We are having a great Countdown Week. Monday's Beach Day was a lot of fun, but also reminded me of what any incredibly kind class this is. I overheard one friend asking another child if they needed help spreading out their beach towel. Another child invited a child to sit on her beach towel since he forgot his beach towel. We learned about the ocean habitat and what happens when humans change the environment with pollution.
Tuesday the kids had a really great time at Field Day. Mr. Tom did an incredible job organizing this activity for the whole school. This is the first Field Day in my 34 years of teaching that had DEAR time and scheduled break time. He even made a video to remind the children what to do at each station. Incredible!
Today we had Lego Day. I had an unfortunate incident building an Olaf out of Lego. Some grandma from Missouri or somewhere said her grandson made it in 30 minutes, so I thought perfect, I can do that. Well, it didn't go so well for me, but I am intrigued by how much Lego has expanded over the years. So many fun kits that build things you can really play with and use!
We started a guided research project in Reading and Writing. We are researching eagles. We first filled in a chart with three categories that are can, have and are. We worked together to fill in what we thought we knew that eagles can do, have or are. We checked what we knew by reading Pebble Go and it turns out we know MORE than Pebble Go knows about eagles. Nowhere did we find anything about wingercizing, mombrellas, or eagletude! Apparently Takoda is a teenage eagle now and is showing some eagletude, especially when it comes to eating.
In math we got a jumpstart on Super Hero Day and practiced adding. We used the counting-on strategy for problems we didn't know.
We studied some interesting buildings this morning during our Picture Talk. The children wanted me to put them on the website, along with a rather long Disney Brainbreak. Enjoy!
Have a great evening!
We started our day with another song. The children had expressed an interest in how the muppets/puppets for Sesame Street work and if they are real. So I showed this other song from the Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Concert. These poor kids have to listen to so many stories from my childhood, but I had to tell them about my amazing music teacher Miss Ogrand. She would put on these huge shows that involved the entire school, K-6, each year. One she did was a Sesame Street show. Each of the chorus members brought a tube sock to school and we made a muppet. We had lots of songs to memorize, this song being one of them. We watched the video of Sing today, practiced singing it a little, then worked with words with ing. We also worked with illustrating the song by showing the children singing in the pictures. The children came up with several different ways including making quarter notes, talking/singing bubbles, and open mouths. The children did such a great job with their illustration and writing 5 words with ing on their poem paper.
We are so proud of DC9. S/He branched last night at 7:36 which means both her/his feet left the nest and went up on a branch. It seemed effortless when you look at the video. S/He stayed up there a bit, looked around, looked down and worried me, and then went back down into the nest. DC9 spends a lot of time on the railings of the nest. S/He is just over 8 weeks old now.
We voted on a name for DC9. Each table group, shown by the paw print, gets one vote. We had some ties, so we will be submitting a vote for each name.
In math, we worked to catch mistakes in counting and fix them up. We solved a story problem and wrote a number sentence and number bond. We played a game with dice to make number bonds too.
Have a nice evening!
I wanted to update you earlier, but in light of the unthinkable tragedy in Texas, I just needed some time to process. I'm sending a link with information on talking with your child about school violence. We will not talk about what happened in class unless it comes up, and if it does I will just acknowledge what happened and talk about feelings, and who can help them at school if they need to talk to about their strong feelings. As much as I can, I will do that privately so the children who may not know about the shooting will not hear about it at school. Here is a link with some guidance about talking with your child about school violence. I know you may know most of what is shared here, but it's good to just read through it again and hopefully you'll find a nugget of information you hadn't thought about before.
We got through our MAP RF testing yesterday as well as our MAP P testing today. Anyone who was absent either day will have to make it up tomorrow or Thursday. We started a special writing project about a favorite toy. Today we brainstormed some of our favorite toys, then decided on one that we will write about. We visited Iowa today and read a book called Ten Beautiful Things, by Molly Beth Griffin. This book is about a little girl who is travelling with her grandmother to her home in Iowa. The little girl is going to live with her grandmother, so she is somewhat somber. Her grandmother suggests they watch for ten beautiful things on their trip. After we listened to the story we worked together to construct the list again from memory. I caught up the Read the USA classroom, so this book is on there. Ask me to tell you some, or all, of the ten beautiful things identified on the trip.
We started our day with some music, instead of a picture, for our talk time. We talked about places we would like to visit and/or live. The children loved the music and talking about this, as did I, so I'm sharing the music with you. Ask me about where I would like to live or visit. Be prepared for belly laughs when the children see Ernie's feet and legs. Enjoy.
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!