The winter months are flying by and hopefully spring will be upon us soon! This month the children have been enjoying our different themes and working hard on all of the works and our different practical life activities!
For the first week the children learned all about hibernation. The first day we brainstormed together about what they thought hibernation is. The purpose of brainstorming in young children is such a key ingredient of the creative writing process. Brainstorming also helps your child focus his or her attention on a certain topic, and it also encourages the child to share their ideas with their peers. During this week we read a book called Animals in Winter by Henrietta and Richard Van Gelder. This book had such wonderful illustrations that showed the children which animals hibernated and how they prepare for the months they will be resting. We then had a discussion about Migration, hibernation, and adaptation. Ms. Ame and I created a three part card work that went with our lesson. The children each came up and chose an animal and then had to decide which category they belonged in. Lastly, we sang a wonderful song about hibernation, which you will find in your child’s song folder.
The second week sparked a lot of interest in the children. We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The first activity we did was called “Being Treated Equally.” Now, before I led any type of discussion I passed out a snack to just the boys. I then started reading the book ,Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King. All through the book the girls were wondering why I wasn’t giving them any snack, and a few became upset. I didn’t explain to them why I did what I did until the story was over. I then asked the girls how they felt not receiving a snack. Haidyn said, “I really felt left out.” Another child yelled out, “I felt mad when you didn’t give us anything!” I then talked about how at one point in our country’s past, African Americans were not able to do the same things that white people were able to do and further explained that this is how they felt. I then shared that a man named Martin Luther King changed all of this! I loved this activity because I think it really got the children interested in who he was and how things were back then.
The second activity was called, “We’re all the same on the inside.” This was a simple exercise on how we can look different on the outside, yet be the same on the inside. I first showed the children a brown egg and then a white egg. I asked them to describe what they see. I then asked what they think each egg will look like on the inside. Almost all of them said the brown egg would be brown in the inside. I then cracked open both and the children were amazed to see that both eggs looked the same. After the activity we talked about how all of us look different but we think and feel the same things on the inside! It was an awesome activity!! The next day we discussed Rosa Parks and the bus boycotts, freedom marches, sit-ins, and the civil rights movement. We also listened to a song called “We Shall Overcome,” a powerful song about what Martin Luther King wanted for himself and others. After the song, we brainstormed some hardships or changes they have overcome or will have to in life. Our class also led a discussion on peace and what that meant to them. We then created a peace sign by using different craft items. I really love how the children came together and really tried hard understanding this topic!
The third week we discussed the Arctic, and the animals you can find there. The first activity we did was read a book called This Place is Cold by Vicki Cobb. Together we had a discussion about where the Arctic is located, how plants survive in the frigid temperatures, who lives in the Arctic, and some of the animals you will find. The next activity we focused on was all about walruses. We read some fantastic books, then we created a walrus puppet. I love these activities because by coloring, gluing, and cutting the children gain fine motor skills, patience, and step by step instructions. Our class also had fun talking about polar bears and making polar bear badges. And lastly, we read a book called The Bravest Dog Ever The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford. We then talked about the importance of sled dogs and did a fun dog sled craft! We had such a fun January!!
Academic Enrichment Group Time | Kindergarten
-with Mr. John
This month we started our section in Math. We learned about the unit (ones), ten, hundred, and thousand columns. The kindergartners composed numbers, and were introduced to addition with and without carry overs.
We can count to 10 in twenty four different languages (English, Latin, Sign Language, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Japanese, Arabic w/Lebanese dialect, Italian, Russian, Romanian, Swedish, Tagolog, Hebrew, Korean, Hungarian, Polish, Irish, Kiswahili, and Welsh Dutch/Flemish, Serbo-Croatian, Cebuano, and Malay).
-with Ms. Kristen
During the month of January, the Kindergarten students learned the proper formation of I-T. They also began to work on copying sentences in cursive. Some of the journal questions we answered were, “ Who is our new president?” , “ What city do you live in?”, and “ What is your middle name?”. These simple questions gave the children a chance to practice their letter formation that they have been learning since the beginning of the year! I am so proud of the progress our young writers have made!
Reading Group | Kindergarten
-with Ms. Kate
For the month of January the children read two stories called Lion At School, and Coyote Rides The sun. After we read both stories we went over any vocabulary the children weren’t certain of or they have never heard of. The children them completed an assigned drawing that allows them to record their early responses to the selection. When the children choose their illustration , they are visualizing the characters and setting of the story. Throughout our readings we lead our at home discussions, and created a song that was based on the story Coyote Rides The Sun. The class brainstormed together about why they might wake up before dawn. Is it because they are going on a trip? Is it a special holiday? Below is the class song they created together. Enjoy!!
Early Morning Song
Awake in the hour before dawn,
Awake in the hour before dawn,
So I can get to school on time,
So I can open presents on Christmas day,
So I can look for Easter eggs,
So I can go downstairs and have some peace and quiet,
So I can watch t.v.
So I can catch a plane to Disney World,
So I can pack up for the beach
Awake in the hour before dawn.
by Ms. Kathleen
Leak Proof Baggy: What happens when we poke holes with a pencil in a baggy filled with water?
Plastic bags like these are made out of our favorite materials, polymers! Polymers are long chains of individual molecules, called monomers. when you puncture the bag with a sharp pencil, you’re separating polymer chains without breaking them. The long chains of molecules than squeeze in tight around the surface of the pencil, preventing any sort of leak. The Children really enjoyed pencil after pencil being poked through the ziplock plastic bag without any leaks.
Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: What happens when you put them in a pitcher of water?
These packing peanuts are made from Starch, with a lot of air pockets. The Starch peanuts once wet dissolve in water just like sugar does. the children loved saying Abracadabra as Mr. John put the peanuts in water and they disappeared.
Absorption, Wet Paper Towel Verses Wet Diaper which will hold more water?
Mr John poured water all over a paper towel and a baby diaper and hung them both over his head, the wet paper towel dripped all over him and the diaper filled with water did not. This is because inside the baby diaper there are molecules called polymers inside, They are the small crystal like substance inside the diaper. A polymer that hold a large amount of water is called a gel, gel absorbs a solvent or water. This why the paper towel did not hold the water but the diaper did. All the children squealed with delight as Mr. John’s head got all wet from the soggy paper towel.
by Ms. Sabrina
Peter and The Wolf are back! We are learning the characters of the story, as well as the instruments involved. The children are internalizing the story well. They can tell what characters and what instruments are entering the story. The children have such great listening skills! Another listening game was also played is called Cat and Mouse! The children listened well to directions, and did what was asked skillfully. They loved performing an emotion in the song with the maracas as an instrument! Music is always so much fun with Ms. Lisa!
by Ms. Ame
January has been cold but Miss Michele’s imagination has been on fire! Miss Michele has started one of her most creative projects of the year! The first week the students learned about mythical creatures and took 3 different animals(one mammal, one reptile and one with wings) and created their own animal on paper! The students first sketched their animal with a pencil and then colored it in! The next week, the students used their drawings and used foil to create a base for a model of the creature! This was a little tricky for some of the younger students but all the students worked hard! After they had made the base, they then covered the foil with a white clay. They added small details like legs, eyes, mouths and wings. Miss Michele is going to bake these creations and then next month the students will decorate them! Thanks Michele for another great start to the year!