November, 2016

Kate Case

I can’t believe how fast October flew by! I love the fall month as we watch the colors of the trees turn yellow, red, and orange, and the crisp smell of the fall air. Our classroom was super busy learning about apples, autumn, pumpkins, bats, and spiders. We also enjoyed a field trip to the pumpkin patch! 

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During our first week, the children had fun learning about the life cycle of an apple. The children learned how the apple starts as a seed, then goes to seedling, tree, and then blossoms into apples. With this activity, the children learned the concepts of sequencing, plant life cycles, and vocabulary development. We also had fun learning about Johnny Appleseed. We discussed how he was a pioneer who traveled throughout the American frontier by planting apple seeds. We also discussed how he helped people along the way. The children really loved talking about him as they continued to ask questions about him throughout the week! We then had so much fun having an apple tasting and then using our math skills to graph our favorite apples. Lastly, our class made homemade applesauce together. The children really enjoyed slicing the apples, placing them into the pot and adding all of the ingredients. The children are able to learn about measurement, gain fine motor skills, and work together! 

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Our second week was full of autumn fun! We started out with a science experiment called “Why do leaves change color?” First our friends gathered different colored leaves and we separated the yellow, red, and brown ones into a mason jar filled with rubbing alcohol and then placed coffee filters into each jar. The children then were able to see the color absorbing the liquid. As the liquid traveled up the coffee filters it separates all the colors that were inside the leaf. During this time we explained to the children how during the winter, the days get shortened affecting the amount of sun the leaves are exposed to, and how the plants go into a resting state and live off the glucose they stored over the summer. The children really loved this science experiment! During the week we also had fun collecting leaves and sorting them by color by using a graph. By doing this activity, the children are learning how to categorize what they are seeing, and also learn how to group items. We also had fun making leaf rubbings and learning about the parts of the leaf!  

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The third week we focused on pumpkins! The children really enjoyed learning about the life cycle of the pumpkin. During this time, the children had to cut out a pumpkin and glue the stages of the life cycle in order around the pumpkin. In this activity, they were gaining their fine motor skills by coloring and gluing and also learning about sequencing. The next lesson we did was all about the five senses. I placed a pumpkin in the middle of our circle. We then had a discussion on the five senses and what each of them meant. Then each child went up the pumpkin and was able to touch and feel the pumpkin, smell the pumpkin, and used their ears to see if the pumpkin made noise. We then created a chart and used descriptive words (adjectives) to talk about how we used our five senses. The next activity we did that week was a sink and float pumpkin science experiment. Before we began, the children were able to give their hypothesis about what they think the big and small pumpkins will do in the water and we charted their answers. With this experiment the children learned language development, they are able to make connections with real life experiences, promote scientific thinking such as predictions, observations, comparisons, data gathering, cause and effect, and also concentration. We also had fun having a pumpkin investigation day! With our pumpkin the children measured around the pumpkin, we used Legos to see how high our pumpkin was, counted the lines on the pumpkin, and then had fun counting the seeds inside our pumpkin. The children learned the concepts of measurement, linear counting, and using descriptive language. What a fun week we had!  

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The last week was all about bats and spiders. We first learned about how spiders are not an insect but an arachnid. We then drew out the parts of the spider. The next day we created a web about everything we learned about spiders. Throughout the week we crated a chart called KWL, which stands for “What we know, What we want to know, and what we learned.” We started out discussing what they already know about bats, then we had a discussion about the things they would like to know about bats. We then read a few books on bats and we then reviewed everything we learned from together from those books. The purposes of the KWL strategy is to elicit students’ prior knowledge of the topic, set a purpose for reading, and help students monitor their comprehension skills.

The last week we also had so much fun going to Kingsway Farm and having our Halloween party! Thank you to all of my parents who helped out with everything. Without you we wouldn’t have been able to have such an amazing party! See you in November!!!  

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Reading Group |Kindergarten Students
with Ms. Kate

We have added such a wonderful program for our Kindergarten students. This program is called Junior Great Books Read- Aloud Program. This amazing program really stresses the enjoyment of literature for the children, but at the same time the children are able to develop comprehension, interpretive thin king, and oral and written language skills. Every Monday and Wednesday the kindergarten students and I meet together and read out loud a story or poem. We then have amazing group discussions, act out the story or poem, have creating writing sessions, and special art projects. For example during Halloween week the children had to brain storm and come up with a riddle. They absolutely loved creating this together. I hope you enjoy their riddle!
What Day Would It Be?

If there were vampires, witches, mummies, and ghosts.
Purple, black, orange, and green.
Playing pin the “Boo” on the ghost, and mummy wrapping.
Dressing up, tricks or treat, carving pumpkins, and class parties.
Cookies, candy corn, tootsie rolls, and air heads.
What day would it be?
How awesome was that riddle??!! Can you guess what day it is?


Enrichment Classes

Art Class
by Ms. Ame

This month Miss Michelle started out with continuing her leaf project. The students created their own leaf in the spirit of Fall. Michelle discussed warm and cool colors with the students using her color wheel. They used warm colored tiles inside their leaf and cool colored tiles on the outside, or the other way around depending on what the student had decided.

The second week, Miss Michelle had the students use their imagination. She introduced the students to mythological creatures and talked about how the creatures resembled a few animals mixed together. Michelle then brought out her board covered in different animals. The students each chose two animals and created their own creature.

The third and final week of Art in October was about Halloween. Miss Michelle talked about spooky art and Halloween, encouraging the students to share what scared them. The students then drew a picture depicting their fear and a self portrait of them being scared! It was quite a spooky lesson. Please keep your eyes open in the hallways as Miss Michelle will soon be hanging up the students art!

Science Class
by Ms. Kathleen
This month in Science class we saw quite a few different experiments! I will showcase our two favorite below. The children were able to learn about solubles. The discovered what happens when you place pieces of different colored Skittles and Gobstoppers in a plate and add water to them. The colors run, collide, but do not mix. This is because each candy is coated with wax. The wax is not water soluble, and prevents any mixing from happening.

Next students were able to explore dry ice! When you place it into a pot and pour warm water over it, it looks like a witches pot!! What causes the bubbling steam? Pouring water over the dry ice causes the dry ice to warm up rapidly. This creates the fog we saw coming from the pot. Dry ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide. It is able to turn from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid stage. I think this was their favorite experiment this month! It created the most excitement!

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Music Class
by Ms. Sabrina

The children had so much fun in Music class this month. There were many smiles and laughter going around. The children learned a new song called Having Choices. They learned that they can choose to be kind. The instruments used were bells and tambourines. Our students loved using the instruments and dancing was also involved! The children then learned a song about love. The phrase ” I love you ” was frequently used. For this song the instrument used was an egg shaker. Added to that was a song about kindness. What great values for children to learn! They learned a song about sharing by passing and rolling a ball back and forth. More balls were added and the children did so well with sharing them. They also learned a song called Please and Thank You. An egg shaker was also again used and of course the magic words please and thank you. The children skipped, galloped and listened for directions, following them well. They had to wait until everyone had an instrument, and when Ms. Lisa told them to, they could pick up their instrument and play with her. This teaches the students self-control, and how to be patient. The young musicians have improved their ability to follow Ms. Lisa’s lead, and wait so patiently. Along with learning important musical terms and skills, we got to sing some old favorites like Skinamarinky Dinky Dink, and Skip to My Lou. Music class sure is fun with Ms. Lisa!


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