Saturday, March 2, 2019

Classroom News

This will be a supersized blog post! We have so much to catch up on! Starting with the 100th day of school celebration! It's hard to believe we have already had 100 days of kindergarten. Highlights of our 100th day celebration included using dot markers to create a 100th day poster, counting to 100 by tens to make a gumball machine, playing Race to 100, writing about what we would buy with 100 dollars, and sharing our water bottle collections of 100 things. We were amazed by how different collections of 100 items could look, depending on what item was chosen. We had fun identifying which bottles were the heaviest, lightest, most full, and least full. 

Scan the QR code below to hear these boys compare their bottle collections!


As we wrapped up our shapes unit, we identified shapes in pictures and used shapes to make our own pictures! We read the book, The Shape of Things, and then made our own in the style of the book. I loved seeing their creativity shine through in these! Here are a few examples:

A diamond is just a diamond until you add a string, then it becomes a kite.

An oval is just an oval until you add ears and then it becomes a dog.

A circle is just a circle until you add a square, then it becomes a pizza.

A rectangle is just a rectangle until you add wheels, then it becomes a truck.

A circle is just a circle until you add ears and whiskers, then it becomes a cat.

Finally, we identified shape patterns, made our own shape patterns, and then practiced extending the patterns our partners made.

Next, we began Unit 8, which focuses on numbers to 100. There is a heavy emphasis on place value in this unit, as well as counting by 2s and 5s in addition to counting by 10s and 1s. This unit will develop and stretch our understanding of all two digit numbers.

We began with some exercises in organizing items by 5s and 10s to make counting large groups of objects easier. We also introduced tally marks and practiced using the rhyme below to help us remember when to cross the group of tallies:

Counting by 10s using our friends' fingers as a visual


During Reading Workshop, we continued our study of poetry by taking a closer look at literary devices. We read various poems and had such fun identifying examples of repetition, alliteration, and onomatopoeia! 

You may have noticed another pause in guided reading group meetings. We are in the process of reassessing all students as we near the end of the second trimester. I enjoy meeting individually with each child to see the growth they've made, but look forward to getting back to our regular guided reading schedule soon!

During writing workshop, we have been pushing ourselves to write more! Many students have found that if they go back and add something else to their picture, they may have another detail to add to their writing as well. We use the phrase, "add to the picture, add to the words!" to remind us to take this next step when we first think we are finished with our writing pieces.

Valentine's Day

We had a fantastic time celebrating Valentine's Day! We are so thankful for our amazing room reps, Mrs. Teich and Mrs. Miller, for coordinating our party, and our wonderful volunteers, Mr. Jimenez, Mrs. Strauss, Mrs. Cecola, and Mrs. Carlson for helping with our party. I think the students' favorite part was delivering their valentines to their sweet friends! Thank you for the sweet cards and thoughtful gestures. You all made my day that much sweeter!

Presidents' Day

In honor of Presidents' Day, we read a biography of George Washington and made our own portraits of him.


We have just started our science unit on motion, called Pushes & Pulls. We learned that various forms of motion have different speeds, directions, and paths. We went on a motion walk around our school to identify everyday examples of motion in the hallways. 

Water was dripping from the gutter outside, slowly dropping one at a time.

This branch was swaying slowly in the wind.

The second hand of the clock was moving steadily around the face of the clock.

The bottom parts of this string were swinging back and forth with the breeze we created as we walked by.

The water was shooting out of the drinking fountain when the button is pushed.

This birdhouse was swinging back and forth in the wind outside.

When we returned to the classroom, we chose one example from our motion walk and illustrated it using some of the techniques we have seen in the books we have been reading about motion! This includes lines trailing behind the object in motion, lines around the outside of the object to show side to side movement, or dotted lines showing the path of an object. Here are a few of our examples:

The food service ladies pushing the cart of food up the ramp in the front hallway.

The second hand of a clock moving in a circle.

The birdhouse swinging back and forth.

Last week, we devoted one morning to science centers! We explored motion by painting with marbles, straws, and cars. We made motion collages, where we identified pictures of motion in magazines and some students labeled the movements they saw in the pictures. We read the book, From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, and created a class book where each student wrote about a way we can move our bodies and illustrated it. Finally, we explored forces of motion and how different types of surfaces can impact pushes and pulls by creating more or less friction. We made predictions and tried different ramps and cars to test our hypotheses. We were lucky to have Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Basa join us to help manage these centers- we could not have done it without them!

All About Me Week

Last week, we were happy to learn more about Ankith! He shared his favorite superhero, Ironman, a Lego car that he built, and a tennis ball because he likes tennis. We already knew that Ankith loves robots, so it made sense when we learned that his favorite movie is The Giant King!

 Ankith also shared adorable photos of himself when he was little, and pictures of his beautiful family!

 Ankith's mom joined us to read the book, Robot Zot! We were excited to hear many examples of onomatopoeia in this book, like we had been discussing in Reading Workshop!

 Dr. Seuss's Birthday

We marked Dr. Seuss's birthday with a special Cat in the Hat project to celebrate the rhyming practice we have done this week!

The students had also filled their class behavior board a couple of weeks ago, and they voted for a scavenger hunt for their reward. We were surprised on Friday by some clues that the Cat in the Hat left around the school for us! It was a fun way to end our week and celebrate the great choices we have been making as a class!

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