We started our day looking at photographs of different places that would be great places to relax and recharge. We talked about the importance of taking time to recharge, and how that is part of staying healthy. We referred to our SELF poster that reminds us to take care of ourselves with four healthy practices. Ask me to tell you what the letters in SELF stand for in Health. (Sleep, exercise, leisure, food.)
We took a quick peek this morning at the eagles nest at the Arboretum. Lotus was on the nest and had little water droplets all over her. This was a great opportunity for the children to begin to learn about how birds keep their bodies dry when it's raining or snowing. We talked about how birds have oil that is spread over their feathers when they are preening, making their feathers like a raincoat for thei r bodies. The children have so many questions and are keeping me on my toes looking for answers to what I don't know about eagles!
We read some books on Epic this morning, instead of reading from our classroom library. This is one way I can assign books that the children can read independently this way. There are also a few books I have assigned that are high interest that are either read to them, or that they can look at the photographs and read some of on their own. We also practiced taking a photo, on Seesaw, of some of the writing we did last week. They did a great job for the first attempt.
In Benchmark, we read a story called The No Tech Day! The children had a lot of ideas of what you can do with batteries or electricity. We are working on writing our opinion about the best thing to do on a no tech day.
We continue to work with number bonds in Eureka. Some of the children are having difficulty with the abstract way of showing the parts and whole in the number bond diagram, so we are taking more time to just discover the relationship between numbers. We will be doing more work with manipulatives to reinforce breaking apart groups of items to help the children get a better understanding of the concept of number bonds. If you would like your child to work in the homework book, please do not go past lesson 12.
We read an African folktale today called Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock, by Eric Kimmell. The children enjoyed this folktale. Ask me to tell you about Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock.
Enjoy your evening!
I could not wait for Tuesday morning to get to show the children the eagles nest at the National Arboretum. Mr. President and Lotus have two eggs, the first being laid on Friday, February 18. We studied pictures of eagles to get an idea of what these majestic birds look like and what they can do. The eaglets should hatch toward the end of March, but already the kids are asking, "Did the eggs crack?" We will take a peek at the eagles and eggs in the morning and as we pack up, and other times when something is going on I would like the children to see. We also watched part of this video that shows the second egg being laid about 2:30 into the video below. The children have so many questions and are so interested!
We had a virtual Town Meeting with Mrs. Kemp on Tuesday morning. She talked to them about teamwork and showed them a Pixar short that we had already seen and talked about, but she also showed another short video that showed teamwork. There are a trio of these little videos that were originally bus ads I believe. I'm going to share them because the children wanted you to see them. They really do illustrate good teamwork. Ask me to tell you about what the crabs, ants and penguins did that showed they worked as a team to survive.
We worked with the short e sound, which is typically the most difficult vowel for the children to hear, reproduce and use in their reading and writing. We are working on writing the letter e and making the sound when we tap out CVC words with e in them.
We read about Lebron James on Tuesday. We learned about his life in Akron when he was a child and struggling. Ask your child about Lebron and they will tell you he shares. We talked about the school Lebron started and why he felt it was so important. We listened to him introduce the book he wrote, I Promise, and listened to the illustrator Nina Mata read the book. Ask me to tell you about Lebron James.
In math we are continuing to work with number bonds. We are going to take some time to work more with manipulatives to straighten out some problems the children are having with number bonds. We need a little more hands-on before we go to the abstract circles, as well as more time to really investigate the number relationships.
In Social Studies on Tuesday, the children got to listen to Mrs. Consroe read Someone Builds the Dream, by Lisa Wheeler when I left early for a doctor's appointment. This book is about how important laborers are in building dreams. The book begins with an architect designing a space and then shows the laborers working with the plans to build the house. It's really about teamwork, just like we talked about in the morning. This is a beautifully illustrated book by Loren Long.
Have a nice evening!
This has been a very busy week in kindergarten! We have been working with number bonds in math. The children are doing a great job of finding the relationships between the numbers 6, 7 and 8. We also have been working to write our numbers without reversals. The children wrote numbers to 25 beautifully this week. Before we started the practice, one child said that sometimes they get mixed up with 12 and 21. Well, you know Miss Wolfe had a video for that! Enjoy!
