• A Very Busy Two Weeks

Our work with force and motion is teaching us some skills that we can use across the curriculum.  These skills involve generating steps to solve a problem, testing how your steps work, and then being flexible enough to revise when it does not.  Perseverence runs through everything that we do.

Learning to Code Using Beebots

Learning to code directions are a part of our work with motion.  We are so lucky to have access to Beebots.  These are programmable little bees that allow us to continuously create and code directions.  We work with partners to learn how to listen to new ideas and solve problems as a team.

After working with just the Beebots, we created "plows" using some of our class makerspace materials.  Pushing and pulling are major concepts in our science unit.   (Spoiler alert:  complicated plows aren't always the best way to push.)

Marbles!

We learned how to play marbles using foam and rubber balls.  This game teaches us that a collision will make an object change direction.  If the force that you use has a magnitude that is not too strong or gentle, then the balls that roll out of the box are taken.  (The actual game of marbles is played in a circle, but this is a challenge on a carpet using masking tape.). The person who collects the most marbles wins.

We are using our sentence writing skills in science.  The process is the same as in writing:  think about something that happened, draw what you did, and write about it.  Make sure to reread and revise or add new details if necessary.

Using Our Phonics Skills

We used our snap words for a snap word hunt.  We found them on charts, in books, and basket labels.  We also found snap words that were used as word chunks ("and" is part of "hand') or had inflected endings (going is still go, but has an "ing" added).

We also practiced spelling words that make our writing interesting.  Although we often use snap words, using more exact words can help our readers get an even better picture of our story.  For example, changing the word "rain" to" thunderstorm" gives a whole new picture for an audience.  For these big words, we spell them in syllables by clapping each part as we write.

With all of our rereading, we are starting to use expression, inflection, and punctuation as we read.  The group on the left was very interested in the dramatic reading of this KT friend.  We are also learning to use extra strength book talk power.  This is when we talk about the books we love the most by sharing titles, what happened, favorite parts, surprises, and new things we've learned.  This super power is natural for kindergarten children who love to talk about their favorite books.

Numbers to Twenty

We are learning to represent numbers to twenty in a variety of ways.  We want to name, write, and put them in order.  We also want to be able to count, make groups, and begin to think about tens and ones.   Using our fingers is an important way to represent numbers because they can be used anywhere.   It is interesting to see that not everyone counts on their fingers in the same way.

We used number cards to read, count, and find the ten.  We are starting to make predictions about how many will be outside of the ten (the ten has a rubberband around it), but this concept takes a great deal of hands on practice before children can really own it.

We also used stickers to count, circle ten, and figure out how many were outside of the ten.

Hundredth Day Projects

Our hundredth day projects are rolling in and the children are presenting them to our class.  (The light saber makes an excellent pointer for kindergarten presentations.  I know that it's the bad guy light saber - this was an uninformed purchase that has been pointed out to me MANY times.). The audience is making helpful comments and asking some very thoughtful questions for the presenters.

Our class is making a group hundredth day project about ways to feel peaceful.  We have easily come up with one hundred things that make us feel peaceful.  We universally agree that ice cream brings us peace, but friends, mom, dad, and grandparents do, too.  We are adding hearts to the things that we can do right in school to feel peaceful like building with blocks, going to music, or having snack with friends.

Leaning On Each Other for Writing

We are thinking about ways to help one another in writing.  Some of the ways involve helping others to concentrate.  Other ideas are with mechanics like how to spell a word or where to find a snap word.  The last category is help with ideas.  This means that we listen, talk, and try to make helpful suggestions.  The group on the bottom right is always there to help each other - this photo is a celebration of their great teamwork.

New writing partner selfies...no explanation needed.

Stay tuned next week for the hundredth day of school!