Well it has been a long journey fellow readers but the Bowen’s have moved from Kenai, Alaska back to their home state of Michigan. Of course I am still teaching kindergarten so the All-Stars legacy continues to live on!
I have moved to a school that has reopened after 3 years of being closed. It is an international baccalaureate elementary school. It is super exciting as we are learning how to be global citizens, inquirers, and all classes will have 30 minutes of Spanish instructions everyday. I only had a week and a half but I able to set up the new room on time!
The first day of school parents got to come at the end of the half day and join the students in a scavenger hunt looking for important places in the classroom.
For the second day of school students got to have their first experience at exploration centers. In exploration centers students get to move freely throughout the room and choose activities that they investigate different learning skills. In extension centers students can choose from the classroom library, art center, math manipulative tubs, block center, writing center, science center, community center, and computers.
For art center students work on first day of kindergarten headbands. Writing center had students tracing lines and drawing pictures on whiteboards with dry erase markers. In the science center students did a sorting science tools folder game. In the community center students sorted pictures into their correct beginning sound on a pocket chart. Finally at the blocks center, students put together puzzles foam letter puzzles and got to build with wooden blocks.
For a read aloud today we read the story, The Night Before Kindergarten and made It’s the First Day of School, I feel… art activity. This activity can be found here.
We’ve been learning about the different parts of a plant and their uses. We learned about the stem and how it acts like a straw and takes nutrients and water from the roots and feeds the plant.
On Friday we performed a science experiment with celery where we placed it in water with food coloring. Students wrote about their hypothesis on what they believed would happen to the celery. Then this week we observed the celery and wrote about our findings.
“I think the water will stay the same”
“The water turned red”
“I think that the celery is going to be a rose”
“The celery changed colors”
“I think the celery will die”
“It changed colors”
“I think it will turn into a monster”
“One of them turned red”
With spring in full swing and the weather getting warmer, we started our unit on plants this week. We started off by watching a video on plant facts and then wrote 2 facts that we learned in My Plant Book. We also wrote four things that plants need. (Example Book #1: Some plants eat bugs, Example Book #2: Plants do not have bones & Some animals eat seeds)
The next day for shared reading we read Seed to Plant and then during read to partner students read the emergent reader Plant Life Cycle. We took what we learned and made plant life cycle wristbands.
At the end of our beach unit this last Friday we had our Beach Day. At the beginning of the week we read the story Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise. It is about a dog (Moe) who has a vacation but it is in the middle of a cold January. Unable to afford a vacation to a tropical place, Moe makes a fake beach inside his house with sand and a pool. The whole week we talked about beach activities and learned about ocean animals. One of our art activities was to make hand fish puppets with fancy art paper.
On Friday we made our own tropical paradise inside our classroom and had our beach day on Friday. In all three of our kindergarten classrooms we had various beach related activities. In one classroom we had two inflatable pools where kids got to enjoy the water and listen to beach themed music. In the other classroom there snacks and Moana. In the All-Stars classroom we played beach/pool related games. Students also made ocean pictures with pattern blocks and enjoyed a sensory bin with water beads.
Sorry everyone that there has been a lack of updates, my student teacher had been taking over the responsibilities for much of the winter / early spring.
This week we’ve had our unit on beach and ocean animals. We started off the week by reading an emergent reader book called At the Beach. We labeled a web thinking map that identified the main idea and details of the story.
For writing students used the ideas from the web thinking map, as well ideas of their own, and wrote about what they would like to do at the beach.
For math students took various 2 dimensional shapes and created their own sandcastles. They then graphed the number of each shapes they used for their sandcastles.
All aboard!! It was Polar Express day yesterday and to celebrate we came to school in pajamas just like kids did in the book. Throughout the month of December our classroom has had door decorations and a Polar Express bulletin board. (PS It was also hat day for the entire school this is why you see regular hats on the kids and principal in the pictures).
To start off the morning we made A-Z Polar Express train puzzles in our own cut and paste activity. We unfortunately ran out of room on our papers so we were unable to get all of the alphabet.
Afterwards myself and my student teacher Ms. Daniels opened presents that our students got us. Each student also got a present from myself and Ms. Daniels. They received a book from me and Ms. Daniels knitted a hat for each student with their name on it.
As students came back from lunch they were given a ticket to the Polar Express which I hole punched like they do in the movie. They entered the room to find it decorated in the form the Polar Express train as well as a special guest. The special guest was our assistant principal who read the book the class. Afterwards we sat in columns of two like in the train, had hot chocolate & train cookies, and watched the movie The Polar Express.
As we continued our Polar Express unit we read the book The Night Tree, which is a book about a family that goes to decorate a tree with food that is made to look like a Christmas tree. The book is very different than The Polar Express however it is a great introduction in showing how to compare popular stories. We discussed how in both stories the characters had hot chocolate.
We then watched a video on how to make hot chocolate and then wrote directions on how to make hot chocolate in three easy steps. For math we made hot chocolate mug art with cotton balls acting as marshmallows. Students wrote how many marshmallows were in their cup. To have a copy of the mug activity click here.