Sunday, April 27, 2014

Animals animals everywhere!

This month brings lots of animals to our kindergarten classroom.

First, goldfish and guppies! We read lots of books on fish, both fiction and nonfiction. We learned about the parts of a fish, how they breathe, and where they live.

Then, more worms! After we studied worms and made a worm compost, we looked at the difference between red worms and nightcrawlers. We made Venn diagrams comparing and contrast earthworms and people as well.

And joining us next week will be baby chicks! Well, they're currently still eggs, and are expected to hatch late next week. We have begun studying chickens, and started our own chicken journal, in which we can record what we learn about chickens (such as their life cycle) and keep a countdown til the eggs hatch!

As we study more and more, we continue to add questions to our Wonder Wall as they arise. There isn't always time to answer all the questions that kindergarteners have, so a Wonder Wall is a great way to encourage more questions to be answered at a later time! Here are some of the most recent ones:

Practicing ways to make 10

One very important math concept for kindergarteners to master is what we call "ways to make 10." Since 10 is such an important number in our base-ten number system, we want kindergarteners to be comfortable with quickly adding any two numbers to make 10. Here's what the Common Core standards say that kindergarteners should be able to do by the time they enter first grade:
For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
 Since the end of the year is approaching, we have been doing lots of practice making 10! Here are some of the ways we have practiced, by making number bonds, counting the letters in our names, stamping with bingo dobbers, rolling playdough, and making caterpillars!

If you have time at home, ask your child if they can tell you any ways to make 10! You can also write down number sentences such as 10 = __ + __, or 9 + __ = 10, which is great practice for them.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fun at the Children's Museum

This week we went on our second field trip of the year, to the Children's Museum! Here are some pictures of the fun we had exploring.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Writers Workshop: "How to" books

We have been working on a new type of writing in our Writers Workshop, and after many weeks and much growth as writers, we finally published new books! This unit focused on writing informational books that teach the reader how to do something, so we called them "How to" books. Throughout the unit, we learned lots of strategies that writers use, such as editing, providing an exciting ending, and studying mentor texts to see what other authors. Here are the results of all our hard work!

How to Train My Puppy 
How to Make Rainbow Slime
How to Make Slime
How to Be Evil
How to Go Out for a Fire Drill
How to Make Chocolate
How to Go Down the Slide
How to Make Ink
How to Play
How to Go to Disney
Shooting Hoops
How to Color
How to Get Ready for Fish
How to Be at the Woods
How to Plant a Flower
How to Wash Your Hands
How to Get Ready for School
How to Play Mario on the Wii
How to Rest
As a special celebration of our publications, we went to another kindergarten class and read them our books!