and time on the playground. We also took our "First Day of Kindergarten" pictures. I am already so impressed with how well the students are playing together and following directions!
Friday was all about No David! We read David Goes to School by David Shannon, and then went on a scavenger hunt around Indian Trail to get to know the building and all of our new teachers. We collected different pieces from everyone to put on our David puppets. We then discussed all the different good choices we can make at school. We ended our day with time to play inside and outside.
Next week we will continue to learn about school routines and rules. We will also be studying our names and what makes us special!
We had such a fun last 2 weeks in Kindergarten! I asked the students what their favorite centers and activities were that we did this year, and we tried to do most of them. The highlights included: water beads, play-doh, beading bracelets, paint popsicles, 100 Froot Loops, and color mixing lab. My favorite part of our last days together was watching the students play together. The friendships they have formed this year have been wonderful to watch.
On Wednesday we took our final class picture together and I took "last day of Kindergarten" pictures of all them. Look at how much they have grown since their first day!!
Thank you all for coming to our concert and picnic Wednesday, it was so nice to see everyone!
Have a wonderful summer! Keep reading and playing together :)
This has been THE BEST and most exciting week. A week I know the student's will not soon forget!
On Sunday and Monday our chicks hatched and we welcomed 9 baby chicks into our classroom! The looks on the student's faces when they saw the chicks for the first time was such a special moment. Monday we completed our chick books, where the students have been keeping track of the hatching process. They then wrote in their chick journals about what the chicks were like on their very first day. Tuesday we got to move the chicks into their brooding cage and observe them. Wednesday, we got to pet the chicks for the first time! The highlight of the week came on Thursday when the students each got to hold the chicks! Friday, we wrote a letter to our favorite chick telling them what we like about them and how they got their name. The students then read it to the chicks :)
Other happenings this week included:
- Learning the digraph qu in Jolly Phonics
- Introducing subtraction and focusing on the term "take away". The students practiced representing subtraction equations with unifix cubes. We also practiced writing equations and talking about the minus sign.
- Exploring and doing research about farms; the different types, the different parts, and how things change and grow on a farm. The chicks will be going back to a farm on Friday, so we wanted to learn about what their life will be like there! The students started new farm themed centers on Friday that included: retelling a story about a chicken living on a farm through a story map, observing and writing about our chicks, building and labeling the parts of a farm, and making a chick out of play-doh and them telling about the important parts it needs to survive and grow.
This might be our most memorable week of Kindergarten yet! It was so special.
Last year, all the Kindergarten teachers in the district wrote a grant for an outdoor KinderGARDEN space that we got partially funded. After doing a lot of research, building, and shopping, I was finally able to get it all together this past weekend on our courtyard. The vision is for it to be a nature space for kids to explore ,dig, play, garden, and learn about nature. We will eventually be planting flowers, vegetables, and fruits out there as well. I am hoping the kids will use this space in First grade too.
The kids were SO excited to get out there on Monday! I foresee many days out there as the weather continues to get nicer.
Friday was a BIG day. Mrs. Buti, a second grade teacher at Indian Trail, helped organize some very special guests for us... chickens! I wanted the students to be able to observe, interact, and learn about adult chickens before our chicks hatch on Monday. These chickens were so friendly and gentle we were able to get up really close to them, and they even ate out of our hand! To say the students were excited would be an understatement.
We cannot wait to see our chicks next week!!
It was a very EGGciting week in Kindergarten! Our chicken eggs arrived on Tuesday and our room has been buzzing with excitement. This fits into our new unit of living and nonliving things, with a bigger themes of growth and change. We will center our learning around these essential questions:
- How can we observe change?
- How do living things grow and change? What do they need to grow?
- How do chicks grow and change?
To begin our unit, we learned how scientists are observers, and observers use their 5 senses. The students practiced their observation skills by observing in the classroom and outside using the senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch. We also read the Listening Walk by Paul Showers, and really focused on observing sounds we heard outside. We learned that scientists make observations so they can see how things work and how they change over time. I then asked the students to think about all they had observed, and work in a group to make a list of things that are living and nonliving. After they worked, we discussed as a class what makes something alive, and what they need to survive. We will continue our study of this next week.
In math this week, we extended our learning of addition to the concept of decomposing numbers. One way the students are developing this part-whole thinking is through number bonds. The students rolled a dice, and then had to find two numbers that made up that number (for example, 5 is 2+3 or 4+1) We also did this as a whole class outside with chalk.
The students also practiced decomposing and adding with Mrs. Belkind with a complex task. The students had to figure out all the different ways monkeys could put 10 bananas into 2 baskets. It was great to watch them work in a group and explain their thinking!
Next week we will learn more about our eggs, where they came from, the life cycle of a chicken, and other animals who lay eggs.
Only 16 more days until hatching!
This week we kept our focus in math on addition. As the students came in every morning, they worked on using the manipulatives in their math toolboxes to solve addition equations. This includes number lines, 10 frames, and counters. We also played two new games: shake and spill and adding machine. Shake and spill requires the students to shake 5 double-sided counters in a cup, pour them on the table, and then add together how many red and how many yellow. On Thursday, the students worked with a partner to make adding machines out of cardboard tubes. They had to roll two dice, add that many cubes into their machine, and then write the equation. I am very proud of how the students are doing with addition, writing equations, and practicing their number writing!
We also continued reading Wizard of Oz this week. This week we focused on the Scarecrow and Tinman: brains and heart. We first talked about what a brainstorm was, and then we brainstormed what we use our brain for. We discussed how our brain is always growing and our growth mindset. We read What do you do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada.
We then talked about the Tinman and heart, and learned about the word empathy. The students brainstormed different ways they can show someone they care about them. I then gave the students a STEAM challenge: make a tinman with your group using only the materials given. Each person in the group had a specific job they were responsible for (clean up captain, challenge checker, Seesaw master, and speaker). It was amazing to watch the students work together and their Tinmen came out great!
Next week we will focus on the Lion and Dorothy- courage and perseverance.