We started our day with a Picture Talk about good sportsmanship. We studied this photograph as I told them part of the story of Abel and Ivan. Abel did not understand the signals from the line judge and thought the race was over. He began walking. I asked the children to think about what the runner behind him could have done, good or bad. We talked about the choices and most children felt it was important that Abel find a way to tell Ivan, who didn't speak Spanish as Abel did, to run and finish the race. You can see below on the T-chart some of the choices the children came up with. We talked about why Ivan did what he did, which was motion for Abel to go on and try to tell him the race was not over. We also talked about what a brave choice that was because Ivan was not only running for himself but his country, and some people would believe that since it was a competition, it would be okay for him to pass Abel and win the race. But this was Ivan's choice to make, and he believed it would not be right for him to do that. We talked about the word competition and said it was like a contest. Because it was a competition, Ivan could have run around Abel and have won the race. Ask me what I would have done if I was behind Abel instead of Ivan?
We finished the Dibels portion of our testing. I have another test to do with all the children, but we are going to enjoy Field Day tomorrow and do absolutely NO TESTING! The children practiced subtraction while I testing individual students, and wrote in their eagle journals about all the things that have happened with the eagles lately.
We read a book today called Neither, by Arlie Anderson. This book is about a bird that is part bird, part rabbit. The birds don't accept him and the rabbits don't accept him. He finds a new home in a place called The Land of All. It's a beautiful book about inclusion. Friday we will read the story again and write about the author's message in the book.
We looked at a picture of DG4 today in her new home. She really is living the good life. No food from the landfill, no crowded nest, and no rain. We also got to see a video of DG 3 and DG5 wingercizing and DG5's official branching. We are lucky to have such creative moderators on this nest. The music makes this video a lot of fun!
Have a nice evening!
ask me about tuesday, may 30, 2023
So you may have been told it was the best day ever. I assure you it was not. But they have candy in their backpack so I'm guessing that might have something to do with their evaluation of the day. The children were great. They had to be flexible, patient, and focused on their test.
We started our day talking about what happened on the eagle nest this weekend. For those who have not heard, part of the nest collapsed Sunday afternoon. Around 1 AM Monday morning, DG4 fell out of the nest, about 90 feet to the ground. She put up a valiant attempt to fly back up to the nest but was unsuccessful. This nest is carefully monitored, and a plan had already been made in case of a situation such as this, and within a couple hours they had a team assembled and on the ground to find DG4. She was not far from the nest and was very calm as they rescued her and put her in a carrier. She is at a wildlife rehab center and is well. She had no injuries and will remain there until she achieves typical eaglet milestones where she is able to fly, perch at a certain height, and is able to catch live prey and eat independently. She will be in a huge barn, all to herself, not having to share a nest with her siblings. Her menu will improve as well being fed there and not from the landfill on nights when Rosa and Martin wanted take-out. A couple kids were sad they would not see her, but returning her to the nest would endanger the other two because they are old enough to be afraid of humans, and since they are not quite hunting and fishing on their own, or flying from the nest, it would endanger them. The nest will be evaluated this summer. Below are two videos that show the fall and the rescue.
The day was just filled with drama. We took MAP P most of the afternoon. The Chromebooks need help, but we made it through the test but were not in the mood for much else. So tomorrow, I will try and finish up the rest of the testing. We are taking a break this week from spelling words. We will get to the set I was going to do this week, next week.
Have a great evening!
ask me about
We have been learning about different cultures. One of the best things about learning about different cultures is by eating! Since we can't eat these delicious foods at school, we did the next best thing and ate with our eyes. We looked at bread from around the world and looked for similarities and differences.
We voted on names for the Dulles Greenway eagles. We used tallymarks to collect the data. Ask me to tell you about the data.
We enjoyed a cultural arts program brought to us by the Bells Mill PTA.
ask me about monday, may 22, 2023
Big news! One of the eaglets, DG3, branched last night about 6:14. Both feet were off the nest and on one of the branches on the tree. This is a big milestone for the eaglet. DG3 is the oldest of the eaglets. Branching usually happens between 9 to 10 weeks of age. I'm posting two videos. One is of the branching, the other is a video that shows some wingercizing and standing on the rails. We only had time to watch parts of both videos.
We took our spelling test we didn't get to on Friday. The children are doing well with the words, but they need to remember to start the sentence with a capital letter and end with punctuation. This week's words are tricky! We will practice at school as much as possible!
We are reviewing some math concepts as we will be taking MAP P soon. We practiced making equal sets and subtraction practice today.
Have a great evening!
Today we started our day by studying these beautiful paintings by Vincent van Gogh. We studying the pictures to see how they all were the same, and we shared our opinions about which painting we liked best. Ask me to tell you about these paintings!
