Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated a kindergarten birthday this week--one that our special kindergartener shares with our first President, George Washington!

He chose to have a Vikings crown too!  His grandparents brought some pictures from their trip to Africa, tying in perfectly with our study of animals and continents.  They also shared some words they learned on their trip, featured on the board behind them.  Very cool!
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Friendship Chain

For our C.A.R.E. theme of friendship this month, Ms. Brandl read a wonderful book to the students about friendship.  Then each child brainstormed what it looks like and sounds like to be a friend.  Of course many sang the song too:

To be a friend you must be kind
To be a friend you must be respectful

Each child designed and cut out a friendship figure with their special friendly message on its tummy.

Our Estimation Jar of Hearts

We finished up our study of estimation by taking some volunteers to count out how many candy hearts were in the candy jar!  With some guidance, our helpers took a pile of hearts, organized them into groups of ten, and then counted by tens to figure out how many each pile had.

Once we figured out how many hearts were on each tray, it was time to add it all together.  Here was our final number sentence to figure it out:
434!  Many of our estimates were close to 100 or 1000, so lots of us were surprised!  Thank you to our three special student helpers for their diligent counting!

Germs, Germs, Germs

We thought about germs last week, and read the story Germs, Germs, Germs.  The book reminded us that germs love it when we don't wash our hands--but what does that REALLY look like?  It was time to find out...

In the spirit of science, we used agar plates to see if we had any germs on our hands.  Here are the plates before the experiment:

So clean and red!  

Each child pressed their fingers onto an agar plate, and then we covered them and left them alone over the weekend to see what would happen.  And then we saw... 

GERMS!  GERMS!  GERMS!  Ewwww.... so this was a great visual reminder to us to always wash our hands!  A big thank you to one of our families for supplying the plates!

Presidents' Day

We celebrated Presidents' Day weekend and our social studies unit on American symbols by making reversible Abraham Lincolns and George Washingtons.  We read wonderful book from the "People Who Change the World" book series titled I Am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer.

We thought a lot about which President we would like to meet, and then used our green classroom wheels to graph it!


It looks like lots of our kindergartners would like to meet President Lincoln!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saakumu Music and Dance

We had a wonderful afternoon listening, clapping and dancing to Bernard Woma and the Saakumu Music Group from Ghana.  By the end, everyone had a smile on their face and a song in their hearts! At the end much of our class joined the dancers onstage.

This treat was brought to us by Ms. Anderson, who visited Ghana this summer and explored African drumming with Woma.

For great drumming, dancing and gyil playing, check out the video below or visit Bernard Woma's YouTube videos here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day

The children enjoyed a wonderful party, thanks to our parent volunteers!

There were valentine cupcakes to decorate (and eat)...

And valentine BINGO to play...

 And lovebugs to make.  The children were very creative!

The most important thing we did though...

 was spend time with our friends!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

The Mitten

The kindergarteners read The Mitten for our third grade buddies.  Each group read their parts with enthusiasm and confidence--well done!

The Mitten was our first foray into Readers Theater this year.  As the year progresses, we will continue to work on oral reading fluency and reading with feeling.  For more on Readers Theater and its use in the classroom, check out Reading Rockets.
Monday, February 9, 2015

Medallion Ceremony

Every kindergartner worked hard to earn 15 medallions on their special Olympic ribbon!

Some of the hardest medallions for our young learners were shoe-tying and memorizing their home address--but everyone did it!  The children painted and added stars to create an authentic American flag, which we stood behind as everyone received their medallions ribbon.  Then we stood together for the national anthem--some children even put their hands over their chest in honor of the occasion!

A cool compilation as we tried to pose for the camera!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Happy 100th Day!

Hi ho, hi ho, 100 days ago,

We came to school 
and we're so cool
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho
A-counting we will go
We'll count by tens with all our friends.
Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!

We had a wonderful 100th day parade this morning with our crowns, pennants and flags!

Look at all these kindergartners joining in the celebration!

Here's Mrs. Powers showing us the 100 cake for snacktime!
We made 100 chart placemats earlier in the week--each child cut and weaved their own placemat, then wrote their numbers to 100.  We ate lunch on our new placemats today.

Then it was time for our 100-object mystery bags.  There were very good describing clues on the bags--and a lot of different objects.

Q-tips were a popular choice, along with M&M candies.  We also had cat food pellets, Cheerios, Legos, marbles, paper clips, baseball cards, number tiles and our best smelling 100 collection, popcorn!

We read some 100 day books, including the favorite 100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler.

And of course we danced and moved our bodies to a counting song!  Here's a video that goes with our song--your kindergartner will recognize the song right away!