Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Other Activities

We learned about Hanukkah through a story and made Menorahs, cutting them out and gluing them on paper. We will talk about lighting the candles next week when Hanukkah begins, pretending to light a candle each day. We are busy making presents for our buddies as well.

We have been exploring BeeBots, small programable robots. The big challenge is to make the BeeBot go around a wooden block. Here the BeeBot is moving along a number line. Some children will learn how far the BeeBot will move each time you push the button.

During free choice time, children are playing with the Lego pirate ship, working on a floor puzzle of the US and building a sand tunnel. The two children with their arms wrapped around each other are doing an "ankle shake" morning greeting.

Patterns in Math

We have been working with patterns during the past few weeks. Beginning with AB patterns such as red-yellow, red-yellow, red-yellow, we have been creating patterns, making pattern snakes and learning to break apart our patterns. Next we will explore what part of our pattern repeats and learn to break our patterns into units. As we beging to explore AAB patterns these questions get increasingly complex. We have some initial hypotheses about patterns, including patterns go over and over again and that you can tell what comes next in a pattern. After exploring color patterns, we looked at patterns using numbers. We played hopscotch and then sat down at the table and tried our hand at 1-2 patterns and variations thereof.

Thanksgiving Fun

We wrote a book of things we are grateful for shortly before the break. We also created a tree of thanksgiving by tracing and cutting out large leaves and writing about something for which we are grateful. We read the story I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, and created an old lady with which to act out the story.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Pictures

Here a few more pictures of free play in the morning and  physical education with Mrs. Taylor as a substitute,

Leaf Pictures with Our Buddies

In an annual tradition extending back many years, the kindergartners and their buddies gather leaves in the autumn and make wonderful pictures together. On Friday, they will share these pictures in assembly. Here are some shots of the children making the pictures.

Comparisons and Patterns in Math

As you may have heard during parent conferences, we have been working with comparisons in math. We looked for things longer than and shorter than our cube towers. We took handfuls of cubes and organized them from shortest to longest. When we made towers based on the number of letters in our names we were able to compare our names to other kid's. We also took four different names, organizing them from the shortest to the longest. The final step was to draw 3-4 playing cards and organize them from smallest to biggest.

We moved on to making patterns, beginning the unit with a walk where we carefully observed our outdoor environment. We played a game of studying objects on a tray. When our partner removed one, we had to guess what was missing. Clapping, tapping and copying movement patterns has been a way of building body awareness of what a pattern is. Recently, we have been building cube towers and sorting them into groups by whether they are a pattern or not.  We are now building patterns with a variety of materials and starting to record some of the patterns we made. Our conversations are building our ideas about what a pattern is and working to uncover the important features of patterns.

Language Arts

We have been writing some classroom books in which each child creates a page that is later compiled into a book. The first one we did was called I Like Pizza, Yum! Yum! Yum! We will use this book to practice syllables in words. Our next project is A Book of Thanksgiving. Each child will write a page about something they appreciate. We have traced leaves and will make a tree of things we are grateful for. We have read some Native American stories about appreciating the earth and each other, such as Chief Jake Swamp's Thanksgiving Address. As we get closer to Thanksgiving we will read stories that focus on the feast traditionally celebrated.

We have also been working with the beginning sounds in words and rhyming words. We play lotto games, matching games, board games and songs, like Down By the Bay. We are building sentences using word cards with words the children are learning to read.

We have been cooking as well. We made cookies when the children chose a Halloween party as their reward for earning a jar full of cubes with their good behavior. Thank you to all the parents who sent in treats! We cooked pumpkin seeds after we carved a pumpkin. Thanks to the 5/6th grade classes we had some apples. We made applesauce and when we had some left over we made applesauce cake. We've been eating well!