Today we read a beautiful book about weeds. We found out that weeds are very persisitent and clever. The book is called Weeds Find a Way, by Cindy Jenson-Elliott. We learned how weed seeds are moved all over the place and what makes them continue to grow. Ask me about what makes weeds so clever and persistent.
Our "field trip" to Hawaii today was especially excited. We hang-glided over the islands looking for landforms. We saw sea stacks, the coast, beaches, mountains, and a black rock volcanic beach. Later, we learned how sea stacks are formed when the water from the sea washes away the softer parts of land, leaving the hard rock and pushing the coast back farther inland. If you need a three minute vacation, we strongly suggest you put on your helmet and hang-glide over Maui. Enjoy!
Tomorrow we are off to Alaska!
In writing today, we continued to work on adding details to stories so the reader can create a mind picture. We thought about questions a reader would have to a very "thin" story, and by asking who, when, where and why questions found details that could be added to a story to make it better.
Have a nice evening!
Today we read a beautiful wordless picture book called A Circle of Friends, by Giora Carmi. This book is illustrated in brown ink with limited color. Ask me why the illustrator used color only on some parts of the illustration. We took intellectual risks as we studied the pictures to construct the story of a young boy, a sunflower muffin, a homeless man, a mother and father bird, and a baby bird. Ask me to tell you the story and why it is called A Circle of Friends.
I know your kinder is so excited to take you on a field trip to the Southwest United States to see some amazing landforms. Ask me to name a landform, and something that is not a landform. We took a quick trip to see some landforms, and learned about hoodoos, canyons and how landforms are created. I bet you won't watch this just once...
Tomorrow we are off to Hawaii. (Bathing suits, sunscreen, sunglasses and souvenir money are REALLY not necessary!)
In math, we began to learn about comparing weight and using balance scales. Today we learned about the balance scale, did some estimating, and even had a couple human balances.
Great day of learning today, and some really good thinking.
Have a nice evening!
Just a quick post about our short day! We took a virtual field trip to Plymouth Plantation.
Today was also the last day of our mini Spirit Week. We wore pajamas and brought in stuffed animals. It was a very comfortable day for everyone!
Enjoy the holiday and long weekend with your family and friends!
Today we began to study seeds. We started our day watching this amazing time lapse video of mung bean seeds germinating. This video was shot over four days. We watched, noticed and wondered. Baby plants are very strong! Watch with me and ask me to tell you what I notice and wonder about!
We learned about using hand lenses today and used them to study fruit and seeds up close! We studied the seeds to notice the shape, color, size and where the seed was in the fruit. Today I am bringing home a ziplock bag of seeds I studied today. Ask me to tell you about what I noticed today.
It was Teacher/Student Swap Day. Students dressed as teachers, and teachers dressed as students. Check out these little teachers!
Have a nice evening!
Today we studied this amazing photograph from NASA to being our day. We shared with partners, then with our class, what we noticed and what we wondered. Ask me what I wondered.
We began learning about models, globes and maps. During playtime today I overheard a couple kids who decided they would make a model of the school, just like the kids in the movie we watched about models, globes and maps did. Love it!!!
We read one of my favorite books to begin our unit about seeds. We read The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, by Timothy Basil Ering. This book was the author's first book, and it is great. The story is about a little boy who visits a dump called Cementland. It's gray and dirty. He finds a a treasure, locked in a box. The attached note says, "Put my wondrous riches into the earth and enjoy." Ask me to tell you what the wondrous riches were, and what makes the valuable.
Here's the author, Timothy Basil Ering, talking about what inspired him to write this book.
In math, we watched the story How Big is a Foot? This story is about a king who wants to build a bed for his queen. But beds have not been invented. So he calls many people in to help, and finally the carpenter's apprentice builds a bed. The king had measured his queen with his foot and gives the measurements to the carpenter. But after the bed is built, there is a problem. Ask me to tell you about the problem and how it was corrected.
We looked at our ten cube measuring stick and estimated how long our feet were. Rather than trying to measure our own foot, we took a shoe off and traced our shoe on paper. Then we made an estimate as to how long our shoe was. We checked our estimate with cubes, then cut out and colored our foot.
