Thursday, September 27, 2012


When we found a caterpillar in the garden, we brought it inside to nurture and raise. We scoured the schoolyard for milkweed and pulled our cage off the shelf. After a few days, we had a chrysalis and a couple of weeks later our monarch hatched. We have made plasticine caterpillars, worked on small rhyming stories about caterpillars and learned cutting and gluing, as we sequenced the life cycle of monarchs. thanks Willa for your terrific find!

Reading and Math

During the first few weeks of school, we spend most of our time learning how to work successfully in our classroom. Using ideas from Responsive Classroom publications, we teach children how to use the playground, how to get their lunch and clean up their lunch, how to use their pencil box, use the counting jar and work in the Handwriting Without Tears program (to name just a few).

We have begun learning to match sounds to letters in Jolly Phonics and have begun reading simple words using the letters s, a, t, i, p and n. Their books will come home soon, and parents can use these books to practice the gestures and sounds that go with each letter. We are practicing writing letters as well.

In math, we have been exploring materials that we will use throughout the year. We have learned how to do the counting jar and have begun making counting books. Everyone made a book for 0-6, and many children chose to continue on with 7-12. They did a wonderful job! 

Look! There are ants!

We have been learning about creepy crawlies in our classroom. We searched out a variety of creatures under cinder blocks and logs in the woods, discovering centipedes, a salamander, sow bugs and worms. We also brought a decaying log into the classroom and spent several weeks digging in. The ants carrying their eggs were the most exciting discovery.

Buddies and BeeBots

We began meeting with the 5/6 th grade students in Olive Barber's class as soon as school started. After a few weeks of allowing children to get to know each other, we began pairing them up with buddies. The kindergartners met with their buddy for the first time last Friday. As we get to know each other better over the next few weeks we will continue to monitor the developing friendships. We started with the older children reading to their buddies and then playing board games with each other.

We also introduced the children to BeeBots, programmable robots that the children are learning to navigate around the classroom. We set up a challenge of figuring out how to make the BeeBot go around a block. It's harder than it looks!

Sunflowers and Art Class

We sketched sunflowers in September and filled them in with watercolors. The results can be seen around the room and are quite charming. Check it out! We made paper sculptures in art at the beginning of the year and we have done several different types of self-portraits as well.