Sunday, February 26, 2017

Celebrating our differences

A big part of our social studies curriculum in kindergarten is learning about who we are as individuals and members of a community. All year long we will do different activities that help us explore how each person is unique. Here are some glimpses into what we have done in the past few weeks,

We started with a discussion about how each of us are different in many ways. We read several books on the topic, including It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr, which has simple drawings that depict different features of people and animals. 

Then we started a discussion about our skin color. Several of our books taught us that while skin is often called "black" or "white," we are actually all various shades of brown. We read and talked about how our skin pigment comes from the amount of melanin we were born with, as well as who are biological parents and ancestors are.

We looked at paint chip samples in all shades of brown, and picked out ones that were closest to our skin shade. Then we put together pictures of ourselves that displayed our skin color's name (such as tan, cocoa, etc).

It was fun to compare and notice how many different shades make up our classroom community.

We also read a book about how everyone's hair can be different, and compared ours to other people's. I took pictures of the students' faces and hair, and we made it into a game they can play, matching the hair picture to the appropriate classmate!

We also made self portraits during station time, using skin and eye color crayons and yarn for hair.

Our school celebrated Black History Month, and we learned about several African American figures in history who contributed to fighting for fairness and human rights for all. We got to read and present to the school about Sojourner Truth! Here is the poster we made:

Last, we had a "thinking circle" about a quote that I hung up in the classroom. I was amazed and humbled to hear the insight that these kindergarteners had on this complex quote. If you have a chance, ask your child what it makes them think about!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

100th day of school & Valentine's Day... all in one week!

Believe it or not this week we celebrated the 100th day of school! We got to make a 100-item trail mix, make 100 Day crowns, do a 100 day puzzle, write about what we wish we could have 100 of, and draw all of our friends that we've been with since the first day of school. Here are some pictures!

Then the very next day we got to celebrate Valentine's Day! We made our own Valentine's Day bags, then shared our cards and candy with each other. We also wrote about what fills our hearts, and graphed candy hearts according to color. What a fun day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A day in the life of a kindergartener

I take so many photos each day that I don't always have a chance to share them here, so I thought I would post a few random pictures from the past month or so! Think of it as a day in the life of a kindergartener :)

Ice skating on the playground at recess! 
Making puppets at the art center
An angry puppet?
Spelling words at the new magnet letter center
Solving story problems in our math journals
Spelling names!
Reading books at Ms. Woods' table
Using reading strategies such as pointing to each word!
Building with blocks at Choice Time

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Studying natural resources

One of our kindergarten science units focuses on Wood & Paper - natural resources that we use every day in school. After we learned the term "natural resources," we began to study wood the way scientists do.

First, we read books about where wood products come from, and looked closely at samples of wood, comparing the various types. We wrote what we observed in our wood journals.

Next, we went on a hunt around the classroom for products that are made out of wood. Turns out there are quite a few around here (including a teacher with the word in her last least a half dozen kids put a "wood" sticker on me...)

On another day, we went for a wood hunt around the school, and even out in the school forest!

Then we recorded what we found.

Here is our new "touching table," which one of our parents made by hand for the classroom! On the table right now are samples of wood and other products that come from trees (nuts, birchbark, etc) and a loupe for looking closely. 

We are taking a break from our wood unit for a few weeks, to pursue our social studies unit on celebrating diversity - but we will pick up where we left off before the end of the month!