The first week in February we had a blast talking about all the different types of farm animals and what each farm animal provides for us. We talked about where milk comes from and what else we can get from farms like fruits, vegetables and grains.
The second week of February the children learned about all the different types of pets and how to care for them. To wrap the week up the children made Valentine’s Day picture frames for their moms and dads out of popsicle sticks and puzzle pieces and had a fantastic Valentine’s Day party. I would like to thank all of the parents who made the party possible! It was very successful.
The third week of February the children learned how Washington was a great man, the father of our country, who led in war and peace. They discovered that Abraham Lincoln was also known as “Honest Abe”. They also talked about what they think life is like for the Obama family in the White House.
The last week of February we did a sorting activity with different pictures of foods with a dental hygienist. She explained that our teeth get sad and full of tooth decay from sweets and soda and get happy, shiny and bright from brushing and eating healthy foods. We talked about cavities and cut a hole in an apple to show us how a little hole in your teeth can get pretty yucky inside. The children also took turns brushing a stained egg with real toothpaste and it turned white again.
We started out the month continuing with multiplication using the golden beads. The introduction of beads shows the kindergarteners a solid correspondence between the written symbol and physical quantity. We also discussed what tools could be used in the classroom to help with multiplication, such as the stamp game, multiplication bead board and dot board. We even talked about dynamic multiplication with exchanges (carry overs). We introduced fractions. We learned that we can divide anything as long as it can be divided into equal parts. Even our kindergarten class can be divided! We then learned about different shapes. We knew that a triangle has three sides but we learned that a triangle with three equal sides is called an equilateral triangle, with two equal sides is an isosceles, and with no equal sides it is called a scalene triangle. Any shape with four sides is a quadrilateral. Some examples include a square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and a chevron. We learned all about agons like pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.
For the first week in February in science we took three raw eggs and placed them into different liquids (vinegar, water, and milk) we left the eggs in the liquid for a couple of hours to see the different effects the substances had on the eggs.
The second week of February Ms. Stacey did a science experiment with the students called dancing conversation hearts. She took 4 alka seltzer tabs and crushed them up and placed them in the bottom of a glass, then she took a few conversation hearts and placed them on top of crushed alka seltzer. After that she poured 1 cup of sparkling water over the hearts and we sat back and watched them dance. The students discovered that carbon dioxide was forming and pulling the hearts to the surface then the bubbles would burst and the hearts would fall until the bubbles formed again to pull them back to the top again.
The last week of February we inflated balloons using vinegar and baking soda and the children learned when you mix the two together it creates carbon dioxide and the gas rises up and escapes the bottle feeling the balloon.
Art (By Ms. Faith)
In art class this month, Ms. Michele had three great projects for the students. The first project was dealing with fears and what makes us afraid. The students drew what they were afraid of on a piece of black construction paper using oil pastels. After they drew what they were afraid of, Ms. Michele had the class draw themselves bigger on a separate piece of paper to show that they are bigger than their fears. She used this project to teach the students about how artists use the foreground, middle ground, and background in their drawings and paintings.
The next week, the students learned what a mosaic is, an image made up of smaller pieces of glass or other objects. Ms. Michele used cardstock for the base of the mosaic and brought in many colors of foam squares. The students could create any image they wanted using the small squares of foam to fill up the piece of cardstock.
For the last project, the students got to illustrate their own book. Ms. Michele showed the students images of large art works, such as paintings that take up a whole side of a building or a large sculpture of a stuffed animal bunny. The students were given these inspirations to create a book about giant things. First, they had to draw pictures and then the teachers walked around and wrote on the pages what was going on in the illustrations.
Music (Ms. Faith)
In the month of February, Ms. Lisa brought some review activities and some new activities for the students. To review, students had to choose when they wanted to sing in a loud or quiet voice and had to recall the musical terms forte or piano. Other musical terms the students got a review on are: adagio, allegro, and andante. These all refer to the tempo of a song; slow, fast, and a medium pace. Ms. Lisa brought in her electric keyboard and played songs from Peter and the Wolf for the students to remember which song was for which character. We were amazed at how well the students could pick up after not hearing the story for a month!
