Friday, January 6, 2017

Push and Pull

This week we kicked off our "Force and Motion" unit in science! We are talking about the two forces of push and pull. To really understand these ideas, we've been getting to do some really cool activities in class. One of them included a ping pong ball race! Watch below as KM and IS push air through straws to make the balls move down the tube. 

We talked about how if you want the ball to go father or move faster, you need to use more force. More force in this case would be a bigger blow of air. The kids loved this activity so much that they chose to do it during our indoor recess time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread

This week we read many different versions of the gingerbread man story.

We read:
“Gingerbread Baby,” by Jan Brett

“The Gingerbread Man,” by Jim Aylesworth

“The Gingerbread Girl,” by Lisa Campball Earnst

“Ninjabread Man.” by C.J. Leigh

The last one was their favorite. These stories were great practice for retelling and pointing out comparisons. They also each had some great rhyming. Afterward, each child made a Gingerbread man ornament which they decorated with glitter, googly eyes, and yarn! These also went home in folders.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Please look for....

  • Pinecones
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cranberries
  • Oranges
  • Birdseed
  • Plain Popcorn
to donate to a Tree decorating activity at school on Monday 12/19! We are decorating the tree outside of our window to invite birds to visit!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Flat Stanleys

In the last few weeks, our class has read two "Flat Stanley" chapter books in class. These are stories about a boy who becomes flat after having a bulletin board fall on him. Stanley can do many unique things because he is flat like slide under doors, act as a sail, fly as a kite, etc. One of the special things he can do is mail himself in a big envelope to his relatives who live in California. 

I have a friend, Lydia Clemens, who works as a kindergarten teacher in California and her class has also been reading Flat Stanley. We have decided to become pen pals with one another. To start this exciting project, the children created flat stanley versions of themselves that I laminated and that we will send along with our letters to her class. They came out great! Here is a picture:

This week, we will write some holiday cards to our new pen pals, along with a class letter. This will be a great opportunity for the children to learn about the postal service and how to mail letters.

Our New Traveling Gnome

Our New Traveling Gnome!

In the coming weeks, your child will get the chance to take home a stuffed gnome. His name is ZooWinkle and travels around in a colorful backpack. Inside the backpack there is a notebook where your child will be asked to do some drawing and/or writing about the adventures he or she may have with ZooWinkle.

Be warned that gnomes have been known to be tricky creatures, who may surprise the children by doing some mischievous things. Like an Elf on the Shelf, you may consider setting up ZooWinkle to be found in some interesting situations! When it’s your child’s turn to bring ZooWinkle home, he or she will practice drawing and writing about the adventures they do together. It is important that your child practice at least one sentence of the writing, but you may scribe most of the story.

If your child needs help writing, fight the urge to just tell them the letters. Instead, try having them say the words slowly and write down the sounds they hear. If a child wants to write, “We went to the movies,” you may see something like, “W wnt t vu mvs.” For the hesitant writer, remember that pictures are a form of literacy too! Do not be alarmed at the phonetic spelling. This is how kindergartners learn to write! Encourage and praise the effort.

The journal entries will be shared with the class during morning meeting. For this project to run smoothly, it is necessary ZooWinkle returns after 2-3 days, as it will be another student’s turn.

Here is an alphabet chart that may help your child with writing. It is a great tool for the children and they will be familiar with this.

(This alphabet is also available at this link: Fundations ABC)

So far, ZooWinkle has ended up in my rat cage, on top of a deer head, and in someone's dollhouse!