Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's inside an apple?

We continued working on apples today and we started talking about the different parts of apples.
I made this poster so we could all have a closer look at the apple:

Every one was picking up the vocabulary quickly!

T.S pointed out the core during snack time.









G.P said she ate the skin.





 

A.R said she didn't want to eat the skin so she peeled it.






D.S pulled out the stem from the apple he was eating.







A couple of other important news!
-Tomorrow is OPEN HOUSE! :) It is scheduled to go from 5:30-7:30, but our classroom presentation will only take about a half hour. Bring any questions or inquiries! :) I can't wait to see everyone tomorrow!
-I went to the local library today on Delaware Ave (only a couple blocks from the school) and saw this posted on the bulletin:
Does your child love dogs? On Tuesdays, they can go to the public library located on Delaware Ave and meet a service-trained dog!






-Due to open house tomorrow, I won't be able to post tomorrow night so check back Thursday for an updated blog post.
-NO SCHOOL this Thursday in observance of Rosh Hashanah

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apples!

Today, we started our study on apples. I visited Yonder Farms this past weekend and purchased a whole bushel of utility apples! I can't wait for all the fun and exciting things we're going to do with them! Also, T.S brought in some apples from his apple picking adventure from the weekend too!
In the science center, T.D and O.S looked at apples closely and drew what they saw.


Nearly everyone went to the art center to get started on their apples. We're making apples using paper bags, newspapers, pipe cleaners and paint. We'll be painting the apples tomorrow! This project helps everyone to learn about the different parts of the apple and the different colors that apples come in. Today, we talked about the stem and the skin of the apple.

For our snack, we had fresh McIntosh apples. The kids loved how juicy they were. These were the apples that were fresh off the apple tree that T.S' family picked!





While having their snack, many of the kids noticed the seeds in the apples so we collected the seeds for further scientific investigation. I also overheard someone say, "Don't eat the core!"





We'll continue learning about the healthy aspects of the apple, different parts of the apple, different uses for apples and other fun things! Tomorrow, we'll be painting the apples-so everyone will be bringing home an apple soon! Ask your child what they learned about apples today!

Here is a game about healthy fruits and vegetables and the different colors they come in: http://pbskids.org/sesame/games/colormehungry.html

Friday, September 23, 2011

Storytellers

I'm a big believer in encouraging young children to tell stories-fiction, realistic, fantasy-all kinds! Stories are a wonderful way to nurture imagination, capture memories, communicate with others and develops great sense of self. Last year in kindergarten, I worked with a wonderful staff developer, Isoke Nia, who created a great storytelling unit-every day my students added an element to their story and we "published" these stories via video. I may be tweaking the unit later on in the year for our class, but until then-I wanted to create the same sense of wonderment from storytelling through out writing center. Today, I introduced blank books as a material in our writing center. It was amazing the different stories that every one had to tell. By the end of center time, many were proud of their books and wanted me to read it to them and/or the rest of the class.

D.K, A.R, T.D., and A.R writing stories    

D.K wrote a story about a train that couldn't go up a hill because there was too much snow.
A.R told a story about a rainbow. On the left page, "The sun is making the polka dots" and on the right page, "The balloon is flying up." 
K.W drew himself holding two apples. 


A.R wrote a story about her mom at a party that was very messy. O.B wrote two stories-one of being outside with his mom and sister and another about being at the park with his dad. T.S wrote about the sun that wouldn't come up-maybe he was inspired from the recent cloudy weather. T.D wrote a story about someone who couldn't write his name.

I can't wait to read and hear all the different stories every one has to tell! The published books will be available for viewing at the open house next week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Meet Cici, Patrick and Batman

Today, the class thought of different names for our three tetra fish and everyone got to vote on the name they would like best for our class pets.

We voted on the names: Obama, Fred, Cici, Patrick, Colleen, and Batman. Every child received a post it for their vote and they got to come up to our chart and place their vote.

















 

Every one had a lot of fun picking the names for our fishes! During center time, at the science center some of us drew pictures of Cici, Patrick and Batman.
K.W, D.K, J.M, and G.P at the science center
J.M picture of the fish
J.A draws Batman
D.K draws the fish and works on making their eyes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you could build a school, what would it look like?

Here are some of the responses via blocks:
J.M, A.R and O.S build a school. J.M told me that there is a big playground and lots of toys inside.
O.B, T.S and G.S build a school that has many floors complete with an elevator!
K.W, K.W and T.R build a school with big windows and a side door.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy birthday to X.I!

