Yesterday I made a shocking discovery. Most of the class DOES NOT like mashed potatoes. I really was surprised. So I decided I would have my own, pretend, Thanksgiving Dinner with the kids. They had to use their manners and ask for one of the delicious dishes from above. Then they had to give a compliment when finished. You will be happy to know they all passed the manners test and are ready for a proper Thanksgiving!
I hope you and your family have a relaxing, fun and safe Thanksgiving!
We started our day by studying photographs of a pow wow. We listened to the story Jingle Dancer, by Cynthia Leitich Smith. The book is about a modern day Muscogee girl who wants to dance at the pow wow, but needs jingles for her dress. She asks different family members and friends for jingles and honors them by dancing at the pow wow. We watched a couple videos that showed how to do the jingle dance, as well as other Native American dances.
We also listened to the story Please Mr. Panda, by Steve Antony. This is the story of a panda who offers donuts to different animals who say they want the donuts, but do not say please. Ask me to tell you who gets the donuts at the end of the story. We talked about using manners and practiced saying please to ask for food that would be served at Thanksgiving. We also talked about saying thank-you, and responding when people say good morning to them.
Let's give this YouTube video below some love. Ms. Lillis, Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Sheets performed the Koo Koo Milkshake song. They are wearing the costumes they wore for Halloween. We LOVED the video!
Have a great weekend!
We started our day by analyzing four different maps. We studied them and compared them to see how they were the same and different. Ask me to tell you about one of the maps.
We listened to the Tortoise and the Hare story again today. We listened closely to learn about the main characters. The Benchmark version of this story is very short, but we learned a lot about tortoise. Then we wrote together. We worked on describing one of the characters in the story. We chose tortoise. We wrote together with the children helping to tap out the words with guidance. I emphasized putting spaces between the words, upper and lower case letters, and starting the sentence with a capital letter. That's a lot! I wouldn't expect kinders at this point in the year to all be able to do those things as they write, and when they write independently, the focus would be on on convention of writing,, but because I was writing on the screen with them, I pointed out all these conventions.
We reviewed what the lesson in the story is, and I directed them to listen closely to the end of fables for the lesson. Ask me to tell you the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.
Have a nice evening!
We read The Tortoise and the Hare and wondered how tortoises and turtles are the same and different. Ask me to tell you what I found out.
We watched this special video about bullying. We noticed who the bully was right away, and saw that he tried to get the other birds to go along with him. We will talk more about bullying after Thanksgiving and learn how to be an upstander.
Have a nice evening!
Today we started our day looking at three paintings by Paul Klee. We looked at how Klee used shapes to create interesting paintings. We talked with a buddy about what we noticed and which painting was our favorite.
We listened to the story The Hare and the Tortoise. We talked about how this was a special kind of story called a fable. Fables teach a lesson. Ask me to tell you what the lesson was in this story. We also began to work on retelling the story.
In math we continued talking about shapes. We looked at shapes in different orientations to determine what shape they were by thinking about the definitions of the shape. We talked again about straight lines, curves, corners or angles, and closed or open shapes.
In Social Studies we began talking about geography. We learned about maps and globes today.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day studying photographs of the celebration of Diwali. We watched a short video to learn more about this holiday, then read a book called The LIght Within You, by Namita Moolani Mehra. The Light Within You is a beautiful story of a little girl's love for her grandmother who lives in India. It's a beautiful story about know who you are and being confident which lets the light inside you shine for others to see.
In Really Great Reading, we started learning three Heart Words. We learned how to look at the word, spell it out loud, and how to tap from their shoulder, to the inside of their elbow, to their wrist as they spell the words. We looked at the tricky parts of the words to know these are the parts we are to memorize.
We learned how to listen to dictated words and finger stretch them, then write the letter that goes with the sound down. We did this together, but in the future I will spread the children out so I can see what they can do on their own. We also took a quick sound test for one of the units in Really Great Reading.
In math, we began working with shapes. Today we were looking at a variety of shapes to determine if they had a curve or not. This was tricky for some of the children who looked at shapes such as a hexagon and considered it's shape a curve. I also think the poor format of the workbook page made the children think they had to place the shapes evening on the T-chart. A big part of our geometry instruction is learning vocabulary to identify and compare shapes.
Have a nice evening!
November is Native American Heritage Month. We studied and analyzed some traditional Native American homes. We talked about how some of them were the same. We talked about the materials that were used to construct them. We also talked about which home we would like to live in! These homes have interesting names. Ask me to try and remember which home was which: teepee, hogan, wigwam, igloo, pueblo, cliff dwellings, kutcha (kuccha), longhouse.
We thought and talked about which home we would like to live in if we were going to live in a Native American home. We made a pictograph to show what our class thought. Ask me to tell you about the pictograph.
