Living and Non Living

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We began our living and non living unit last week with a read aloud to introduce the topic and a walk to search for living and non living things around our school grounds. We also used our class iPads to document our findings. The kids took turns being photographers and when we came back to the classroom we used AirPlay to project the images from the iPads to the SMARTboard screen.

This week we used AirPlay again to look at the images of the living and non living things we found on our walk and refresh our memories about what living and non living means. We had an interesting discussion about the difference between dead and non living.

This week begins an interdisciplinary living and non living project. We will incorporate writing, nonfiction reading skills, research skills, and technology skills to research and create living and non living posters. We will also gain experience with social and presentation skills to share our work at the end of the week.

Today we made a class poster with each student contributing a sentence and picture. As the week progresses, the kids will begin researching and creating their own posters. More info to come!

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Racing Bears: Number Sense, Problem Solving and Social Skills at Work

The kids think playing Racing Bears is great…What’s not to love? You get to play with a friend and work together to race all your bears to the end. And then you get to play again!?

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The teacher loves Racing Bears too! While they play the students develop counting and number sense skills. They problem solve and strategize to decide which bear to move when. They develop social and friendship skills as they interact with another child(problem solving often comes up again).
What’s not to love?

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Learning about Nonfiction

We are right in the middle of our nonfiction exploration. It is a nice place to be because things are starting to make sense for the kids yet we still have new things left to discover.
Our nonfiction unit has been very kid focused with the students spending lots of time exploring nonfiction texts and making their own discoveries.

We are learning:
Nonfiction books tell us facts and information.
We learn by reading nonfiction.
Nonfiction books have special parts like photographs, a table of contents, types of print, headings, and diagrams.
The special parts of nonfiction books help us learn even more.

Here are some pictures of our work thus far.

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Writing Celebration!

Today we celebrated our hard work writing our “how to” books. The children had the opportunity to read their books to other children as well as give and receive compliments about their writing.

Then we learned how to make a fruit pizza. The kids followed the steps to make their own. Yum!

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How To Books

The kindergarteners have been working hard to finish their “how to” books this week. We learned to tell about our topic step by step and give each step a number. We also have been working on drawing diagrams in our books. We used diagrams in other books we have read to help us learn what they could look like in our own books.

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Learning about Germs

We learned about germs today as part of our ongoing health unit. We read a book and learned that germs are so tiny we can’t seem them, germs are everywhere, and that some germs can make us sick. We learned how germs can get into our bodies and how to keep them out. We acted out using tissues, coughing into our elbows and washing our hands.
The kids made posters to teach facts about germs.

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Some of the children hung their posters around the room to remind our class about germs. Other students took their posters home to share with their families.

100 Days of Learning in Kindergarten

It sure is hard to believe we have been in school 100 days, especially with our snow week. We celebrated being 100 days smarter with a variety of fun learning activities.
We began by cutting out the digits in 100 and turning them into something else…the children created penguins, robots, faces, and lots of other things as well.

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Then we had a museum to view everyone’s artwork. Without any prompting, the kids oooed and awwwed over each other’s work. They were full of compliments for their friends. It was such an endearing moment.

We had a great time exercising to 100 next. The kids did 10 activities 10 times to exercise all the way to 100. They were bunny hopping and twirling, stretching and jogging in place.

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It was great to see that with a few rules and tips the kids were able to safely and independently move around the room as they wished to all the exercise stations.

Later we had a delicious time making necklaces of 100 fruit loops. The kids did a ton of counting(and eating). Needless to say they were a bit loopy when they were done.

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Judge others by the content of their character, not the color of their skin…

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We spent the week learning a little bit about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is a heavy topic but the kids found his peaceful approach inspiring. The children seemed genuinely shocked that people would be disrespectful to others because of the color of their skin. They were even more shocked about the rules of segregation. I found their dismay refreshing. It was nice that racial discrimination had never crossed their minds!
They enjoyed pictures from Dr. King’s life as well as video clips from Dr. King’s ” I Have a Dream Speech”! We even rocked out to a song about the Civil Rights Movement.
We ended with a spirited discussion about what color we were and trying to understand what the terms “black” and “white” refer to. Ah, the joys of kindergarten!

Word Sorts

Kindergarteners receive a lot of direct instruction about letters, sounds, and words. They need a foundation of knowledge so they can apply, explore, and find patterns in their own reading and writing activities. One such activity is word sorts.
Our word sorts actually have pictures the children sort according to a “rule”. Over the course of the school year we have sorted by category, rhyming words, and beginning sounds. For example, this week we sorted between the beginning sounds of “r” and “s”.
The first day, I model the sort and the kids sort. Each of the following days the children sort and also complete other related activities. One activity that is challenging to the students is called “Draw and Label”. The students pick two words from each of the sorting categories to draw a picture of and then attempt to write the word. They learn a lot from stretching out words and writing the sounds they hear.

Here are the kids cutting out their sorts.

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