Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trees in Our Schoolyard

We are exploring the trees in our schoolyard through walks in the woods. We have gathered seeds and nuts from trees, as well as leaves. The photos show children sorting leaves they collected. They used many descriptive words as they worked in pairs, referring to pointed leaves, soft leaves, smelly leaves, long leaves etc. We designed this unit to integrate science and math activities and plan to revisit the trees in different stages during the year. At the same time we are sorting, describing and matching similarities and differences in our math unit, as we look at buttons and attribute blocks.

I will try to add the photos at a later date. There's a glitch in the download of the photos.

There are often several blogs added at the same time, so scroll down.

Explorations in Math

Our first unit in math focuses on materials we will use in our investigations throughout the year. We have free explorations, followed by discussions aimed at furthering our observations about what we have done. We are also learning routines such as The Counting Jar, counting around the circle to track who is present and absent in school and how to look at the data in surveys.

Lines and Self-Portraits in Art

We have been learning how to draw lines in art, practicing drawing lines by tracing sticks in the classroom and moving on lots of different lines in gym! We added self-portraits to our line drawings in art. Check out the bulletin board in the hallway and the classroom at Open House.

Welcome to a New Year

The kindergarten class is off to a great start this year. We are laying a solid foundation, slowly learning the expectations for the classroom. We have practiced easel painting, listening to stories on headphones, using glue sticks, pencils, markers and scissors, playing in blocks and following the expectations for outdoor play. Children are mastering the steps in the Handwriting Without Tears program, in particular Wet, Dry, Try. You can see this at Open House on Wednesday, September 21st. We began Second Steps curriculum on Monday, a curriculum designed to teach children social skills and attentional skills to help them succeed in school. We have been meeting with the kindergartners from both classes for math, lunch and recess daily. This allows the children to maintain friendships from preschool, as well as meeting new children.