Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Traditions!

Our school has many unique traditions that the students, teachers, and parents look forward to each year. One special tradition that has evolved over the past several years is our Silent Wreath Auction. Years ago, each classroom decorated a wreath and they were displayed in the front lobby. Parents would bid on the wreaths as a silent auction. The money generated went back to the classroom to purchase needed materials, books, etc. This tradition has transpired into something new and great! Classes can still make a holiday wreath, or they can decorate other holiday items, such as aprons, pots, cards, potholders, and so much more! The money generated from these auction items are then donated to a charity of the classes choice. Some classes, instead of decorating an item, are actively collecting items or participating with a charity. Our class has chosen to partner with a charity called, "Miracle Toys," in which small,used (happy meal) toys are collected and sent to various places around the world to boys and girls who may have never received a gift or toy before. The students are doing a great job going through their toys and deciding to donate these little toys! The lesson is monumental: a small little toy can bring big, big joy to someone who has never had one before! In addition to our school traditions, I'm asking you to share a family/cultural tradition with our class as part of this week's homework. I think it is so important to learn from one another, and who knows you may adopt a new tradition along the way. Below is a few pictures of a family tradition that I do each year with my own kids and also with yours at school.

Parents helped me with my school holiday tradition this year by wrapping up many of my December holiday books. Each day, I select one student to unwrap the book for our read aloud. The kids get so excited to see what book it is! Can you think of a better way to highlight the point that books are gifts waiting to be opened??

We wrap all of our holiday books that we have at home and each night my kids take turns choosing one of the wrapped books. They get to open it up and we read the book as our "bedtime" story altogether by our Christmas tree.

Pow Wow Day

I took so many pictures the day of Pow Wow! After the Native American Pow Wow ceremony outside, students rotated through many different centers. Here are just a few group pictures. (Slideshow of the rest of the centers---soon to come!) We had such a great day! I'm sure that they were ready for a nap by the time they got home!

Make and Take Night

I love any opportunity in which students get to come to school at night! It's so much fun for them, me, and their families. Students participated in a make and take night for Pow Wow in which they made Inuit dwellings, which were igloos. They also decorated our lunch table paper with Native American symbols and drawings! What fun!

Pow Wow Preparations and Home Project

Our Native American Pow Wow was AMAZING!! We couldn't have done all of the preparations without our awesome parent volunteers! Thank you! We hope you enjoyed spending some time with your child researching the Inuit tribe and decorating their "people" cut out as their own Inuit.

Pattern Books!

Our students have taken off (in a BIG way) with writing their own pattern books. So far, students have learned about back and forth pattern books, question and answer pattern books, repeating line pattern books, and they just learned about how to include a surprise ending. Take a look at two different examples of student pattern books. This is an example of a repeating line pattern book.

Shh! Shh! My mom is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My dad is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My dog is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My sister is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! My brother is sleeping.

Shh! Shh! I am sleeping.

Shh! Shh! Everybody is sleeping.

This next pattern book is a question and answer pattern book:

All about my Grandma

Does my Grandma do good things?

Yes she does do good things.

Does my Grandma play with me?

Yes she does play with me.

Does my Grandma go to my baseball game?

Yes she does do that.

Does my Grandma help me?

Yes she does do that.

Happy Turkey Day!

I am so thankful to be able to have each student and their families as a part of my Kindergarten class this year! Gobble! Gobble!

1st Nine Weeks Awards Ceremony

Although it is more than half way through the Second Nine Weeks,(please forgive me,I guess I tend to get a little behind in posting when I'm busy planning, teaching, and having way too much fun!)here are a few pictures from our First Nine Weeks Awards Ceremony. The students were so excited to put their seats in rows in the front of the classroom. Each of them have worked so hard and grown so much in such a short period of time. I am SO incredibly proud of them!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sink or Float?

