Friday, February 28, 2020

Investigating science tools and color changes

We were lucky enough to have a special guest scientist come to our class this week, Ms. Melissa, who is also a parent in our school. She taught us how to use a science tool called a pipette, and we got to spend a long time investigating how to move water from one spot to another, including making drips and squirts. Then she gave us colored water and we made beautiful and innovative color creations in ice cube trays. This was an incredibly fun experience and I had multiple students tell me they wanted to do this every day. :) Sensory learning experiences are so important for early childhood learners (and older kids as well), and one of the best way to learn about scientific concepts is through hands-on investigations - and we were lucky enough to do both this week!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Math: measurement and more

We've been having lots of fun learning about measurement in math this month. We are mostly doing non-standard measurement, which means using objects such as cubes or hands to measure and compare (rather than a ruler). Below are some pictures of us measuring things around the classroom - the kids did a great job working in teams to measure some big items, including the rug! 

We've also been doing more independent math work at our tables, including dice roll and count games and teen number identification. 

And here we are making some beautiful snowflakes from pattern block shapes!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Valentine's Day & the 100th Day of School

Last Friday was both Valentine's Day and our 100th day of school! The 100th day celebration kind of got overshadowed by the excitement of Valentine's Day, but that's okay. We did a few fun activities to celebrate the great accomplishment of 100 days of kindergarten, including group mad-lib stories and 100 day hats. We also had a super fun Valentine's Day party, including treats, friendship bracelets, bingo, and card exchanges. Thanks to all the families who volunteered or provided treats for the class! Here are some pictures of the fun.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Garbage: A math game to play at home

One very important math concept for kindergarteners to learn is number order. We hope that they are able to place numbers on a number line, which looks something like this:

We also hope they master what's called "hierarchical inclusion," meaning that they know that numbers build by one at a time. For example, if I said "5," I hope they can see and understand that 5 is one more than 4, and one less than 6, and picture those numbers in order. We do lots of games and activities with number lines and counting to help them develop these understandings.

We also work a lot with what's called a "ten frame." Ten is the most important number in our Base 10 number system, so we spend a lot of time becoming familiar with it in kindergarten (and many grades after that as well). One way for kids to be comfortable with ten is to use a ten frame when we work with numbers. Here is a picture of a ten frame, which is essentially two rows of five boxes.

To represent a number, we fill in the boxes with the corresponding number of dots. Here is a ten frame for the number 6.

We do many games using ten frames at school, but I wanted to pass one along that can be done at home using a regular deck of cards! This game is called Garbage, and it's a great exercise for kids to become familiar with both ten frames and number order.

The game is somewhat complicated to explain in this short blog post, so instructions for how to play can be found here. But most likely, if you put a deck of cards in front of your kindergartener and ask them to teach you how to play Garbage, they'll be able to tell you with ease! We have been playing often, and the kids love it. (One thing to note: You may need to teach them that jacks, queens, and kings can be used as "10s." The decks of cards we play with at school are math cards, so they have numbers written on them instead of a regular card face.)

Here are some pictures of kindergarteners playing Garbage with their math partners! Ask your child if they can show you how to play!