Busy New Year

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Kindergarten started out 2017 with a “countdown” and celebration. They learned the expression “Out with the old; in with the new,” decided what they might want to improve on in the new year, and how they would go about taking steps in that direction.

As we continued our “Tales” unit, we read several versions of The Gingerbread Man and compared and contrasted the characters, the setting, and the plot. One day the classroom gingerbread man “escaped” and sent the children on a scavenger hunt all around the school before ending up back in the classroom with gingerbread cookies to decorate and eat.

After deciding that we wanted to put on a play using our own version of the story of The Gingerbread Man, the children came up with their chosen characters and a new ending to the story. They decided which characters they wanted to be and practiced their lines. They made a plan for some kind of a mask or headband to represent their character, and  created these independently. Using oil pastels, water colors, and paint, the children worked on the scenery and title for the play. As a culminating activity, the children decided on their favorite fairy/folk tale character and either dressed up as a character in the story, or created a project about that particular tale. They completed a reader’s response assignment and presented their projects/costumes to the class and later in the day, put on their play for the parents. They did a wonderful job.

In Science we read the story of the Little Red Hen, again comparing versions, grinding wheat to make flour, planting wheat seeds, and using the ground flour to make delicious whole grain bread.

         

We had visitors from the eighth grade who taught us about vermicomposting and so the children (some of them at least) enjoy adding vegetable and fruit leftovers to the worm box, spraying it with water to make sure it is nice and moist, and of course playing with the worms!

 

In math the children have enjoyed exploring weight and capacity. Now our big push for the next two weeks will be preparing for the 100th day of school.

         

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day we discussed the word segregation and read two books that were developmentally appropriate for the children, one about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one about Ruby Bridges. We role played what it might feel like to be told that you could not play or associate with certain people. We had a nice discussion about inclusion as opposed to segregation. After discussing how one person can a difference, the children thought about their “dream” for how they could help our school and world be a better place. They made a mobile to illustrate those ideas. Some of their ideas to help the school were:

  • Be calm when there is a fire drill
  • Listen to your teacher
  • Say you are sorry when you hurt someone
  • Don’t fight
  • Practice the Golden Rule
  • Be nice to every single person
  • Help people when they get hurt

Some examples of ways to help the world:

  • Give food for free to homeless people
  • Be friends to everyone
  • Help animals
  • Pick up trash
  • Give flowers to sick people

Our next big science unit will be forces and motions with some core ideas being:

  • pushes and pulls can have different strength and direction
  • when objects touch or collide, they push on one another and can change motion
  • a bigger push or pull makes things speed up or slow down more quickly
  • a situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering

If there are any engineers who want to share their expertise or conduct investigations with the children, please contact me.

In math for the next two weeks we will be reading books about the 100th day of school and gearing up for the 100th day (February 14) with multiple activities, emphasizing all the different ways to skip count to 100. Our 100th day celebration will start out with a visit from “Zero the Hero” who has been leaving surprises in the shape of a zero every ten days of school. Our field trip to Build a Bear is that morning and then in the afternoon we will have a celebration with different stations. All are welcome to come and lend a hand.

Our Social Studies unit for February will be centered around President’s Day.

Please mark your calendar for the following three items:

  • Friday, February 10  $18 due (the money the children have earned doing good deeds to go to Build a Bear for EMS)
  • Monday, February 13- 100th day project is due- specific assignment was sent by email
  • Tuesday, February 14 – Field trip to Build a Bear (10:00 am) and 100th day of school celebration (2:15 PM)