Although it's not a manipulative we use in Eureka, I broke out the Digi-Blocks. This manipulative is a powerful tool for teaching children about place value. We started with a big suitcase of ten smaller suitcases. The children think the suitcases look like packs of gum, and they are right! Then we opened up the suitcases of ten and found ten little pieces that stand in the suitcase. The only way the suitcase stays together is if there are ten. We took apart some of the suitcases and showed twelve with a suitcase of ten, and two more digis. Then we showed twenty-one with two suitcases and one more digi. We will use the digis from time to time so the children can practice counting by ones, tens, and showing numbers on a place value mat.
We also read a really sweet book called Wag, by Patrick McDonnell. The book is about a dog named Earl and his friend named Mooch. We find out that Earl wags when he is happy and feels love. We wrote a sentence about what makes us wag. We are working to pound out the syllables, and tap out each sound in the syllable with our fingers. The children are doing a good job of working hard to show their best effort. As I have shared with you before, writing is probably the hardest part of the day for the children because there are so many things they need to think about at the same time. They are thinking of their idea, the words they will use, the sounds they will need to make the words, remembering the words they know how to spell, thinking about how to write the letters, and thinking about spacing and punctuation. That is a lot, and I'm so proud of the growth I've seen, but more proud of the focus and effort the children are showing.
In Benchmark, we read a Read Aloud story about construction vehicles. I found photos to go with the story and we matched verbs to the construction vehicles. The children were really excited to talk about construction vehicles, and they knew so much! Ask me to tell you which verbs go with which vehicles.
We've been reading some African folktales this week. We read Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, by Verna Aardema. This book was about animals on the Kapiti Plain waiting for a big cloud to bring them the rain they desperately need. Ask me to tell you how the rain finally comes to Kapiti Plain. Today we read Lazy Lion, by Mwenye Haitihi. This story explains why the lion roams free without a home in the savannah. Ask me to tell you what happens when lion orders some of the animals in the savannah to build him a home.
In Social Studies, we are learning about jobs. We read a beautiful new book called Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady. As soon as I showed the children the book, they were drawn in by the beautiful illustrations by Gracey Zhang. This book is about a young boy who is feeling bad because many of the children at school have parents who work at "fancy" jobs. His mom is a mail carrier and his dad is a truck driver. He also feels like he cannot be what he really wants to be because he does not see black boys or men like him in the ballet books he looks at in the library. He wants to be a ballet dancer, and an astronaut. Nigel's teacher has all the children "shadow" their parents at work one day. Nigel is worried to tell his class that he went with his mother as she delivered mail. Ask me to tell you what happens that makes Nigel feel proud and strong enough to tell his classmates about what he really wants to be. I love this book! I'm supposed to be on a book diet, but I am so glad I bought this one! We wrote about what we think we might want to be when we grow up. Like Nigel, most of the children named two or three jobs they may want as an adult. They told about why they might want the jobs. They did a really nice job writing. You will be happy to know our future is in good hands. I will be hanging these in the hall! Ask me to tell you what I wrote about!
This afternoon we had the first part of our Kennedy Center jazz program called I Have a Song in My Heart. We started our day with a short video from Sandra Boynton and B.B. King. We listened closely to see what we noticed about the words. I hope you enjoy this video of One Shoe Blues.
Our Kennedy Center program started with a story, then some jazz and an introduction of the instruments in the jazz combo. There was also a vocalist, Riza. Ask me to tell you what these instruments are and what I notice about them.
We learned about writing the blues and practiced with Riza and the jazz combo. Here are some of our attempts at writing the blues we did after the program.
Next week we will finish the jazz program and will be doing an art project to share the song in our hearts.
Have a wonderful three day weekend!
What a busy day we had! We started our day by talking about the beautiful photographs above. We talked about how they are the same and different. Ask me to tell you about the photos.
I had a few camera issues here, so I apologize for the blur. My nifty fifty lens let me down! But we can still see the ideas and work put into creating these 100th day projects! Thanks to all who participated. Several teachers came in when the kids were at specials and were so impressed!
We listened to a book called I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words, by Michael Frith. We read 100 words on dog bones that are now all over our room. We had ten different groups of words with ten different rules for the words. We had number words, food words, CVC words with all five vowels, animal words, verbs and color words. We will practice reading the room over the next couple weeks and also use the words for phonics and spelling lessons.
We played Valentine Bingo today. It's a short version of a bingo game with the kids listening for the six words on their bingo card. Each time they heard one of the words they let out a hardy "OOOO-:LA-LA!" So if you hear that a lot tonight, you're welcome! They were so cute and very patient waiting for their words to be called.
