Hello everyone! It has definitely been a long time since I’ve posted. With the pandemic hitting it has been a time of stress and confusion but I feel good about this year.
Our school has reopened with a plan on how to keep myself and other students safe with a strategy called “cohorting”. It is where your class stays within their group the whole day and does not do school-wide activities in person. Staying in our separate “cohorts” is a way to stop the increase of community spread. Students are asked to wear their masks when inside the school except for when they are eating.
In my all-star classroom students have individual desks each with their own individual supplies. All classroom activities and supplies have to be in individual bins and only one student can use the item at a time. When something is used it gets put in the “sanitation station” where the items are cleaned to be put back in the classroom so it’s safe for someone else to use.
Our first days of school went by quite smoothly! Much of the days were spent singing songs and learning the classroom procedures and routines. Students got to enjoy extension centers where they learned problem solving skills and explore what we have to offer in the classroom.
We also learned how to use our individual materials by creating an anchor chart, writing a list of things we can and can’t do with crayons. Students provided the answers for the anchor chart and together we developed a guideline on how to safely and properly use the crayons.
Then students practiced their coloring skills by coloring a soccer ball that had clear lines and spaces for them to color inside. Their goal was to color inside the lines and have as little white-space as possible.
To celebrate the first week of kindergarten we read books that talked about going to school for the first time such as “Miss Bindergarten Get’s Ready for Kindergarten” and the book “Kindergarten Rocks!”. Then students talked about how they felt on the first day of school and created a first day of school pennant. They picked an emoji that they felt matched their emotion for that day. They colored the emoji and glued it onto the pennant. They also practiced writing their name on top instead of writing the feeling. When students finished they were able to take their individual book bags and practice reading leveled reading books.
To help students learn the alphabet we are learning special characters called “Alphafriends” from the Journey’s reading curriculum. Each Alphafriend has a hand motion that goes along with each of the characters. We also learned how to write the letters by writing in our “rainbow write” journal.
Much apologies for being so late in updating. The holidays were quite the busy time for my family.
The last week of school before break was one of my favorite units, Polar Express week! We started the week by reading the book The Polar Express by Christ Van Allsburg. Then throughout the week we did activities that went along with the book.
On Friday December 20th we had our Christmas party and Polar Express day. Students were able to come to school wearing their pajamas. We started out the morning by making ABC order trains. For math students math train glyphs; coloring the trains based on questions asked. Afterwards they got to open their Christmas presents from me!
Then after lunch students were given their own ticket’s to “ride aboard the Polar Express”, and they came into the library to watch the polar express on the big projector. The outside of the library door shows a train tunnel with the train light shining and railroad tracks below.
Students sat in columns as if they were on a train. They got to have hot chocolate and popcorn! At the end of the movie they each received a tiny bell that came from Santa’s sleigh!
As we continued our holidays around the world unit, we read Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah and watched a National Geographic video for kids that discussed Hanukkah traditions. Students wrote about how people in Isreal celebrate Hanukkah. At the end we sang the song Hanukkah, Hanukkah by Jack Hartmann. The activities from the Holidays Around the World unit can be found here.
On the last day of our gingerbread unit we read one more gingerbread story and retold the story by putting pictures back in the correct sequence.
We also made gingerbread dough and students helped cut out their own gingerbread people. After they were done baking the students came back from specials surprised to find that their people had run away! After they caught all their gingerbread people, they got to decorate and eat their creation!
Throughout last week we compared different Gingerbread Man folktales from around the world. We also did art and math projects that supported our readings. During math we learned out to make patterns using gingerbread people and students made glyphs based on the directions I gave them.
The directions were:
- If students favorite holiday cookie was chocolate, color the gingerbread person brown
If students favorite holiday cookie was gingerbread, color the gingerbread tan
If students favorite holiday cookie was sugar, color the gingerbread yellow
- If students favorite milk was chocolate, color the frosting green
If students favorite milk was strawberry, color the frosting red
If students favorite milk was plain, color the frosting blue
- If the student is a boy, color the buttons blue
If the student is a girl, color the buttons pink
All last week we talked about folktales and one of my favorite folktales we talk about over the holidays, is The Gingerbread Man. So all last week we read gingerbread related folktales and did compare and contrast activities between the books.
One very unique story we read during this unit is Gingerbread Baby. In this story the gingerbread character doesn’t get eaten by the fox at the end, the little boy makes a house for the gingerbread baby! We talk about how the ending from Gingerbread Baby is different from all the other endings we’ve read. Then we make a gingerbread house art project.
Sorry about the very long delay. Things have been super busy.
As part of our Who We Are International Baccalaureate unit, we talked about the holidays and how many different cultures celebrate different holidays and with different traditions. We talked about Thanksgiving and how one of the ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is by sharing food and being thankful. We read the story Stone Soup as a class. Then as a whole school, each class brought in an ingredient and we had Stone Soup together as a whole school.
As we continued the fall unit we read the story Autumn’s First Leaf by Steve Metzger and wrote about if we were Pointy what fall color would we want to be.
On Thursday we went outside to go on a fall scavenger hunt. Students founds things such as; different colored leaves, acorns, twigs, bark, and nuts.