Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pinwheels For Peace

Today we joined the rest of the students at Academy School in celebrating Peace Day.  We create these pinwheels to line our school walkway to represent our feelings about peace.  We talked about what the word "peace" means to us...of course in the very simplest of terms.  We decided that peace means calm and that is what our hope is for the world...for things to be calm.


Fairy House STEM project

This week our STEM (science, technology, engineering, math time) has been devoted to making fairy houses.  Using the knowledge that they gained from interviewing a builder and research we have done on the internet, we went out into the forest to create a fairy house that would protect a fairy and keep predators out.  Here are some pictures from day one of building...

Observing animals in nature

A Visit From Bob the Builder

Bob Simeon, from the Brattleboro Career Center, came to talk to use about how to build homes.  He talked to us about the importance of starting with a strong floor and a frame.  We discussed about how each part of the house has an important job in keeping people sheltered and safe.  He helped give us some great ideas for our fairy houses.

Snapping Turtle

Yesterday on my walk I found a baby snapping turtle.  We brought him indoors for a very short time so that the students could observe him and then  put him right back in the environment.  We looked up some information about snapping turtles and talked about his "defenses". We learned that he may grow to be 600lbs and could live 150 years! It was a great learning opportunity!

Testing Out Our Shade Structures

Last Friday we went outside and tested our shade structures. We used thermometers to check the temperature inside our structures and outside on the pavement. We found out their our monsters would stay cooler in the shade. It was a great learning experience!

Learning About Sun and Shade

As part of our science curriculum this year, we will be using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to address specific topics.  Last week we took a few days to learn about weather and climate.   We talked about the sun (where it is, what it is made up of, etc.) and most importantly that the sun is VERY HOT!  The idea of using shade to help keep us cool came up during our discussion. One of the standards we are working on is K-PS3-2: Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.  The assignment was to build a shade structure so their monster can still play outdoors, but not be in direct sunlight.

Star Of The Day

Star of the Day"!!!   This person is treated like a star for the day.  We interview the star to find out how old they are, what they like to eat, their favorite color and to find out something that they like to play.  This person gets to wear a star necklace and be the line leader for the whole day.  The other part of being the star is that we focus on that student's name.  We look at how many letters are in their name, what letter is in the beginning, what is at the end and we try to name other objects that start with the same letter sound.  We also sing to the star (to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle little star"): "Special, special, special star.  How we wonder who you are. ___________ are you here today? Stand up tall and then we'll say.....welcome, welcome special star we're so glad your who you are!"  The most fun is when we cheer that child's name as loud as we can! This is a great activity for the beginning of the year to get to know each student and for literacy awareness.  The kids are excited to see who will be the next STAR!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Maple Tree Through The Seasons

Today we went out into our school garden to look at the great maple tree that we are observing over the course of the year.  We can actually see this tree from our classroom window. We did our observational picture today.  We have been spending lots of time talking about things we wear and do during summertime.

Our Beautiful Reading Tree

My husband created this beautiful "reading tree" based on one that I had seen at the Rhode Island Flower Show.  I just love how it came out!  Since the Kindergarten curriculum is built around the seasons, we will take the opportunity to change the way the tree looks based on our observations from outdoors.  As an added bonus, the children are able to take books to read and sit under this beautiful tree creating a cozy, reading spot.

Choice time Fun!

Every day we have a half an hour block of time called Choice Time.  During this time, the Kindergarteners are given many different opportunities to have fun, but also to practice some of their new skills.

Learning To Use Our Materials

One day at the beginning of the year, we learned how to use our materials safely and correctly.  We have had lots of fun practicing our new skills!