They had a lot of fun delivering their valentines to the bags they made on Friday. We also made a picture frame and had goody bags from our room parents. All in all, a great Valentine's 100th day! We will probably do a few more activities for each of these special days. We just couldn't get to everything today!
Have a nice Valentine's evening!
Today we looked at the top photograph to start talking about jobs. We looked at these amazing fishermen from Vietnam and noticed very interesting things about their boats, nets and the poles they are holding. There was some disappointment when they learned the boat was not a water slide, but we all definitely saw the connection. We will be learning more about different jobs people have next week and will look at other fishermen from around the world to compare how they fish.
We have made until February without having to talk about noise level in the classroom! Today we listened to the story of Decibella. Ask me to tell you about Decibella's problem. This is a wonderful book with a great way of explaining and practicing different voice levels for different purposes.
In Benchmark, we read the book about life long ago once again to determine the author's purpose. Ask me to tell you why the author might have written this book.
For math today, we worked with two ten frames. We used the ten frames to keep track of the hearts we spent in the Valentine Store. The children visited the valentine store and bought items to put on their valentine bags. They had a great time. If you are looking for a quiet activity, just find little stickers or foam pieces with adhesive backs that need to be peeled off. The kids got so quiet concentrating on their work! This is a really great fine motor activity!
We ran out of time to pass out Read to Me, Talk to Me books, so I will attempt to get them sent home on Monday, but I am not promising! It's Valentine's Day and the 100th Day of School so I think we are going to be quite busy celebrating!
Have a wonderful weekend!
I had a long post all ready to publish yesterday and pressed the wrong button and it all disappeared except for our Talk Time photos. GRRRRR. Here we go again. We have moved to reading about the past after a brief look at science fiction and the future. We studied these photos and talked about how school is different now than long ago. It was almost unanimous that students would rather go to school now than in the past. I'm pretty sure the "shed" they saw in the pictures had something to do with it. We talked about the lack of plumbing and the wood stoves in the classrooms. They were also overwhelmed with how many children were in the classes. Me too! Ask me to tell you about school long ago!
This is Black History Month, and in honor of the month, we are learning about several notable black Americans who continue to inspire us. We started the month learning about Ruby Bridges. We continued by reading a beautiful book by Jacqueline Woodson called The Year We Learned to Fly. This book! I love this book because it is gentle and inspiring. Two children are taught to use their imagination to lift themselves up out of boredom and anger, like their ancestors before them who came here in chains on ships, to imagine a better world. We then talked about the people we will be learning about the rest of the month. I'm including the people I selected in the slides below, although Ruby Bridges is not in the show. She is now on our board, but somehow got left out of the original set I printed.
We will be reading African folktales this month as well. Yesterday we read Abiyoyo, by Pete Seeger. This book is always a favorite! It has a little tune that just might get stuck in your head if you ask your child about this book. They probably will just start singing! We used fractions to help us draw the giant Abiyoyo after we listened to the story. We folded and divided our tall paper into four equal parts. We studied a picture from the book of Abiyoyo and drew it on the paper. Then we added a setting. Although we do not study fractions in kindergarten, some of the children encounter questions about fractions on MAP P, the standardized test we take three times a year. We actually just took that again on Tuesday afternoon. I emphasized that fractions are equal parts, so we looked at the paper to see that when we folded carefully matching corners and edges, each part was the same size.
We learned about bar graphs yesterday as well. We looked at a collection of items, then made a graph that showed how many of each item was in the collection. Graphing isn't really covered in our Eureka curriculum, but again comes up on MAP-P, so when I can, I give the children an opportunity to learn about graphs. We will do more soon with looking at the data on a graph and talking about what it shows.
In math today we worked more with number bonds. We looked at number bonds in different orientations, created number bonds with pictures then numbers, and finally wrote a number sentence that tells about the number bond.
So many exciting things happen in the month of February, especially this year with the Olympics! We took a little time to compare different types of skating. We took a look at Nathan Chen's performance last night and watched the medal ceremony.
Have a nice evening!
We had an Olympic edition Talk Time today. We studied four different ski events at the Olympics. We looked at a part of a video clip so we could see how each of these events is special. Then we shared our opinion with our partner/s being sure to give support for our favorite event. We talked about which event we might like to try someday! Ask me to tell you about my favorite skiing event.
