Wednesday, November 23, 2016

We are thankful!

During our short week before Thanksgiving break, we learned a lot about what it means to be thankful. Yesterday, we had an all-school assembly to celebrate being thankful. Each class was responsible for writing out one letter of a greater message from the entire school. We were in charge of the letter "L," so we brainstormed a list and each classmate wrote one thing they are thankful for that starts with the letter L. My favorite was "lalala," which meant singing :)

We also read The Thankful Book by Todd Parr and made our own version! I loved seeing what each student wrote. At least one student wrote an entire book focused on foods they were thankful for. :) Many also listed family members, friends, and things in nature!

Next, we did an open-ended art project making turkeys. I gave ideas and examples for how to make a turkey, and then the kids got to choose how they made theirs. They turned out great!

Last, we normally end our day with Closing Circle, in which students take turns sharing a "thank you" for the day. I ask them to think of something they are thankful for from that day - an act of kindness from a friend, a favor someone did for them, something they appreciated. They then thank the person (or people) involved, and that person replies with "You're welcome." Doing "thank yous" has become a great ritual to end our day with, so this Thanksgiving week I wanted to share my own thank yous! I am very grateful for such a wonderful class of kindergarteners!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Writer's Workshop: stories about our lives

We finished our first Writer's Workshop unit last week! The kids learned a lot in this first foray into writing, including how to think of a topic for a story (in this unit we emphasized personal narratives, or true stories about our lives), draw illustrations, and then write words to describe what happened. They each wrote 6-10 pieces, and then chose their favorite to "publish." Publishing means editing, coloring the pictures, choosing a title, and making a cover page.

This is a big job for a kindergartener, and the kids did great! Here are some pictures of them during the writing process. When they finished, our reading buddies (a 4th grade class) came to listen to them read their published works!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Learning about leaves

We've been studying what happens in the fall, and one major event is the changing (and falling) of leaves! We've read lots of books about leaves, including Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza Sohi. Inspired by these books, we went on a leaf hunt to collect leaves for leaf art. The kids had so much fun, and made some great art which we hung at the science table.