We had a fun time today talking about toys. We shared what we found out our parents and grandparents played with when they were kids. I shared a couple of my favorite toys I had as a kid. I was interrogated by the kids about Baby First Step. I shared that her foot was broken after my dad stepped on it. So many questions. I'm sure it was an accident, but I do remember my dad breaking my record player too during the Donny Osmond phase I went through. The turntable wouldn't turn and it was plastic, so when my Dad tried to fix it, well, it broke too. Anyway, in the afternoon we finally had time to play with old toys. I quickly showed the kids the kids the toys and they had time to try them out. We'll play more next week. I showed some friends how I could still almost play jacks. I thought I did a pretty good job! Jacks are a little hard for kinders. We had wooden tops, Lincoln Logs, tiddlywinks, marbles, tabletop wooden pin bowling, cup and ball, ring toss, and Jacob's Ladder. It is so much fun to watch these kids play. They take turns, encourage each other and are persistent, as you can see in the pictures below. They are so easy to work with as a class. It was free choice for them as to what they tried out, and they stayed in control, were gentle with the toys and played with them appropriately. Some of the kids stuck with just a toy or two, practicing with it until they got better. Others sampled all the games. I hope you enjoy the photos!
I haven't been to Rose Hill Manor in a couple years, but if you are looking for something to do on the weekend, Rose Hill Manor is Frederick is really geared toward you children. There is a manor house, a log cabin, a blacksmith workshop, an ice house/root cellar, and a carriage museum. When I have taken classes there, the children get to play with old-fashioned toys. They also see how people cooked over the fire in a big fireplace in the kitchen. It's not a huge place which also makes it just right for a visit with little kids.
Have a great weekend!
We continue to learn about culture, traditions and holidays. We focused today on Mother's Day. We read the book Saturday, by Oge Mora. This book is beautiful with collage illustrations. This is the story of a mother and daughter who have special things they do every Saturday since the mother works the other six days of the week. One special Saturday has some bumps in the road, and nothing seems to go as planned. Ask me to tell you what happens and how the story ends.
In math we worked with digi-blocks and modeled numbers to 20. We are saying "one ten three" and 13, to emphasize place value. This is giving them a good visual of what that number really is and it's place value.
In social studies we read the book Soul Food Sunday, by Winsome Bingham. This book tells the story of a family that has Sunday dinner together every week. The granny in the story teaches her young grandson how to make soul food. She gives him important tasks and then praises him for a job well done. Ask me to tell you what kinds of soul food they made.
Have a nice evening!
I had to laugh to myself when typing "Ask Me About" because I'm guessing many of you didn't have to ask your kinder anything, they probably just told you all about DC9 getting tagged yesterday. I showed the children parts of a video of Jim the biologist, who we are all on a first name basis with now, visiting the eagle's nest and taking DC9 down out of the nest to tag and get a blood sample to determine the gender. The children had so many questions. They were absolutely captivated by the video. I had them write in their eagle journal when Dr. Smith walked in, and they started telling her all about what was going on in the nest. She was followed by Mrs. Kemp and a visitor who also got an earful about the eagles. I need to add more pages to the journals because we have so much more to write about DC9's milestones and what we notice that is happening on the nest. As the children were writing, I was noticing that many of the children are really developing some great writing habits. They are re-reading what they are writing by pointing to the words with their pencil and quietly reading it aloud. They are saying the words as they write them, and pounding or breaking multi-syllable words to spell them. Some of them are using the alphabet on their nametag to look for letters as they are writing when needed.
In Benchmark we read about celebrating people such as Martin Luther King, Jr. We answered "right there" questions about why the author thought the people were important by finding the answer "right there" in the text.
We visited Mississippi today and read a very powerful book about Civil Rights Act of 1964. I told the children it was 1963 and I was just a few months old at the time, so I was really a year old, but one of my friends insisted he was alive then too and remembered this, so we were both wrong! The book is called Freedom Summer, by Deborah Wiles and is a well told story about the kinds of things that were happening after the Civil Rights Act. The book tells about two friends, one white and one black, who are good friends but cannot swim in the city pool because of segregation. After the Civil Rights Act, the city fills the pool with asphalt so it cannot be used by anyone. The two boys are running up the hill, excited to go to the pool when they see this happening. It's also so interesting to watch the children as I read this part because they are smiling and happy that the two friends will get to swim together. They really feel the disappointment the characters in the book felt. There is a YouTube readaloud of the book on our Read the USA Google classroom if you would like to see this book. The story ends with the two friends going to a little store for ice pops. The two boys for the first time, go into the store together. The book ends with us not knowing what happens in the store, but we were all hopeful both boys would be allowed to stay in the store and buy their own ice pop.
