Thursday, January 12, 2017

Peanut's Favorite Foods

We LOVE having Peanut in our classroom!  She is so curious and the kids just love watching her!  

One of our students recently discovered a group of Pill Bugs or "Roly Poly's" in his wood pile.  He collected a bunch of them and put them in a container to bring to school.   (Big thank you to his mom for encouraging this!)  We did a little taste test with Peanut to find out which bugs were her favorites.  We keep Meal Worms and Wax Worms in the fridge for her, so we gave her a few of each.  Her favorite thing to do is chase after those Roly Poly bugs and eat them as quickly as possible!

She's so fast, I can't even get a picture of her snatching them up.  Peanut is also very particular about her fruits and veggies.  She loves fruit, but usually turns her nose up at the veggies.  (She fits right in with the Kindergarten crowd! Ha!) 

The kids are welcome to bring in small amounts of fruits and veggies for her to try and we'd love it if kids would collect worms and Pill Bugs to feed to her.  She's a pretty fun little class pet to take care of!  We sure love our Peanut!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Kelso's Choice

Miss Lilly, our fabulous school counselor, introduced the kindergarten classes to Kelso today!  We were so excited to meet Kelso and learn what he's going to teach us over the next few weeks.  

Kelso teaches us about the choices we make and how to solve problems.  Today we learned about the difference between little problems and BIG PROBLEMS.  A big problem is something that happens where someone could get hurt, makes us scared, or isn't safe. A big problem is something that ALWAYS needs to be reported to an adult.  A small problem is something that kids may be able to handle themselves.  Miss Lilly walked us through examples.  Just so you know, Miss Lilly also talked to the kids about telling an adult if someone other than a doctor or parent touches any part of the body that is covered by a swim suit.  She explained that this is a BIG problem and always needs to be reported right away.  

We look forward to having Kelso and Miss Lilly visit us each week to help us make good choices.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reading Comprehension

We are back in the swing of things now that the Holidays are over! We are continuing our work in our comprehension strategies during our Reading Block.  You may hear your child using words like schema, connections, mental images, or retelling.  We've learned that these are strategies that good readers use as they are reading.

This week we have been focusing on books that have to do with snow.

The kids LOVE sharing their schema for snowy day activities.  Schema is ALL of the "stuff" we already know about a topic.  We can build our schema through experiences, books, talking to friends, or even watching a movie about a topic.  Kids have lots of schema for snowy days!

We've been using posters to remind us what these terms are and how they help us.

It's good to be getting back into the swing of things!  Please keep reading to your child each night at home and feel free to use some of these terms:

Mental Images

Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gingerbread Day

With lots of help from our kindergarten families, Gingerbread Day was a success!  Thank you so much for sending in supplies, making frosting and house bases at home, and helping out in the classroom!

We had 7 kids absent on our Gingerbread Day, with the never-ending crud that's going around, but we have saved materials for those kids to make their houses when they return.  Gingerbread Day in the culmination of our Gingerbread Literacy unit.  We have read many different gingerbread stories, by many different authors.  We have compared and contrasted these stories, analyzed characters, used the books for retellings, and spent time getting to know the authors and illustrators of these great books. 

I was very impressed with construction this year!  Kids were very thoughtful and creative.  Some years, the houses just look like candy explosions.  This year, kids were very careful and most had a plan in mind for what they wanted their houses to look like in the end.  I think a good time was had by all and hopefully most of the houses made it home in one piece.

Happy Gingerbread Day!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meet Peanut

I may have a bit of a problem.  I love animals and I can't say no to the idea of having more animals in our classroom to care for.  We brought Steve, our stickbug, into the classroom and shortly after that I received a call from someone offering us a turtle!  Now, how do you say no to that?

Peanut has lived with Mrs. J, who substitutes at another school in our district, for 30 years.  She bought Peanut as a baby and was ready to see her go to a new home for inquiring minds to enjoy observing!

The first day that peanut joined us, we spent some time touching her and feeling her shell.  After that, we washed our hands very well and agreed to let Peanut have her space and just look without touching.

The kids love to sit by Peanut and watch her move around.  She's much more active than I expected a turtle to be.

Her favorite spot is her water basin.  She loves to sit in the water and watch the kids or dunk her head under water for a little bath.

I was surprised to find out that a big Rubbermaid container was the ideal habitat for Box Turtles.  We have some coconut shavings at the bottom, a basin for water, and two different lights to keep her warm.

So far, her favorite food has been rolly-polly bugs.  She likes to trample all over her fruits and veggies.  

We love having Peanut in the classroom and look forward to continuing our inquiry of turtles and their needs!

Happy learning! 

The Firefighters Come To Visit

Things have been a bit busy in kindergarten.  With conferences and Halloween, blogging has been a bit slow.  I'm back at it now, and we have some fun things to share!

The firefighters came for a visit in late October and what a gift that was to a group of kindergartners!  They started by coming to the classroom to read a story and talk with the kids.

They talked about the importance of smoke detectors and that when you change your clocks, you should change your batteries. (Hint: it's time to change them.)

They asked the kids how to call for help and they all knew to call 911, but when they were asked what to do if their parents' phone was locked and they needed to call 911 some didn't know.  They showed the kids the emergency button on the bottom of the lock screen and told the kids that if they push that button, they would be able to dial 911.

Then, another firefighter came to the room to show the kids that even in uniform firefighters shouldn't be scary.  It's just a regular guy under all of those clothes.  He put on the uniform, one piece at a time.

The kids were able to see that there is nothing to be afraid of if there is a firefighter trying to help them in an emergency.

At the end, he let the kids touch the uniform, mask, helmet, and just spend time getting comfortable with the whole ensemble.

After our indoor presentation, we went outside to learn about the tools in the fire truck.

It was an awesome presentation and I feel so lucky to have the firefighters come every year.  We always learn so much!

Ok, friends, now go change those smoke detector batteries.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Steve the Stickbug

Meet Steve!

Steve is our new Australian stick bug who joined our classroom today.  

We have already learned that Steve likes to eat blackberry and raspberry leaves.  We don't know much more about stick bugs, so this will become a good inquiry project for us.

We've decided that Steve looks a bit like a dried up leaf.  He didn't do much today, but he did dance a little.

As you can see, Mrs. Ross is not at artist, but I did model my story during Writer's Workshop today.

A few kids in the class chose to write about Steve as well.

We will be sharing Steve with Miss Mulder's classroom, so all of our kindergartners get to meet Steve.  We have so much to learn about Australian stick bugs!  If you'd like to help your child look up information at home about Australian stick bugs, we'd love to interview our experts when they return to the classroom.  A trip to Bridges Pets to visit the stick bugs and ask questions of the sales people might be a fun little field trip, if you're over that way!

Happy learning!