Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All About Dogs

The first couple of weeks of school we talked about our pets.  The children were invited to bring photos of their pets to class to be displayed in our classroom this year.  I just love to give the children opportunities to have ownership of what we are studying in school.

We also did a "Follow" the Directions " activity during our pet unit.  Using the document camera and the Promethean Board, I would draw something and then the children would copy it.

 I did not tell them what we were drawing.  I wanted them to discover what it was during the process.  And the finished project was a dog!

  Each child told me something about dogs.  I typed it and attached it to their drawings.

 These are displayed on one of our bulliten boards in the hall along with a great poster from The American Kennel Club.  It is such an adorable display of dogs.  Drop by and see them when you are at school.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dr. Richardson, Visits Our Class

Dr. Richardson came by our class this week for a visit with the children.  This is always such a treat for the children.  He talks to the children and teaches a science lesson.  but the most important thing about his lesson is that it is tied into THE GOLDEN RULE.

This year Dr. Richardson talked to the children about energy and electricity.  He used an "energy ball" to dimiinstrate the lesson.  It was so much fun because ALL the children got to participate in the "experiement".

I do believe this was the highlight of our week!!   Oh, and by the way, Dr. Richardson said you can purchase an Energy Ball just like his at Amazon for around $8.00.  You can then have some scientific fun at home! 

A Great Second Week

We have been in school 12 days, and oh how great they have been.  The chikdren are beginning to get to know each other and develop friendships.  It is so fun to watch how they socialize with each other and how the different personalities play  out.

Writing in journals is a quiet time in our class.  To help stay on task, and do good writing, the children work in their offices.  The officies not only provide a quiet place to work, but they also provide the children with many good writing tools.

The children enjoyed the large floor puzzles about pets.  It is always fun to watch their recation to completeing a large puzzle.  They want eveyone to "come and see".  Success is so much fun!

Oh, and did you notice our new rug?  It was delivered this week and we are soooooo glad to have it. 

And who doesn't like the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambalt, with adorable illustrations by Lois Elhert.

There are so many lessons in this book.  A lot of people think of this book as an "alphabet book", which it is.  But oh, it is so much more.  There are science lessons involving living and  non living things, weight, climate, and the effects of a full moon.  There are great character and life lessons involving taking care of others and showing love and respect.  And there are math lessons about shapes, sizes, and counting, among a few.    We made our own trees after reading the book.  Take a look at what we did.

To help the children with their writing, I wrote their names in pencil and asked them to trace over the pencil lines with their choice of markers.  But I asked them to write the numbers by themselves. It was such a fun activity.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our First Graph

We did our very first graph today.  We used this poster of cats to retrieve our information.
Because this was our first we did the activity as a whole class. It was a very good listen and follow direction activity.
here is a close up of the finished graph.

Calico Cats

Today we read the book Counting on Calico.

this is a wonderful counting book from 1-20. It is  about the characteristics  of cats.  One of the most interesting things we learned is that all calico cats are female.  We also learned that the word calico is the name of a fabric made in Calico India.  The fabric has many tiny flowers on it and come s in many colors.  After reading and discussing the book, we made these beautiful calico cats.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Each day we work in various centers.  It is a wonderful opportunity for the children to use their cooperative  learning skills, use good time management, and experience many and varied ways of learning.  Below are just a few examples of some of our center activities here at the beginning of the year.

Monday, August 15, 2011

There is so Much to Learn From Our Calendar.

It is a new school year and I am so excited to get to know all the children and watch them grow and learn.  We have a meeting every morning in front of our calendar board.  This is a focal point of our classroom because so much learning goes on involving our calendar board.

Each day the children answer a Yes/No question.  This is a great activity because there is no right or wrong answer.  It is also a good way to begin teaching simple graphs to children.  Some examples of questions might be,  "Are you wearing anything red today",  Did you brush your teeth this morning", and "Do you like carrots".  I place the clips with their names on the appropriate side of the graph. After each child has answered the question, we count the answers on both sides.  This gives the children a good feel for more and less.  

 We also do a weather journal every day.  The example of the journal is also a part of the calendar board.  Some other skills we hit on are odd and even numbers, and place value.

We discuss time, money, and do many forms of counting, even counting backward To see how many days we have left in the school year.  One of the first discussions we have about time is identifying "yesterday, today and tomorrow".  

We love working with tally marks in kindergarten.  This concept is first introduced on our calendar board.  We will do many activities throughout the year that involve using tally marks.

We also learn a poem about each month of the year.  This is the poem for August.  It is also a song to the tune of "Bingo".