Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

No School Tomorrow

Hi families! Just to let everyone know--school is closed tomorrow Monday, October 29th.

Check for details.

Please stay safe and stay inside!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Acting in Kindergarten!

We have been working on signs each day and we're continuing our talk about how signs help people. Lately, we've been talking about creating signs to help each other in the classroom. After hanging up some signs up, many of the students want to create more signs we could use in the classroom.
A.Z created a sign that says "Don't run" and "walk"
H.L created a sign to remind others to pack up at the closet. She wrote, "You go to the closet."
K.W created a sign for others not to touch my personal things. She wrote, "Don't touch Ms. Esther's things."
S.C created a "Go" sign. She wrote, "Go right"
G.L wanted to create a sign to remind people to flip the Go/Stop sign
I mentioned the rekenrek in the last blog post, which is a tool we use as part of the math in the city curriculum we have been using. The rekenrek provides an excellent visual for children to see in 5s. Our attendance chart mimics this visual with rows of 5. We use the attendance chart everyday and look at it daily to count whose in school. In the morning, every child moves their own individual circle. They can place it anywhere they please, but later on we talk as a group how we can move some circles around to make it easier for counting.
A.Z moves some circles around
A.M moves some circles around

Every class I've had over the years always has a unique personality and dynamic as a group and this year, I've definitely noticed the class is very high-energy and outgoing! It's been wonderful to utilize that through acting and dramatic arts! The class has loved using the puppets to act out our favorite stories. We worked on creating mini stick puppets to support our storytelling and on Friday, we worked with our table groups to tell a story with the little stick puppets.
J.S and A.P are acting like the middle sized bear and the great big bear
Y.C, Y.J and Y.Z acting like the three bears
Later on, as a whole class, we split into groups and each group acted like a character from The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Below are some video clips--

This is the part when the youngest/tiniest billy goat gruff crosses the bridge.
This part is when the second/middle sized billy goat gruff has crossed the bridge.
Here is the third/biggest billy goat gruff. We've actually read two versions of the story and while some students referred to one version, others referred to another version.

The class got very involved in it and when it came to the part when the troll fell over the bridge and into the rushing river, the children acting like the troll "fell over."

I really enjoyed watching the class participate in acting out the story together. Even though there was a lot of us, each child understood their role and was invested in their character! It was fun and helped our class build on our team working skills and cooperative play!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rekenreks and Signs

What is a rekenrek? It's a tool we're using in our classroom during math workshop to help us understand illustrate numbers! It's a great visual for children to understand quantity. We have a big one in our room and we've been working with the smaller student ones! The rekenrek visual also correlates with our growing number line, our ten frames and our attendance chart. The students have been mastering the quantity of 5!
J.S and A.M working on the rekenrek to show 5
G.L and M.L demonstrate 5
A.J and C.C work on the big rekenrack and show 5 with the combination of 2 and 3
K.W and I.Z work on showing 5
After exploring a variety of writing in our world, the children went off to create their own writing in the world. We also talked about how signs tell us important information and help people!
C.C created a sign to remind our class to move their names on the attendance chart and to answer the morning meeting question. She said, "People forget to move their names in the morning" Her sign says, "Everyday you have to write a question" and "Everyday you have to move your picture." 
We hung up the sign next to our attendance chart so everyone will remember to move their names and to respond to the morning message question.
G.L's sign says, "Keep building" to tell people at the block center to keep building!
We hung up G.L's sign in the block center!
During language through play, Ms. Cruse stopped by and mentioned doing an activity involving stones/rocks in her class. A little while later, I noticed I.F in the science center taking out the container of rocks to explore. My conversation with Ms. Cruse made me think about how I could add another dimension to I.F's exploration with the rocks, so I gave her a frame.
She said, "The rocks are moving in the river."
It'll be interesting to see what other kinds of imaginative play will develop from the frame and rocks!
At the block center, A.Z and G.L called each other to go have coffee!
A.M build this airplane at the light table
J.Z created marshmallows!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Writing in our neighborhood

Our class has looked at writing in our classroom, writing in our school and today we looked for writing in our neighborhood. We took a short writing walk just outside the school to see what kinds of writing we could find. Equipped with their handy clipboards and pens, the children set off to look for different kinds of writing. Big thank you to M.W's mom for accompanying us and taking photos!!
I'm pointing out a sign to the class!
H.L looks at a sign and writes down what she sees
I.F shares her discoveries!
We looked across the street and saw more writing!
This street sign sparked some conversation. Many children knew the street names because they live on it and we talked about how our school is on Franklin Ave. Street signs are important because they tell us where we are!
We saw this bus sign! 
I.Z has many kinds of writing on her clipboard
A close-up of I.Z's clipboard
D.G recorded the street signs we saw
The students looking for signs
G.L writes down the writing from the bus sign
Some of C.C's observations
We saw this sign on the tree. A.Z said he thinks this sign is for the squirrels and says to not eat the leaves!
When we came back to the classroom, we shared out what we saw on our writing walk
The class had many thoughts to share!
Tomorrow, we will begin making our own signs! It'll be exciting to see what everyone comes up with! 

During FAN4Kids today, Ms. Tara introduced some healthy foods to the students. It's really important to start eating healthy at a young age! I stopped by to see what they were trying today! 
S.C and L.L with their healthy foods
M.W shows me her food tasting plate-there's broccoli, raisins and wheat cereal!
During language through play...
At the play dough center, K.W, Y.Z and I.F pretended to be like the characters in the story of the gingerbread man and baked some cookies. 
Here is the tray of cookies!
K.W said, "This is the gingerbread man. He's going to run away." And over at another table, someone else said "The wolf eats the gingerbread man!"

At the classroom library, S.C reads a book and C.C reads our class book.
In the block center, Y.C builds a house and A.Z builds a garage. 
Y.C builds a wall for her house
Her house
The garage
A.Z places cars in the garage
A.Z also labels the garage
In other news, we got our first postcards! As we are studying writing in the world, we started a postcard project, where we get postcards from all over the world. We got two from Hawaii! We learned that Aloha means hello and goodbye and that the hula is a way to tell stories! 
Passing around the postcard
S.C looks at the photo on the postcard
The postcards were beautiful! I'll have to make sure to take a photo of them and put them on the blog! Special thanks to Vivian for sending them to our class! :) 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Writing in our school

We are continuing our exploration of different kinds of writing in our world. Today, we ventured out of our classroom to see what other kinds of writing we could find! We used clipboards and pens to record our findings!
The class records the writing they found in the hallway
Here are some examples of the writing we found in our school--
Many students noticed several exit signs!
We also found some student created writing!
This sign created a lot of discussion. A.J said that the boy walking down the stairs looks happy and the one jumping looks sad. A.M said the red circle says we can't do that. 
A.Z's clipboard-he's writing the sprinkler control valve sign near the janitor's closet!
S.C wrote some of the signs she saw--the bottom one is from Ms. Kleva's 2nd grade class' bulletin board!
Y.C captured the exit sign and the stair A sign along with the door--this tells us where the signs are!
Y.C wrote the words on the writing he saw-he noticed the nurse's room sign and the elevator sign!
Tomorrow, we will be heading outside the school-around the block for even more writing!

I absolutely love music in the classroom! Every time Ms. Kim comes in for music with our class, I find myself singing or humming along! Ms. Kim has been working with the class on different ways to make music. The class has been working with egg shakers and using them to learn about beat and rhythm. Here is a video clip of the class working with the egg shakers--