We are continuing to work with tens and ones in math. We did some enrichment last week because the children have a good understanding of tens and ones. We used digi-blocks to model numbers up to ten. We also used Rekenreks to show numbers, and our foam ten frames.
We continued to talk about different cultures. Today we took a brief look at different clothing, food and shelters. I have many books in our classroom library so the children can continue to look at different cultures around the world.
If you would like to see the video of DC9 being tagged, take a look below. It's really interesting. We loved the part where DC9 opens his/her wings to try and scare off Jim the Biologist. Poor Jim gets flapped later, and gets bitten by DC9, but we are all proud of how brave DC9 was yesterday. His parents watched from afar and were cautious about going back to the nest, but it looks like all is back to normal this evening with several big feedings and Lotus staying on the nest more with DC9. I'm so glad because it was breaking my heart to see him alone on the nest.
Have a nice evening!
What a busy two days! We have been finishing up the third marking period with reading assessments that are done one on one, which means they take a lot of time! I'm fortunate to have such great workers in my class! They were able to work independently while I listened to children read and talk about the book.
Yesterday we read another Mo Willems book as part of our author study. We read Should I Share My Ice Cream and talked about sharing. Elephant is wondering if he should share an ice cream cone with his friend Piggie, even when she isn't with him when he gets the ice cream. We talked about what we thought and took this problem through the problem solving process. We named the problem, thought of possible solutions both good and not so good, thought about the consequences and finally chose what we thought Elephant should do. Ask me to tell you about the beginning, middle and end of the story. We have learned that the stories Mo Willems writes often include problems that kids have and always have a message in them.
Today we read a story from Benchmark that also has a message. We read The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The children were quick to identify the message in this story.
In math we have been working with subtraction story problems. We have been drawing the problem and writing a number sentence to go with the problem. We are also working with a 100 bead Rekenrek and using the five groups and more beads to tell how many. For example I move 2 rows of 5 red and 5 white beads to the left, then 4 more in the third row. The children are learning to skip count by tens and look at the group of 4, with one red bead being left on the right, and know the number is 24 without counting each bead.
Of course, we continue to check up on the eagles. There is, what looks to be, an eel on the nest right now. Mmmm. I really didn't know eels are in the rivers around here, but one of the moderators in the room suggested that's what it was. DC9 is a feisty little eaglet and is working hard to balance and keep his head up so it can eat better. Lotus is doing a great job as a first time mom, with help from Mr. President. And of course, Mr. President continues to bring back sticks and fuss with them to get them into the railings.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day celebrating DC9 hatching last night about 11:30. So far, DC9 looks great to me, but I'm no expert. I've watched previous nests and learned a lot from the chat and from books, but of course I don't know what else could happen. Right now, DC9 is trying to hold up its head, and is doing a great job of that. It looks like its trying to stand up, so it's rocking on its wings. The children think it's dancing! Speaking of which, the children are sooooo excited. I kept the window open on my computer, sound on, so I could hear if it sounded like Lotus was moving around so we could catch a peek. Well, we got several good looks, and got to see Mr. President feed DC9 too. We see two parts of fishes on the nest. This will be a common thing now as an eaglet is in the nest. The couple will not be eating out as much. You can probably relate to that! The children are very anxious to know if DC9 is a boy or girl. At this point, the only way to find out is with a blood test I think. However, as you might imagine, as eagles mature into being an adult, their behavior during nesting season will clear that up. I WON'T tell the kids that!
We were able to write in our journals about Mr. P and his stick on Lotus yesterday to get his turn brooding on the egg.
We practiced writing some of our newer red words today so we can bring them to fluency. We need to be able to write those words quickly and without sounding them out. We also played some games where we manipulate the sounds in the words to make new words. We sang the song Bingo and changed the first letter in the name to make other names such as Ringo, Dingo, and Zingo. Then we played the game Switcheroo, which is like what we do with the blending board in OG but where I do some of the thinking. In Switcheroo we change one letter at a time to make a new word. For example we started with the word cat, we can change the middle letter to u and make the word cut. Then we can change the first letter from c to n and make the word nut.
We continued our author study of Mo Willems. Today we read A Big Guy Took My Ball. We talked about how Mo Willems writes books that have common problems or events that happen to children. In this book, Piggie loses a ball he found, and he thinks a whale, the big guy, took it. We talked about problem solving with this book, but also about judging others by the way they look.. The children, and Piggie and Elephant, thought the whale was a big, mean bully because of his large size. We talked about not making judgements like that and to find out what people are like by the way they treat others and by their actions. We went through a problem solving process to talk about how Piggie could solve his problem.
1. Say the problem.
2. Think of solutions. We went through good solutions and not so good solutions.
3. Explore the consequences.
4. Pick the best solution.
Ask me to tell you about A Big Guy Took My Ball.
