Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Summer Reading

With summer comes relaxing days, later bedtimes and... more time to read what you love!  The Breck Lower School library has offered a summer reading list available here.  

There are also lots of summer reading ideas out there-- Scholastic has a summer reading challenge, and Barnes and Noble also features Imagination's Destination.  Both help your child keep track of what books they enjoyed and will give them a great feeling of accomplishment!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Safety

It's almost time for summer, and that means summer safety!  Mrs. Heurung came to speak to the class about being safe while playing outside and swimming.  After a reading of Officer Buckle and Gloria, the class brainstormed ways to be safe around water, on bicycles and playing in the yard.  Some children mentioned how they wear their helmets, while others talked about how they make sure to swim with adult supervision.  

 A reading of Officer Buckle and Gloria by John Lithgow

The kindergarten movie is fast approaching!  We look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday afternoon, and then on Monday for the Lower School Closing Program.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Water Day

A big kindergarten tradition is... water day!

The waterfall sandbox

Monkey bar sprinklers

Drawing with rainbow chalk

Throwing the beach ball

Water slide--a blast!

The popular slip-and-slide

Bubble wands

Race through the sprinklers
The shooting gallery
A big thank you to Ivy for helping with the water balloons and set-up!  We are so sorry a few friends couldn't make it.  More fun to come in the next few weeks though!

Happy Birthday!

We had another wonderful birthday celebration, complete with a reading of the fun book Not Norman.

The class has become very adept at singing "Happy Birthday" in both Chinese and English!
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tipi Raising

We were excited to be part of a Middle School Chapel at which we heard Native American prayers and drumming.  Several members of the school shared what it meant to them to be part of the Dakota and Ojibwe communities.  There was invigorating jingle dancing and fancy shawl dancing as well.  

After chapel, we ate a picnic lunch on the playground as we watched the erection of the tipi.

The tipi started with three 30-foot poles, then others added carefully on each side for balance.

The front was tethered together with long wooden dowels.
We walked through the tipi after playing outside for a bit--it was a chilly day but we hung in there!  If you have a chance on Monday morning, come to the kindergarten playground to see!

A HUGE much belated thank you to all the parents for their thoughts on Teacher Appreciation Day. As I mentioned to several parents, we teachers are lucky folks--we do what we love and love what we do everyday.  The parent association also gave banana bread to the teachers from Madibanani--check out the amazing story of the young woman behind this bread here.  I tried to get a picture of the bread, but it did not last long at my house!  Thank you again.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Author Visit: John Coy

We had a special treat today for Celebrate Reading Month.  Local author and speaker John Coy talked with the children about the art (and frustrations) of writing.  He reminded everyone that no matter what, you keep trying over and over until you get things just the way you want them--even if it takes a whole year or more!

He read two of his wonderful stories to us as well!


The story Hoop Genius is also up for a Minnesota Star of the North Picture Book Award!  To learn more about our author visitor, click here.

Peter Rabbit Show

The students loved acting as characters in a reading of Peter Rabbit. Each child chose their character, and three children chose to work on set design.  The end result was a fun performance complete with detailed sets.  It evolved quickly, as the children seemed excited to act for an audience!  Since it was an informal in-class show, we invited some kindergarten class neighbors and some of the administrators from the lower school.  Check out the video below.

Here are some stills from one of our dress rehearsals.  It was great practice for our lower school closing coming up soon!

Farmer McGregor

Our Peter Rabbits, Mrs. Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail

Our narrators
Two of our set designers (and ushers)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Few Belated Birthdays and more...

We celebrated a few birthdays and I finally am getting around to posting their adorable pictures.  Everyone is growing up so fast!

Reading about the girls in two straight lines, and one of them was Madeline.

The book Chopstick is a class favorite!
We will have two more birthday celebrations before the close of the year as well.

Speaking of the end of the year, there are also several important dates coming up!

Monday, May 26: No School Memorial Day
Thursday May 29, 1:30 pm: Portfolio Review and Kindergarten Movie in the Cargill Theater. Formal invitations will be going home soon.
Monday June 2, 11:00 am: Lower School Closing Program (dismissal following program)

And that brings us to Water Day.  Well, here is next week's forecast:

There does not seem to be a day close to 80 degrees in sight!  We will stay optimistic that water day will happen, and we thank everyone for bringing in their children's things in case we make a last minute decision--if it suddenly warms up one morning!  Thank you also to our parent volunteers!

Look for pictures or video of our in-class puppet show on Peter Rabbit coming later this week. Our wonderful readers are practicing reading with expression and engaging in the experiences of characters in literature.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Earth Week Follow-Up

To help us think about what kinds of things to write about to help our Earth, we turned to a few wonderful resources at Breck!
Walter from our custodial team came to speak to the class about what happens to organics, recycling and trash once they leave the school.  We watched a very cool video on how trash gets sorted and incinerated.

Ms. Keepers, lower school math instructor and sustainability committee member, played "ROT" with the class--sorting recycling, organics and trash.  
 Stay posted for pictures of our "Earth Week" publications and posters--coming tomorrow!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Last Biobuddies Visit

For our last Biobuddies visit, we used our five senses to compare sounds and study objects under magnifying glasses.  Each child also used a mirror to see what baby teeth they lost and if they have any adult teeth growing in.  Our biobuddies helped the children record their findings.

Then it was time for a special treat--tray lunches in the Middle School Dining Room-very exciting!  The middle-schoolers were a little surprised at how early we eat lunch!

As a special surprise, we made handprint flower pots to express our gratitude for our buddies' care and help this year.  And gratitude is our C.A.R.E. theme this month too!

Our flowers were inspired by Kandinsky's circles.

Westwood Hills Nature Center Trip in Spring (sort of)

We revisited the Nature Center again to see how our animal groups behave in spring. Alas, it was cold and snowy!  Even the great horned owl had left its nest in search of a warmer location!  We spent a short time outside and saw the mama goose sitting on her nest at the edgewater.

A white egret wades through the water in the background behind the nest.
Inside, we saw the always-entertaining puppet show! 

Everyone was very brave and met a hog-nosed snake.

The tarantula was very interested in us!

It was a great time to see worms in action, since we are learning about where our "organics" go and how compost works. 
An interesting skull with big front teeth and small chewing teeth--we thought it would be a beaver's skull.
Thank you Westwood for a wonderful year!