The students got to participate in two new activities in music class yet. We played a game called Cat and Mouse. The students were all mice and the teacher got to be the cat. When Ms. Lisa played a song on her keyboard with high notes, the “mice” had to come out of their hole and play. When Ms. Lisa played the same song using low notes, the “cat” could then chase the “mice” and try to tag them. If a student was tagged, he or she would then become a “cat” as well. The students enjoyed this game and wanted to keep playing. Another new activity using Ms. Lisa’s keyboard, was to identify different sounds. Her keyboard has a built in synthesizer and can make many different sounds. The sounds the students had to identify were: birds, a telephone, a helicopter, and an audience clapping. The students loved making guesses for what the noises were!
We kicked off January by talking about polar animals. The children enjoyed making fake snow out of hair conditioner and baking soda and playing in it to build snowmen, igloo’s and snowballs. The students also enjoyed waddling around the classroom like penguins.
The second week in January we learned all about ocean animals. We learned about things that exist in an ocean habitat like sand, small shells, smooth stones, seaweed, coral etc.
After having Martin Luther King Jr. Day off we talked about how he was a hero because he was brave and honest (noble). We shared who are heroes are and who we’d like to be like someday with the most popular answers being either Mom or Dad. We discussed how MLK made a speech and worked hard toward peace because back then people were treated badly if they did not have the same color skin. Each child made a picture of what their dream was and wrote about it to create a class book for the library.
The last week in January we took an imaginary trip to the zoo and sang all about the tigers, lions, chimpanzees, kangaroos etc. Some of our friends even invited their favorite zoo stuffed animals to school to spend the day with them during work time, line time, recess, lunch and snack.
The kindergarteners have been working so hard on their journals. I hope you enjoyed the ones they brought home! They also started practicing writing in cursive. I can’t believe how they cruised through learning addition and multiplication with the golden beads. We have even been working on more abstract materials like the stamp game and dot board to solve our problems.
For the first week of January we were curious to see what salt would do to ice so we froze a block of ice. Then took turns placing spoonful’s of salt onto the ice. It was interesting to watch the salt create holes in the ice. After the holes were created we took turns dripping primary food colors into the holes and the colors mixed together to form new colors.
We made waves in the bottle and discovered that on our planet waves happen when our earth spins on its axis and water is pulled by gravity across the geological formations of the ocean floor. When we moved the bottle we got to see the energy move through the water to make waves, just like out in the deep blue sea!
For science we also took two eggs one white the other brown that have not been cooked and compared their similarities and differences on the outside and took a guess as to whether they will be the same or different on the inside. We determined even though different on the outside, they were the same on the inside, just like people!
Milk goes great with a lot of things: cereal, cookies, cake, and pie. So we decided to mix it with a bottle of coke. The milk and coke separated when the phosphoric acid molecules attached to the molecules of the milk which increased the density and separated them from the rest of the liquid. The remaining liquids had less density than the phosphoric acid and milk molecules so they float on top.
Enrichments by Ms. Faith
For three weeks of January the students worked to create an imaginary creature with Ms. Michele. This project is always enjoyed by the students and brings more whimsy into the classroom. To start the lesson, Ms. Michele talked to the group about mythical creatures and showed some examples of artists’ renditions of the creatures. After this, each child got to pick three pictures of animals and had to choose one part of each of the animals to use in drawing a new creature. The next week, the students then got to create an armature out of foil, which is the base structure for their sculpture. Once the armature was in place, the young artists formed clay around the foil and the creatures began to come to life. After the clay animals were baked, the class got to paint their creatures. The students loved making up their own creature and letting their creativity soar. To end the month, Ms. Michele started a new series where each week she will introduce a new artist and we will complete an artwork in the style of the individual. The first artist we learned about was Claude Monet, who is very well known for the Surrealism movement. Surrealism style is soft and blurry, which some believe to be caused by Monet having poor eyesight. To recreate this style, Ms. Michele had the students use their fingertips to make dots of different colored paint all over a piece of paper. Once the colors were blended together by their fingerprints, it created a blurrier look just like Claude’s. We are all in suspense to find out who the next artist Ms. Michele will introduce us to next week!
