Thursday, March 24, 2016

Learning about our Sense of smell

Learning about the 5 senses is a lot of fun in Kindergarten.  Today we learned about the nose and looked at a variety of animal noses.  We talked about how our sense of smell triggers memories and helps us make connections between what we are smelling and something we may have experienced in the past.  

Today, we smelled 6 different scents.  Each person smelled the canister and then had think time without input from their peers to think about what they smelled.  After everyone smelled the canister we shared our ideas and tried to decide what we smelled.  Many groups passed the canister around again to see if they wanted to revise their prediction.  As a whole group we checked our ideas and giggled at our predictions!  

Building Number Sense with a 120 Chart

Students explored 10s and 1s on the 120 chart by choosing a starting number, rolling a dice and then figuring out the direction to moved based on what the dice said.  +10, +1, -10, -1
This is a tough concept to efficiently maneuver a 120 chart but it was lots of fun.  In time, students will make the connection that moving up and down on the chart is changing the number by 10 and moving left to right is how to move by 1s.  

Wrapping up March with Rainbows

In March,  we have learned about rainbows, weather, and rhyming.   Today we finished our unit by making rainbows and sharing our favorite colors by filling in a rainbow rhyme.  We talked about learning the colors of the rainbow by using the mnemonic device (ROY G BIV). We studied the weather data we collected from the month and we decided that this year, March did not come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  Our data showed March is just a lion!  

Mystery Reader #13

Mrs. Flowers was mystery reader number 13.  She shared a favorite called Jamberry.  The students loved hearing this story and making connections about times they picked berries.  There were many stories about students eating more berries then they took home while berry picking with their families.  There were plenty of giggles!  The students loved that this book allowed them the opportunity to practice "Spinny the Spider," and make connections to what they are reading.

Phonics Fun with Our Readers

Students partner read their phonics readers and share their favorite Seth stories.  Everyday, we read a new story students have the opportunity to read independently, with a partner and with Mrs. Walter if they choose.  Below you can see peers coaching their partners but not giving them the word, students tap out the sounds to solve an unknown word and students read chorally to work on fluency.  Reading our phonics readers allows an opportunity for every child to use their phonics skills in an non isolated situation.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mystery Reader #12

Mystery Reader #12 was Mrs. Houghton.  She introduced us to new characters in a series called Sweet Pickles.  Mrs. Houghton read us The Great Race.  The students LOVED these silly characters. 

Egg-citing Word Fun

Thank you Mrs. Shuff for making us this fun activity to practice our phonics skills.  Word family eggs are a hit in Kindergarten. 

Mystery Reader #11

Mystery Reader number 11 was Grandma Diane.  Kelsey's grandma joined us and read Miss Polly Has a Dolly.  We loved this book that Grandma Diane has shared with all of her grandchildren and we even got to practice the poem that goes with the book.  Thank you Grandma Diane for the fun activity and the poem copy for our classroom. 

Guest author: Michael Dilorenzo

Monday Michael Dilorenzo, visited Westwoods Kindergarten.  He shared his love for writing, revising and passion for the outdoors.  The students were energized by his message:  you can write about anything you love and make your own books.  We talked about how we are authors everyday in Writing Workshop and one day one or us or many of us could be published too!  He signed the books the students ordered and shook all of their hands!  

Thank you to the generous family who donated the complete set of three to our classroom, we cannot wait to read them.

Revisiting 10s and 1s

Students are learning a variety of ways to represent numbers.  We are working on visualizing numbers in our heads and moving beyond the numeral.  I might say visualize 42, can you think of a way to represent 44 other than a 4 and a 4?  We are working towards seeing base 10, (4 tens and 4 ones) or 4 full tens frames and another that has 4 more. Here students used a blank 100s chart to share their ideas. 

These students all had the same idea but they did not look the same on the 100s chart.  The discussion of: Who is right?  Can more than one person be right if these do not look the same?  What does that tell us?  

It was a great day of making connections and shaping our thinking by using our peers to talk with, problem solve and challenge.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What's Missing?

As part of our science unit on the 5 Senses, we explored our eyes today by playing a game called what is missing.  We looked at a tray of objects, talked about what they were and then everyone closed their eyes and one student removed an object.  The other students had to guess which object was missing.  This task was not difficult but became slightly more challenging as we removed more objects at a time.  This was a great introduction to sight and how the 5 Senses impact our memory!  

Mystery Reader #10

Mrs. Wilson joined us as Mystery Reader #10.  She shared a book by a local author called The Runaway Garden.  This was a book that Hunter was read before he even arrived in this world.  Mrs. Wilson shared the reason she chose the book and it lead to a great discussion during reading time about why readers choose the books.  Thank you for sharing one of your favorites with us!  

Mystery Reader #9

Mystery Reader #9 was a familiar face to Westwoods, former principal and current Associate Superintendent, Sander Scott.  The kids loved warming up their mouths for his book of tongue twisters, trying out those silly sayings and learning about alliteration.  They LOVED hearing one of their favorites Fox in Socks.  Thank you Mr. Scott for taking the time to share your favorite with our classroom.  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mystery Reader # 8 Superintendent Soma

Mr. Soma was Mystery Reader #8.  He came out to Westwoods to meet our fabulous kindergarten students and read a non-fiction book.  What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? was a great book that the students loved hearing.  We all learned many new facts about animals and their tails.  A huge thank you for Mr. Soma for taking time out of his day to share in our Mystery Reading experience here in the classroom.  

Science introduction

Students sat and quietly listening to Mrs. Walter behind a box.  She poured something, a humming sound began...

As students discovered what they were hearing, they were asked to record their ideas on a white board.  

Pop!  Pop!  Pop, pop, pop!

The markers were just going as fast as they could to record their thinking about what they were hearing and now smelling.  

We asked the students to talk at their tables about what they thought they were going to learn about in Science.  The conversation was awesome.  Students were sharing their ideas and giving evidence for their thinking.  

We then talked about how popcorn is a great tool to teach students about the 5 senses and we brainstormed all of the things we could do to better understand popcorn.

  • Hear it pop or crunch when we chew
  • Smell is cook
  • Feel it in our hands
  • Look at it with our eyes
  • Taste it with our mouths

They loved this introduction to the 5 senses, what fun in kindergarten today!

Eating a Rainbow

Today we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by eating a rainbow of healthy foods.  The students enjoyed strawberries, raspberries, red peppers, oranges, carrots, bananas, melon, grapes, broccoli, cucumbers, blueberries, purple grapes, and blackberries.  Thank you to everyone who donated items for students to try!  Many students tried something new and a few even liked what they tried.