Marshmallows and hot chocolate on a chilly day:
In Math this week we worked on making bar graphs.
We wondered how many Kindergartners loved hot chocolate?
We decided to keep tally marks on the white board to make sure our number was correct.
Once we discovered that EVERYONE in the class loved hot chocolate, we did an activity that involved counting marshmallows then we put them in our hot chocolate for a nice treat!
"I counted how much marshmallows I had-I thought I had 17 but I really had 18! We got to put them in hot chocolate and it was yummy and gooey!"-Ely
"I was counting marshmallows, then I drawed a number there it was 13 but Angel helped me count it again and it was 15!"-Oliver
"I'm drinking hot chocolate. We did that for math, we counted the marshmallows. I had 14!"-Basel
Planting pea shoots and the 4 parts of a plant:
Dante's Dad knew that we had a beautiful garden but he noticed nothing was growing on our fence!
He suggested coming in and helping the children plant pea shoots that will start to climb up the fence and sprout sweet smelling flowers in the spring.
"Were planting flowers. They will grow in four months."-Addie
The conversation about the sweet smelling flowers that will cover our fence in spring led us to talk about the different parts of a plant and the functions.
We created our own flowers with all 4 flower parts!
"Were making flowers. We made them because we're studying how flowers breathe and stuff. They breathe through their leaves."-Lucy
The Mighty K assembly is on December 4, 2015! We are getting ready!
Making Hummus with Jada & her Dad
The tragic events in Paris last week haven't come up in Kindergarten, but in case the topic comes up at home Ted has issued some guidance in talking with your child about the event.
The last few days the news has been filled with coverage of very scary and troubling events. As a school for young children, we need to be very careful and thoughtful about addressing these issues at school. Our faculty has been discussing appropriate ways to address what may come up from the students.
In order to be helpful during this time, I am providing you with some resources we have found to be useful to families. These resources were crafted in the wake of prior tragedies, but they are relevant guides when addressing the current tragedies we face today.
What do we tell our children? How do we reassure them of their own safety?
Here are some things for adults to keep in mind:
Don't project your fears onto your children.
You can't hear the news about violence without thinking about how you'd feel if they were your friends, children, your neighbors. The outpouring of care and empathy for the families who lost loved ones will be powerful, and...we all worry it could have been family members or friends who died. Identifying with the senselessness and randomness makes us all feel more vulnerable. But we should remember that children don't always see things the same way that adults do, and it won't be helpful for them for us to fall apart. They need to see that we care, that we feel terrible about this tragedy, and that we will do everything we can to keep them safe. They will take their cues from our behavior.
Try to limit their access to the recurring news and exposure to the tragedy over and over.
Over-exposure to the graphic and emotional news can be overwhelming for children. Some children who repeatedly watched the footage of planes crashing into the towers on 9/11 thought it was happening again and again. Too much exposure can fuel their fear, so don't let them sit and watch the news over and over. Better yet, set the example of not doing so yourself as well.
Understand that you can't completely shield them from what happened.
It would be next to impossible to hide this event from children, as much as we wish we could. You might be able to shield your own child in your home, for example, by not turning on (or owning) a television, but you can't protect your children from hearing about it from other kids. The fact is, they will hear about it, so although they don't "need" to know about it, pretending we can shield them is probably not realistic. Model truth-telling and build trust with your children by letting them hear things, even hard things, from you directly.
During free choice many of the members of the Mighty K started making books. With so many children excited about book making, we decided to jump start our book making curriculum!
We began exploring picture books with help from our librarian, Gail.
We had discussions about how readers not only read words in books but pictures too.
"I love the picture book Free Fall its like an I-SPY book. it doesn't have words but you look around and so many things are mysterious! There are lizards and snakes-so many details. I look up, down, or all around those books have so much details!"-Ely
Over the last few weeks we have been storytelling-telling stories that have really happened to us to the entire class.
Each student has told two stories and picked which story they wanted to turn into a book.
Teachers introduced the concept of a "rough draft", to help them remember all of their ideas for the story.
"I was writing about the pumpkin patch when I didn't get to go on the ride. I did use a lot of colors on my draft so I could remember my story."-Dante
Next week we will start on the final drafts.
NEW MATH GAME & PROBLEM OF THE DAY:
We learned a new math game called "Blink"!
It's a card game made by the makers of Uno.
"We had to put cards in the middle. It was fun!"-Raphael
We continued learning new problem solving strategies from each other during our bi-weekly Problem of the Day.
"It was about who forgot their lunches. I used counting my fingers to figure it out."-Nellie
YEAR BOOK COVER: SNEAK PEAK
Right after Assembly we took the year book cover in the big yard with out 6th Grade Buddies!
