Today we read Panda Kindergarten, by Joanne Ryder. We studied the photographs and reread text to learn how to study animals. Along the way, we learned about pandas in the Wolong Nature Reserve in China. Ask me to tell you why pandas are on the nature reserve. We learned how this panda kindergarten is similar to our kindergarten. Ask me to tell you how the panda kindergarten is similar to our school.
We didn't check in on the eaglets until later today. It seems Mr. President is a very good hunter and got himself a duck. It was a little gruesome, so since it was raining and The First Lady was being a very good mombrella and keeping her eaglets dry and warm, we didn't check in until the afternoon. We did get to see both eaglets being fed. DC4 has gotten much stronger and is holding its head up longer and is much more in control to get fed. DC5 is still learning to move itself around to face it's parent and to keep its head up long enough to get a bite to eat. Both eaglets are doing fine, but it was noted by Nathan this afternoon that some babies have wild hair when they are born too, and that's why DC5's "hair" looked a little strange. So if you haven't looked at the nest today, please be warned, it's not pretty. They have a lot of fish and the remains of that duck are likely to be around until they do a little nest cleaning. We talked very briefly that this is part of nature and the way animals feed. When the eaglets are being fed, the moderators are really good about zooming in to get close-ups of the eaglets so their prey isn't always in the picture.
This afternoon we used our fingers to find all the ways to make ten. We cut out hands and bent the fingers to find all eleven ways to make ten. Unfortunately, the worksheet had twelve spaces, and these persistent little kindergarteners sat there perplexed, trying to find a twelfth way to make ten.
Have a great weekend!
I've had a few problems posting this weeks with deleted posts even after multiple tries. However, I have no worries that you didn't hear an earful yesterday about what happened with the eagles we have been watching. DC4 hatched yesterday, and this morning early DC5 had a pip in the shell. It takes 12 -48 hours usually for the eaglet to hatch, but it hatched early this afternoon. We try and check in on them several times during the day. Yesterday we saw a lot! DC4 was trying to hold its head up and feed, and was finally successful after the kids left. DC4 is pretty spunky and was really trying to keep its head up and figure out what to do with those wings and feet. We saw him do a backward somersault, which probably was the highlight of the day for the kids! They wrote about what they saw yesterday, and I'll send those home tomorrow so you can see. This class is very sweet and tells the eagles they love them. I've also overheard several of them saying "I wish my mom could see this!" So I hope you get the chance to check these amazing creatures out. The eaglets will be in the nest for 12 - 13 weeks so we have a lot of great observing we can be doing from now until the end of the year. Here's the link again if you missed it before: http://www.dceaglecam.org/
In math, we have been working to write numbers to 120. We also working with the hundreds chart to learn more about the relationship between numbers. We are working on adding and subtracting ten and twenty to numbers, and adding and subtracting one and two to numbers. The children are having fun doing number factories where they start with a number and take it through several operations before putting it in a box.
We are talking about how humans are alike and different. We are writing about ourselves and sharing what makes us each special.
Have a nice evening!
Just a quick note today to let you know we are doing some end of unit testing in math and checks on reading word wall words in reading. We learned a game today in math that some of the children got to play called Racing Bears, although we used dinosaurs. Racing Bears is played with one die and each player gets four dinosaurs and a path to ten. Then need to roll to get to ten. Then need an exact number to make ten, so they cannot break up the roll. This is giving them practice in figuring out how many more they need to make ten which is reinforcing the concept of part/part whole. Today we also wrote numbers to 120. I am checking to see they can do this without help, that the numbers they write are written correctly with numbers in the right place and no reversals, and that they are writing their numbers neatly so they can be read. The children did a really great job on this today. Some still have some work to do, but this is an end of the year goal, so I wanted to see what additional work children needed.
We checked in on the eagles several times today. We got so lucky and got to see Mr. President bring The First Lady a small fish. It was extra lucky it was a small fish because it's not a lot of fun to see the big fish eaten the first time, but it's part of nature and the children will be fine with it after some initial ewwwww's. Today they really didn't see much because The First Lady just ate it in a few bites. Both Mr. President and The First Lady have been taking turns on the nest brooding, getting up from time to time to roll the eggs over quickly and fluff up the grasses in the nest. Hopefully the eggs will hatch this week! The link to watch this beautiful birds is: http://www.dceaglecam.org/
Have a nice evening!
We had a great discussion about these two amazing birds. We compared the birds, zooming in specifically on their external features. Ask me to tell you how these two birds are different and the same, and how this helps them hunt for food.
In math Thursday, we worked with a number factory path where children started with a number but then needed to add or subtract 1, 2, 10 or 20. They had a numberline and 100's chart available, but most of the children we doing this in their head and writing their numbers quickly on their whiteboards. Today we worked with subitizing and decomposing to 8. The children were shown arrangements of dots quickly, and they wrote the number they thought they saw on their whiteboard. We discussed what they saw and how they were able to know how many without counting. Most likely they are seeing some common arrangements then counting-on or adding without really even thinking about it. They are very accurate! Then we practiced quickly writing number sentences to show all the ways to decompose the numbers.
