Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year! (Part 1)

Wow! It feels as though we should be saying "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Merry Christmas", but here we are in a new year already. Here's what we have been up to in Kindergarten in the past couple of months. 
In November, we were busy planning and preparing for our Thanksgiving Feast. From start to finish, we decided what it meant to have a "celebration", what we would want to include in that celebration, and got busy making it happen.

We made decorations, wrote a menu, made the food and invited our families to our special event.

The day of our event was exciting. We decorated the Davis room and patiently awaited the arrival of our families. 
After seating our families, we performed for them, then each had a job serving them before we served ourselves. Again, a lot of patience was required! 

We were happy to join our families for the feast,  give them our "thankful" gifts...

  ...and eat some of the delicious meal we made. 
It was an event worth dancing about!

All the while, throughout the month, we practiced skills like collaboration, organization, and decision making; practiced writing and learned new vocabulary; shared our creativity through our ideas and artwork; practiced math through measuring ingredients, and so much more!

Stay tuned as we give you a glimpse into the month of December and what's happening now. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Color Investigation

Last month, we finished our first investigation: an exploration of color. 
We began by talking about what we knew about colors and what we wondered. 
We set out watercolors to explore mixing and observing how they changed. Did we form new colors when we mixed two? What if we mixed more than two? 
It was fun creating new colors. We decided to freeze some of them in the ice trays we used to mix and save them to paint with colored ice! 

We explored color science! We predicted what we thought might happen when we dropped food coloring into milk. Unlike the water, we discovered the colors danced and moved!

 We learned about primary colors – red, blue, and yellow – and spent time exploring them further. What happens if we mix two primary colors? What happens if we mix more than two colors? We had ample opportunity to test our theories and find answers through various art explorations.

We used primary paints and mixed colors to create a color wheel. After we painted each section, we glued loose parts onto their appropriate section. 
We also explored a box of 64 crayons and determined which colors belonged where on the color wheel. It’s not always an easy determination when looking at a pinkish-purple or periwinkle crayon! 

 We spent time talking about the various shades of colors. We examined paint chips and worked to mix paint colors to show lighter and darker shades. 

We know that blue and yellow mixed together make green. We know that red and blue mixed together make purple. We learned that adding white or black can change the shade of a color. We took our learning and went on to create our very own colors. We mixed, tested, and mixed some more until our color was finished. After creating our very own color, we gave it a name. 
 All the while, we noticed the colors were changing all around us outside. We brought some of those colors in to explore and paint. 

 Throughout this exploration, we learned new vocabulary, answered questions we wondered about, tested our predictions, made beautiful art, and discovered just how much our world is full of color! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Learning the Ropes

September was a great month for getting to know each other and get familiar with our various routines.

We got started right away with our learning center routine and have now had several weeks to practice and see how much we can learn during this time. During center time we focus on literacy and math concepts, but also have the opportunity to practice following directions, sharing, taking turns, and working together, as well as independently.  

As teachers, this has been an invaluable time to observe children in their ability to work in a group and also see their math and literacy skills.

~September Math Centers~
We spent some time exploring the math manipulatives we will be using this year.  Working with unifix cubes led us to counting, patterning, and using lots of great mathematical language, such as, "you have three more than me", "mine is equal to hers", "this tower is the longest". 

We love playing games as a way of learning math. We are working on subitizing (the ability to know how many just by looking without counting), which led to some great games with dice, dominoes and other dot patterns. 

In addition, we worked on recognizing and writing numbers one through 10.

~September Literacy Centers~
Our literacy focus has been all about letters! 

We have been writing our names and naming each letter in our name.  We also can’t help but learn the letters in our friend’s names.  

We have been spending some time reading ABC books and creating our own.  This helps us build our knowledge about the beginning sounds of words.  
We are very proud of our Kindergartners and how well they have adjusted to a new routine! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Our First Day of Kindergarten!

Welcome, Kindergarten Families! 
Just in case the extent of what you heard about our day was what we had for snack, here are a few photos to give you a peek into our first day together!

We started the day by exploring our surroundings. We painted coffee filters individually that will become a part of a group project later. (Learning to work as a group!)
We had our first morning circle where we learned about our weekly jobs and played a name game with Ms. Sara. (Discovering our community.)

For centers, we explored all the materials available to us from the art shelves, dramatic play area, and block area. We spent about 15 minutes in each space before moving on to the next.

Right away, we observed rich conversations, and connections being made. We held a meeting after centers and discussed what went well and what may need improvement. (Creating a sense of ownership in our classroom.)  How did we feel in each space? Our little group had some great ideas to share. We found it might not be a great idea for everyone to be in dramatic play at the same time. (There are only about 8 inches in the dramatic play area and 100 in the block area!) ๐Ÿ˜ŠWhat should we do about that?  These were the first steps to developing an agreement on how to best learn and be safe in our classroom. (More of that in the coming weeks.) 

We started working on our first self portraits of the year! Today, we had our upper bodies traced and added details to make them look like us!
We even have a friend who's first day of Kindergarten  landed on his Birthday! 

We were quite eager to get outside and move in big ways! 
We foraged for an extra snack in the garden and on the vine! 
We had a great first day in Kindergarten with these wonderful kiddos. We hope that's the story you heard too. ๐Ÿ˜Š