Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sad News

It was a sad day in kindergarten today.

Steve the stick bug has died.

To most people, Steve is just a bug.  To a group of five-year-olds, he is the best stick bug a kid could ever have!  There were tears today... lots and lots of tears.  I really didn't expect it to be such an emotional time for the kids, because he's just a bug.  When I realized that it was a really big deal to the kids, we made time to write about it and draw some pictures about Steve.

We took Steve out to the courtyard gardens and I told the kids I'd say something nice about Steve before we buried him.  A couple of kids asked if we could all say something, so I told the kids they could share if they wanted.  After we shared our feelings about Steve, we buried him and put a few flowers by him.  It was a very emotional time for the kids.  When we came back inside, we had a group hug and then moved on to some fun activities.

Today was a day full of emotional learning for our kids, but it was also a time to see our recent learning in real life.  We have been talking a lot about the life cycle because of our baby chicks and also because of our most recent addition (ask your kids about our new insects).  When one of our boys was crying about Steve, another student explained that it's all part of the life cycle.  Steve has laid eggs in the dirt and, with any luck, we will have more stick bugs.  We look forward to meeting Steve Jr.

Rest in peace, Steve.
You were the best stick bug this class has ever had.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Chicks

I have to say, I think hatching chicks has been the highlight of my teaching career.  It has been the most amazing experience!  

When I came in on Sunday evening, I brought my entire family to check on the chicks.  It was Mother's Day, so I was hosting a celebration and the whole family wanted to come.  We noticed a few of the eggs had pips.  Pips are the first holes the chicks make in the eggs.


If you sit really still and the room is quiet, you can year peeps coming from the eggs.


By Monday morning, the chicks were really working hard!  One of the cracks had gotten much bigger.


Just as the kids were entering the room, on Monday morning, the first chick hatched!  The kids squealed, but then hushed to a whisper to watch the excitement.  The chick was wet and could barely stand.  


It took several hours for our first chick to dry off and fluff up.  We named her Primrose and she quickly became the most favorite class pet in the history of class pets!


The next day, we were in for another surprise!  Poppy arrived about 5 minutes before the end of the school day.


She was SO tired.  It's a lot of work hatching out of an egg!


She wasn't quite fluffy enough to come out of the incubator, so she had to stay in there over night.  Since we had one in our brooding box and one in the incubator, I went to Bridges Pets and bought a 3 day old Buff Orpington to snuggle with Primrose.  I took Primrose and Petunia (the two yellow chicks) home and they snuggled all night!


When we came in on Wednesday morning... surprise!



There were TWO chicks in the incubator!  Pansy was all fluffy and dry, so she must have hatched on Tuesday night.  Oh, my... four sweet, fluffy chicks!  Petunia (the one we bought) quickly showed them the ropes.  She would take a drink and then the other chicks would take a drink.  


On Thursday, the chicks went to their new home.  The kids were very sad to see the chicks go, but they have a wonderful chicken coop waiting for them!

What an amazing experience!









Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hatching Chicks in Kindergarten


I can't even begin to tell you how excited the kids are right now!  We will be hatching chicks in kindergarten and the eggs have arrived!

We order 2 Sussex, 2 Orpington, and 2 Wellsummer eggs.  

The eggs went into the incubator on Monday, April 24th.  They will be in there for 21 days and hopefully they will start hatching!


The little egg halves at the bottom of the picture will show us what the inside of the egg looks like every day.  It's amazing how fast they change!  We'll be checking our eggs many times each day and I'm sure parents will hear all of the updates at home.  Mrs. Perkins, our office manager, will be taking the chicks home once they are hatched. 

 Oh, the fun!!!



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Our Creation Station

Lately, in Kindergarten, we've become creative builders.  We've been collecting items that could be recycled and turning them into the most amazing creations!


The kids tell stories of the pirate ships they are creating and they huge garages for their cars.


This is a ship from Moana.


Unfortunately, the bus drivers have asked us not to make LARGE creations anymore.  We are working to keep our creations backpack sized.  We are still in need of paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, and soup or fruit cans.  Those are the hot items at the moment!  Thanks for sending us your garbage!

Happy creating!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Math Mountains

We are working toward a firm understanding of our teen numbers (numbers 11-19) in kindergarten!


This is an example of a math mountain.  There are 12 Tiny Tumblers on top of the 12 Math Mountain.  If ten roll down one side, we know there will be two on the other.  We practiced this will all of the teen numbers, with 10 ALWAYS rolling down one side.  The kids did a GREAT job on their math mountains and most kids are writing their numbers correctly too!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Playful Learning Book Group


Ok, now THIS is going to be fun!  I absolutely LOVE the Playful Learning book.  I told many of you about this book during our conference time and several of you have said that you purchased the book. I'd like to propose that we do an online book group, using this book as our text.  The book is about $15 and can be found on Amazon.


I think you'll find that this book is really fun and engaging.  It's written for parents and teachers who really want to encourage playful learning in the home and classroom.  Learning doesn't always mean sitting down with a workbook!  I wrote a bit more about the book on my early childhood literacy blog.  Here is the link if you'd like to read more.


The easiest forum I've used for online bookgroups is a Facebook group.  It's a private group and we don't actually have to be "friends" on Facebook in order for it to work. If you'd like to join the book group, please email me and ask to be added to the group. I will need your email address and the name you go by on Facebook, so I can find you. I will gather up all of the names and then send out an invitation to the private group.  If you are a Cascade View family, you can email me at becca.ross@sno.wednet.edu.  If you happen to be reading this, and you're not a Cascade View family but you'd still like to join, please email me at homeiswheremystorybegins@gmail.com.  I hope we have a big group!  We'll aim to start during the second week of February.  That gives you a week to buy the book.

Happy reading!

Yoga Time

We were so lucky to have a parent come to class and teach us a bit of yoga last week!  One of our parents is a yoga instructor and offered to come in and do some exercises with the class.  We specifically focused on belly breathing to help us calm down. 


She used a link to a You Tube video which the kids really enjoyed.  It talks about belly breathing when you are upset or angry.  We've used this strategy many times since her visit!  I think it's helping us calm our bodies down!

Happy breathing!