Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Grocery Store

Thanks for all the "food" you sent in for our grocery store. We spent a few days pricing and setting up in early January. We kept prices based on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and used real money to make our purchases. Children quickly learned who could help them identify the coins. In the spring we will study coins in more detail, when we break out the magnifying glasses and draw pictures of what we see. Children had fun shopping, bagging and stocking shelves. Some children used their charge cards!

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At the risk of repeating ourselves, buddies is the highlight of the week for many children in our class. We were particularly impressed recently to realize that our children were able to quickly choose a game and sit down to play with each other. This seems to be a direct result of the time our buddies have put in teaching games to the kindergartners.

In addition the library apprentices invited the kindergartners to the library for lunch a week ago. While there, the apprentices read to the children, giving them a flavor of some of the book clubs that are available to the older children. Thank you Marcia and the library apprentices!

Celebrate Reading

Dr. Seuss's birthday is March 2nd. On Tuesday, March 1st we will celebrate with lots of Dr. Seuss activities. One example is drop what you're doing and read. The library is often set up with activities for kindergartners and their 6th grade buddies to share. The kindergartners are often the best at answering questions about Dr. Seuss's books. We have been doing lots of rhyming activities in preparation for March 1st. We are writing a book called Terse Verse which asks children to create two word rhymes. We will publish this and have it available in the classroom. We're also working on booklets where we fill in the rhyme using picture clues.

Double Compare

Hmm...which is more 5 and 6 or 6 and 5? Each child who looked at this question counted up the number of images on the two cards to decide which group is larger. In double compare each child turns over two cards and compares their own total to their partner's total. Many children use cubes and build their two numbers with cubes. They can then compare their tower to their partner's tower to determine which is more.

School Helpers

We spent the month of January interviewing people who work in our school and visiting different work spaces like Chef Rickett's kitchen and all the places Matt Foster, our custodian knows about. Each child created a School Helper Book, writing about everyone that they talked to. Each child shared one page from their book at morning meeting. The books came home last week.

Hurray for Valentine's Day!

We spent the previous week making valentines, creating cards for our buddies and making our hearts to take home. On Valentine's Day we baked cookies and had a small party in the afternoon. We put cards in everyone's bag during rest time and the children were thrilled to find goodies in their bags.

Quick Images in Math

We are finishing a math unit on numbers and measurement. Quick images have been popular. We put an image on a screen. After the children study it for 5 seconds, we cover the image and ask them to reproduce it on their board. We are interested in hearing what they tell themselves about the image as they study it.

Ice Sculptures

We have had a great time learning about snow, ice, freezing and melting. The highlight was building ice sculptures with our buddies. There were some outside our classroom window and some in the courtyard. Each child made a snowman with one or two things they had learned about ice and water and posted it on the bulletin board in our classroom. A few children added snow to the scene, using cotton balls and white paint.

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