Students participated in sink or float experiments with their fifth grade buddies last Friday. Students worked with their buddy to select five different objects from around the room. Each Kindergarten student wrote the name of the object, predicted whether it was going to sink or float, and then conducted the experiment with their fifth grade buddy. After testing five different objects, students discussed their observations and conclusions. As a whole group, we talked about objects that we thought would float, but didn't and objects that we thought would sink, and they didn't. Our fifth grade buddies really help guide the students to think deeper and question why a particular object sank or floated. One group tested a rubber "counting bear" from our Math area and it sank. Another group tested a similar bear, except their bear floated. We talked about how this "counting bear" had a small hole just on the bottom, so it depended on whether water filled that hole or not. This made for a lot of great questions and conversations. We then conducted different experiements with pumpkins, trying to decide whether they would sink or float. We cut holes in the bottom of the pumpkins and holes in the top of the pumpkins, trying to see if our "counting bear" experiment would prove to have the same results. Ask your child about what happened when the pumpkin had a big hole carved out of the top and the bottom and ask them what their initial prediction was. Hands on experiments are so much fun!

Our Class Fall Celebration

This past Monday we had so much fun at our Class Fall Celebration! We celebrated with many different Fall fun centers! Students spun spider webs and made their very own spider, they worked on a Fall Sudoku, they made apple trees with their hands as the tree leaves, they made ghost "boo" pops and a ghostly windsock, and they stuffed their own scarecrows. Each student also took a turn trying to pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern. This was such a fun activity to watch! After lunch, students rotated through different game stations, such as: toss the bean bag into the hole, toss the "boo" pops into the cans, ghost toilet paper bowling, predicting how many pumpkins in the jar, decorating and eating a Fall leaf cookie, and making funny faces and posing for the camera. Then, everyone got a "taste" of Fall as we enjoyed many different pumpkin food items including pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bark, "little pumpkins", pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cranberry bread. It was all so yummy and gave kids a great opportunity to try different foods. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EACH AND EVERY PARENT WHO VOLUNTEERED, DONATED ITEMS, AND/OR SENT IN A PUMPKIN ITEM!!!

Fall Celebration (Morning Centers) on PhotoPeach

Fall Celebration (Afternoon Centers) on PhotoPeach

Pumpkin Unit

We have been studying pumpkins for several weeks now. We have read many books about pumpkins, compared pumpkins, and made lots of different predictions about pumpkins. We predicted how many seeds were in our pumpkin, touched the inside, and even got to taste roasted pumpkin seeds and many other "pumpkin" foods at our Class Fall Celebration Pumpkin Tasting Center. We used different sized pumpkins that were sent in by several parents for most of these observations, comparisons, and experiments. We also used our Literary "Humpty Dumpty" Pumpkin for some experiments too. Students estimated and then measured how many "pumpkins tall" they were. Students used a lot of their science skills for this unit and discovered some interesting things about pumpkins and DENSITY when we conducted our sink and float experiments with pumpkins.

Field Trip to JCA

We went on our first field trip in Kindergarten to the JCA to see "The Three Little Pigs" play. We had a great time! Thank you to our wonderful chaperones!! The kids enjoyed seeing the actors up on stage, interacting with them after the play, and eating lunch together. But the truth is... this first field trip was ALL ABOUT THE BUS!!! They were soooo excited about riding the bus. From one of our math questions of the day, 11 of these students had never been on a school bus before. This memory and first time experience was AWESOME to witness!

Field Trip to JCA on PhotoPeach

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Carnival

Fall Carnival was a huge success! Thank you, thank you to Mrs. Oliveira for organizing and decorating our Tattoo Booth. Thank you to all of our volunteers who worked our booth, even in the dark!! I hope that you got to enjoy some outdoor family fun time on Friday at our Fall Carnival, I know my family and I definitely did!

Literary Character Parade

Friday was such a fun day from the beginning to the end! Our students dressed up as book characters and looked great! Thank you to all of our parents who were able to join us for the literary parade!
Literary Characters on PhotoPeach

Five Little Pumpkins

The students have been practicing "The Five Little Pumpkins." Each group of students took a turn saying the lines in the rhyme, complete with turning out the lights on cue.