Friday, April 28, 2017

Math this Week: Subtraction and Addition

We had a blast working with number bonds, playing cards, and even bowling to help us practice our addition subtraction facts to ten this week.  We are really encouraging the children to think in addition as "part-part-whole" and begin to think about subtraction as "whole-part=part."  Creating story problems and playing games with subtraction and addition partners helps the children build their confidence, allows them to see the relationship between numbers and allows them to demonstrate multiple ways to solve a problem.

Creating story problems
 Using number bonds and subtraction equations to show their thinking

More pictures of bowling and playing card fun to come!  If your family has playing cards at home, you can ask your kindergartner to show you the "partners of ten" card game we play.  It is so much fun and really supports math fluency!

Thinking Routines: The Explanation Game

Throughout this winter and spring, our students have used multiple thinking routines to help make thinking visible.  We recently used a routine named "Step Inside" to help us understand Baby Bear's perspective in the Goldilocks story, and used a routine named "I used to think, but now I think" to explain how our thinking about this traditional story changed after reading several versions.  

This week, we used a new thinking routine this week entitled "The Explanation Game."  Using mystery boxes containing animals and pictures of landforms, the children worked in groups to name their objects and make connections between the objects.    

The idea behind the mystery boxes is that they would foster investigation as children looked closely at their objects, offer questions and explanations that could lead to connections between them.  After a rich discussion, many of the children made the connection between their animals and a place, leading us to look closer at a world map and find landforms.  Later this week, we introduced the app Barefoot Atlas and many children explored continents further for landforms, landmarks and animals.  This was a great launch for our animal atlas project, wherein the children will use a variety of resources (atlases, animal books, apps like Barefoot Atlas, Montessori Animals and more) to name and investigate a few animals for each continent.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Three Bears Show

We had our terrific "Three Bears Show" today!

The stage
The players!

 Please check your child's Seesaw account for a link to video of our show!  We will be able to upload the video without a link to Seesaw next week, in case you have trouble viewing it through the link.

We also had tons of bear fun in the classroom too with some bear measuring and weighing.

Everyone took great care of their bears at snack...

and on the playground!
Happy Bear Day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Eastman Nature Center

We had a wonderful time at Eastman Nature Center this week.

A puppet show featuring a turtle helped us understand the different coverings of mammals, reptiles and birds.

We met a turtle...

and explored animal coverings...

and even tried on some wings!
We even tried to connect with the animals we met!
Thank you to our parent helpers for coming along!  For more information on Eastman Nature Center, check here.
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Locker Project: Superpowers!

For our C.A.R.E. theme courage this month, we read the story Superdog, the Heart of a Hero.  In the story, Dexter the dog summons courage and a "can-do" attitude to become a superhero to his neighborhood by helping those in need.  We asked the children to reflect on the question:

Many children spoke about things they had been difficult for them, things they had worked hard towards.  Some children talked about their strengths and things that made them feel empowered.  Then it was time to show the world our superhero-ness!

Birthday Wishes Service Project

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items that make a birthday special, such as:

Cake mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix, Paper Plates & Cups. 
Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate, please bring items to school by April 21.  Thank you!
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Last Biobuddies of the Year

We met up with our biobuddies for the last time today.  It was bittersweet, since the children have forged a bond with their buddies over the year!

For our last visit, we watched a video about animal senses to learn a little more about the super senses animals use in their daily lives.

Then it was time to pick an animal with a "super sense" and make an animal mask together.

We had our final weighing and measuring, followed by a special tray lunch (with pizza!) in the middle school dining room.  Thank you biobuddies for a wonderful year!
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated a kindergarten birthday this week!  The wonderful book Ada Twist, Scientist was a great and inspiring read-aloud for our budding kindergarten scientists.

Happy birthday!  We hope you enjoyed your special day!

S.T.E.A.M. Nest Building

We researched various animal groups by looking at the kinds of nests built by each group. First, we examined the many types of nests built by birds and insects. The children then learned how turtles build nest for their eggs in the sand, and how amphibians and fish lay eggs and hide them from predators using different methods.

After looking at many different types of nests, the children developed a list of what they thought were the most important similarities among all the nests:
  • All nests are built to fit the size of the eggs
  • All nests protect the eggs
  • All nests are built with materials from the animals’ habitat

After compiling this list, the class decided that this would be the list of guidelines to use when building their own nests. The children then created their own nests using found materials or materials from “our habitat.” They also chose what type of animal group nest they would build. Many children chose to build bird nests or insect nests. Look at their amazing creations and the thinking involved!