Friday, December 2, 2016

Kindergarten STEM Challenge - Building 3D Shapes

Our class has been exploring 3D shapes (cones, cubes, rectangular prisms, pyramids and cylinders) and we have noticed these shapes everywhere in our classroom and in our homes. This week we had the hands on experience of building these shapes through our first STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) challenge. After reading the familiar book The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone, students were challenged to build their own house for a little pig using toothpicks and gummy candies. We had so much fun trying out different designs and using our knowledge of shapes to help us along the way. We are engineers!

Here students go on a gallery walk to view the finished houses. We drew pictures and wrote about our houses. We shared our ideas and compared the houses...What makes a house strong? Do you think the wolf would be able to blow our house down?

                      In choice time we connected with 3D shapes by exploring "building straws",  Students were encouraged to use their imaginations to create something using team work. Here, a student explains how her group made this structure by working together. Then we all looked at it and imagined what it could be. The ideas we came up with were a house, a tall tower, a castle, a train, or a cage for a big animal.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We are Artists!

Today was our first art class with our resident artist, Mr. Daniel. Mr. Daniel is a painter who works with the Studio in a School program. This week we were introduced to real molding clay and we discussed all the things we can do with it to change its shape (roll, squeeze, poke and pinch)   We noticed that this clay was a little bit wet and sticky- it was much harder than play dough. After learning some new vocabulary, students went off to create and explore with their clay. We then discussed the techniques we used with our clay.
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SIgns on the Farm

Displaying IMG_5242.JPGLast week our class visited the Queens Farm Museum. We noticed many signs that were helpful to people visiting the farm and to the farmers who work there. There were many signs to label the kinds of vegetables growing. We also notice large signs telling people not to feed the animals or touch the fences. We noticed that these signs can help to keep us and the animals safe. Then we observed the cows and chickens. We also fed the goats alfalfa sprouts! Then we went on a hay ride on the back of a tractor and picked pumpkins. What an exciting day!

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Learning About Diwali

       In Kindergarten we spend a lot of time talking about different kinds of holidays and traditions around the world and in our community. This week we learned about the Hindu festival of Diwali. Diwali is coming this weekend. 

We had a parent visitor from our PTA come and talk to us about the holiday and about the country of India, where many people celebrate Diwali. She showed us the special dresses that people wear called Saris and showed us the colorful decorations that people make, called Rangoli. We also learned about decorative candles that people light in their homes called Diyas. After learning about the holiday, we listened to some sitar music from India and made our own Rangoli with bright colors. We used them to decorate our classroom door for good luck. Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Making Our Own Applesauce!


 Last week our class made applesauce from scratch. After exploring the parts of an apple and learning about how they grow, we washed and peeled the apples. Then, we cut the apples using small plastic knives. Students helped me to put the apples in the big pot. We added lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. After two hours cooking in the slow cooker, we had a delicious applesauce snack. We loved trying our applesauce! It was very sweet and a little sour.
Have you ever made applesauce at home? Here is a simple recipe if you want to try this great healthy snack.

Our Applesauce Recipe

peel and slice 6 Mcintosh apples ( they are the best for sauce- very sweet)
1/2 cup water
Juice of one lemon
2 cinnamon sticks ( or one teaspoon of ground cinnamon)

Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on low heat, stirring and mashing with a fork for 30 minutes until combined. OR Slow cooker on low for 2 hours, stir and mash with fork. Serve and enjoy hot or cold!

Friday, October 7, 2016

What can we do at the Playground?

This week our class continued to explore our playground and share about other playgrounds we play on. We read many books about playgrounds as well to develop our vocabulary. Students in the class were eager to share the different things they can do in our school playground. We decided to make a book about all the things we can do using pictures. We looked at the pictures of our classmates on the playground and students helped me to write the words to match the picture. Then we had fun reading our book.
We hope you enjoy our book, What Can We Do at The Playground? 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Building Up Choice Time- From Scratch!

Choice Time is a special time of the day where our young Kindergarten students get to explore, invent and create together. Our class is working on building up the choice time centers together, introducing one at time.

 We made our play dough for the play dough center from scratch together in a whole group. We read the recipe and made a flow map showing all the steps. Students helped to pour, mix, and squish our dough together! We them explored some different things we can do with our play dough - rolling it into skinny snakes, round balls, and flattening it into pancakes!

In the block center, students worked on using team work and communication to build something together, one block at a time. We shared our ideas for block center rules. Then we shared ideas for what we were going to build and each child had an opportunity to select a block and add to our castle. After building it together, we practiced clean up procedures. I wonder what our class will be creating in the block center this year!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Building a Community of Learners in Kindergarten

The first weeks of Kindergarten are a time for learning and exploration. We learn the names of our new friends, learn the routines of our classroom and learn all about working together in a school community. Students learn what is expected of them, and this can set the tone for successful learning for the rest of the year. Here are some activities we have been doing this week:

Bean bag games- We learn a variety of bean bag games that are fun an engaging. Students practice following directions and learn how to work together. Pass that bean bag!!

 Dancing & Brain Breaks - Students get many opportunities throughout the day to move their bodies and take a brain break. Our school is a healthy school, and we encourage students to get plenty of exercise. Here, we are doing a conga line dance for Mrs. Nesser's birthday!

One great way to build a sense of community in the beginning of the year is by singing together. Here is one of our favorite songs to sing together at the end of the day: Five Little Speckled Frogs!