I am sure last week your house became a bit noisier as your children came home with musical instruments they made at school. All last week we spent time exploring how sound was created and the different pitches sounds could make. We used tuning forks, rubber bands, cups of water, straws, toilet paper tubes, ping pong balls, our voice boxes and Boomwhackers to explore sound, We concluded that sound is created through vibrations and that it can travel. Ask your child about some of the neat experiments they did with sound.
Flexible Problem Solvers
In kindergarten, students are expected to solve addition and subtraction word problems within 10 using drawings or objects. Over the course of this year, we have explored many ways to find solutions to various word problems:
drawings counting acting it out counters
number sentence equations whole/part/part boxes
number lines 5 or 10 frames number bracelets
The kids have been working on solving one problem using as many of the above ways as they can. This work is helping the kids move from one tried and true method to being able to flexibly use multiple methods. This is not easy work, but the kids have not shied away from the task! It also helps us to get to the core of what your child truly understands regarding Number Sense, Addition and Subtraction. Often the answer to a problem is easy to find and they can do it mentally. That is great! As the students represent their solutions in the above ways, however, we can really see their thinking and where we need to support them in their problem solving work. We talk everyday about how mistakes help us learn and that we will all make mistakes on our path to understanding. Take a look at a chart we created together and some of our work.
Keiko Kasza and Mo Willems
The kids have really enjoyed reading books by Keiko Kasza and Mo Willems! Just before spring break we dug into Keiko's books and we noticed a lot of similarities between her stories. We think she must really like animals and food! Ask your child to tell you about her books and explain which was their favorite.
After returning from Spring Break, we took another look at a class favorite author, Mo Willems. Mo wrote Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the Piggie and Elephant series. So far, we have enjoyed the three books in the Knuffle Bunny series, Leonardo the Terrible Monster and the Cat the Cat series. Mo's books always make us giggle and we will continue to explore his stories as well as a biography about him.
Click on the pictures and it will take you to Mo Willems and Keiko Kasza's websites!
Polar Bears, Whales and Pixie
The kids worked together to make multipage book using Pixie about polar bears in Mrs Knostman's class and whales in Miss Scott's class. We worked on laptops in groups of two or three. They loved working with Pixie! They made title pages for their books, then did at least information pages that taught others about whales or polar bears and then put an ending. They created backgrounds that matched their words and then recorded their voices as well. Pixie is a wonderful program and app. I know it is a pretty pricey App, but it is a great open ended opportunity for the kids to create and write. When we were all done the students in Mrs. Knostman's and Miss Scott's class shared their books with each other to teach one another about whales and polar bears.
Polar Bear and Whale Plunge
As we read books and learned about whales and polar bears we learned that both mammals have something called blubber. To help us understand what blubber is we did an experiment where we had to put one hand in cold water without blubber and then the other hand in cold water with blubber around it. It was really neat to see how different our hands felt. It helped us to understand the importance of blubber for both whales and polar bears. Ask your child about what they learned!
The kids had fun thinking about which season is their favorite and then writing about why. They spent a lot of time thinking and writing about why they liked the season they did. It was fun to see all the different opinions about why kids like the season they do!
Counting & Comparing our 100 Day Collections
The kids have been having fun counting and comparing their 100 Day collections. Take a look at how they made it easy for others to quickly see that there were 100 items in their collection.
When comparing length, we discovered that we need to use the same number of items. We also need to begin at the same spot and make sure the pieces in our line are touching each other.
Comparing Weight & Recording our Findings
It was a lot of fun to use balance scales to compare the weight of our collections! Again, we made sure that we were comparing the same number of items. We also recorded the results of the comparisons.
Investigating 3D Shapes
We have been talking about the attributes of 3D shapes. We described a cube, cylinder, sphere, cone, rectangular prism, pyramid, and triangular prism. We also noticed where we see these shapes in our classroom and home. We experimented with how the shape moved on a ramp. We predicted how the shapes would move and why we thought that, and then tried it out. As we talked about 3D shapes we used new vocabulary to explain our thinking about how they would move. Ask your child to tell you about the faces or vertices of a particular 3D shape.
Valentine's Day Fun!
We are so appreciative of our room parents for organizing wonderful parties for all the kindergarten kids. Thanks also to the parents who were able to volunteer to run the party, send in supplies, and support kids at home as they completed their valentine cards.
Mrs. Knostman's AM & PM Classes
Miss Scott's AM & PM Classes
We had a lot of fun on the 100th day of Kindergarten! After reading the story The Wolf's Chicken Stew, we went on a hunt to find 100 chicks hiding in our classroom. As we collected the chicks we counted them by putting them in groups of 10 and the remaining 1's. We used an abacus to help us determine how many chicks still needed to be found.
We also collaborated together in small group of friends to build something with 100 plastic cups. This was tricky! Take a look at some of our work.
We had so much fun investigating different materials with which to build! On the first day, we worked with partners to make houses from paper. Then, on another day, we worked together to build houses from cardboard. We discovered many things about the materials we were using to build. In some ways we thought the paper was easier to work with, but the cardboard definitely made stronger houses. We had to persist in our work. It didn't always work out the way we first intended. We had to go back to the drawing board on many occasions. Our teachers wouldn't tell us how to make the house, so we had to really think and problem solve! We talked with other teams and learned from them. This collaboration was very helpful! Creating and innovating is GREat fun! Take a look at a few of our creations!
Run, run, run!
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We have been doing a lot of work composing and decomposing numbers from 0 to 5. This foundational understanding is very important to the children as they problem solve and it also supports them in learning basic addition and subtraction facts. We want the kids to be able to tell the parts that make up a number (5 can be 2 and 3, or 1 and 4 or...)
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We have heard from quite a few of you regarding marching in the Jerome Homecoming Parade on October 2nd. Please return the pink form whether you can or cannot participate. If you are marching, be sure to keep the pink form so that you have all the important information regarding times and places.
We are looking forward to seeing our kindergarten super heroes for this fun activity! Remember, you don't need to buy anything. Use what you have at home. Blankets and beach towels make perfect capes! Take a look at your super hero teachers!