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!
We wrote in our News From the Nest journals today to document what we have been noticing with Rosa and Martin. The children enjoyed a short clip I showed yesterday that showed the wiggle the eagles do when they sit down to incubate the eggs. I'm sure you will enjoy it as well.
We read a book called How to Catch a Clover Thief, by Elise Parsley. This book is about a boar and a very clever gopher. We were able to make some predictions in this book as we read. The boar is repeatedly tricked by the gopher in this story. Boar is no fool, and figures out a way to get rid of gopher so he can grow more clover and enjoy it himself. Gopher's luck runs out in the end. Ask me to tell you about the story How to Catch a Clover Thief.
Today we wrote an opinion piece, comparing two stories. We chose from How to Catch a Clover Thief and Those Darn Squirrels. We wrote our opinion first, then had to include two supports for our opinion.
Have a nice evening!
Thursday and Friday have been very busy, productive days for us! In math, we started our new unit and brought home our homework book. This stays at home and can be used for homework as you wish. As before, you do not need to return their work. We worked more with number bonds to be sure we know where the whole group quantity goes, and the parts. We know the number bonds do not always have the whole quantity at the top. We also worked with story problems. Even if we know the answer to the story problem, it's important we can show how we know. We know we need to show pictures, words, and numbers to show what we know.
We took time Thursday to listen to several books. Thursday was Read Across America Day, so we listened to some funny stories. We listened to Strega Nona, by Tomie DePaola, Those Darn Squirrels, by Adam Rubin and Dragons Love Tacos, also by Adam Rubin. We also read Red Shoes, by Karen English, that was not a funny story, but a very sweet story about grandmas, shoes, and their grandchildren. The children chose their favorite book and wrote an opinion piece about their favorite. They needed to state their opinion first, then write a sentence that had support for their choice. Ask me to tell you which book I chose and why.
We also talked about water as a natural resource and looked at a photograph of the Hoover Dam. There was so much to see! Some children we very interested in the dam, and others loved the beautiful mountains.
Today we reread a story we read recently called Peggy, A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure, by Anna Walker. The children thought about different settings where the story could take place. We talked about what kinds of things Peggy would do in those places. Then the children drew and labeled the setting they came up with. They did a great job with this, even my one little friend who sent Peggy to Universal Studios and noted on his paper that Universal Studios is better than Disney World. Bold move friend on a day I'm doing interims... I am going to miss this group so much next year. I just love their sense of humor and playfulness!
We looked at some feathers this morning and saw one feather that had water drops on it. We checked in on the Greenway nest and noticed one of the eagles also had water droplets on their feathers. We talked about how there is oil on the feathers that keeps the water on top of the feather so the water doesn't get the feathers and body of the eagle wet and soggy. Someone was wondering how the eggs get out of the eagles, and I just said the same way they get out of a hen, and quickly moved on. You're welcome. The children wrote in their News From the Nest journals to record something they have noticed so far. They seem fascinated by the corn cob in the nest. Martin loves to bring corn cobs and corn stalks to the nest. He put one on Rosa when she wasn't moving off the nest bowl and he wanted to incubate the eggs.
Have a nice weekend!
Today we started our day learning about making inferences. We watched a short Pixar short, Pigeons, and stopped along the way to make inferences. We thought about what we know, our schema, and the clues we saw in the video. Then we were able to think deeper about the story. Ask me to tell you about what was happening in the story.
We looked at a spider building a web and a venus fly trap as part of our motion science unit. We thought about how each stops the motion of the spider's prey so they can get food. We also looked at different types of motion and will work more with them over the coming weeks.
Yesterday we started learning about natural resources in social studies. Today we listened to the book Sugaring, by Jesse Haas. We learned about how sap is made into delicious maple syrup! We visited the state of Vermont, and saw a video of a slightly more modern way of collecting the sap than we saw in the book. I'll send the postcard home tomorrow for Vermont.
In math we talked about decomposition of numbers. We have talked about hidden partners in previous lessons so this was an easy lesson. We also talked about number bonds and learned what the whole of the group is and what the parts are and how we know where they are on the number bond.
We also welcomed a new staff member to our room. Mrs. Selfyn (I'm not sure of the spelling), will be joining the kindergarten team to support small group and individual students. She will be in our room just part of the day and will also be in the other kindergarten classrooms. We are excited to have her join our team!
Have a nice evening!