Our much anticipated end of the year JK party was a SPLASH! We had a great time swimming, playing in the water and eating yummy pizza!! What a great way to celebrate our JK year!
We even spotted some of the baby goslings!! While we were outside we also took a jar to collect a water sample of pond water to bring back and study. Before we collected the sample, we asked the girls what color they thought the water would be.
The water will be brown because the whole pond is brown. Elle May
I think it will green. Paige
It will be kinds clear. Ellis
It will have bugs in it. Aliyah
It will be yellowish. Nia
Once we returned to the classroom, we asked the girls about what they observed and what they had learned about ponds.
I loved the pretty fouintain at our pond. Mary Frances
I liked the gooses. Lucy
There are rocks around the pond to make an outline. Elle May
There are a lot of evergreen trees by the pond. Ellis
The Hutchison pond is a medium size pond. Its really pretty. Annie
The pond is a lot of animals homes and they need our pond to survive. Vera
I love to see the goslings with their mommies and daddies. Brooke
Our pond does not have salt water in it. Aliyah
The plants in the water give food to the animals. Ellen
We need to make sure we always pick up the trash in the pond to keep it clean. Frances
There are fish in the water. Jade
I like seeing the turtles in the pond. We have a medium size one here. Molly
The water sparkles when its sunny outside. Caroline
There are bubbles in the pond because of the fish. Paige
I saw the fishes in the pond and they kinda light up yellow. Nia
We decided to make a "Pond Journal" Book for the girls to write and draw about what they saw. Below are sample from their journals.
These girls are so intuitive, and we love their enthusiasm for learning! As always, we are thankful for the wonderful resources we have at Hutch, which enrich our learning every day!
ABC Center: The girls practiced sounding out and spelling the phonics spelling words from the past two weeks: cup, cab, run, pen, let, met, hop, rub, ten, rap. The girls did this by using the iPad whiteboard app and dry-erase boards. Then, they wrote the words on an iPad Spelling sheet. Please ask your daughter to sound out and spell the spelling words.
The girls continue to work on listening for, and writing, the middle sounds they hear in consonant-vowel-consonant words. This technique is important because the ability to segment each sound is essential in developing writing skills. In order to write or type words, students must be able to break the word down into its component sounds and select the letters that represent these sounds.
This competency is also fundamental in reading skill as well. Phoneme segmentation is an example of a phonological awareness skill.
Instruction in phonological awareness skills supports the acquisition of literacy skills. Students who have strong phonological awareness skills demonstrate better literacy skills
A few weeks ago, the girls were provided with an Everyday Math game called Creating 3-Dimensional Shapes. This game provided tactile experiences with 3-dimensional shapes. We first discussed the shapes that were “flat,” or 2-dimensional, such as circles, triangles, squares, and so on. When we made those shapes stand up, they became 3-dimensional shapes, such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, cones, and rectangular prisms. The girls were able to build, transform, and manipulate 3-D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks using fine motor. The girls created any shape they wanted.
How lucky we are to have such a rich and dynamic campus to use as our learning lab, right outside our classroom door. Our pond is going to be a powerful learning tool for us as we conclude our school year. We began discussing the topic by asking questions like:
What is a pond?
What type of wildlife do you find next to and in a pond?
What kind of water do ponds have?
What is the difference in fresh water and salt water?
These questions led to a long conversation about what they knew about animals and plants, which live in close proximity to ponds. We call this an ecosystem. The discussion also allowed us to delineate which animals and plants might live in other places, such as salt water ecosystems. The girls decided they wanted to illustrate some of the different things they would find in fresh water vs salt water. They first used pen and ink and then water colored their drawings. We are so excited to see where this topic takes us these next few weeks!
We set up the writing center at the light table for the next few weeks. We covered the table with laminating paper so that they would be able to use dry-erase markers to help create their stories. We also put out manipulatives like insects, bugs, lily-pads, rocks, jars, and wood pieces to enhance their stories. After creating and illustrating their story boards, the girls used their story notepads to actually write their stories. The girls love the chance to explore and create! The line is long for this center!
For young learners, science is just an extension of their, already experimental, everyday world. We don't have to teach young children how to wonder, discover, and explore through play, because they do it naturally!
All children can learn science and they should have the opportunity to become introduced to its processes and, hopefully, its wonderment all around them. In order to establish a foothold in such intellectual curiosity, we have introduced the girls to scientific processes and inquiry, so they may be exposed to the thrills of exploration and discovery at an early age.
In JK, each student has had the opportunities to be the "Scientist of the Week" and to present a simple experiment to their classmates. Through a weekly science activity, a love of science is cultivated. Please take a look at your little scientists in action!
