Monday, November 28, 2016

Grandparents and Special Persons' Day

Thank you to all the lovely families and friend who came for our Grandparents and Special Persons' Day tradition.  We had a lot of fun, despite the wet weather!

Eating donuts and fruit...yum!

And lastly leading a song to kick off our Chapel service. 

We hope everyone had a peaceful and joyful weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Can Tie My Shoes!

During Thanksgiving week, we like to practice an old but useful skill--tying shoes!  It is definitely a task that requires a growth mindset.  First, we read the book Red Lace, Yellow Lace.

We brainstormed different ways people liked to tie their shoes.  Then it was time in our small groups to practice tying shoes.  Some friends worked and worked hard at their paper practice shoes and got it!!

Making Butter

For our study of life long ago, we made our own butter!  Since a wooden churn was not readily available, we went with a more modern standby, Tupperware.

With heavy whipping cream, and some tape to seal our Tupperware, we sang our chant "shake, shake, shake, we will butter make!" and shook the cream to make butter.  We had a secret ingredient too--we put a marble in the cream, so when then we couldn't hear the marble anymore, our cream had thickened into butter!  What would we eat it with?

Well, time to make pumpkin bread then!

Let the taste test begin!

If you would like the recipe for our pumpkin bread, check here (we had lots of requests from the students).  Please note that if you make loaves, as we did, it might take a bit longer to bake (we went with about 40 minutes at 350 degrees for mini-loaves).  For making your own butter, heavy whipping cream and a sealable container for shaking will do the trick!  We refrigerated the solidified cream for a few hours before serving, and added salt to one portion.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hour of Code Day

We celebrated coding today with our own mini "code-in."  Each child worked with a partner to program Daisy the Dinosaur to do things like roll, spin, shrink, grow, turn and more.

Great job programmers!

Patterns Around The World

Thank you to all the families and friends who brought patterns to share this week!  We estimated that Asia had the most objects shared.  One of the teachers shared a boomerang from Australia and tried to see if it would boomerang in the hallway; unfortunately, it did not.  But with our growth mindsets, we are going to try again on the playground next week!

Nesting dolls from Russia

Apron from Sri Lanka

Purse from Myanmar

Child's outfit from Vietnam

Flag banner from Israel
Jeweled camel from Egypt
Postcards and placemat from England

Doll from Cuba

Bracelet from Mexico

Runner/blanket from Costa Rica

Many children noticed color patterns, while some noticed shape patterns and animal patterns.  If families are in the building in the next few weeks, check out student pictures on the map outside our classroom!
Thursday, November 17, 2016

December Service Project

Winter Wear Wanted!  The Lower School is collecting new and gently used winter wear for families experiencing homelessness.  We are specifically looking for coats, jackets, boots and snowpants of all sizes. Please feel free to send donations in a marked bag with your student or bring them directly to the "service shelf" located near Gym C.  We will collect winter wear from after the Thanksgiving break until December 14.  Thank you!

C.A.R.E. Theme: Responsibility!

To help us think about our character theme for the month, responsibility, our class took on the mannequin challenge to demonstrate classroom responsibility.  The mannequin challenge is a trending topic right now, with people capturing a moment in time as everyone is frozen like statues.  The students were so excited to show off their responsibility around the classroom that they couldn't wait to freeze in a helping or clean-up pose. They loved it so much that we even spotted some children playing "mannequin challenge" independently on the playground later!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Math and Coding

This week, we finished up our study of numbers to ten.  We have taught the children the idea of "part-part-whole"--decomposing or breaking apart numbers into smaller numbers.  Our independent station during math workshop this week was "Pond Bonds," part of the Number Bonds app.

Children had to find the missing smaller part to make up the bigger part.  One strategy we discussed today was counting on from the bigger number when putting numbers together.  We looked at a card like this one:
When adding the dots together, we modeled how it was easier to start at the larger number and count up to figure out how many.  The strategy of "counting on" is something we will emphasize during the year to help build math fluency.  

Daisy the Dinosaur

Next Friday, we will join our nation in the spirit of "Hour of Code" (for more info, check here).  Each kindergartener will have the opportunity to explore the fun programming app Daisy the Dinosaur as an introduction to coding.  Just to be clear, our classrooom dinosaur was named Daisy way before we even used this app!

After becoming familiar with the app during math workshop next week, kindergarteners will partner up next Friday in the dining room at the start of the day for our own mini "Hour of Code."  This will also be a special pajama day for the school as well.  It promises to be a great day!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day

We discussed how today, Tuesday, November 8 is an important day for our country.  Many children shared that their parents already voted!  Last week we read a wonderful picture book, POTUS.

We will not spoil the story, but feel free to ask your child about the story since it's a wonderful story.  Today, we read Duck for President.
After we read the story, each child cast a ballot for either the duck or the farmer.  We talked a lot about some of the rules around voting: how one person casts one vote (to keep things fair), how votes can be private (so we don't put our names on our ballots) and how we usually vote for one person when voting for our leaders (which is sometimes a tough choice, as with the duck and the farmer).

Duck won the majority in our classroom election.  It will be interesting to see what the rest of our real election looks like.  Have a peaceful Election Night!
Friday, November 4, 2016

The Locker Project: Part One

At several points during the year, we stop to celebrate the ultimate expression of individuality: the self portrait.  During the year, we encourage the children to create self-portraits in different settings and weather, to explore a variety of art media, to use symmetry, and so much more.  

We call this "the locker project" since the self-portraits replace the students' name tags on the lockers.  The placement is meaningful as well; since we walk by our lockers at multiple points during the day, the children are naturally drawn to examining their own portraits and studying those of their peers.

For the beginning of our study, the children used paper and sharpies to create a full-body self-portrait. They used a fade from dark to light or light to dark of their favorite color as a background.  

Find your student's portrait here.  Each portrait is a standout!

Math Workshop: Part-Part-Whole

During our math workshop this week, we investigated how we can further break apart numbers into smaller parts.  We also began examining number lines.
Parking dominoes by adding parts to make a whole
Filling in the missing number

Oh Thursday, we had "Number Corner" morning.  Each child picked a slip of paper from a mystery bag, and then created a number story around that number.  Each student picked a way to show two parts to make the number on their fingers, and then we photocopied their fingers.  The children loved the process and each number story is so unique and creative!!

Some children represented their number with pictures, some with equations, some even with word problems.  It speaks to how we say that we can think about numbers in all sorts of ways!