"We were taking a picture with our buddies for the book."-Georgia
LUNCH TIME FUN!
Who is in your family?
This week we made a transition from our self study to our family study.
We made homes with symbols of the people that lived with us.
We talked about all of the different types of families we have, and that all families have love..
Our Seeds Sprouted!
We did our final drawing of our seeds that we germinated a couple of weeks ago.
We discussed which beans sprouted faster: the red kidney beans or the black beans.
Each student got to take their bean sprout home.
Next week, we will start to discuss the parts of a plant.
New Math Games!
This week we learned two new physical knowledge math games:
The students have to figure out the best way to configure the pins so they will be knocked over in one roll.
They take two objects and make a prediction about which one will blow the fastest & test the theory out.
To finish out our self concept we are making clay sculptures of ourselves.
This week we focused on our head shape and our hair.
Our buddies were around to help us out!
Dana, the drama teacher, brought in a mask expert to this Friday's assembly.
He showed different masks with different emotions and personalities.
Drake and his Mom, Bootsy made mango, blueberry , and banana smoothies with the class today!
We continued our self-study with an eye lab. We read a book about different parts of the eye, then students were given mirrors to study their eyes. Students then drew their eyes and decided what color category their eyes fell into: brown, blue or hazel.
"We were doing our eyes. Kamilah gave us an eye and then we colored it in." - Oliver
"We were looking in the mirror and looking at our eyes. Then we colored the place where our eye color was." - Colton
"Your pupils get big and small by light and darkness. Your pupils are black." - Sasha
We started reading groups this week! Students read in small groups or one-on-one with a teacher.
"We're learning how to read. The book you're seeing us on today is 'Fruit Salad'. It's about these rabbits that make a salad with only fruit." - Joseph
Teacher: "What was the book about?"
Jada: "We had bananas and we had grapes and we have apples and we have oranges."
We created a chart to help us learn how to count by 5s. Kids painted one of their hands yellow then made a handprint on a big piece of paper. Once everyone's handprints dried we counted the fingers and wrote the numbers in each handprint's palm. We counted all the way to 100!
"It's 5, 10, 15....100. It's counting by 5s to 100 by using handprints." - Ely
"We counted by 5s. We got to 100. We painted our hands yellow and then we did 5, 10, 15..." -Addie
"We put handprints and we each did one handprint with our right hand." -Lucy
We also had a special visitor twice this week: Brooke. She used to work with Ted. Brooke came to show us how her students do math and to observe how we do math in kindergarten at The Oaks. Students were introduced to Problem of the Day, We will start having Problem of the Day twice a week. This is a fun activity that focuses on students' strategies in problem solving.
"My brain was like 'okay I have to do this' - it had to be smart. My brain knowed 3+4 is 7 and my brain was really smart and that's it." -Henry
"Henry's telling Brooke what he did on his problem of the day. We figured out how many pumpkins that Brooke had and how many pumpkins that we had." -Drake
We began exploring clay this week. We had four stations set up for students to rotate through. Stations included: tools, nature, mirrors and simply clay.
"Making a flower machine out of clay and flowers." -James
"I made a nature house and it was cool I thought and there was a flower in it and the leaves shaded the flower and the dirt was the clay for the flower." -Sadie
Students shared one piece of their Halloween costume. We had a big variety of costumes this year from a zombie football player to Glenda the good witch from the Wizard of Oz.
"A bat. We showed our costumes." -Will
"Wearing a ninja belt. Will is my new best friend and he's having bat ears." -Atticus
Sara and Sam, Georgia's parents, came in and cooked Creepy Crawly Riced Crispy Spiders with us.
"Mommy, daddy cooked the rice crispy things." -Georgia
"We were making little spiders with Sara and Sam, Georgia's mom and dad." -Oliver
This week we became Botanists and learned about the three parts of a seed.
We looked at a kidney bean and discovered the seed coat, the seed food, and even saw the baby plant/embryo inside the seed.
"That's my seed. It's going to be a flower."-Jada
Next, we made a replica of our seed, showing all three parts using art materials.
"I'm making a seed. I was making a little embryo."-Oliver
"I'm making my bean! The baby plant is the special part."-Nelly
Our next assignment as Kindergarten Botanists was to germinate a seed.
We watched a video of a seed germinating and concluded that when a seed germinates "It will grow from tiny to big."-Lucy
We learned the three things that seeds need to grow:
Soil, Water, & Sun
We took seeds that had been soaking and placed them in plastic ziploc bags.
"I'm putting seeds in there to make plants grow. I think it will grow into a red bean plant. It needs sun, soil and rain."-Raphael
Taking our experiment further, some of the class used wet paper towels as soil and the other half used cotton balls.
