Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fun Fridays

I took pictures during both of our recent Fun Friday celebrations and there might be like 130 of them.  Still I couldn't resist adding them to a photo collage and sharing one more slide show with you. Enjoy!!
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Monday, April 30, 2012

A Whole Lot of Learning Goin' On...

 We had a LOVELY time at Selby Gardens last week.  And we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.  Unfortunately my camera battery ran out early on.  But here's some that I captured and some captured by some of our amazing parents!

I loved that the guide showed us what butterflies see.  It's kind of like looking through this kaleidoscope.  We also got to get some water out of the bromeliads and see the things that live in there.  Did you know that you can find bugs, eggs, and tiny plants in them?  

 On Thursday, we celebrated "Take Your Child to Work Day" with a visit from my fourth son, Aaron. He LOVED being in K all day and helping the kids with a seed estimation project.

They decided they wanted Aaron to stay--for that matter HE decided he wanted to stay too!

 On Friday we made a new book for our Classroom Library using Denise Fleming's In the Tall, Tall Grass.  I just love watching these young artists interpret the books of children's authors.  It's great to see how they pay attention to detail and utilize their knowledge create a product.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What I love about Kindergarten...

I LOVE Kindergarten kiddos!  Their hearts are so sweet and they just soak up EVERYTHING...including vocabulary words.  Today, my kids presented me with two very special gifts during afternoon centers.  The first was a book about gardens and vegetables and fruit.  They said it was their gift to me because they loved me and they love the Learning Garden.  I'm telling you, they know just how to GET TO MY HEART!  After me tearing up a bit, and us sharing a group hug, I continued my work only to receive another surprise moments later.  

Before I show you that little gem, enjoy a few pages from this precious book the kids made.  The best part in my mind is that they collaborated and did it all on their own--without me knowing!  I love that.  

 Then these two other little creative authors snuck over to see me.  When they held their creation up proudly for me to see, I saw the opening words (which you might be able to see when you enlarge this photo below). 

 It starts with the words "wut a dscras."   I have been reading kid writing long enough that I immediately thought, "Wow, does that really say 'what a disgrace'?"  I started churning through my kid writing rolodex trying to figure out what word they MIGHT have been writing.  Then I decided to just ask them to help me out.  

When I asked these giddy young writers to read it to me, they confirmed that it did in fact say:  "What a disgrace.  You are so nice.  Wow!  I love you.  Cool, Cool, Cool"....then my mind started rolling...what else might they mean besides "disgrace"?  

And the truth is, I have no idea!  It made me chuckle inside.  We also shared a group hug and I thanked them for thinking of me during center time.  

By the way, the green part in the first picture is a mask that I "can wear" when I want to.  Maybe when I'm being a "disgrace", I'll put it on!  ;-)  

Seriously, there aren't many people who can say their jobs fill their lives with laughs and smiles like mine does.  I am 100% BLESSED to be able to spend the day with these amazing kiddos and their amazing little creative minds.  And, that, my friends is just a bit of what I love about Kindergarten!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Butterfly Learning

Our caterpillar hatched last week.  When it happened, we decided to use the teachable moment and do a little learning.  We talked about the fact that we often use our eyes to add to our schema.  Then we learned the word "observe" and made a list of all the things we observed with our eyes while watching the caterpillar go through the butterfly's life cycle.  

In small groups, we acted out the entire process based on our observations.  Here are our sweet little actors showing us what they know.  That caterpillar crawled around the habitat:

Sometimes he lay on the leaf:  

Finally, he attached to the top of our habitat.

Here is another picture of the butterfly attaching to the habitat.  

 Here is the caterpillar eating all that yummy milkweed that we put in the habitat!

And here's the butterfly hatching from the chrysalis.  

More actors showing us the process they observed.  

After we acted out our observations, we revisited some of the butterfly books we've read.  Then we made a list of all the things we learned from our books:  

Here's the caterpillar drying its wings.  

Each thinker, then recorded learning on a graphic organizer.  They had to note what they observed and what they learned from reading.  

Here is the butterfly just before we let it go in Southside's garden.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's the BUZZ????

Check out what we've been doing this week....We started our computer time twice a week.  We are doing SuccessMaker in the lab. This program places children according to their skill level in Math and Reading.  Students will be in this initial placement for a few sessions then it will start working with them at their level.  It's a great way to fill gaps and extend learning in both of these subjects.  

 Here's our classroom tree updated for our insect unit!
 Here's a close-up of the tree.  Thanks to our amazing Moms for helping get it decorated so cute for our learning.  It makes our classroom library such a fun place to sit and read books.

In the Science center this week, we've been watching this little caterpillar.  One of the students discovered him last week in the worm bin.  He was TEENY when we found him.  We put him in the butterfly cage and watched him GROW AND GROW.  Wednesday morning, I came in and found him in the J.  I took the first two pictures at 8:00am and by 8:20am he was completely in his chrysalis (see the second picture).

Also in Science we worked on our bee hives.  Last week we paper mache'd our balloons and let them dry.  This week, we covered them in yellow.    We read the book Busy as a Bee by Melvin Berger and learned all about these great creatures.  The students then added their bees and bee facts to their hives.  Check out some of their work.  

 I have to say that most of these projects took extra parent hands.  I am so thankful for such amazing and supportive parents in the Learning Garden.  It is a SPECIAL place to learn and grow every day because of your help.  Happy Spring!