Thursday, January 30, 2014

February is Love to Read Month!

Read to your bunny everyday and someday... they will read to you!  February is the perfect time to celebrate reading, with our kindergarteners becoming such confident and enthusiastic readers!  A big thank you to one of our room parents for sharing this link to Creative Kidstuff's Reading Challenge Calendar.  Click here for a link to the printable calendar.

We look forward to our Chinese New Year parade tomorrow, as well as our third skate of this winter.  Look for pictures to come!  
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Half-Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated two half-birthdays this week--this birthday friend read Whose Mouse Are You? to the class.

And this birthday friend choose The Hat, by a favorite author Jan Brett.

And last... a service note from the whole school:
The Great Boxtop Challenge is back!

Which division can collect the most?
(As of Jan. 23, 2014 Lower School is in the lead BIG TIME.)

All the money we raise goes to support the Heifer Project –
A world-wide anti-hunger organization.  Please bring in ALL your boxtops by Feb. 13.

Last year we raised over $1000.00. Let's see if we can double that amount for the Heifer Project.

Germs Part II

Germs were growing!!  After the long weekend, we examined our Petri dishes and found that our fingertips have germs on them.  Here are the dishes and you can see the germs growing from where each child pressed their fingertips.  As the class said, "ewwwwww!"  Now we really know that it's important to wash our hands thoroughly!  We also visited Mrs. Kavermann from the health office.  She spoke to several kindergarten classes about hand-washing and covering a cough with your elbow or sleeve.
Sunday, January 19, 2014

Germs, Germs

We talked about germs this week and began a cool germ experiment!  We read the story Germs Are Not for Sharing and discussed what germs do, how they spread, and how we can stay healthy.  The children had lots of great ideas for staying healthy, including: eating well, washing your hands when you cough or sneeze, and keeping your hands away from your nose and mouth.  We also talked about getting good amounts of sleep and exercise!

We did two experiments.  For our first experiment, each child touched an agar Petri plate with their fingers and then rubbed a Q-tip on a surface in the classroom and rubbed it onto the Petri plate.  After the long weekend, we will examine our plates to see how if any germs grow!  If you are interested in trying this at home and making your own Petri dishes, the Kitchen Pantry Scientist (a mom based in the Twin Cities) has some great ideas featured on her site here.  Try the "Mentos Geyser!!"

After using the agar plates, we looked at how germs can spread.  As the children gathered to go to lunch, I shook each child's hands with glitter on my hands.  We looked at our hands when we were done and realized that everyone I touched now had glitter on their hands!  Imagine those were germs--ICK!  So then we sang the hand-washing song at the sprayer sinks.  The children practiced using the three main ingredients to clean hands: soap, water, and scrubbing!

Book Drive for Little Free Libraries

For the month of January, we would like to add some wonderful children's books to our Breck "Little Free Library" at the intersection of Penn and Glenwood Ave in Minneapolis.  Little Free Libraries are a great way to share books and make reading fun.  If you have not seen one before, you can look check out a map here for locations in neighborhoods across the country.  Pre-school and kindergarten families are invited to donate gently used children's books--books may be sent to school with your student, marked "DONATION."  Thank you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pieces of Peace

To celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we read several stories including the wonderful Martin's Big Words.  

After reading about his life, we discussed as a class what fairness feels and what Dr. King fought against without violence.  We talked how it would feel if there were signs telling us we could only go to certain schools, movie theaters, restaurants, etc. based on our skin color--in the book, they discuss how Dr. King felt as a child when he saw "whites only" signs, how he said "yes" when others said "hate."  Each child drew and wrote one way they try to be peaceful and loving in the vein of Dr. King.


Our Pieces of Peace so far
Hmmm... my camera seems to be blurry.  I will try to get better pictures tomorrow.

One of our classmates brought a picture of his great-grandfather with Dr. King as well.  What a wonderful personal connection to share with the class!

For some great activities, information and resources for your children to celebrate Dr. King, check out BrainPOP.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Back into the Swing of Things!

After a very cold break, it was good to get back into our routine.  We created some winter art, as we sang a favorite winter poem:

I puff up my feathers to trap warm air
And eat seeds from a feeder my friends can share.
I'm... a... cardinal!

Our cardinals are really kindergarten handprints!

During choice time, a few students made sideways snowmen using oil pastels.  The sideways snowmen allowed children to illustrate snowmen in a different way, capturing what they view from the side rather than straight on.  The snowpeople are on display on the kindergarten community board by Mrs. Powers' room.

We skated on Friday and had a great time.  The children seemed much more comfortable getting on the ice.

Thank you to all our parent volunteers--we couldn't do it without you!