We recorded what the seeds looked like on the first day. We will record if they have changed again on Monday.
Dealing with ANGER!
Anger is a feeling that has been coming up in Mighty K lately.
Some of us deal with anger by shutting down, others hit, and some yell.
Teachers introduced the "Cool Down Kit".
It holds different items that you can use to help calm yourself down:
A squeezey toy to squeeze when you want to hit.
A pinwheel to remind you to breath, and a stuffie to cuddle with.
Students are encouraged to grab this anytime they are upset and need to cool down.
"I used it today. it really calmed me down. I used the stretchy thing because it stretches out all the anger.
The spinning wheel makes me take deep breaths.
The heart stuffie I could make flat, it's very good to be peaceful with it."-Sasha
We started talking about what a list is. After talking about lists and reading books with lists, we decided to create our own list. Since the campout is this week, we decided to create a list of things students should bring with them on the campout. Check out what they came up with...
"The campout list is very important because you need food of course, you need napkins of course, you need tables of course and you need chairs of course and if it's a little hot you need hats and well, you need pizza of course because that's the warmest thing you can make in the oven if it's cold." -Sasha
"You should definitely remember to bring your tire glue if your bike didn't come with it and if you didn't have time to put it on." - Joseph
Then we created lists of our own. The tutors took dictation as the children explained the items on his/her list.
"That list is all about my favorite colors. I was telling her my 16 favorite colors and it was very good when I got to do that because it's fun to me to do all of my favorite colors of things." Ely
We also discussed the parts of a story: beginning, middle, and end. We talked about the events of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, students drew an event they liked and then had to figure out if the event happened in the beginning, middle, or end of the story.
"I was watching Raphie stick down his thing for the story that we made: Hungry Caterpillar. I made the leaf with the egg on it. It was the first part." - Nellie
"I made the cake and I watched other people do it. I put it in the medium." - Basel
"I'm putting on the cranberry toast because we're making this uh book." - Raphael
Math was exciting this week. We learned a new math game: More. We also learned a new math song!
"We're playing More. Well, we're seeing how many the other person has and the other person has less." - James
"You get a deck of cards and you say 1, 2, 3...and then whoever has more gets to have the person's card. I liked the game More even though I never win." - Sadie
"We are being froggies jumping in the lake and I was number 4 and we jumping and we were signing the song and doing the hand movements and when we jumped in people were sitting up and it was kinda fun and Sarah choosed the sticks from the jar whoever got to do it first. I really liked it. The frogs were also doing the hand movements, I really liked it." - Lucy
"So we do a yum, yum, a glug, glug. It's about frogs jumping off a log. It's very fun." -Drake
We continued our garden study this week. We explored different seeds, observing their differences. We then predicted what we thought they would grow in to. We also started our composting exploration. Georgia's dad, Sam, came in and shared his knowledge since they compost at their house.
"Well we were checking what they were doing. We were seeing what they smelled like and what food they growed like and it will grow like fruits and vegetables and everything." -Atticus
"Daddy came in and told about gardening. He told us what to put in the compost and not. I did like Daddy here." - Georgia
Kindergarten held its first council this week. Council is a special time where we sit in a circle and share our thoughts and/or feelings. Only the person holding the golden pine cone can speak. Council is a safe place and whatever is shared in council stays at council. Even if a friend is absent we can't share with him/her what was shared...not even teachers!
This week we went to see The Ugly Duckling performed by the Lightwire Theatre!
This was the first ride on a school bus for many of our students!
We arrived a little early and got a chance to play in the courtyard.
Then it was time for the show!
We couldn't take pictures during the show, but here is a link to a preview:
Afterwards we went to the park across the street and had lunch.
We had a great time!
Self Concept: Hair Lab
Earlier this week we started our second part of our self study.
We talked about ways in which our hair is unique.
We learned that hair grows out of holes in our head called "follicles".
Then we drew our faces and used different materials to create portraits of our hair.
A squirrel feeder for our unofficial class pet "Chunky"
Nelly talked to her parents about Chunky the Squirrel eating our lunches and thought giving Chunky his own food might stop him from eating ours. We will have to see if it works.
It's filled with pumpkin seeds.
We also had a special guest reader this week- Assistant Head of School, Patty!
We had our first explore time cooking!
Oliver's parents, Keren and Jeffrey, came in and made Jeffrey's grandma's square chocolate
chip cookies. They were delicious!
The 6th graders came down to tutor us. We call them tutors because we may work with a 6th grader who isn't our buddy. They come down and help us with reading and writing.
