Saturday, April 29, 2017

An Amazing April

Are you sitting down?  Do you have a cup of coffee in hand or maybe an iced tea for this warm morning?  I hope so, because if you're standing in the grocery checkout line (where I often check email and/or facebook etc.) then you definitely will not have enough time to look at the dozens upon dozens of photos I uploaded for this blog post.  And this was after I went through lots of them!  I know I was a little behind on doing a post, but don't think I was going to shortchange you all the pictures of these amazing kinders knocking the end of their school year out of the park!  As of this upcoming Monday, we will have just 38 school days left until the last day of school.  38!  I don't know about you, but to me, that is just bananas.  But I'll tell you what, for these last 38 days we are going to do the same thing we have done for the previous 142 this year:  :)

Read on to check out Team 111's recent amazingness!

Coins - Our introduction to money has begun!  So far, kinders have learned about the penny and the nickel.  We have learned what each coin is worth and what you may find on both heads and tails.  We will continue our study of money in the weeks to come by learning about the dime and quarter, and then comparing them to our previously learned coins.  Below, kinders are playing Piggy Bank Addition.  With that many pennies jingling around our room, those kiddos felt as rich as kings!  We'll continue to work on understanding the magnitude (or lack thereof) of each coin's value.  

Paper Chain Addition - We continue to work on addition and what all those abstract + and = signs mean.  One major concept that we want to help students learn is that the placement of the = sign can be on both sides of the number sentence.  For example, 2+3=5 is the same as 5=2+3.  The = sign simply means that both sides of the number sentence have the same value: 5.  This is tricky because we move left to right for everything, so it feels funny to have the sum at the beginning of a number sentence.  Students will continue to work on this concept into first grade and beyond.  One way we practiced addition was through building paper chains made up of two colors of chain links.  This was also a great direction following and fine motor activity!

Poisson D'avril - Question:  Did any of you have a random funny fish stuck to you on the morning of April 1st?  In case you were wondering what that was all about, it's called Poisson D'avril (translated - April fish).  We learned a fun French April Fool's Day tradition from Madame Klunk that tied in well with our calendar practice and months of the year knowledge.  To prepare for the big day, we practiced sneaking up on our classmates and casually giving a back pat or hug to stick the fish on their backs.  I have one word to describe 19 kinders trying to play April Fool's jokes on each other: SUBTLE.  This activity gave us lots of laughs!

More Coin Fun - Penny Nickel Race was a cool game to help us practice identifying each coin by it's heads and tails features.  Let your kiddos dig through your change jar and see if they can find all the pennies and nickels!  (Then have them put them in those coin paper rolls and bring them to the bank for you, and keep the money it's worth . . .  because that is a time consuming activity worth gold!)

Maryann Cocca-Leffler - I hope you heard about our amazing author visit from Maryann Cocca-Leffler, a children's author based right here in southern New Hampshire!  She was engaging and interesting to learn from during her presentation.  She taught kinders about the process of making her books and where she gets her ideas, many of which came from her own daughter growing up.  It was neat to learn about an author who has written so many books and lives just a short distance away.  

Weather Studies - We learned about all types of weather in April.  Sun, rain, wind, storms, and clouds (we had had enough of snow).  Kinders loved seeing how all types of weather were connected in different ways, especially by that of the water cycle.  Below, partners are using a mirror to breathe hot air and watch it condense into fog on the glass.  This is similar to how clouds form.

Jelly Bean Math - Jelly bean math was another hit with the kinders.  They are becoming more skilled at sorting, tallying, and graphing quantities of objects.  They are also becoming old pros at enjoing special treat days :)

Robot Building -  Ok, if you didn't hear allllll about robot building, you better demand an explanation.  This was one of the highlights of our week before vacation.  We practiced using the names of solid shapes, creating, building, making a plan, adjusting our plan, problem solving, the list goes on . . . I LOVED watching these kinders become little engineers.  These robots are completely made by kinders.  All I did was give them recycled materials and tape!  We also learned how cool it is to make something amazing out of reused materials.  

Poem in Your Pocket Day - Kinders spent all week writing different kinds of poems and learning a little bit about poetry for Poetry Week (school-wide).  On Friday, they chose one of their written poems to carry around in their pocket for the day and read to friends.  Here are some endearing pictures of them proudly sharing their work.  

Robots: The Final Product - Here are pictures from our last day of building and ALMOST every kinder's robot (wishing I had made sure I got pictures from friends who left early for vaca :( ).  

I hope this post finds you relaxed and refreshed at the end of our vacation week.  I'm looking forward to seeing our outstanding team on Monday.  Happy Sunny Saturday!

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