We talked about Snowden Farm today as part of our Remembrance and Reconciliation lessons. Thomas Snowden had been a slave, but had 100 acres of land in the Clarksburg area. He sold his land to other African Americans so they could live in a place where they would be treated fairly. Now, Snowden Farms is an elementary school in our county.
We met with our Bear Buddies today. It was so nice to have Ms. White's class with us. Today the children got to know each other and the third graders read to our kinders. We are looking forward to future activities with them!
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with an SEL lesson about bullying. We talked about what they thought bullying and conflict is, then added to our description as our lesson went on. We watched the PIxar short Lou and watched to see who the bully was and what they did. Ask me to tell you who the bully was in this story. Was it J.J. or Lou, or was it one of the kids on the playground? We talked about why J.J. decided to return all the things. What made him change his mind?
In Really Great Reading, we started working with the letters s, h, c and i. We will begin making words with these letters and the letters from last week. We practiced making upper and lower case S's. You might notice on the handwriting papers that children are drawing a midline. They are copying what I did in the lesson to show they where the letter should be to help them in getting their letters to sit on the line and to have short and tall letters. In January we will move to three line paper with a midline, so this is getting them ready for that transition.
We worked on DeBug today. We reviewed what we have talked about so far with making sure the problem is a kid-size problem. We talked today about moving away when, for example, someone is being loud and annoying during play on the carpet, or someone was standing too close in line. While this strategy isn't always possible, it's a good one for on the playground or during indoor play.
Today we started our week-long study of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Montgomery County. We talked about some very big words and concepts. We talked about what a landmark is, what segregation is, and what integration is, as well as the word Negro. We looked at pictures of the Boyd's Negro School near Germantown. We learned how black children were not allowed to go to school with white children. The black children living in this area first had to go to school in a church, and many of the children had to walk a very long way to get there. Then, they were given a small amount of money to build the school and another small amount of money for supplies. They were given old books from the white schools. We discussed whether this was fair and why this could have happened. It's such a big topic but it's important that children begin learning about this even at this young age.
We did read a funny book today to lighten things up after the serious topics we discussed today. The children thoroughly enjoyed Pig the Slob by Aaron Blabey.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great Halloween day! We read The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything. We listend for nouns and verbs in the story, then drew one of each on a big index card. We labeled them with the words nound and verb.
Today, as part of our Health and Wellness Week, we talked about peacemaking. We read the book How to Apologize, by David LaRochelle. This book has animal characters who have silly conflicts but clearly describes how to apologize. The children were told to say they were sorry for what happened. We talked about being sincere, and practiced how your voice sounds when you are sincere. We also talked about not making excuses, but instead accepting responsibility for what occured. We learned that writing a note is another way to make an apology. This is a great book, and an important topic. Making apologies is an important part of making and keeping healthy friendships.
It was a busy day with our parade at the beginning of the day, and our party at the end of the day. Here are a few pictures from our very exciting day!
I hope you enjoyed the photos!
This week is Health and Wellness Week. This week we will focus on mental health. Today we focused on mindfulness. We started our day with our Picture Talk which included photographs of people meditating in different places. The children talked with their partners about the different settings and shared where they would like to meditate.
We talked about taking care of our self. We used the word self to remind ourselves of the importance of sleep, exercise, leisure (fun for you), and food. Ask me to tell you what each letter of SELF stands for when we talk about taking care of our self.
We talked about what the word calm means and listened to snippets of music to determine which were calming music, and which were not. Then we looked at different photographs to determine if the place would be a calm place or not a calm place for most people. There was quite a debate over the photograph of Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Many children insisted it would be a calm place. Maybe in January on a super cold morning, but don't get your hopes up!
We participated in a one minute meditation break with the whole school, but then learned more about meditation with the Butterfly Hug video below. The children took it very seriously. I let them know that if they are feeling like they need to take a break to meditate if they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious that they can go to our calming corner and take a break. Meditation is one option for what they can do there.
We listened to the book Peaceful Piggy Meditation, by Kerry MacLean and learned more about meditating. We saw a great example of when a good time to take a break and meditate, learned about what some things are you could bring to your meditation area, how to sit and finally what to do when you meditate. This is something we will return to soon to help children begin to learn this self-soothing practice.
In Really Great Reading we began to put letters with sounds. This is our phonics instruction now. The program really emphasizes the upper and lower case letters, which is so important because we will be working on writing our names correctly to get rid of all those extra upper case letters. We use capital and upper case interchangeably so the children get used to knowing both are for the "big" letters.
In math we worked with one more and were able to quickly work through the lesson because the children understand this concept. We also did another check on writing numbers in order from 1-10. We had some reversals, but at this point that is developmentally appropriate and I will continue to encourage them to check their nametag that has the numbers on them to see if they are backwards.
Have a nice evening!