Thursday, we continued our discussion of producers and consumers and talked about maple syrup production. We took the opportunity to visit Vermont and read a story called Sugaring by Jessie Haas. The story is about a little girl and her grandfather collecting sap from maple trees and and boiling it in the sugar house. We took a quick trip around Vermont and colored our postcard.
Thursday we went to the fifth grade plays in the morning. We were so impressed with the performance and the play that was written by the students. The children had to sit for an hour, and I know I am biased but they really did a great job sitting and listening, even though the content was over their heads. But they really enjoyed seeing their patrols and friends doing an amazing job of performing.
We continue to check in on the eagles. The First Lady was doing a lot of squawking this afternoon, although I am not sure why, however the eggs could hatch anytime now. I'm trying to peek in on them before I show the children just to be sure nothing sad has happened that I might need more information about before sharing with the children. They are very interested in them already, and really they haven't seen much but sitting around. Once the eggs hatch, things get really interesting!
Enjoy the weekend!
We studied some animals some people have called "ugly animals" this morning. We talked about their external features and how some of them were very unusual. We know many of those external features are important to the animal's survival so we talked about what we knew and made some guesses about how some of the external features may be important to the survival of the animal. What do you think?
We also read a poem and talked about words with multiple meanings. We circled them in the poem then talked about their different meanings. We chose one to illustrate and write a sentence illustrating the two different meanings. We need to work more on this, possibly just with following the directions! WE will continue to work with words with multiple meanings.
Have a nice evening!
Today we talked about how external features help animals to survive. We studied this photograph and noticed how the external features helped this amazing eagle catch a fish. Ask me to tell you about what I noticed.
Later in the day, we worked with a partner and studied cards with photographs of animals and simple facts on the back. Each pair picked an important external feature and thought about how it might help the animal, and came up with one thing we wondered about the animal. We shared our photos and ideas with our class.
We also talked more about wants and needs. We read a story called Lily Learns About Wants and Needs. In the story, Lily continues to ask her father to buy things for her, but her father tells her they are not buying things they don't need right now. He helps Lily think about what what she already has and what she could do instead to meet her needs. We talked about how sometimes families need money for things the children may no realize cost money like electricity and services like visiting the dentist. Then we read a beautiful story called The Rag Coat, by Lauren Mills. This story is about a little girl who lives in Appalachia a long time ago. Her father was a miner who was very sick and didn't work all the time, then passed away. She was not able to go to school because she had to stay at home and help with her younger siblings while her mom tried to sew to make money for the family. The little girl also did not have a coat so she was unable to go to school when her siblings were a little older. Ask me to tell you how the little girl got a coat, and what made the coat so special.
Have a nice evening!
Today we made clay solid shapes to make into necklaces after the clay hardens and dries. We will paint them and string them next week. We used what we know about solid shape faces, edges and vertices to make the shapes. We concentrated on cylinders, cones, spheres, cubes and rectangular prisms. The children had to use all their kindergarten power to knead the clay so they could make it into the shapes. We used straws to make holes in the shapes for the string. We will finish these next week and send them home!
Have a great weekend!
We began to learn about prefixes today. We know a prefix is a part of a word that comes at the beginning of the word. Prefixes help us know what words mean. Today we worked with "un" and "re." Ask me to tell you about prefixes.
Here are a couple of videos, and a bonus video, we watched that use prefixes in their story.
In math, two groups reviewed solid shapes and used blocks to trace their faces. We noticed the number of sides and shapes. We also found different sizes and different kinds of triangles. We drew faces on the faces we traced! Other students worked with tangrams and pattern blocks to solve puzzles.
In writing, we started talking about procedural writing. We will be writing books that tell how to make or do something.
Today I was watching the children during literacy stations and noticing how well they interact with each other. This group truly loves each other, and I am noticing how they are working with different children, not the same friends all the time.
We continue to check-in with the eagles at the National Arboretum. They still have snow in their nest, but both Mr. President and The First Lady have been diligent in keeping the eggs warm. We notice The First Lady often turning the eggs a little and fluffing up the grasses that are in the nest. We saw a short video that showed Mr. President in the nest with The First Lady and laying beside and little on her side during the storm. The eagles were covered in snow but seem to be doing well. I keep checking the Facebook page of the National Eagle Foundation to get any information that might lead me to think the eggs will not survive. I don't want the children to be disappointed if they do not hatch or survive, so I'm trying to stay on top of that to let them know what is going on with the eagles.
Enjoy the evening!
I can't believe it, but today we actually read a few books about snow. We learned about how animals camouflage themselves in areas with snow. We learned why orcas and penguins have dark on top and white below when they swim. Ask me to tell you about it.
We collected data to show how much snow we are hoping for tonight and tomorrow. Here's what we are hoping for out of this storm.
Ask me to tell you about our data.
The children are hopeful for a day of building snow people and sledding. For the children, of course, I hope they get their wish. We did a little snow dance before they left, and they are coming home with ideas sure to make it snow.
Stay safe and warm!