In math, we worked on clarifying what our number sentence should look like when we are taking apart a group. We practiced decomposing groups and writing the equation.
We also had a few minutes at the end of the day to write in our eagle journals again, to talk about what we saw today with DC9's arrival. I took a few screen shots for you to see. If you haven't done so yet, you might want to check out the website: https://naeaglecam.org/
Have a nice evening!
We started our day talking about the sad news about DC8. I reminded the children that this is a wild nest and that humans stay away from the eagles, so it is not like human babies being born where doctors and nurses are there to help. The children seemed to understand, and while we were all sad, they seemed to understand that this is part of nature. I think I've got a class of birders because they are studying the nest so intently and have soooo many questions. They did want to know where DC8 was, and I had to tell them that Lotus ate her. That is also part of nature and I explained that it was important that happened so that other birds that eat meat would not come around since DC9 would be hatching soon.
Recess was indoors because of the cold, and there was a pretty big group of children building with the wooden blocks. They built the tulip tree and eagle nest and were playing out what they imagined and knew had happened on the nest. I'm thrilled to hear them remember what I told them, or you told them, and that they are working through not only the excitement of watching the nest, but the sadder part of nature too.
We did some writing in our eagle journals. I am hoping we can write a little each day if DC9 survives so we can write about what we are learning. At the very end of the day while we were waiting for announcements and the patrols, Mr. President flew in and wanted to take over brooding duty. Lotus doesn't always want to give up her spot, so Mr. President has been putting a stick on top of her. She reluctantly gets the message and in her own good time, leaves. This is the first clutch for Lotus, so she's new to being a mother, but she certainly knows what to do!
In math, we found different ways to decompose 9 and 10. We needed to talk alot about accuracy because we were finding the different ways to make 9 by drawing on whiteboards, or by using the "counting on" strategy. We talked about making sure we drew the right number, and that by making a row of five and four, we could be more organized and be able to see better that we were accurate. Writing the decomposition number sentence is more difficult. Children want to put the the 9 on the right side all the time, but our sentence is 9=5+4 or some other combination. We will continue to practice this. We also worked with the big Rekenrek and counted by tens and fives as we determined how many beads I had moved to the left. We start with ten rows of beads on the right. Each row has five red and five white. This is done so the can not only see the relationships with ten, but also five. This is giving them good practice in building a strong number sense that will help them as they do more difficult problems with numbers.
In social studies, we continued to talk about economics. We read the book Ox Cart Man, by Donald Hall. The children could see how the family worked together to produce goods to sell at the market in Portsmouth. Of course, everyone's favorite part was when he even sold his ox, and gave him a quick kiss on the nose before he left him. I choose this book to read because it also fits in with our Read the U.S.A. journey. I hope your child remembered to add their postcard to their suitcase.
Keep positive thoughts for DC9. It's a really cold night and it's pipping so it might hatch tonight.
Have a nice evening!
This week we began an author study of Mo Willems. We have learned about what he liked to do as a child, and other things he did before he became an author and illustrator of children's books. We read I Really Like Slop and talked about trying different food. In the story, Piggie wants Elephant to try his slop. Ask me to tell you what happens!
Here's a book trailer for the book I Really Like Slop! Enjoy!
I Really Like Slop was made into an opera. We finally got to go on our virtual field trip to the Kennedy Center. The children were glued to the screen. They really enjoyed the opera.! We practiced singing in our best opera voices, and thought about how fancy we looked and sounded. The great thing about this opera was the drama that really brought home the lesson in this book. Ask me to tell you what I think the lesson was in this book.
Here's the trailer for the Slopera opera!
For a couple of our Brain Breaks, we did guided drawing to draw some of Mo Willems characters. One thing Willems wanted to do in his books is create characters that children could draw. I hope you got a chance to see the incredible job the children did in drawing the characters.
We listened to an interview that Mo Willems did answering questions about being an author and illustrator. We also studied his books to see what Willems does as an author and illustrator that makes his books so special. We will be reading more of Willems books the rest of this week and next week.
In Social Studies we learned about making good choices when we spend money. We learned more about wants and needs and how that effects what we buy. We also talked about saving money.
In math, we continue to work composing and decomposing numbers, making number bonds, and writing equations. We are also practicing counting to 120, and skip counting by tens and ones.
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy morning trying to tape our opposites two part reading. Unfortunately, the screen version we practiced yesterday was different than the copy I gave them on paper. So we will try again on Monday. In the meantime, here's a little song for your enjoyment!
I'll try and use a tripod so it's not so shaky, and a wide angle lens next time so the kids don't have to be so close together. They really love this song. Mr. Sheets did a great job teaching it to them!
We did some word work today. We looked for words with silent e in them in a short poem. We made a list of words that end with ake.
