Thursday, June 12, 2014

Working Hard on Our Bodies

We have been very busy this spring learning about all the different systems in our bodies. Each child has learned about what is inside them, written a page about each system we studied and created the systems inside a bag which represents their body. Whew!

Each child has made a model of their internal organs inside a paper bag. Their buddies helped them with this as seen in the photos.

Children compiled a book of their writings about their nervous system and brain, digestive system, respiratory system, reproductive system, elimination system, muscular system, skeletal system and circulatory system. They also choose one system on which to do more research. Their buddies from 5/6th grade helped them use books for research and then do some computer research. We then put this into the kindergartner's own words. We will present this at assembly on Friday, June 13th. We hope to see you there.

Pictures are not loading currently, so I will try to add them at another time.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


The kids are making solid progress in their reading skills. We have aligned the reading materials in kindergarten, first grade and second grade and are finding that the children are doing quite well. here is a shot of some children in a reading group. We have word wall activities as well where the children practice cheering the letters in a word, writing the word and reading the word to each other.

Language Arts

We have spent a lot of time on rhyming activities, matching beginning sounds and matching ending sounds. We do this with pictures, with the emphasis on children hearing the sounds in words. Children stamp pictures with matching sounds, play bingo games with matching sounds and use magnetic boards to categorize pictures. The photo shows ending sounds in words.

We also acted out the story Papagayo, a tale of how a dog eats the moon, causing it to shrink made paper plates masks for the different animals in the story.

every month. We

The Fix-It Shop

Children have had a great time taking apart typewriters (what are those?), answering machines, telephones and CD players. Thank you to Emma's family for their donations to our shop. One child was very excited to discover a magnet inside the CD player, which led to a discussion of magnets being a part of what makes machines move.

Geometry Unit

We have just begun a unit on geometry. The children wrote a classroom book called The Shape of Things, based on a story by Dayle Ann Dodds in which each child made a page based on a specific shape they chose. We have been working with making shapes on geoboards with rubber bands. We have also made shapes with playdough and mat boards. Children have played a game called Fill the Hexagon. They roll a shape die and fill the game board with their shapes. Most recently we took a walk around the school looking for three dimensional shapes. We found cones, rectangular prisms, cylinders and spheres. The only thing we had trouble finding was pyramids. The last image shows a computer program we have used for creating shapes. The kids love doing shapes on the computer.


We finished up a unit on numbers, counting, simple addition and subtraction and tracking quick images. Some of the games we have played are drawing a number card, placing that number of pennies on a board, then drawing another card and changing the number of pennies to match the new number. We also drew a card, placed the pennies and then rolled a die to add or subtract from our board. there are several pictures of children weighing objects by using cubes and bear counters. We have been doing Quick Images where we flash an image on a board and ask children to reproduce it on their board. The picture shows a computer version of that game. We have been acting out addition and subtraction story problems also. We emphasize the correct recall of the story as being more significant than the solving of the problem at this time.

What A Snowy Winter!

We have had sooo much snow this year! We painted the snow with colored water in December and our paint popped out of the snow again today. We loved finding our blue snow. We have been tunneling through the snow, building mounds with the snow, standing on the swing sets in the snow and digging and digging in the snow. The ice has been fun too. Children tried to make a snow person in the soft, wet snow today. You may be asked for a carrot tonight!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

African Dancing and Drumming

And of course the highlight of December was Marilyn and Sekou coming to work with us for the performance. The kindergartners had three sessions of drumming and dancing before the performance. They did a fabulous job of The Birthday Dance. Thank you to the parents and the PTO for supporting us in putting on this event! We could not do it without you. And of course a big thank you to Marilyn and Sekou of the Bamidele Dance Company!!

Patterns and Measurement in Math

In December we focused on patterns in math. We looked at patterns on the pocket chart, predicting what would come next. We made pattern block snakes, which we glued on a cardboard strip. While many patterns are based on color and shape, we also looked at up/down patterns and 1/2 patterns (similar to a hopscotch pattern). Children played games with each other by making a pattern, covering it with paper cups and asking their partner to figure out what would come next. The pictures show this game called What's Next? Children also practiced adding on a unit to a train. Units are tricky ideas. Children understand the idea of what comes next in a pattern on a block by block basis. Considering a unit, which may consist of two or three blocks (red, yellow, blue) is harder. Now a group of three blocks is being counted as ONE. It's hard to wrap your mind around one now meaning three blocks. We also broke these trains into cars, figuring out where each unit began and ended. Some kids did great with this.

In January we have moved onto Measurement. We have measured our shoes and compared our feet. We have been measuring a lot of small objects using unifix cubes, and craft sticks to measure longer lines around the classroom.

Lots of Projects and Activity

As we do every year, we were also involved in making gifts for people who have been special. We made perler bead frames for our buddies and something to take home for our families. In addition we also had a craft day this year that involved kindergarten, first grade and second grade. The children decorated brown paper bags with a snow person in kindergarten, made "crystal bead" snowflakes in first grade and spiral snow people in second grade.