This past month in music class, Ms. Lisa shared the story of Peter and the Wolf by Sergi Prokofiev. The story is a musical symphony that was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow in 1936. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument; the flute is used to copy the sound of the bird, the cat is represented by the slinking sound of the clarinet, the oboe plays a smooth sound that reminds the listener of the duck swimming gracefully on the water, the character of Peter’s grandfather has a bassoon which plays low and slow notes, and the hunters’ melody is loud and in a marching tempo with the woodwind instruments and timpani drums. Now the villain of the story, the wolf, has a sharp sneaky song that is played with the French horn, and last but not least, Peter, who is the hero, has the stringed instruments to play his triumphant and heroic theme. The students enjoyed the story and learning about the different instruments and their sounds. I was amazed at how well the children could recall which instrument played for the different characters each week. Peter and the Wolf is a very exciting symphony, which captivated the students’ attention and was able to expose the group to many different instruments.
December was filled with many fun winter and Christmas activities. We started the month off with focusing on practicing our songs for the Christmas program. The students worked very hard to memorize the lyrics and to get the motions down just right.
The kids created a winter scene by gluing red and green tissue paper on construction paper and cutting Christmas tree shapes out, then painting another piece of construction paper with blue water color, and lastly glued on the trees to complete the scene. We also made Rudolf pictures by tracing the students’ hands for the antlers and feet for the face, and then we added a red nose and eyes to complete the reindeer. The students also made a winter scene snow globe out of paper plates and sandwich bags. The kids really enjoyed making reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve to give the reindeers energy to fly Santa around. They also made popsicle stick Christmas tree ornaments and sock snowmen to put in their gift bags to parents for the night of the Christmas show. We all enjoyed the students’ show and tell items and they enjoyed sharing with the class.
The children especially had fun wearing their pajamas to school and watching classic Christmas movies like The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph. The kids did an amazing job at the Christmas program and were the cutest cowboys and cowgirls! I hope everyone has a wonderful break and a Merry Christmas! See you next year!
The kindergarteners worked hard on their journals and learned how to measure in inches and centimeters using a ruler and tape measure. They have been measuring many different objects in the classroom including their teachers and recording it.
They also enjoyed the holiday season by making many holiday treats to share with their friends like rice krispy treats and sugar cookies.
Our fist science experiment for December was a gross spit experiment. We crumbled an unsalted cracker on one plate and then took a second cracker and chewed it really well to get it nice and mushy. Then we had to do the gross part and spit the chewed up cracker onto the second plate. After that we put a drop or two of iodine on both crackers. We discovered that digestion begins in our mouths because the iodine only turned black with the chewed up cracker because it reacted with the starch.
The second week of December we did a floating paperclip experiment and learned about surface tension. We overfilled a cup without water spilling out and the surface tension of water was strong enough to support a paperclip! Then we put soap into the water which disrupted the order of the water molecules. The kids had many questions like how is the water keeping the paperclip from sinking? How big of a paperclip can we float? Can we float another paperclip on the water after we add the soap? How many paperclips can we float at a time?
Music (By: Ms. Faith)
During the month of December, Ms. Lisa had many fun Christmas activities for the students. The class got to sing Christmas carols such as Away in the Manger, Jingle Bells, and Deck the Halls. Ms. Lisa played a fun game called Freeze Dance where she played Jingle Bell Rock and when the music stopped, the students had to freeze in a silly way. We also got to learn Feliz Navidad and played Castanets along with the music. The students loved singing Christmas music with our wonderful music teacher. Thank you Ms. Lisa for another great month of music class!
