Sunday, February 5, 2012

More than names on a shirt!

I didn't think that the 100th Day of Kindergarten would really get me choked up, but I found myself realizing how precious time is and how quickly it goes by. A few years ago, I made a T-shirt with all of the names of the students that I had taught. This year before the 100th day I added the names of my current students. When I looked back at all of those names, so many memories and stories came to my mind. It's crazy for me to think that the first group of Kindergarteners that I ever taught are in high school right now, but then again it is reality because one of them is our babysitter. I feel very blessed because I truly love my job and I know that I get to impact so many of these precious children in a positive way! I also LOVE how these students and their families have impacted me and helped me to be a better teacher, parent, and person!

100th Day Centers

Students had a great time rotating through the different centers that all had to do with the number 100! They counted by 10's and 5's and put the numbers in order, they made a 100th day hat, they attempted to make a necklace with 100 cereal loops (that was a little more time consuming than I had thought originally, but they had fun and ate a few Cheerios and Fruit Loops as they were stringing the cereal on their necklace), they wrote about what they would do if they had $100, and they had a 100th day "Snacktivity" in which they had to collect and graph 10 different food items. Students got to each these goodies later in the day for a perfect Fun Friday + 100 Day of Kindergarten Treat! Later, students went outside and did 100 jumping jacks and searched for 100 numbered Hershey Kisses! It was a very sweet day!

100 Days Smarter!

We celebrated our 100th Day of Kindergarten last week! Students each made a project for homework to wear 100 "somethings" on this special day. Students came decorated in 100 stickers, insects, stars, pieces of popcorn, pompoms, flowers, numbers,pennies, beads, hearts, Chinese words, paperclips, and tattoos! Each students got to explain how they made their project and then posed for a "I am 100 Days Smarter!" picture. I'm the crazy looking lady with 100 hairbows and ponytails in my hair!

We're Seeing Shapes EVERYWHERE!

Students have been learning about 2-D and 3-D shapes. They have learned the names of them (including the triangular prism and rectangular prism) and also tried to identify objects in the real world that are similar shapes. Students worked in groups of threes or fours to make a list/draw objects that resembled a particular shape. Here's one example below of pictures and words that students thought resembled a triangular prism: a party hat, a Christmas tree, a pyramid, the point of a spear, and a beak! Shapes really are all around us! Students did a great job working together on this project and presenting their papers to the rest of the class.

Students also received a 2-D paper cut out and was challenged with the idea of making that shape become part of something else. For example, a circle is just a circle, but when I add a straight line below it, it becomes a lollipop. The pictures below show students thinking of a square as a "package," a "robot," and a "grandfather clock."

Happy Groundhog Day!

What's NEW with our class?

Catching up a little... my students are obsessed with origami, thanks to our art teacher! She taught them how to make origami puppies. At least two students are making origami at the end of each day for free choice. They are also obsessed with "mail call." Students can write notes or make crafts for one another and put it in our "class mailbox," as long as it is addressed correctly (who it is to and who it is from). Students have made origami, paper snowflakes, "you are my best friend" notes, and even wrote out numbers "counting by 5's" on a paper to give to another student who doesn't know how to count by 5's yet but wants to be in the "Counting by 5's Math Club." How cute and thoughtful is that?

Several students, myself, my family and other teachers and students from our school volunteered two weekends ago to clean up the school campus. We worked on the school garden. We spread mulch and coffee grounds, planted seeds, and pulled weeds. We saved the potatoes until Monday so that the whole class could have the experience of planting. We planted three different types of potatoes, including blue potatoes. We are going to be going out to check on them once a week and record our observations as scientists!

We learned all about the Chinese New Year from Mrs. Johnson (Andrew's mom). She showed the students traditional ceremonial clothing, taught them about the meaning of The Chinese New Year, allowed them to make a paper dragon, and gave them Chinese fortune cookies. The students really embraced learning about this Chinese tradition. Thank you Mrs. Johnson!!
We also have been having a great time with our weekly Spanish lessons with Mrs. Wilson (Zachary's mom). She has been coming every Wednesday and reading books, playing games, singing songs, and teaching simple words and conversation pieces. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, to be able to expose my students to other languages, and it's coming true!!!! I already have Mrs. Rushe (Patrick's mom) signed up to teach a few words and a song in Italian this month too! Thank you to Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Rushe.