Friday, October 30, 2009

Kindergarten Fire Safety

On Thursday we had a fire safety day for kindergarteners. It was a great morning and the kids were excited to learn. We began with a demonstration lesson where two girls where in a house while a fire started. The older girl crawled into the younger sisters room and attempted to wake her with no luck. The firemen came into the house and after doing a sweep found them both unconscious in the bedroom. The girls were taken safely out of the house. After the demo, kids were able to ask questions and the firemen showed their uniforms. They also discussed coming up with a fire escape plan and when to change the batteries on the smoke detectors (We included these two items as homework for the night). Then each class was allowed to go out and look at the fire truck up close and see all the cool things it includes. We finished our day by coming back and writing about it. Some kids wanted to finish their pictures so look for samples of work posted soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Sense

Science is a subject that almost all kids love. One unit that we do during Kindergarten is a pumpkin unit. During this time we learn how to become better scientist by practicing what good scientists do - making observations of the natural world using 5 senses, recording data, collaborating with a partner, create and record visual representations, understand that learning can come by observations.

Over the last couple days we have been exploring pumpkins. We have been learning how we use our senses to learn about pumpkins and make connections to the world around us. We had whole pumpkins, cut up pumpkins, and even pumpkin pudding to help us be better scientists. Here are some of the connections the kids made while doing this inquiry:

When I saw the pumpkin it made me think about...
pumpkin pie because it's the same color.
carving a pumpkin because it's big like mine.

When I smelled the pumpkin it made me think about...
mud because mud smells like that too.
dirty water because puddles smell like that. (one of my favorite answers)

When I felt the pumpkin it made me think about...
worms because that's what they feel like moving around. (another favorite)
pudding because it was squishy and slimy.

When I tasted the pumpkin it made me think about...
pie because it is creamy like that.
whip cream because it kinda fluffy.

When I hear a pumpkin it makes me think about... (they thumped on the pumpkin)
someone closing a door because it bangs.
someone knocking at the door because it goes knock knock.

After this exploration stage, the students discussed their answers and we as a class began to think about how we use our senses all the time. Sometimes we don't even realize that we are using them. Next we will discuss how our senses work together (for ex. taste/smell, touch/sight) to help us experience our world.

During this time, we have also been making daily observations about which pumpkins last longer - carved or uncarved. We began by noticing how a cut apple changes quickly over time. Our next step was to see if any changes happen to a pumpkin by cutting it. We will be finishing that up by Friday (the carved pumpkin is starting to mold and become nasty). Ask your child what he/she has noticed about the pumpkins. We will be learning why that happens as well.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Literary Carnival

We had a great day Friday for our Literary Carnival. Here are some highlights of the day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rafiki - 6 weeks old

Little Rafiki is definitely growing and changing. He started eating real kitten food and wants to eat all the time. He doesn't get the kitten milk anymore and has been drinking water instead. The kitten food gives him a lot of energy which he uses to run around the house. The funniest thing Rafiki has learned is to act tough against Maxie (our Mini-Schnauzer) even though she is much larger than him. He arches his back, sticks his hair up, and points his ears back. Then he charges at her full speed. He has learned how to hide behind the furniture and attack us when we walk by. His little claws are sharp and the one thing he hasn't done is learned how to release them when he is holding on to something. He is still pretty small and I can hold him in one hand (if he sits still enough). I am sure he will continue to grow a lot over the next couple weeks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Diamond D Ranch!

What a great day we had on our first field trip. The kids got to do so many things: wagon ride, feeding goats, riding ponies, bounce house, learning about cows and horses, the drum roll, a nature walk, feeding catfish, and so much more. I hope they came home and told you all about it. Here are the highlights of our day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kindergarten Alliteration

Last week we learned about alliteration. The kids had a great time learning "Peter Piper" and seeing how fast they could read it. On Friday the kids were able to share their silly sentences they made at home using alliteration with the same beginning sound of their name. Here are some examples from our class.

* Ethan eats eggs every day.

* Nick knows not to knock near napping ninjas.

* Lynethe likes lollipops a lot.
A lot of lollipops Lynethe likes
If Lynethe likes a lot of lollipops
Where are the lollipops that Lynethe likes a lot.

* Skylar screams scarily at scarecrows.

* Addison ate eightly apples in the attic.

* Jack jumped a jack-o-lantern.

* Keely caught catfish in the creek.

* Simran sings silly songs.

* Seans six stickers shined so shiny.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Read for the Record

The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Debbie Harbour on Vimeo.

Today we celebrated Jumpstart's Read for the Record 2009. We shared the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is a great story about how a tiny caterpillar eats everything imaginable over the course of a week and becomes a big, fat caterpillar. After staying in a cocoon for 2 weeks he emerges as a beautiful butterfly. Not only were the students treated to this special book but enjoyed a puppet show during the read aloud. A special thank you to our own Ms. Cordoza for making all our classes a set! We decided to record the read aloud so that the kids could enjoy it from home any time he/she chose. We hope you like it too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Life Cycle of a Kitten

Yesterday I was thinking about how excited the kids were to see my new kitten (which we have named Rafiki). I realized that I have never had a kitten this young - yes he is younger than originally thought. The vet told us on Monday that he is about 4 weeks. So knowing that information, I thought it would fun to document Rafiki's life cycle.

As a newborn, Rafiki was pretty tiny when he was born. It took about a week for him to open his eyes. Now he is 4 weeks old. Right around the time we found him he was just learning how to leave his mommy's side for a few minutes at a time. He wasn't very good at walking - he still isn't. But he is getting less clumsy. He is trying to learn how to run but often falls down or turns his body by mistake. Jessie plays with him a lot so that he gets lots of practice learning how to grow up. He is still on kitten milk but also eating a little special canned food. He has easily learned how to use his little kitten box as well. At this age, he would have still been sleeping with his mommy to keep warm so we have a special bed for him that has a stuffed cat that feels close to a real cat. He snuggles into that every night.

Rafiki is doing great and we can't wait to see how he will grow and change each week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Meet the newest member of the Harbour Family

On Friday, Mrs. Harbour adopted a stray kitten found outside Chets Creek. We haven't named him yet since Matt and Jessie haven't agreed on one. Hopefully we will have a name for him by morning. The vet said he is probably about 6 weeks old. We look forward to watching him grow.

A Test of our Senses

Last week Mrs. Alvarado's class joined us for a great inquiry lesson. Both of our classes visited stations in the classroom where their senses were put to the test. Which food was salty? Which container smelled like popcorn? What mystery bag had an object that was rough? The kids had a great time learning how their senses are important for them as they learn to make observations. Make sure you ask your child what his/her favorite part was.

What is a Standards Based Bulletin Board?

Each month you will find new work posted on the board outside our classroom. This is our Standards Based Bulletin Board. A standards board is where work that meets the "standard" is displayed. The teacher includes what standard the work meets, a task to explain what the work entails, work samples, and commentary. Our first standards board was a math board that included Patterns as our work sample. Here are some pictures of our board if you were unable to come see it. (If you click on the individual picture it will enlarge).

What do you do in Reader's Workshop?

Over the last couple weeks we have been working on retellings of our favorite Star Books. The kids love the stories they have been hearing over and over again. One of their favorite stories is The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Here are some pictures of our little puppet masters.