Saturday, February 27, 2016

Black History Month

We have been learning about African-American leaders and role models during Black History Month.  After learning about the Presidents celebrated on Presidents Day, we talked about President Obama and his role as our President.  Next week, we will also read his book he wrote to his daughters, Of Thee I Sing.

We also looked at the story of Mary McLeod Bethune as a pioneer teacher who believed in respect and education for all.  There are some great highlights in the video below about her achievements.

The children were captivated as well by the story and dancing of Misty Copeland.  We watched the video below as a class and talked about how Ms. Copeland is helping change the face of classical ballet to reflect our diverse country.

For a Time for Kids article about Misty Copeland, click here.

Germs Part 1

Germs are everywhere, as we talked about this week in our science study.  We read the early reader Germs! Germs! Germs! and talked about the importance of washing our hands to stay healthy.

We started an experiment with three different randomly selected groups.

The first group washed their hands with soap and water, and really scrubbed!

The second group washed their hands with water ONLY.

The third group did not wash their hands at all.

Each child pressed their hand onto an agar plate, the kind used by doctors to grow bacteria.
We will see on Monday what results our experiment yields.  Will the plates where children washed their hands with only water have just as many germs as the plates where children did not wash at all? Does washing with soap mean fewer germs? We will see!  This is one of our coolest and grossest experiments of the year!
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated a kindergarten half-birthday with the beautiful story The Circus Ship.



Thank you for sharing your story with us.  Happy birthday and enjoy your special day!

3D Shapes

The children are looking for 3D shapes all around us and creating wonderful things with them in our workshop.   We practiced sorting and matching 3D shapes.  This week, during our stations, some children worked together to build 3D shapes as well.

Making a triangular prism

Building a cube
Creating a pyramid and a sphere

Another great triangular prism

The students even identified 3D shapes in the ice on the playground!

Keep building and exploring!
Friday, February 19, 2016

American Leaders: President Lincoln

To kick off our study of American symbols and leaders, we learned the story of Abraham Lincoln.
We read this great story about a little boy whose neighbor looks just like Abe Lincoln!
We talked about President Lincoln's leadership, his upbringing and his belief in freedom.  We touched on how he was president during a rough time in our history, and how eventually he kept the country together.  We also talked about it's important to remember we can learn from how someone lived, since many of the children focused on how he died.  We looked at pictures of the Lincoln Memorial and found Lincoln on the penny and the five dollar bill.

Everyone made little Abes to hang in the classroom, which we are going to turn into little George Washingtons next week!  The other symbols we will study later this month include the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and Mount Rushmore.

3D Shape Workshop

The students have been using found materials to create amazing things in our workshop area.  Many families contributed the 100 collections the students brought in, and as a result we are seeing trees, bouquets, jet packs and more born out of creativity, perseverance, and lots of tape!

We would LOVE more contributions to our workshop--any clean recycling will do!  In the coming weeks, we will use our workshop creations to make a connection to our celebration of Dr. Seuss and come up with stories for all our thingamabobs and floobers and diffendoofers! * 
*There is a great list here of all the words Dr. Seuss made up in his many stories.  More to come on "Seuss Week!"

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated another wonderful half-birthday today!  We even learned how to sing "Happy Birthday" in French.
Listening to Yakov and the Seven Thieves by Madonna

Enjoy your special day!
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy 100th Day of School

We had a fantastic celebration this week for the 100th day of school.  Each child made a crown, a necklace of 100 beads, a flag and a placemat to commemorate the day!  Check out our 100th Day movie below.

The children are working on some creative writing about "When I Am 100 Years Old."  A few have finished and more will go up this weekend!

When I am 100 years old, I will...



I will paint

Check out the short video from the 100th Day and other links on Breck School's Facebook feed here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


The kindergarteners met with their middle school buddies today to talk about how the heart, lungs and brain work.  We even used stethoscopes to measure and compare resting heart rates and heart rates after one minute of dancing!

                                                         Measuring resting heart rates

Dancing to get our heart rates up!
Then it was time to add our lungs, hearts and brains to our body tracings.  The children worked on adding veins throughout their bodies as well.

Thanks biobuddies!  The children love seeing and learning from you!
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated a February birthday today with one of our wonderful kindergarten families!

A seal crown for the birthday friend

A family reading

Happy birthday!  Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

Happy Valentine's Day

We had a wonderful and relatively low-key party today!  At first, everyone was very excited to meet to play with their Valentine bears.  Then it was time to have our party!

Valentine's Day BINGO

Decorating heart cookies

 And making love critters!

Then it was time for some candy heart experiments.  We discussed whether we thought candy hearts would sink or float, and everyone made a prediction.  Then the students got to work dropping hearts in water and observing.  Our second experiment involving dropping candy hearts into water, soda water and vinegar and observing the results.

Ask your kindergartner what happened and what they observed!  The students also wondered what would happen if we left the hearts in water over the weekend, so we left some in a jar and we'll see the results on Monday.  Some children hypothesized that the water would turn a new color from the hearts, while some thought the hearts would dissolve completely.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Birthday

We celebrated a kindergarten half-birthday today!

The birthday boy in his Star Wars crown

A great reading of the story The Lonely Phonebook
We hope you enjoyed your special day!

Informational Writing

We started our new unit in writing this week, a unit on non-fiction informational writing called "All Abouts."  We began the unit this week by reading Cats by Gail Gibbons.  Students brainstormed with their writing partners about what features they noticed in non-fiction and we created a class chart.

Our chart will help us as the students begin thinking about what kind of informational book they could write later this week!

Daily Five Literacy Stations

The students also explored some of our literacy stations last week and this week.  They included:
Reading fluency cards with expression
Reading just-right books
Word work--building crosswords

Many of the children have also been writing Valentine's Day letters, creating new words from the letters in "Valentine" and lots more.  As the week continues, we'll continue searching for Valentine's Day words, writing valentine poems, and reading friendship books.

The Lion and the Mouse

To kick off our Valentine's Day celebration, we began with the story The Lion and the Mouse.  Before we watched this video (without the sound), we discussed how a fable tells a story with a lesson or a take-away.  After watching the video, we retold the story as a class and brainstormed what we thought the lesson was.  The lesson of this fable is often considered to be "a kindness is never wasted."  Since Valentine's Day is about friendship and kindness, we made "lion-hearted" valentine mailboxes.

Now we can't wait to fill them with valentines later this week!