We also practiced some of the trickier red words we have been working with in reading. We practiced said, here and you.
We have been learning about folktales and the messages in them. Today we read Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood, by Mike Artell. We talked about the message in the story and how the story is the same and different from the traditional Red Riding Hood story we know. The children are bringing home the postcard for Louisiana.
Mrs. Kanter came in for a lesson with us today about names. The children listened to Mrs. Kanter read Alma and How She Got her Name, by Juana Martinez-Neal. The little girl in the story, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, learns about how special her very long name is and how her parents decided on the names. The children decorated their names and put a checkmark by three statements about what they know about their name.
Have a relaxing weekend!
What a busy week we've had so far! We have worked with silent e words that have the long vowel sound in the middle. These words are in many of the books they have been reading, so we are working hard to look through the whole word to see if it ends with a silent e. So many of the children are getting stuck because they are trying to sound out or tap out every sound, so their eyes are going across the word letter by letter. With more experience and practice, they will be better at scanning the whole word to see if they already know it, which is important because they are sounding out red words that they already know so it slows them down, or it's a word that ends with a silent e so they need to use the long sound for the vowel most likely. So this is again something they will learn with more experience and practice.
We listened to a story about Harriet Tubman as part of our Women's History Month books. We read Before She Was Harriet, by Lesa Cline-Ransome. This book is beautifully illustrated by James E. Ransome and is written in verse. The book chronicles Harriet's life in reverse, and we learn about the other names Harriet was known by and the causes and work she did to lead so many to freedom. This beautiful book is one I hope the children again as they grow because there is so much to learn about this amazing woman.
We worked with the letter v this week. We read Ugly Vegetables, by Grace Lin. This story is about a young girl who is embarrassed because her mother plants Asian vegetables when all her neighbors are planting beautiful flower gardens. But when the vegetables are picked and made into soup, her neighbors show up at the door to get a taste of the wonderful soup. Today we read a story called Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip, by Denia Hester. I chose this book because it's a Russian folktale, The Turnip, that is retold with a twist. This time it is set in the South with an African American family who also grow an enormous turnip. We listened for a message in the story since that is what we are working on in our Benchmark lessons too. The children also made a text-to-text connection to the Ugly Vegetables story since both had soup and communities coming together and celebrating food.
In science we continue to work with motion and forces. We used balls to see how more and less force effects the motion and how we can change the path and even stop the path with different obstacles.
In math we are continuing to work with story problems, addition and subtraction, and writing number sentences to go with sets of objects that are combined. I will be reteaching this with more manipulatives because the children are having a difficult time writing the equations properly. Some are just plugging the numbers in anywhere and not thinking about what makes sense. We want to be sure they have that strong understanding of what the equations mean before rushing to just learn addition and subtraction facts.
We are working with opposites, in fact I am hoping to record the children reading a two-part poem with opposites tomorrow and posting it. I was so impressed with how well they picked up on how to read a two-part poem!
Of course we are still checking in on the eagles, and in just a week, pipping should begin for DC8. Today we saw a fish on the nest that Lotus brought back, and we saw how she was being a great "mombrella" for her two eggs in all the rain today. It seems like DC got a little more steady rain than we did!
Now for what I know all of you are waiting for, the video I promised to post yesterday but didn't! We read The Three Little Pigs in Benchmark, and had a few minutes before our special, so we watched this old Silly Symphony from Disney. I know some of you already found it on your own, but for those of you anxious to see it, here it is!
Enjoy and have a nice evening!
In honor of Women's History Month, we started our day with a quote from Justice Sonia Sotomayor; "There are two questions I ask myself every day. One is: what have I learned today. The second is ; who have I helped today." What great, simple questions to ask each day! We read her latest children's book, Just Help! Ask me to tell you about this book!
We painted sunflowers today. I have pictures of the children and their sunflower for you to see now since we will be hanging these sunflowers in the hall. We first studied photos of sunflowers, then sketched with pencil. We practiced using our whole arm to draw the circles. Then we traced over the pencil lines with oil pastels. Finally, we used watercolor paint to paint in the parts of the sunflowers. The children are soooo proud of their sunflowers.
In math, we worked on whiteboards and practiced writing decomposition number sentences. For this we start with the whole number, then have an equal sign and then the parts separated with a plus sign. So it would look like this: 7=4+3. Some of the children are having a hard time with this, so I was reteaching this. We talked about saying what we were writing outloud to make sure it made sense. We substituted words for the symbols. So we would say, seven is the same as four and three. We will review this again and have more practice.
We enjoyed a very silly story today called The Hair of Zoe Fleffenbacher Goes to School, by Laurie Halse Anderson. Ask me to tell you some of the things Zoe's hair could do, and how it got her into trouble at school.
Enjoy the weekend.