We celebrated our first birthday in our classroom today! Happy 4th birthday to X.I and a special thanks to his mom for making cupcakes for the class. I will be going over this during open house, but for birthday celebrations-any family may choose to celebrate their child's birthday in class. Birthday celebrations will occur during our snack time which is around 1:30. Families may attend during this time if they would like. Here is a link to the school's birthday celebration policy: http://toast.albany.k12.ny.us/birthdaypolicy.htm

In other news, we had another fun in school. Every day we are exploring a new center and today we opened the play dough center!
I brought in a special table just for the use of play dough creation! Here T.S and J.M explore the play dough with some letter stencils.

In the art center, we used various collage materials to decorate our names!


I wanted to share an interesting article that I read this weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/my-familys-experiment-in-extreme-schooling.html
Language acquisition is something I'm always thinking about when planning. With young students, even if English is their home language, we are all learning and getting accustomed to the language. During our morning meeting, we have been sharing different favorites and I always give the students a sentence starter such as, "My favorite color is..." or "I like..."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! It's the end of our first full week of school and Ms. Kacey and I are so proud of all the students in our class. It's only been 9 days of school but everyone is doing such a great job learning the ins and outs of being in school.

During center time, Ms. Kacey reads a book with J.A and T.D in the library.





This is Vincent van Gogh's famous Starry night and it served as an inspiration for our art project today. As we are learning shapes, we look for shapes everywhere. Notice how van Gogh uses beautiful circles of all sizes in his art.




K.W, K.M and G.P work on a circle painting using various items that are cylindrical and having circles on them making them perfect for stamping! We use some of our beautiful junk such as paper towel holders, old play dough containers, an old salt container and other various cylindrical containers to make different circles.
G.P contemplates what to add to her circles.






K.W experiments with different colors and sizes of circles.
T.S and A.R work on their circle painting.












Here is one of the finished pieces completed by T.S, J.M and A.R hanging under the inspirational Starry night.













We also opened the sand/water table today starting with just the sand side.
The art studio and computer center was filled with fun and learning today!

As a teacher, I look for inspiration in all sorts of things-different ways, things, methods of teaching. Being a teacher means being a learner first! I was super inspired by this preschool teacher's activity http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/09/exploring-shapes-on-the-table-in-preschool/. I created a similar activity and observed if any students would do anything with shapes that were just taped onto their tables. No direction was given, I simply told the students that shapes were placed on the table.




At the red square table, T.S, K.M and T.D place items on the outline of the shapes.


 

 D.K places beads on the outlines as well.





 G.S created a rectangle with small blocks. It wasn't on the blue tape but that's not important at all-what matter is the wonderful rectangle he made!


O.B made the letter A using the outline of the triangle-what a great connection between shapes and letters. The letter A is quite similar to a triangle and it even has a small triangle inside the letter. 




Something I was really looking forward to today was buddy reading. Ms. Lo's second grade class paid us a visit and each student brought fun stories to read! Everyone was paired with a partner or partners in second grade that read to them! A lot of us loved it and what a great opportunity for friendship between different grades. During our closing circle, J.A said his favorite part of the day was the second graders coming to read, T.S said his partner was a "good reader." and J.C who at first was apprehensive said he liked reading with the second graders too.

A special thank you to Ms. Lo and her second grade students! Our class was in awe of the wonderful reading and great kindness that was shown to them. It's going to be a great year of buddy reading on Fridays! :)
Have a fun and restful weekend everyone! Do something fun this weekend! My husband, our dog and I will be going apple picking at Bowman Farms this weekend! :D

Thursday, September 15, 2011

COMPUTERS!

Every day we are introducing a new center or new materials that we will using throughout the year. I was extremely excited to show the students the computer center today! Technology is such a huge part of our society today that knowing how to use one is almost essential.

In our classroom, we have three classrooms and every child will get to use a computer at least once a week if not more. 

J.A and G.A try out the computers.







Websites that the children can go on to play educational games.







K.W and K.M go on the computers.







In other news, today during music and movement, each child worked with a musical instrument and together we sang the Mexican hand clapping song. Instead of clapping, we used our instruments to make the beat.




Everyone loved the song. It also taught us some Spanish too!



Here is a video of the music on YouTube and the lyrics to the song:
Everyone come right along (clap, clap)
Let's learn a Mexican song (clap, clap)
Muchacha means little girl (clap, clap)
Muchacho means little boy (clap, clap)
La la la la la la la (si, si)
Lu lu lu lu lu lu lu  (oley, oley)