We started off our school year focusing on grace and courtesy to teach and fulfill our student’s innate need for order. Every student has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be
more at ease in their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons give the student the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for them to build their awareness and responsiveness of those around them. We worked on walking in the classroom, using our inside voices while in the school building, using kind words to one another, using safe hands, how to clean up our area when we are done working and how to use our words to express our feelings.
The third week of school we talked and learned about community helpers. We had many of volunteer community helpers come into the classroom and talk to the children. They briefly described their occupation, by talking about where they work, what they wear, tools they use, and tasks they perform. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who came into the classroom! It was a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself! The fourth week of school we discussed families and the students shared their family trees with their friends. Their family trees included their name, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The students also brought pictures of their families either on the family tree or hard copies for the children to share with their friends. The children enjoyed learning more about their friends and where they came from. It was great to see the students discover the differences and similarities in all of the families and accept every family for who they are. We ended the month of September talking about feelings and emotions. The students brainstormed things they could do when they were angry, happy, sad, frustrated, and excited. Then they discussed with one another whether the reaction they came up with was a good choice or a bad choice. The students did a great job learning how to manage their emotions. We role played how to process, identify and appropriately express their emotions as much as possible. After a few days of talking about feeling and emotions it was great to hear the students tell their friends what they were feeling and why on their own.
We kicked off Kindergarten with a lot Geography. The students learned about the seven continents, fun facts about the continents, and a few countries in each continent. The students became very familiar with the cardinal directions, the equator, the prime meridian, and the hemispheres. We took a look at our home state of Ohio and the surrounding states (their abbreviation and nickname). Make sure you ask your child all about Ohio! They will be able to tell you that the cardinal is the official bird, scarlet carnation the official flower, lady bug is the official insect, and tomato juice is the official drink. They learned how we are the buckeye state and that the official rock and roll song is Hang on Sloopy.
The first month of school flew by, and the students have already learned so much in art class with Ms. Michele. Her first unit of study is “What is Art?” We learned what an artist is and what they do. The children will get to explore the color wheel and art terms. They will be learning key art rules and how to use the art materials.
Ms. Michele kicked off her unit with a project called “My Favorite Animal” inspired by Eric Carle. She read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and then discussed the techniques Mr. Carle uses in his illustrations. He uses overlapping colors of tissue paper to create the wonderful pictures in his books. The students then made textured rubbings on tissue paper and glued them together on a piece of paper to create their favorite animal.
The next concept the students learned was about primary colors. They learned that these colors are blue, red, and yellow. These colors can be mixed together to create other colors. The project for the second week was “My House.” Ms. Michele was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s “Composition in Red, Blue, and Yellow” due to his use of the three primary colors. The students mapped out their house using black Popsicle sticks to create the same shapes that Mondrian used in his art piece, and red, yellow, and blue paint.
Our last lesson of the month was entitled “The Best Playground Ever.” Ms. Michele showed the students pictures of different playgrounds. One was a typical playground we see in our neighborhoods, one was made completely out of nets, and the last one was shaped like a whale. The students discussed the different shapes and lines of the equipment and discovered that art isn’t just flat. They were then allowed to create their own playground by twisting, bending, crimping, and rolling pieces of paper and then gluing them to a base.
We all want to thank Ms. Michele for bringing in her wonderful, creative ideas and are excited to learn more next month!
For our first science experiment of the year the students learned how liquids like water and milk have a property known as surface tension. We used soap, milk, and food coloring to experiment with reducing the surface tension to see what would happen. The students first put food coloring in the milk and noticed that the drops of food coloring just sat on the surface where we placed them in the milk. We discovered that is because food coloring is less dense than milk, so it floats on the surface, and the colors do not mix because we didn’t stir the milk. Then the students wanted to see some action so we added a drop of soap. The soap reduced the surface tension of the milk by dissolving the fat molecules and the food coloring started to move with the surface!
“It’s music time today. Time to sing and play. It’s lots of fun to sing and learn. It’s music time today.” The students have learned that this song is true for music class with Ms. Lisa. At the start of every music class, Ms. Lisa sings this with the students to get them excited and ready to learn. Our returning students were so thrilled to start music class and our new students have found out what a joy it is to spend time with Ms. Lisa.
During this past month, the children met our wonderful music teacher, Ms. Lisa and were introduced to many musical concepts. They have experienced how to use rhythm sticks, egg shakers, and tambourines. The class learned what a whole, half, quarter, and eighth note look like and how many beats each one receives. Ms. Lisa also shared with us some fun classics, such as “London Bridge,” “The ABC’s,” “The Hokey Pokey,” and “I’m a Little Tea Pot.” The students always enjoy having Ms. Lisa come each week and we can’t wait to learn more next month!