Today was Sports Day for Spirit Week. Here are our sporty friends!
Tomorrow is Teacher/Student Swap Day. Teachers dress like students and students dress like teachers.
Have a nice evening!
We learned about our other Academic Success Skill for this marking period. Earlier this week, we talked about taking intellectual risks. Today we talked about how we think. We learned about thinking fluently. Below you will see the skills we learn for fluency.
We watched two short videos that showed characters thinking fluently. One was about Ernie and the tall hat. Ask me to retell the story! The other video also shows fluent thinking, but also a couple actors whose sketch will definitely put a smile on your face!
We also made a Moody Cow Mind Jar. I shared information yesterday about the book we read and how to make a Mind Jar. You might want to scroll down to see that blog post because I forgot to press post after I finished writing it! A mind jar is a nice tool to use to help children, and adults, settle down when feeling stressed. There is a lot of energy in the air right now, good and bad, with holidays coming up, days off we've had, and the election. The post included information about the book and how to make a mind jar. Ours came out a little murky since I didn't have any regular dish washing liquid here at school, so we used Bath and Body Works soap. Ask me to tell you about making the Moody Cow Mind Jar and how it can help us with our feelings.
We had a wonderful fashion show today. Thank-you to everyone for helping the children with their outfits. They did an amazing job talking to each other to be ready to tell about their partner's ensemble. I suspect there were some families who practiced modeling because this really was Project Runway worthy! Pictures from the fashion show are under the Curriculum and Science tab. You will not want to miss these photos!
Please check our homepage for information about the Mini-Spirit Week our student government is sponsoring next week.
Have a nice weekend!
Several times this week, I have commented to people that it feels like a blizzard is coming. I have said this, not because it's cold, but because the kids, (the whole school really), just seem excited or agitated. It may be because November is always a hard month after Halloween, conferences, lots of days off or half-day, up coming holidays and preparations for the holidays.. The talk of the election and the feelings about it, good or bad, may also be contributing to it. There is definitely a different energy in the air, and I have seen more rough play outside and hurtful words. Whatever the cause, I decided to take time today to do some deep breathing and mediation with the children. The children laid down and had a stone on their belly to help them focus on their breathing. We listened to quiet music and focused on relaxing different parts of the body. Then we sat up and continued to breathe in through their nose and out their mouth. We did some slow, gentle head rolls and rolled shoulders back to release some tension. We will practice this on a regular basis.
We also read the book Moody Cow Meditates, by Kerry Lee MacLean. This book is about a cow who is having a horrible day. Ask me to tell you why Moody Cow was having a bad day, and what he did on purpose out of frustration. The story ends with a visit from grandpa cow who helps Moody Cow meditate, and shows him the Mind Jar. The mind jar is simply a jar with sparkles in it, much like a snow globe. When it turn it upside down several times, the sparkles spinning and move around, like your mind when you are busy, upset or anxious. Breathing in and out and watching the sparkles settle is a good strategy to use to help settle your thoughts.
Tomorrow we will make a class Moody Cow Mind Jar, but you can make one at home too. Here's all you need:
an empty, clean glass jar - clear mason jars work well
sparkles or glitter in at least one color - the finer the glitter the more sparkle
a bottle of glycerin or corn syrup - corn syrup is cheaper but is a little yellowish
some liquid dish soap or hand soap - clear works best - this allows the glitter to sink instead of staying at the top
Fill the jar 3/4 full with warm water. Add glycerin or corn syrup almost to the top of the jar. Put in about four or five drops of liquid soap. Put the lid on and shake to to dissolve the glycerine or syrup and soap in the warm water.
Then, take the lid off and put in a pinch of glitter for each thought you need to release from your mind. You can use different colors for angry thoughts, fearful thoughts. You can also add in another color for kind thoughts you need to remember are always in your mind.
Put the lid on again, and mix it up my turning the jar upside down, the right-side up, five or six times. Set the jar down and breathe in and out as you watch the glitter settle to the bottom of the jar.