We have been learning about plants and animals, their habitats, and how they change the environment.
We are learning about life in the past. We had fun using toys children in the past would have played with, and found some big challenges!
We had an Art Workshop in our classroom and used different mediums to create pictures about nature while we celebrated Earth Day.
We worked in table groups to exercise our brains and practice remembering. We listened to a story about a bear looking for a new home. We tried to remember as many of the different habitats as we could. Our teams worked together quietly. They chose a recorder and a reporter. The recorder wrote down the habitats the team remembered, the recorder shared them with the whole group. Look how serious they are!
Did you know today was International Happiness Day? In honor of this special day, we talked about what makes us happy. We listened to a beautiful book by Layla's Happiness, by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie. The little girl in this book simply talks about what makes her happy. We listened to the song Happiness, from the musical You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and exercised our brain to remember most of the things mentioned in the song that bring happiness. We wrote about what happiness is for us.
Today we read an African folktale, Ungalala, in our Benchmark lesson. This story was about animals who were very hungry and thirsty but could not remember the name of the tree that would provide them with food and water. Ask me to retell the story to you by thinking about the beginning, (what gets the story started), the middle of the story (where most of the events happen that work out the problem), and the end of the story, (how it all works out).
In math today we worked with decomposition of numbers through nine. We played the game Snap where a partner has a specific number of cubes behind their back that they snap into two parts. They show their partner one part and the partner has to tell them how many cubes are still behind their back. This is a fun game that can be played with other things such as goldfish crackers where some would be put outside of a cup and some inside the cup. We used the counting-on strategy to count-on from the known number, the quantity of cubes that could be seen, and counting-on to the number they started with using their fingers to keep track of the unknown part. The chidlren still need prompting to remember to say the next number after the number they are counting on from.
We of course had to look at the three little bobbleheads in the Greenway nest too. We watched them being fed and were concerned about DG5 not getting any food. Since he hatched yesterday, he had had the yolk in the egg for his last meal before leaving the egg so his belly was full, but he did feed a couple times earlier, we just didn't see it live. He is still learning to keep his head up. These eaglets are so cute. Once we saw them lined up side by side to be fed, and another time they were in line like a train with DG5 at the front and DG3 as the caboose. The children wrote in their journals about what they noticed. Ask me to tell you a question I have about the eaglets. I am working to set up a Zoom discussion with one of the moderators of the nest so we can get some of our questions answered by an expert!
Have a nice evening!
So much excitement this week! Two of the eaglets hatched, we worked on leprechaun traps with self-selected groups, and we looked forward to St. Patrick's Day.
We have all enjoyed watching the eggs pip then hatch this week. DG3 pipped and quickly hatched on March 14, DG4 was a little more leisurely taking about a day to hatch after pipping, and now we are waiting for DG5 to pip. DG5 was laid about three days after DG4 so we should see something this weekend. Let's hope for three healthy eaglets. The children have enjoyed watching the eaglets as they learn to control their head. At times it looked like the eaglets were dancing! They also commented on on DG3 was using the other eggs like a chair and putting his/her wings on them like the arms of a chair. We have seen them learn to be fed from their parents and seen the challenges since their eyesight is not fully developed yet, and they are still trying to sit up and control their head. We have seen some healthy feedings and a crop, a big bump on their neck, where the food stays until moving on down into their stomach. I'm working to set up a Zoom time where one of the moderators of the nest can answer the children's questions. We often have the sound off on the nests, but in the morning it is fun to hear all the chatter of the wildlife in the area, especially the turkeys, and if you are online at night, you might hear coyotes as well as other animals. I miss the Arborteum nest, but I have to say I'm glad the children are hearing more wildlife then sirens, like we heard on the other nest. Although the screen in our room is larger and the picture clearer, when I am watching these amazing birds with the children, I can't help but think of my elementary school teachers who carried in their own little tv's to our classroom to watch rocket launches during the Apollo era. 32 of us crowded around that little tv was exciting, and the shared experience is something that is still as available today as it was then. The children are working in their eagle journals most days to record some of the highlights of this nest.
