Nature Made or People Made

This week’s science focus allowed for us to further explore our school grounds and outdoor classroom. We explored the concept of objects in our world being made by nature or made by people. We had a lively discussion in the classroom and then headed outside to find more natural or people made objects.  

       

We found many nature made and people made objects along the way. 

    
   

  

 
 
  

   

  

    
 

Learning Lately

Here are the little learning lovelies at work today honing their fine motor and literacy skills. Also social skills. We are always working on our social skills. Always. 

    
     

     
   

  

Tree Portraits

Last week we visited the Outdoor classroom for the first time to study trees! Glorious trees! There are some beauties in our Outdoor classroom. The kids created their summer tree portraits by drawing a favorite tree. We will revisit our trees in each season, observe them and draw their portraits again. 

    
     
    
   

    
 

Space Learning Party

Last we met our Behavin’ Raven goal of 21 and today we celebrated with our first learning party! Behavin’ Ravens are small slips of paper teachers pass out when they notice students following our school rules: safe, respectful, learner. Our class has learning parties when we reach our goals as a fun way to do projects and learn about topics the kids are interested in. I love digressing from our normal curriculum and enriching our day to day with something special. 

Many of the kids are interested in space so that was the theme of our learning party today.

We began by watching a silly video of NASA  scientists sing and dancing. We read a variety of fiction and nonfiction books.

We created our own fictional solar system. 

    
 
The kids invented their own planets based on what we learned about the planets in our solar system.

Our name rockets soared to the sky and gave us good practice with counting, letters, and fine motor skills. 

 
We made a galaxy in a bottle with water, food coloring, and baby oil. We will keep it at our safe seat to use to help us calm down. 

 
We got super creative and used shapes to create our own silly aliens. What could life on other planets be like? 

   
The kids were very creative! All in all a very fun day!

Little Engineers 

What do you get when you put together yarn, straws, and pipe cleaners with a kindergarten ingenuity? Shapes! We have been learning the attributes of 2D shapes such as circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and hexagons. Our little engineers had quite the challenge in creating shapes on their own. It was fun to see them problem solve and persevere. It was neat to see their creative brains at work in an open ended activity in which the  “answer” wasn’t spelled out for them step by step. 

    
    
    
 

Breath+Movement

We are are cultivating our physical and mental strength through coordinated breath and movement. Basically we are using a very secular approach to yoga in which we concentrate on the movement and position of our whole bodies while systematically breathing slowly and deeply. We have learned the easy pose, mountain pose and volcano pose. 

  
 
We are also working on moving from pose to pose slowly and purposefully. The children are building focus and concentration skills. It is interesting how through breath and movement our class finds these little pockets of silence that are anything but empty. 

Here are the children using volcano pose to join hands and connect to each other physically and mentally. I wish you had been there-joy resonated all around us! 

    
 

Learning About Our Feelings

Tonight your child will bring home a feelings chart and a breathing strategies chart to share with you. We have been reading books about our feelings, practicing awareness of our feelings, and learning to use breathing to help us feel better. We also learned about using the safe seat or peace area to take a break when we need to.

 
Here are the kids decorating their charts to take home. 

   

What’s in a Name?

We have been exploring all things name related! We sing the “Whoo are you?” Song with our owl puppet to learn the names of each person in our class.

We practice writing our name. Right now we are focusing on making all letters sit on the line. As the year goes on we will focus on capital vs lower case letters and letter formation “the kindergarten way”. 

    
   
Today we cut out each letter in our name, counted each letter and recorded the numeral that matched the number of letter in our names. 

    
   
In the coming weeks we will continue our work with the letter in our names!

Self Portraits

Today we considered the idea that each person is unique and an important part of our class. We read Tacky the Penguin, a story in which the “odd bird” saves the day in the end. The story emphasizes the importance of being yourself and making your own choices. In the end each penguin is appreciated!

After the story we made self portraits.  

    
 
Each portrait turned out as unique as the artist who created it! 

 

Empty = Possibility

When you first enter our classroom you may be struck by its emptiness. In fact, I hope you are. I hope adults are a little curious about what might adorn the walls in the future. I hope children feel as though there is room for  them in this open and calm space. Here is a post from last school year about setting up the classroom.  

    
     

This is a place for us all. One teacher, many children and their families. Let’s fill the space together with our thoughts, questions, discoveries, kindness, laughter and smiles.

It will be beautiful. It will be uniquely us.