We are closing in on our final weeks of Kindergarten, and I just cannot believe how far these little ones have come! We have been busy recently, integrating several subjects with an exciting project where we are researching and creating a book about an animal of each individual's choice. Our science unit focusing on animals has taught us what an animal needs, and how they use their environments to meet their needs. We have been researching our animals using the PebbleGo website, which is a fabulous resource where students can read and/or listen to the text being read to them about many topics. As we researched our animal, we took notes and drew pictures on our research sheet for each of the following categories: body, habitat, air, water, food, and fun facts.
It was also exciting to see a live example of this outside our window, in the courtyard! Dryden's faithful Gertrude the Duck returns every spring to lay her eggs and hatch her babies in the safety of the courtyard. Once she's ready to relocate, she leads her ducklings through the building and out the doors under the watchful eyes of Mrs. Beane, Mr. Bob, and Mr. Hausler, who provide a safe escort for her across Central to The Moorings. We loved watching her and her babies right outside our windows!
We have wrapped up our Reading Workshop instruction on poetry, and used poems to practice comprehension skills that apply to all types of text. We identified words and phrases that jump out at us and help us make mental images, and worked together to figure out unfamiliar words by using pictures, thinking about what was happening in the poem, trying a different word in it's place to see if it makes sense, and using words that come before and after the tricky word as clues. We also revisited the idea of making connections as we read, and identifying the big idea or message that the author or poet wanted to communicate.
After some fun practice with rhyming words, we created our own raindrop poems modeled after the poem, "Raindrops". I loved seeing the creative ideas everyone came up with for this exercise.
In math, we have been focusing on counting on and counting back, and solving number stories such as "How many more bees are there than ladybugs?" or "How many fewer ants are there than butterflies?", and have been using our fingers to help us count up and back. Those have helped us to construct and show number facts to 10, as well as leading us into composing and decomposing numbers to 20. We have been using cubes and ten frames to help us illustrate which pairs make up a given number.
One exciting rite of passage we participated in was our practice lunch! It was so exciting to eat like the older kids do in the lunchroom. We learned how to go through the line, make our selections, and find a seat in the lunchroom, as well as how to seek help for opening items, and the cleanup routines. We are officially ready for first grade now! Hopefully it makes the lunchroom a less intimidating place to be that first week of school, now that we know how it all works!
Looking forward to the exciting final days of Kindergarten! We are having so much fun as we are wrapping up the year!