We had the best time this week working on a STEAM project. The children had to work in a group to plan how they would catch a leprechaun. I let the children self-select to work in groups of 3 or 4 and had them decide who would write on the planning sheet, who would get the materials, and who would put materials back. Working in the planning phase seemed to be the easiest part of the process to work as a group. They worked using quiet voices and came to agreement on their design with only one intervention from me with one group! That was amazing, but I think all the play we do in the classroom made that an easy task. They seemed to want more complex traps with many diversions for the leprechaun. They also had to decide on bait to get the leprechaun to their trap, and while most chose sweets or cauliflower, ugh, one group used signs that said they loved him to get him to go to their trap. This is why I never want to leave teaching kindergarten. The children did a really great job building, re-designing as they found some materials wouldn't do what they wanted, and trying to put it all together in the time alotted. They also had time on Friday morning to decorate their traps, to put the A in STEM to make it STEAM. Finally, the groups shared their traps and talked about how the trap worked and how they worked as a team. I can't tell you how proud I was of all of them. Throughout the project they were engaged and busy! I could see that the children were inspired by the study of the spider web and the venus fly trap in their design. When I introduced sticky tape, several of the groups changed their plan to incude it to trap the leprechaun. Several groups were also inspired by the Rube Goldberg video we watched and included several challenges in their design before the big trap. It's a messy project, especially when they decide to "shave" the styrofoam, their words not mine, but they are very good at cleaning up most of the time! Ask me to tell you about how the leprechaun trap worked that I worked on. Here are some pictures of the process!
We had a great St. Patrick's day with a fun game of five minute Bingo and CVC, consonant-vowel-consonant words. Each child got a sheet with just five words for Bingo, although we didn't shout Bingo we decided on shouting "Lucky Charms" instead. We also used gold and green coins in math to work with number bonds. The children got little bags of coins that they used to record a number bond and a number sentence starting with the whole. They did a great job on the number bonds and switching bags so they had four different number bonds, but had some difficulty understanding that their number sentence had to start with the whole. For example, 9 = 4+ 5. Some of the children just plugged in the numbers not thinking about what they represented, so they may have written 4 = 5 + 9. We will be working more on this and making sure our number sentence makes sense. We do this mostly by using words to tell the number sentence such as 9 is the same as 4 and 5. We will also be using a number balance scale to show that both sides need to be equal. I'd love to pull small groups for this but so many children did not put their name on their paper and being reminded 3 times. We have been talking about this is an expectation on all papers, whether there is a dedicated line for their name or not. Monday, anyone who turned in a paper without a name will be doing another paper during playtime, which I don't like to do because I believe play is so important, but I need to get their attention and reinforce the expectations. I am not going to continue to say it because this is only enabling students to ignore words and directions. I have also talked to them about not putting their name on their paper will be reflected in their routines grade on their report card.
We enjoyed an Irish folktale by Tomie de Paola that was much like his Strega Nona story we read recently. We read Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. Ask me to tell you about the folktale.
We ended our day with some fun with green moustaches, although it was more fun for me than some of my friends! Here are some quick pics I took of the kids who wanted a moustache.
Have a great weekend!
I hope you have already heard the big news! DG3 pipped this morning, then broke out of its egg a couple hours later. By the time I saw the eaglet, it was all fluffy and cute! The kids are so excited. But we have just begun. DG4 is up next, perhaps pipping as early as tonight. Hopefully soon we will see an attempt at feeding. The kids wrote in their journal about the pip. I had no idea that little whipper snapper would bust out of that shell so quickly or I would have had them wait, but we will have more to write about tomorrow! We are working to label and make a smaller picture in the bigger picture to show a close-up of a small area of a picture.
In math we continue to work with number bonds, specifically for seven. The children are doing a great job of remembering where the whole number is in the number bond, but some are having trouble following directions. Today they were to make the cube sticks match the number bond, but some of the kids did not do that. We will continue to work with number bonds as well as begin to play more games to practice addition.
We listened to a story today called Who's in the Shed. This was a fun story about a mystery animal in the shed. We never did guess it correctly. The group overwhelmingly thought the animal in the shed on the farm was a walrus, and they couldn't let go of that until they saw it was a bear instead.
We are so excited to start our leprechaun traps. Tomorrow we will be sketching our plans. The children will be working in small groups for this.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with two short videos that showed different patterns of motion and forces. We watched only a short clip of the dominoes video since it's long. The children were glued to the screen for these, and at playtime used wooden blocks to make their own paths.
In honor of Women's History Month, we read the book Just Help! by Sonia Sotomayor. The subtitle is How to Build a Better World, and the book was filled with examples of children helping others. The children will be bringing home a page each time we read a Women's History Month book that has a quote on it from the woman we learned about. Today's quote was: “There are two questions I ask myself every day. One is: what have I learned today?... The second is: who have I helped today?” On one side of the paper the children drew something from the book, the Sesame Street video we watched, or a picture of the Supreme Court and Sonia Sotomayor. On the other side they drew something they learned today and a way they helped today. I told them it could be from yesterday too since it was early in the day! Ask me to show you my paper about Sonia Sotomayor.
Have a nice evening!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.