"We're playing a game and how you play is you find an animal and you find a letter and if you find the same ones that the letter starts with, you put them together and then you play until you do the whole thing." - Basel
"We were spelling. We were like spelling everything in the world." - Henry
We learned a new math game. We use our math brain through different math games involving strategies and problem solving.
"Playing the math game. We roll the dice and then we color the squares." - Jack
"It was fun. You roll the dice and then you write how many numbers are on the dice." - Sasha
We started our garden! We're planting a square foot garden. So far, we've planted broccoli, beans, and carrots. We will plant some more next week. We have to water it everyday!
"We're planting seeds: beans." - Jada
"I'm planting carrot seeds and I had to plant a lot and I had to plant it all over the box in five rows and water a lot." - Drake
Marilyn, one of the art teachers, came down and helped us finish the pumpkins we started in art last week. We practiced our fine motor skills while cutting out our pumpkins. Then we glued them to a dark background and added vines and stars.
"I was making pumpkins. We were drawing." - Joseph
Today in music we practiced being part of an orchestra. We each had our own instrument!
"Playing music! We're singing 'Criss Cross Apple Sauce Pepperoni Pizza'. There's something really cool that we learned - it is something when you're done with the instrument you can switch to another instrument." - Will
"I heard lots of noise and sounds. They made the big instrument that I went on first. We did so much things and a big, so big instrument, made me so happy." - James
Today at Explore Time we had creation station for the first time! At creation station we take recycled boxes and create anything we want.
"We're building balloons and birthday cakes for Kamilah's birthday and small and big birthday cakes out of cardboard. There's candles and everything. We built her a card and we wrote our names and everything and then we put little people in there like fake cardboard people and we put batteries in there so that when she opened it, it would sing something." - Lucy
"That's the cake that Lucy's holding and I'm trying to put in my super armor. We cutted it to pieces and we made it for Kamilah for her birthday." - Ely
This week in Mighty K we started our Self Concept study.
We talked about our skin and the different tones and shades of color. Using the knowledge we learned about color mixing from Art, Sarah modeled how to mix the primary colors with white to make her skin color.
Next the students were given their own set of paints and mixed the colors until they found their perfect match.
"I'm making my skin color-it was taffy polk-a-dot. I used paint. It was a little hard because it kept getting darker or lighter."-Lucy
Every student named their skin color a special delicious name based on the fun names of skin tones from the book The Color of Us.
At Mindful time we explored our new journals. We can draw anything we want in our journals!
"We are drawing . Journals are new and I draw animals."-Abe
"We're working in our new journals. I'm drawing a house. It makes me feel good, it's private. I can write notes in them. I can show my friends."-Sasha
We also explored our new ramps and built structures in the block area.
"We're seeing if the ball can make it all the way down the ramp."-Drake
We even had our first day in Library!
"It's my library book about Legos. We read books there. There were so many books!"-Jack
6th Grade Buddies...
We chose our buddies and they walked us to Assembly!
"I'm with my my buddy Everett and we are going to the Assembly. He is my buddy so I chose him!"-Atticus
The Ballet Folclorico do Brasil came to The Oaks today and we got to witness instruments and traditional Brazilian dances!
"Well, I saw dancers and it was really fun. I know there was something else with music its called a drum in English."-Joseph
This was our first full week of kindergarten, and boy did we tackle a lot. Check out some of our highlights...
We started our unit on feelings. We discussed feelings we have in kindergarten. We talked about how all feelings are okay and we are in charge of our own feelings.
"We wanted our friends to see what it's like to have a feeling and we all drawed pictures to show our friends what feelings we feel sometimes." - Sadie
"We did art because of the book Feelings that we read. We drawed about feelings." - Nellie
"We talked about feelings, we writed them." - Joseph
We acted out some of our emotions in a game of charades.
"I was funny. It was fun. Everybody got a turn." - Basel
Our first lesson in writer's workshop was all about lines.
"I'm drawing a thick line. That's my first line. Curvy and thin are actually the only ones I remember."
We had fun exploring some of the math games we have in kindergarten.
"Playing Bug Jenga. It's fun." - Abe
"I built and um and I had fun and stuff." - Henry
"Pegs. Making a fish. It was easy." - Dante
"Yellow, blue, yellow, blue and green and red." - Jada
MEET AND GREET
The 6th graders came down and had snack with us. We're getting to know them so we can choose our buddies next week.
"That was my friend 6th grader. We were talking about Star Wars and we said what lunches we had and we played together and then our friend got to go home and all that." - Drake
"Ted's Reading. It was fun. He read Airplane and Ponytail stories." - Sasha
"Ted is reading us a book. I know he read a plane book. It was a good book. Thanks Ted!" - Will
Choose groups to clone to: