Have a wonderful summer! Keep reading and playing together :)
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.
This week, we hit the ground running!
Before we get into this week, I wanted to share a little peek at our week before Spring break. We had a special in-school field trip on the Kohl's StoryBus. The students heard the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and then were able to act out and play different parts of the story. We also got excited about starting our new story, The Wizard of Oz.
This week, we started Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. We are reading the pop-up version of the story, and the students are LOVING it!
As we read, we are exploring all different parts of the story. We started out by doing research on tornadoes. We read and watched about how tornadoes are formed, and then created our own tornado in a bottle experiment.
As we read this week about Munchkin Land, the Yellow Brick Road, and Oz, the students drew what they visualized. We listened to the soundtrack from the movie as the students recalled the details they heard in the book and drew them in their pictures.
Next week, we will start digging into character traits by doing a character study and writing piece for each of the four main characters.
In math this week we practice classification and began learning addition. The students worked in groups to sort a type of object (play food, animals, 3D shapes, etc.). They then rotated to the next station, and had to find a new way to sort the objects. The students did a great job finding different properties of the objects, and finding new and creative ways to sort.
We kicked off our addition unit by adding the number of syllables in our names with a partner. We did this with letters in our names as well. We then learned addition vocabulary we would need to solve problems such as plus sign, equal sign, and equations. We spent the week practicing solving addition problems in 3 different ways: on our fingers, with a 10 frame, and unifix cubes.
We have so much more Spring fun ahead of us next week :)
It was a magical week in room 124! We continued learning about fairy tales AND had a visit from a leprechaun! We started off the week with our new fairy tale, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff. We watched and read two classic versions, and then read a mixed up version. We compared and contrasted the differences and practiced sequencing the events of the story. On Wednesday, I challenged the students to design and build a bridge for the 3 Billy Goats to cross using popsicle sticks, toothpicks, and gumdrops. It was our hardest STEM challenge to date, but the students did great! They worked together, problem solved, and came up with many ways to get across the river.
The rest of our week centered around our leprechaun, Lucky! He came Monday morning with a note and left his hat in the ceiling. We wrote him letters and each day he caused some sort of mischief in the classroom such as leaving shamrocks and a pot of gold. On Thursday, we decided we needed to use the gold coins he left to lure him into our leprechaun traps. We first built leprechaun traps out of blocks with our third grade buddies. It was so fun to have them in our room! Then, we plan and built traps out of recycled materials to leave out for the leprechaun.
We were SHOCKED Friday morning when we realized the leprechaun had left footprints on all of our traps! he also made a big mess; leaving paint and green EVERYWHERE. We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some fun centers. The students made rainbow twirls out of plates, graphed and ate Lucky Charms, cut and glued a paper rainbow, and made shamrocks out of beads and pipe cleaners. Thank you Arin, Deanna, and Kristen for helping out!
Next week, we move on to our next fairy tale...
This week we continued with fairy tales and The Three Little Pigs. We reviewed our favorite versions: Disney's Silly Symphony Three Little Pigs and Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. The students chose which was their favorite, and then worked with a partner to create a story map for it. This included characters, setting, dialogue, and sequencing.
The next day we retold a classic version of the story with partners and puppets. The students were then responsible for recording it themselves and uploading it to Seesaw!
We closed out our Three Little Pigs study by creating our own house for the pigs that could stand up to the Big Bad Blow Dryer! The students had to create a blueprint, use at least 3 materials, and follow a list of other rules to build their houses. It was a fun, creative, and collaborative mess!
Math this week focused on shapes. We went outside and practiced identifying 2D shapes. I would describe a shape to the students (for example, this shape has 4 sides and they are all the same size) and then they would have to draw it. We also had shape math centers, talked more about the difference between 2D and 3D shapes, and identified which our 3 Little Pig Houses were.
Next week is all about the 3 Billy Goats and a Leprechaun!
This week we kicked off our Fairy Tale unit! We spent the whole week reading all different versions of The Three Little Pigs.
Before we started reading, we gathered our background knowledge of fairy tales and learned about the story elements of a fairytale:
After reading each story, we went over the characters, setting, problem, solution, and ending. We then compared all the different versions and talked about what was the same and different. Each day, I challenged the students to work in a group to complete a different pig house; sticks, straws, and then bricks. This led to great exploration and conversation about the difference between 2D and 3D shapes, as well as sturdy vs. flimsy materials. It also was a great lesson in perseverance. This knowledge of materials will come in handy next week when the students plan and build a house that will withstand the Big Bad Wolf :)
On Thursday we celebrated Dr. Seuss Day! We kicked off our morning with some very special mystery readers... our siblings! They all came in and read to a small group. We also did some fun Dr. Seuss activities with our buddies and on their Chromebooks. After, we read Cat in the Hat, did a directed drawing, and wrote about what we would do if the Cat in the Hat came to our house. It was a fun day!
Next week we will diver deeper into The Three Little Pigs as well as shapes.
It was a crazy fun week in Kindergarten!
Monday was our 100th Day of School! We started off the morning making Froot Loop necklaces with 100 Froot Loops. We then had our 100 themed center which included building with 100 cups, creating with 100 marshmallows, eating 100 snacks, and making a 100's crown. Thank you to Heather, Heather, Ashley, and Claire for helping. We had so much fun!
The party continued Tuesday with Valentine's Day! The students started the day making a map of their heart and writing/drawing in it all the things they love. We then had our party and passed out Valentine's. The kids had THE BEST time! Thank you Meghan, Arin, Heather, Diana, and Margaret for organizing such a wonderful party!
The rest of the week we switched our focus to Polar Bears. The students shared what they already knew about Polar Bears, and what they wanted to learn. We did a lot of research together on what they eat, where they live, and parts of their body. We read books, watched videos, and used PebbleGo and Brain Pop to help us. Then, the students completed 3 different centers focusing on each of the areas (habitat, body, food). For habitat, the students explored ice, water, and shaving cream in the sensory table to simulate ice bergs and snow. They then wrote a reflection on what the Arctic was like (cold!) For food, the students created what a polar bear eats (fish, seals, walruses) out of play dough. For body, the students drew a diagram of a polar bear, labeling the different parts, and then recorded it on Seesaw.
Next week we will continue with Polar Bears and stat learning about Penguins.