We continued to study science fiction in Benchmark. We listened to the story we heard the other day again and compared and contrasted the setting and characters.
We sorted food into food groups during health. We studied My Plate again to see how much of each group we should eat. I was so impressed with how well the children did sorting the food into groups!
In math, we continued to work with number bonds. We did Lesson 4 in Eureka.
Have a nice evening!
Today we did not start our day with the usual "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" song by James Taylor, but instead with the Boston Pops playing Bugler's Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley, by John Williams. The children loved it! In fact, when I asked what music they wanted during lunch in the classroom they said Olympic music. So we listened to that and other pieces that majestic and proud, such as Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copeland and Pictures at an Exhibition: Great Gate of Kiev. I love that this class enjoys listening to such a wide variety of music. We looked at a few more photographs of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
The replay of the Opening Ceremony will be on tonight from 8 - 11 on NBC I think. It looks amazing from the photos we saw.
In Benchmark, we are reading science fiction. Today we were retelling a short story and looking for science fiction characteristics. The Benchmark selection was a rather weak example, and since we had no special today I put on a 20 minute episode of The Jetsons. They get science fiction now and will happily retell that story to you! We enjoyed seeing the futuristic technology that is such a big part of that show. We will read a couple more science fiction stories to give children a better understanding of this genre. We have some superhero books and Star Wars beginning reader books that they already are familiar with, so we will build on that. Ask me to retell the Jetson's story we watched today.
In math, we did Lesson 3, I Can Use Number Bonds to Show a story. The children were told a simple story about squirrels and more squirrels joining the group. We used squares in our number bonds to show the squirrels, then made another number bond and replaced the squares with numbers. It's important to know that number bonds can be shown in different orientations, so it's important the children know which circle represents the whole and which circles are the parts. We know to look for the two lines that shows the parts combining into one group or circle in the number bond.
We also played a game in math. I have included a copy of the game, but the copy is pretty bad online. You will need two dice, and two different counters such as beans, pennies, etc. You need one copy of the game board. This works best with two players. The players take turns rolling the dice and adding the numbers on the dice. For our kinders, they can count on from the larger number on the dice. So if they roll a 5 and a 4, they count on from 5: 6, 7, 8 and 9. I encourage them not to count the dots on both of the dice, but to practice counting on. It's important they count on with the number that comes next. They put their counter on the number they rolled. If the other player already has a counter on that number, they can bump it and the player has to take the counter back. Each player only rolls once on each turn. If a player rolls a number they already have one counter on, they can lock it by putting a second counter on it. The other player may not bump them then. Play continues until all numbers are covered. The winner is the player who has the most numbers covered. The children really enjoyed playing this game today!
Have a nice weekend!
What an eventful day! We talked about the groundhog seeing his shadow and read an information book about the holiday. We looked for text features in the book. Ask me to tell you what bold print and captions are and how they help me understand the text better.
During Talk Time, we practiced asking questions with our partners about the photograph. Then we listened to a beautiful book called Bringing in the New Year, by Grace Lin. Grace Lin is a wonderful author who writes and illustrates not only beautiful picture books, but chapter books as well. We then watched a video of Grace Lin showing how to draw a dragon. Ask me to show you my dragon and to tell you the three lucky numbers Grace Lin told us about. What do the numbers mean. Look at the whiskers and ask me to tell you what I was wishing for in the New Year.
We listened for key details in an information text about how we may travel in the future. We got sooooo sidetracked when the book showed an elevator to space. So many questions. So during lunch I googled space elevator. I didn't find anything that really was on our level, could but apparently it is still something they are working on. So if your kids are talking about taking an elevator to space, that is where it came from. I did find the new space restaurant at Epcot in Disney World is an elevator to space simulator. I'm including the video because I showed the beginning and end to the kids, not the expensive restaurant part, and the kids wanted to see it again. They liked seeing the land when they were going up, but not going down. I think I'll pass on the whole elevator to space opportunity, should one ever be offered to me!
In math, we started talking about number bonds. We talked about putting together groups and breaking a group apart into two parts. We practiced writing numerals on Seesaw today too. We have a lot of numeral reversals so we will be working on that over the next couple weeks. A great way to practice at home is with a little shaving cream on a cookie sheet.
We also talked just a little today about the Olympics. The Olympic torch started its journey to Beijing so we watched a little clip so the kids could see what a torch is and how they were passing it to different runners.
So much excitement in February!
Have a nice evening!