Here's another idea for a mindfulness jar:
We also worked more with short a today. We watched a silly video called Stand By Your Can. Enjoy!
After we were adequately inspired by this video, we wrote words with /an/ in them. We started wtih short consonant/vowel/consonant words then added endings to the words, such as s and ing. We also added blends and digraphs to the beginning of the words. We wrote longer and longer words. We even wrote Thanksgiving by breaking it down into parts. We impressed ourselves!
In writing today, we wrote about what we are thankful for. I will be posting these later on our Home Page. The children were very thoughtful about what they chose. I did not coach them or tell them they could not say toys, so you should be very proud of what they chose to write about.
It's possible I'm partial, but I think we were one of the best classes during the fire drill today. They walked quickly and mostly quietly, and waited silently for instructions. Bravo!
Have a nice evening!
Today we had an art studio in our classroom, or so it seemed! We spent the afternoon listening to good music and painting trees in different seasons. Our artists were inspired by some paintings I showed them, then given a brief tour of the types of art supplies they could use, then pretty much turned loose! They worked hard to show their best effort on one project before going on to another.
The children used oil pastels, tempera paint, water color paint, and construction paper to create trees. They worked well together, encouraged each other, and I cannot even tell you what a fantastic and fast job they did cleaning up. We got two last minute papers that needed to be sent home, so I was stuffing folders twice, and they were finishing and cleaning up on their own. It was great! And every paintbrush was put back brush side up! Glue bottles were even closed. I think they they want to have this time again! Here are some pictures of our artists at work!
The purpose of this art time was to create trees that we would see in different seasons. It was also to work with new art materials, make choices, and to just have fun!
Seasons of Trees Virtual Art Gallery
I hope you enjoyed our virtual art show!
Please be sure to check your child's folder for two important notices. One letter is from Mrs. Oglesby, and the other is a flyer for you to check your child's pictures from Freed Photography. Make-up picture day is tomorrow, so if you would like your child's picture to be retaken, please send me an e-mail so I can be sure they go when it's our turn.
Have a nice evening!
Today we watched an amazing video of mung bean seeds sprouting. The video was shot over 4 days. We asked questions and shared our thinking about what we saw. Ask me to tell you about what I noticed and wondered.
The children brought home a bag of seeds today. These seeds came from fruit we cut up and studied. We were studying the size, shape, color and where the seeds were in the fruit. We practiced using hands lenses to get a closer look at the fruit and seeds. We counted some of the seeds we found in our part of the fruit. Ask me to tell you what seeds I brought home. Look at us studying the fruit.
We had a fun time today with students dressing up as teachers, and teachers dressing up as students. Here are the little teachers!
Have a nice evening!
Today we began learning about taking intellectual risks. When we take intellectual risks we ask questions every day to help us understand, we share our thinking with the group, we share ideas and answers even when we aren't sure if they are correct, and we challenge ourselves to try and do harder and harder things.
We started our day by talking about asking questions. We studied this photograph and came up with questions we had about it.
Some of you may know this is Krishna's Butter Ball in India. This rock has been balanced here for thousands of years. We generated A LOT of questions! Ask me to tell you what I wondered about.
We also learned about the word challenge. We watched a fun video and challenged ourselves.
We are working on answering key questions from texts, and retelling stories. The Five Finger Retell is one tool we can use to remind students of what to include in retelling at story.
We read Ribbit, by Rodrigo Folgueira and practiced retelling the story. Children often skip important parts of the story in the retell, so practice is important, especially as stories become more complex. Ask me to tell you the story Ribbit. This story had a simple lesson in it. The frog family gets upset when they see a pig sitting on a rock in the middle of the pond. They are even more surprised when he "ribbits" at them. They question why he is there and if he is making fun of him. They end of going to the old wise beetle who doesn't understand their problem. When the beetle comes to the pond they find the pig has left. Somehow, the pig is now in a tree with lots of birds who all are tweeting, including the pig. Ask me to tell you what I learned about friendship through this story.
Have a nice evening!