Art (By: Ms. Faith)
Ms. Michele prepared some great art projects for our students. The first project we learned how to use a technique called resist. To complete the project, the class got to draw different geometric shapes on a piece of paper with oil pastels and then painted over their drawings with liquid water colors. The watercolor did not cover up the drawings because of the oils in the oil pastels. Ms. Michele also introduced the young artists to Pablo Picasso who is known for the art movement Cubism. We looked at a few portraits Picasso painted and made observations on the different shapes and colors he used. The students then used different shapes cut out of construction paper to create a self-portrait. Each project came out different and unique. It’s always a joy to see the creativity Ms. Michele brings out of the students!
During the month of October the class learned about all the changes that happen during the beautiful Fall season. For the first week we discussed leaves, how and why they change, and different types of leaves. The kids also enjoyed collecting their own leafs for leaf rubbing.
The second week of October the students learned about apples. They got to taste test three different types of apples and vote on what was their favorite kind. We discovered what the inside of an apple looks like and how they grow. Some of the students even brought home beautiful paintings using apples as stamps.
Next, the class learned all about pumpkins. We were able to explore the inside of what pumpkins look like by digging out the insides to separate the seeds from the pulp. The next day, the class was able to try the seeds they cleaned out of the pumpkin after they had been baked and even sampled some of the actual meat of the pumpkin cooked.
The final week of October we turned our attention to bats. We learned about different types of bats and even found out that there is a bat that is as small as a bumblebee! The class discovered how and where bats sleep and that they find their food through echolocation.
I wanted to thank all the parents who helped out with the Halloween party. It was definitely a success, and the kids enjoyed all of the crafts, games, and delicious food. We could not have had a more successful party!
During Kindergarten Lesson, students learned about landforms. Ask them what the definition of a lake, island, bay, peninsula, gulf, harbor, cape, isthmus, straight, chain of lakes, and archipelago. We went over telling time to the hour, half past, and quarter after. They also have been working hard and doing a great job on their journals.
Over the past month, the students have been learning about the science behind the changes we see during fall. We found out that the leaves change color because they are not receiving enough chlorophyll to keep their color green. The students also learned the life cycle of apples, pumpkins, and bats. We also enjoyed a couple science experiments such as an oozing jack-o-lantern when we mixed hydrogen peroxide with water and yeast. The students also made water crystals mixing colored water with polyacrylamide.
During October Ms. Lisa brought in some fun instruments and musical terms for our class. The students learned how to sing in either a piano, which means soft, or forte, which means loud, voice. She also had the students practice their hi and low voices. The instruments the students experienced were egg shakers, rhythm sticks, tambourines, and castanets. They continued to learn about the different notes and this month Ms. Lisa had the students lead clapping out the notes Some of the songs Ms. Lisa sang with the students were, “Grand Old Flag”, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”, and “The ABC’s”. An activity the children got to participate in was a ball toss game while listening to “London Bridge”. Students had to wait to pass the ball if the singing stopped and then when the singing came back on they could start passing again. This helps to develop listening skills while having fun! Thank you again Ms. Lisa for another great month of music!
Ms. Michele finished up her unit on What is Art by talking to the students about sculptures. They were able to create their own sculpture out of random objects from home and painted them all one color, which we learned the art term is monochromatic. During this lesson, Ms. Michele also introduced complimentary colors, and the students had to pick out other objects that were complimentary to the paint color they chose for their sculpture. After this project was completed, we started a new unit called What I See. The children will have to draw and paint objects that are in front of them. We started off by picking a picture of a flower, studying it, and drawing a detailed picture using oil pastels, markers, water, and paint brushes. The next week, Ms. Michele brought in some fun toys to set in front of the class and they got to dig into many different art supplies including, oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, and crayons to draw the toys. We can’t wait to see what Ms. Michele has in store for us next month!