Friday, May 22, 2015

Water Day was... a Splash!

What a great day to splash!

Ready, Set, Go!


Rolling on beach balls--only a few landed on the roof!

Relaxing in the sun

Getting ready to make a big splash!

It was the perfect day to get outside, jump in pools, play in sprinklers, toss water balloons and more!  A huge thank you goes out to our water balloon helper and our set-up volunteers--we couldn't do it without you!

Coming Up...

Look for more Water Day features in the kindergarten movie this Thursday.  Parents should be seated in the Cargill Theater by 1:15.  The stars of the movie will enter by class and sit together as a class for the show.  Following the show, families can join us in the classroom as your student will share a compilation of their year's work, along with a special gift for their families.  Make sure to bring your tissues for the movie--it is astounding how many smiles and learning experiences our students fit in a year.

For the special gift, parents will need a QR code reader on their smartphone or tablet.  Many phones may already have a QR Reader app, but there are plenty out there available--here's a link to a free one through iTunes or you can search for a free QR code reader app.  If you can any questions, just let us know!

See you Thursday!  We can't believe how fast the year has gone by!

Friday, May 15, 2015

May News

We had the honor of having one of our kindergartners and her family share how they pray.  It was a wonderful experience to learn a little more about Muslim prayer and about the hijab.  Our kindergartner did a great job sharing in front of a big audience!

Ice Cream Party

Our grade was the only grade to earn an ice cream party!  We discussed that it had a lot to do with one of our C.A.R.E. themes, generosity, because we had so many families act generously and give to Breck this spring.
Ice cream brings smiles!

Concentrating on our yummy sundaes!

Summer Reading

Our librarians have summer reading lists ready for children in the lower school!  Please click here and follow the link on the bottom for first grade.  Please note that the reading is optional and just a great way to keep reading when the sun is shining!  Summer library hours are also listed.

Speaking of reading, we had the opportunity to decorate our door this week!  The library hosted a door-decorating contest, and our class voted for The Gingerbread Girl.  We hope to get an honorable mention in the contest!  The students collaborated together to made every piece of the door.

Save the Dates!

We are still waiting for that perfect weather day for Water Day.  So far it has eluded us, but we will stay persistent and tentatively look at next Friday, May 22 for our Water Day.

The Kindergarten Movie premiere happens on Thursday, May 28th in the Cargill Theater.  Please arrive by 1:15.  Following the movie, the children will informally share a compilation of their work back in the classroom.
Friday, May 8, 2015

Water, Water Everywhere

We have been thinking a LOT about our earth these last few months.  A big part of our social studies curriculum is studying continents, but what about all that "blue" on the map?  What about all the rivers and lakes of blue that cut through our continents?  We decided that we needed to "zoom in" on that feature, water, and think about it a little more.

Our first task was to think about how we as individuals use water.  Every student mentally walked through a normal day, and tallied how many times they used water (to wash hands brush teeth, drink, bathe, etc.).

Some students had tallies around 10, others around 30, in one day!  Wow!  We realized that we really, really need water every day!

Each child shared their findings with their writing partner, including illustrations of two ways they use water.

On the second day, we examined the app Barefoot Atlas on the ipad and zoomed in on "the floating garbage pile" that is featured floating in the Pacific Ocean.

We brainstormed how we could clean dirty water--some children mentioned nets, some mentioned using scuba divers.  But we needed to get our hands dirty to really figure it out!

Each child paired with their writing partner and got a few tools--paintbrushes, sponges, sponge-brushes, spoons, oral syringes, toothbrushes.  The teachers came along and added a material to each tub of water.  The children then observed what happened when they tried to clean their water. Some questions they pondered were: which tools are most effective?  least effective?  Are we successful in cleaning the water?

Cleaning shaving cream from water

Cleaning yellow paint from the water

Trying to clear glitter from water

It's hard to separate soil from water!

Cleaning water made green from finger paint

Clearing the dirt from water

Getting the soap out of water
After the experiment, we came inside and documented our observations.  We "debriefed" as a class and shared our findings.  Most children agreed that once water gets dirty, it is awfully hard to clean, but some tools might be better than others.  Good job, scientists!
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Westwood Nature Center

We took our last trip to the nature center this morning.  Everyone was energized to see turkeys, geese and birds--even in the drizzle.

On our hike, we spotted a drake Mallard, a few tom turkeys and heard a blue jay.  We also talked about the rule of "leaves of three, let it be" since many children had questions about poison ivy.

After the hike, it was off to the puppet show!

We also had the chance to explore books, puppets and hands-on materials at the center.  We even got to see a few close ups of a gray tree frog and a toad.  Very cool!

And one more thing... a HUGE thank you to all our families for the appreciation cards.  They are so lovely! And the cookies were very tasty too!

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated a May Day birthday with the special book Purplicious!

The book Purplicious is a favorite in the classroom--along with the new one, Emeraldicious.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Last Week of April News

We  celebrated our wonderful experiences with our biobuddies this week!  We finished up weighing and measuring to see how much we had grown over the year, and also checked out some "shake, rattle, roll" cans to use our sense of hearing and match items to their sounds.

After finishing up our projects, we had a special lunch hosted by our buddies in the middle school cafeteria.  So much fun!

Walker Senior Home May Day Visit

We made tissue paper flowers for the residents of the Walker Home in Minneapolis this week and shared them this morning.  We also spread joy in the form of song--what a wonderful way to end the week!  Please check out the movie montage below (and forgive the videographer, some shakiness at parts)!  A big shout-out to Ms. Anderson and all the work she does with our students!