I… Have Become Comfortably Numb
It is early June and I am, what Pink Floyd said, definitely, Comfortably Numb! Maybe not so much comfort but shell shocked or PTSD. During the Summer I will not miss waking up before the sun rises and will appreciate waking when restaurants start to serve off their lunch menus. Hmmm, should I not go to sleep until after midnight?? That is to be determined. Catching up on movies, bike riding and hiking are on the agenda. But I do love teaching children and would NEVER have it any other way! I will miss all of the students! I am honored to teach your children and getting to know our families. Each one of my students have left a lasting impression. I just wonder if I leave as much of an impression with the students and their families? Let me know if I did by “friending me” on Facebook. I am not hard to find (their are only a few KOTRADIs in this world). Any alumni are welcome to come read to my class throughout the school year. So in ending…. Have a great Summer, a great life, be happy and stay sincere.
It seems this year was a bit more difficult saying good-bye to families. I am not sure why but it really felt that way. Maybe I had to say good-bye to a few families who have been part of the Absorbent Minds family for six years or on field day I had two alumni visit or I should say another crack at dousing Mr. John with water. These girls are so big now. As they were running around the playground I went through this wired, surreal flashback and I remembered them as they were in preschool. Then attending my daughter’s eighth grade graduation there were a handful of “kids” there that I taught when they were in preschool. Two are going to be juniors, three are going to be freshmen in high school. It just kind of put things in perspective on how time trudges on. Heavy sigh…
The circle of life studied last week always involves food and eating to stay alive. This is where we looked at several food chains. We looked at a two part food chain involving a mouse and grains. We looked at several three part food chains such as snake/mouse/grains, hawk/snake/mouse, bear/big fish/small fish. We went so far to look at some four part food chains Hawk/snake/mouse/grain. We learned about being on the top of the food chain and the bottom of the food chain. We also learned the animal that “hunts” for the food is the predator and the animal that gets eaten is the prey.
The second week of May was a great time to talk about the seasons. We started with spring and talked about how it gets a bit warmer but we get a lot of rain and plants and flowers start to come out. Then we talked about summer and how it is hotter because the earth tilts closer to the sun and the days are longer. This is when plants grow tall and flowers are in full bloom. Autumn or fall comes next and the weather gets a bit chillier. The leaves turn beautiful colors then fall to the ground. The final season is winter and it is the coldest season of the year. The earth is tilted further away from the sun and the days are shorter. We end up getting snow in the winter.
Put on your space suit and get ready to explore our solar system. We started with discussing the planets nearer the sun them worked our way to the furthest reaches of our solar system. Mercury is our first planet and is the closest to the sun. Venus is the second planet. Even though it is further away from the sun it is the hottest planet in our solar system. The third planet is near and dear to our hearts. It is the planet earth. It is the only planet in our solar system that has life. The next planet is Mars and is known as the red planet. The next planet is the biggest planet in our solar system and has a big red storm that has been raging for centuries. That planet is Jupiter. Saturn is the next planet and has really cool ring around it that are pieces of rock and ice. Uranus is next and it spins up and down instead of side to side like all the other planets. Neptune is the last planet in our solar system. I did not forget about Pluto. Oh! Poor Pluto. Pluto was once a planet but now has been demoted to a dwarf planet.
We then talked a bit about what we want to be when we grow up. We discussed careers such as nursing, being a doctor, a veterinarian, and of course an exciting, lucrative, and fulfilling career in teaching. We had Jordyn’s mom come in and discuss what a surgical nurse does. The children walked away with a plethora of O.R. goodies.
The last week I talked about being safe. I reminded the children to always stay close to their safe side adult, always look both ways before crossing the street, never talk to stranger or go near wild or unfamiliar animals. I also reminded them that police officers and firefighters are our friends.
The last week of school I give the kindergarten students the honor of running line time. They do need a bit of help but they do believe they are the BMOC (big man on campus).
We are holding at counting to ten in 26 different languages.
We started May by discussing the preposition. Where oh where can we find a preposition? Well, I told them a preposition was a “where word” NOT a “werewolf”. The kindergartners brushed up on their knowledge of the interjection. The interjection adds emotion to the sentence but we did find out that if we eliminate the interjection from the sentence, the meaning of the sentence really does not change. We learned what punctuation is used at the end of a sentence. We use a period (.) when we are stating something. We use a question mark (?) when we are asking a question and we use an exclamation mark (!) when we show excitement or a lot of emotion. I introduced the students to the rules of capitalization. We learned that words at the beginning of the sentence, the word I, and proper nouns need to be capitalized. We played “mad libs” and ended our lessons on grammar by watching Grammar Rock. For the last week we just reflected on our year, what we learned, and our favorite parts of kindergarten class. It was a GREAT year!
This month Ms Lisa reviewed with the students all the skills they have learned since the beginning of the school year. She had the children sing John Jacob Jingle Hiemer Smith where they sang it real low and then loud this is one of the newest songs they had been learning. Then, she concentrated on all the other songs and dances that they have been practicing since the start of the school year, such as I Caught Myself a Baby Bumble Bee, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, The Mexican Hat Dance and classical music played while they danced and twirled colored scarves. Ms. Lisa also took requests from the children and they chose the Ball Game where they pass the ball around in a circle while music is playing and stop passing when the music stops, eventually more balls are thrown in during this activity.The other request the kids had was the Cat and Mouse game when Ms. Lisa plays High music all the children crawl around the floor and pretend to be mice, then when the Low music is played on her key board one person (child or teacher) sitting on the side lines hurries in and tries to tag the mice. If caught, those children become a mouse (this is their most favorite thing to do in music class). She also reviewed musical notes and the keyboard throughout the month.
This month students enjoyed art lessons inspired by Vincent Vaughn. Children designed their own fancy bedrooms! They had to include in their bedrooms two patterns drawn on card stock then folded into a cube to make it look like a room and Ms Michele provided many different kinds of materials to make the furniture in their bedrooms. For the next project they made three dimensional animals made out of pipe cleaners. Ms. Michele also brought to school this month potted flower plants put them on the tables in the class room. The children sat around the tables and painted the likeness of the flowers. Many beautiful flower pictures were drawn.
On June 5th, field day, Mr. John did his annual experiment with candy mentos and 2 litter bottle of diet coke (this a favorite every year always lots of yelling and playful screaming). Aspartame and carbon dioxide in the diet soda mixed with gelatin and gum Arabic in the mentos cause it to foam and blast like a volcanic eruption!
We had a great field trip at the fire station where we toured the fire station, saw a fire fighter put on his gear, went through a fire engine and an ambulance. We learned that the fire fighter wash their trucks and can’t take them to a drive through car wash because they are too big.