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.

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving

With the unusual timing that occurred this year, we also celebrated Hanukkah at the same time. The pictures show children working on a picture of a menorah. A parent, Emily Bloch came in to share Hanukkah with the children. She shared a favorite book about Hanukkah, as well as some Hanukkah treats.

In November we created a story that we acted out with all the food from a Thanksgiving feast. It was based on a very familiar childhood tale, I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and in this case was about an old lady who swallowed a pie.