Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Grandparents' Week!

Thank you to our families for attending Grandparents and Special Persons' Day!  We had a busy and fun time!

We are so thankful for our students too!  Our turkey was full of feathers with your special thoughts.

Before we celebrated Grandparents and Special Persons' Day, we finished our study of life long ago this week by making our own butter and pumpkin muffins.

Shake, shake, shake, 
We will butter make!

The key ingredients to making our own butter were heavy cream, marbles and tupperware--a little different from long ago but still human-powered!  We poured cream and salt into tupperware, added clean marbles to help stir, and sealed them.  Instead of churning, we took turns shaking!  After MANY turns shaking the butter jars around the table, we let our butter stiffen while we made pumpkin muffins.  We had a special grandma visitor lead the baking!

After baking and lunch, we heard the wonderful story One by Kathryn Otoshi too!

Finally, it was time to enjoy our homemade butter and muffins.

The muffins got a big thumbs-up!
The butter was a little soft, but tasty!
Smiles were all around.  Nothing like homemade goodies!
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  See you Tuesday!
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Goodbye Songs

We had a few parent requests to share our goodbye songs.  Here is a short movie of our regular Monday through Thursday goodbye songs, and our special Fun Friday song.  You may recognize the tunes!

Patterns of the World Map

Thank you to all our families for sharing patterns from around the world.  Click on the markers below to see what the children brought in! To see photos of the students with their patterns, visit the world map outside the classroom!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Third Grade Buddy Animal Project

Over the course of the last three weeks, the kindergartners brainstormed, researched and designed Minnesota animals.  The third graders researched what their animal did in the winter--if it migrated, hibernated or adapted.  The kindergartners thought about which animal group their animal belonged in, since we are studying mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects.  The children worked collaboratively with their buddies to create their creatures using tissue paper collage and shellac.  See if you can spot the four insects, one reptile, one amphibian, four birds, and five mammals!

All animals are on display outside the lower school library in the commons!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marshmallow Math

For a fun Friday activity, we celebrated practicing our 5-group fluency with Gingerbread and Snowman Marshmallow Math!

Each kindergartner used their gingerbread men and snowmen to come up with different combinations, or number partners, to add up to 5.  Then they could eat five marshmallows and take the rest home to share the activity with their family.  We hope some of those tasty marshmallows made it home!

Thinking about and becoming more familiar with "number partners" (also sometimes called hidden partners) helps us become fluent with addition up to 5.  Each child made a special number ring with 5 beads on it that we used in stations to play "hidden number;" one child would show three beads, and the other station friends had to shout out the missing number partner (two) that would make five.  As the fall progresses, we will add five more beads to our number ring to make ten, and begin thinking about number partners for 10 (8+2, 9+1, etc.). 

We love math!  For a homelink, ABCya is a great site for computer games--scroll down to get to the math section.  Pinterest also has tons of boards for fun math tools you can make at home--lots of fun to do on those long holiday weekends and winter breaks when it's extra chilly outside.  Happy Math Fun!
Saturday, November 15, 2014

We are Authors!

We finished our study of personal narratives in Writers Workshop this week.  After checking our work using a checklist, rereading our stories to our writing partners, and checking again, it was time to fancy up our work!  Publishing is a big deal, so we have a special song (one some of the children recognized--it's featured in the video below!) and we made special writers' hats to let people know we have stories to tell!

Our next unit in writing will be "How-To" books--focusing on our expertise to teach other people about something!  It promises to be just as rewarding!
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winter Play

With the snow comes... outside play!

As soon as we get more fresh, fluffy powder, the sleds come out!
Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winter Time is Here...

It's that beautiful time of year again when we gather all our winter gear for play in the snow!  With the impending snowstorm, it is now time to bring in outdoor clothing for recess time.  Each student should have a winter jacket, snowpants, snowboots, hat and waterproof gloves to play outside every day!  We go outside every day unless the wind and cold are severe.  

One of our goals in kindergarten is for each child to become comfortable dressing themselves for outside play.  Since many mittens and snowpants look alike and can get mixed up as children prepare for recess, please label every winter item with your child's name.  

Another wonderful tradition for winter is... Skating!

We will begin skating Friday, December 5th.  We will leave school around 9:30 and return in time for lunch around 11.  Keep in mind that your child will need ice skates that fit properly AND a helmet that fits properly.  The helmet can be a bike helmet or any kind that protects your child from a fall. Any adults who wish to skate with their students must wear a helmet as well.

Happy Winter--even when sometimes it feels like this! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Skeletal System and More

This week we continued thinking about the skeletal system.  Each child built their own skeleton--a few friends enjoying dancing with their skeletons too!
With the addition of the game Operation to our science and math exploration table, we got lots of surgeons on call too!

In our stations this week, we explored several apps on the iPad, including the Handwriting Without Tears app "Wet Dry Try" and the app "Little Speller."  There are also a few emergent storybooks that the children were able to follow along with, including The Gingerbread Man  and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Some children took a break during choice time to explore numbers 1-100!

Many children enjoyed the smell of new playdough--with the scent of french toast!

A favorite activity was exploring crayon and watercolor together in illustrations.

PINECONES AND PINE NEEDLES NEEDED!!  If your family has any pinecones around the yard or the neighborhood that you are willing to part with, we would gladly take them for our counting and sensory table this week.  Even with pinecones collected by our students from the playground, we could definitely use more!  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to another special kindergartner!  He was excited for his Green Bay Packers crown, especially since it featured his favorite color green!

We enjoyed a reading of the favorite story The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Our next birthday comes when the snow comes... in December!
Saturday, November 1, 2014

This is Halloween!

We had a wonderful time at our Halloween party this Friday!

We played Halloween BINGO...
with pumpkins and spiders.
Everyone made delicious spider cookies with green frosting...

which were very popular...

and gave us green faces...
but happy ones!
A skeleton princess and her mom!

Our resident lego man started his day with... legos!

Doc McStuffins investigated the skeleton.
The young ladies from Frozen visited us on Halloween!

Another doctor was in the house to inspect some bones.
A queen and George Washington graced us with their presence too!
A Wild Kratt brother, Aaron Rogers and a wolf joined the party...
Along with a scary vampire and an astronaut... 
And a cute cat who practiced bandaging her arms!

One of our parents came in to share her skeleton, April, with the class.  She named the parts of the body and discussed with us how to keep strong bones!

The children practiced wrapping each other arms in soft casts.  A wonderful way to round out our Halloween celebration!

Thank you to all our parent volunteers!  Happy Fall!