Monday, November 29, 2010

The Early Bird Gets The Worm

Our saying for this month is "The Early Bird Gets the Worm". I was impressed that many of my kindys understood this saying. I used Black Friday as an example! I read this cute book- I LOVE Richard Scary- The Early Bird to help the kids remember the saying. They also drew a picture of either a bird getting a worm OR a picture that reminds them of when they got up - didn't "laze" around- and got a "worm" - prize or reward.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

C is for Corn

We learned that Squanto helped teach the Pilgrims how to grow corn by planting seeds with a fish. It improved the soil and helped the crops grow. We also learned the parts of corn, how it grows, and some of the products it is used in. We read From Kernel to Corn and watched this interactive informational video all about corn! We made our own corn by dot painting with q-tips and we ate popcorn for snack!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Little Red Hen

During our study of Farms we read many versions of The Little Red Hen. My favorite is, The Little Red Hen by Barry Downard. The pictures in this book are hilarious! We also had a special visitor! The kindergarten teacher down the hall borrowed a Little Red Hen from a farm! We enjoyed observing her in the classroom. We completed this sequencing activity to end our lesson.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Love, The Lewis Family

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

M&M Math

So, I was going to do an experiment involving chromatography and M&Ms. I found a great description online and I even asked my students to give up their Halloween M&Ms for the cause! Well, I tried the experiment- nothing happened. I tried the experiment the next day with a different blotting paper- nothing happened. Then, I pouted, stressed, and scoured the internet to find out what I was doing wrong! Well, I gave up after I found out that M&Ms changed their formula and took out color additives that made the chromatography work. Then I ignored the looming science fair deadline, considered just doing what I did last year (I already had the board!) and moaned my dilemma to my husband. I decided to deal with the change, use magic markers, get the experiment and board done, and get rid of this headache! My experiment was a success. My class learned really big words (5th grade words!) and we had a great showing in the science fair. BUT- I had M&Ms... lots of M&Ms to get rid of. So, I surprised my sprouts at math time! We sorted the M&Ms and counted parts/whole.. since we are getting ready to add. They enjoyed the edible manipulatives much more then the red and yellow counters we usually use.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pow Wow!

We had a wonderful and BUSY morning. All of the kindergarten classes rotated through the classrooms to make their Pow Wow costume. They wrote Native American symbols on their shirts, strung beads on the fringe, made headbands with paper feathers, and strung pasta necklaces. We ended the morning by singing 4 November, Thanksgiving, Native American songs in the cafeteria. Everyone enjoyed the cafeteria's Thanksgiving lunch (or corn dog!). I am so thankful to have such supporting classroom parents who made today possible! THANK YOU for all of the help!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

T is for Thankful

We have been reading and talking about why we celebrate Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful. Today made these place mats. A few snuck into backpacks before I got to snap a photo. Check your child's backpack tonight!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

W is for Wampanoag

We have been learning about the Wampanoags and the First Thanksgiving. In kindergarten we are heavy on the Native Americans and light on the Pilgrims since they are studied in more depth in older grades. I have a great book, The Wampanoags and The First Thanksgiving by Everyday Learning Corporation. It shows in detail the lives of the tribe in easy to understand kindergarten language. The pictures are clear and very detailed. I am lucky to have this resource since so many of the books about the topics I teach in Core Knowledge are way above my grade levels understanding. I asked my students to create their own scene between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

T is for Turkey

The Family Project for November was to decorate a turkey. I love how they turned out! I have some very creative families!

Friday, November 19, 2010

F is for Farm

For the last two weeks our unit in reading has been about the FARM. We have read several books about farms, our favorite has been Mrs. Wishy Washy's Farm. We read and acted out this story many times! Here is a peak at some of the activities that we did over the last two weeks!

We talked about APOSTROPHE S and what it does! We made our own farms adding an 's to our name. Then we cut out pictures of animals we would have on our farm.

We reviewed short i and read short i CVC words. We sorted words by short i and glued them on this worksheet. I got it here.

We sequenced the order of animals getting a scrub and colored by number.

I added a farm, farm books, and a farm puzzle to dramatic play.

Read Barnyard Banter and retold the story in Flannel Board Center.

Put together high frequency words and matched Mrs. Wishy Washy to the correct tub.

Built words from Mrs. Wishy Washy's Farm using letter tiles.

F is for Feather

Last week I was browsing in our school library for -new to me- library books about Native Americans and I found The Turkey Girl by Penny Pollock. This is a Native American "Cinderella" Folktale about a girl who tends to turkeys for a living. She has a dream to go to the Dance of the Sacred Bird, but cannot since she has nothing to wear. One day, one of the turkeys in her flock talks to her, offering to help. The turkeys magically dress and clean her to get her ready for the dance. She must keep one promise- to remember to come back to the turkeys before the sun goes down. Turkey Girl promises to come back and goes to the dance. The music and dancing excites her and she soon forgets about the promise. As the sun is setting she remembers and runs back to the flock. Her clothes return to rags and she is left with no job as the turkeys are gone. This has quiet a startling ending for my kindys. They are used to being read stories where the main characters learn a lesson but usually get a second chance and there is a happy ending. We talked about the importance of keeping a promise. We also compared The Turkey Girl to Cinderella. They were both orphans, poor, worked for wealthy people, talked to animals, had a boring job, were dirty, wore rags, wanted to go to a dance, magic helped them, they forgot their promise. One very different detail was Turkey Girl was not looking for a prince! I think they enjoyed the story. I will be sure to include this title to my lesson plans for next year. Since we have been learning Ff, I tied in F is for Feathers with this story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Funny From Today

Time can be a hard concept for my kindys. To explain just when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans had the first Thanksgiving I used Grandparents as an example. I started to say, Pilgrims sailed to America before your grandparents were born. One sprout quickly answered WOW! Before the Dinosaurs?! So... in case you were wondering.. Pilgrims came to America sometime between Dinosaurs walking the Earth and your Grandparents being born. One thing is for sure... there were no Wal-Marts, cars, or Wii games.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

S is for Science Project

I LOVE the experiments... I DON'T love the science board. This has kept me very busy this week. The good news is I am DONE!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Roll a Word

I use this activity during literacy centers. Go HERE to get it! There are a ton of great resources that go with the Harcourt Reading Curriculum.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

D is for Discovery Box

One of the centers in my rotation is the discovery box. It usually contains something related to the Core Knowledge theme or holiday. It is always "hands on" and open ended. At the beginning of the year it was full of foam letters and packing peanuts. In October I changed it to magnets. For November it is full of fall leaves, fake gourds, stencils for leaf rubbings, white paper, and fall colored crayons.

Friday, November 12, 2010

G is for Grass

Last week we studied Gg. Amelia and I had just been to the library and she picked out the book, In the Tall, Tall Grass. I thought it would be a great fit to our study. I read the book and we identified all of the rhyming words. We also discussed each critter in the tall grass. I wanted to use this idea to illustrate G for our ABC book. I had the kids draw and color the critters we read about on their G. Then, I gave each of them a strip of green construction paper and demonstrated how to make grass. We figured out where to place the grass and where to place the glue so we could pull the grass back to see their critters.