Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween!

What a week!  We started the week by carving a pumpkin.

Lots of friends help scoop guts from the pumpkin--and even loved playing with the pulp a bit!

Today was party day!  We started out with a parade and sing-a-long with the entire lower school.

Then it was time for our party!  We made pop-up ghosts...

No party is complete without BINGO...

And spider cookies with LOTS of frosting!

Class Halloween picture

and the teachers as Breck's favorite lunch--Brunch for Lunch.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Brooklyn Farm Field Trip

At Brooklyn Park Eidem Homestead, we explored a house and farm from 1890.

Learning about the features of a 1900-era kitchen--including the icebox and kerosene lamps

Seeing how wool was brushed and spun for yarn

Looking at old pictures through an antique stereoscope in the parlor

Then it was time to do the outdoor chores.  We learned that it was the job of the children to collect the eggs, keep the woodbox stored and more.

Pumping water for the laundry--hard work!

Washing the clothes

Meeting a young cow

Meeting some hungry goats

As the fall continues, we will continue to compare and contrast life long ago and life today.  For the history of the Homestead, check their site here.  Thank you to our volunteers for coming!
Friday, October 23, 2015

Almost Halloween!

We are gearing up for our first classroom party next week!

Some children spent time finding and writing Halloween words around the room...

While others baked up muffins and cookies in our new classroom bakery!

Besides exploring orange playdough and working in our new classroom bakery, the children have been hard at work in math workshop this week.  We began a pilot of a new math curriculum, and started with building number partners (4 and 1 make 5, 3 and 2 make 5, etc.).  One of our more popular stations was bowling with pins and making math sentences from our scores!

We also took our nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty, which we sang at the Walker Senior Home, and broke it down into "word bricks" to help us understand how words are spaced apart.

Our visit to the Walker Home was a wonderful experience.  Our music teacher Mrs. Anderson does such a fantastic job teaching and engaging the children to help them sing their very best!  The kindergarteners gave out homemade cards after the concert, and got plenty of hugs from the residents in return.

We will be back to the Walker in May for May Day!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin

To help us think about Unity Day this week, we watched the story Spookley the Square Pumpkin.  The story revolves around a square pumpkin who is bullied because he is a different shape from the other pumpkins.  We talked about times when we might feel like a square pumpkin, and we brainstormed about what we can do when another friend feels like a square pumpkin.  Ideas included asking a friend to play or giving them a hug.

We will continue the conversation as the year goes on, but the Spookley site is a good place to get more information on the story.  It is also featured on the Disney and Disney Jr. channels in the next week if you want to view it at home.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


We had a wonderful morning with our biobuddies!

After making self portraits with our buddies, we began making hand and foot prints!

 In almost every month, we will meet with our buddies to talk about and explore a body system.  We will also weigh and measure (in grams and centimeters) each month to see how much our students grow!  We can't wait!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween Math Stories and Writing

We are gearing up for Halloween with some spooky math stories!  Part of our introduction to numbers this fall is understanding that math can be part of a story--we can tell stories and think about items in sets, and identify the numbers that match those sets as well.  Some children even took on writing a number sentence to match their spooky house story!  Next week, we will begin a "number of the day" study!

Mrs. Bailey, our Lower School Director, also touches on our upcoming math pilot for a new math curriculum on her blog.  You can check out her blog here for lots of great information!

Our students also had the chance to display some of their "first stories" of kindergarten!  Well done writers!

Unity Day

Help us celebrate Unity Day this Wednesday, October 21!  Everyone is invited to "go orange" in a school-wide effort to recognize how we support each other and say no to bullying.

Bullying can sometimes be hard for parents and children to distinguish from typical conflict resolution, especially in the younger years, so please check out the PACER Center's site here or this site for information on what bullying is and ways to talk to children about bullying.  
Thursday, October 8, 2015

Safety Week

We have been thinking about safety procedures this week--ways we stay safe "just in case."

For bus safety, we visited Mr. Ryks, the head of transportation at Breck, to think about bus safety rules.

We learned that staying 10 feet away from the bus is the best way to be visible to a driver.  We also learned that buses are very safe--and we practiced hopping out the back emergency door (teachers too!). 

During this critical safety week, we have also talked about fire drills and lockdown drills.  We walk through the steps of each so our students have some prior knowledge before our required drills. 

These can be scary for children and we strongly emphasize how our first priority is to keep our students safe.  There are lots of resources out there to help grown-ups negotiate the waters of these tough topics.  Feel free to check out this article from the Huffington Post about talking to children about lockdowns, or this one from a blogger about how she approaches talking to her children about drills in general.

Have a peaceful weekend and enjoy your book baggies!

Westwood Hills Nature Center

We enjoyed our first field trip of the year to Westwood Hills Nature Center this week!

Looking a weeds and mud

Checking out the dock

Finding fungi on stumps while we look for signs of woodpeckers and deer

Identifying a paper wasp nest

One of our favorite parts of the trip is the puppet show--featuring animals getting ready for winter!

We visit Westwood Hills again in the winter--check their site here for some upcoming activities.