I made rain and clouds. I used water and Ice. I put ice on top of the vase on a plate. Then it started raining into the vase from the plate. The cold ice covering the vase made a vapor that looked like clouds.
As we continue to talk about Spring, Earth, and all of natural living things we have to appreciate, the girls thought it would be a good idea to take a visit to the farm to see what has bloomed since the winter season. We talked as a group about things we might see at the farm, which were not out there during the winter months. The girls love taking farm trips to see what creatures, flowers, and plants are new and thriving. Ask your daughter how our farm helps our Earth!
“I bet there are a lot of bees drinking the nectar. We better stay away from them!” -Annie
“We might see a compost pile with the old food that we don’t want.” -Paige
“We are going to see carrots and they are healthy for us!” -Jade
“We will see spinach out there because the farm grows healthy stuff and that’s what salads are.” -Vera
"I can’t wait to eat the mint leaves. They taste like peppermints.” -Ellen
"I hope we get to pick carrots and tomatoes and eat them for dinner.” -Caroline
“You can put the old food in the dirt and make more dirt to plant the vegetables in.” -Frances
“The bugs are important because they like to help the plants grow.” -Mary Frances
“The farm is fun because we get to wear our boots.” -Lucy
“We have been waiting for the food to grow. We get to see the big pile of old food and make sure all the vegetables are clean!” -Aliyah
"I hope we can find vegetables and eat them. I want to eat tomatoes, broccoli and carrots.” -Brooke
“Windmill farms give us electricity and cow farms give us milk. The bees will be out at out farm so they can pollinate the plants and flowers.” -Ellis
“It’s important to have food at the farms because, if the grocery store runs out of food, you can go to the farm and get some food.” -Nia
"I am excited about getting really strong from the vegetables.” -Elle May
“We need to make sure all the trash is picked up at the farm because we don’t want to eat yucky food that is next to trash. That’s gross.” -Molly
The girls are working on medial sounds (Middle). They have picture cards to illustrate similar sounds, helping the girls work through different vowel sounds. Once they decide which vowels and sounds match, they then sound out the word and write it on the dry erase sheet.
The girls are also reading the weekly phonics book, The Bib, independently, and then re-reading to a friend. This is great practice for tracking print, spelling words, sight words, and blending sounds.
We have been talking a great deal about ordinal numbers and sequencing. Ordinal numbers are words representing position or rank in a sequential order. This is an introduction to understanding the order of things by size, importance, chronology, and so on. To solidify the girls’ understanding, they put picture cards of the life cycle of a flower in the correct order (1st-5th). They even drew the picture cards themselves and created the labels before gluing them on a paper strip!
Also, in the math center, we are creating puzzles and images with our geometric shapes. This is always an important review for our girls.
In the art center we continued our observations of the flowers we have found around our campus, such as Snap-dragons, daisies, and wildflowers. We used magnifying glasses to study the details of the flowers in order to make a pen and ink drawing. They then used water color to paint their flowers. We were so impressed with their attention to details!
We peddled for the children at St. Jude and raised over $14,000 this year and more than $120,000,00 over the last 13 years! What a great way to teach our Hutchison girls about giving back to the community and a passion for service to others! Thank you all for your support!
Spring has sprung at Hutchison and these JK honeybees are buzzing with talk of the changes we see here at school. We asked the girls a few questions about spring to see what they already knew and where this topic might take us.
We also had the girls draw pictures of what they thought spring looked like to them. Take a look at what is “blooming” in our classroom!
What does spring make you think of?
Spring make me think of flowers blooming. Paige
Spring makes me think of birds flying around. Frances
What changes do you notice in Spring?
The birds sing their lovely songs. Vera
The butterflies come out of cocoon. Elle may
It is sunny out. Lucy
The trees get pretty again. Jade
It’s more rainy so that things can grow. Aliyah
Sometimes you get to see rainbows. Ellen
What do you like about spring?
The pretty colorful flowers that are bloom. Mary Frances
Because the birds go back to places that are getting warmer. Ellen
I love spring because there is more food for the animals. Brooke
Because you get to see the caterpillars and butterflies come out. Ellis
The squirrels and the chipmunks come out from their homes. Caroline
When all the birds crack out their eggs. Nia
The earth is moving and the sun shines brighter at us and makes it warmer outside. Annie
Animals all come out and stop hibernating. Molly
I like to see all the animals eat in nature. Aliyah
I like that the days are getting longer because then you get to play more outside and at night you stay well rested. Vera
What does spring make you feel like?
It makes me feel happy because of the flowers growing in the trees. Molly
The pretty pink flowers make me happy. Lucy
It makes me happy because the sun is warm and it feels good. Nia
What do you like to do in the spring time?
I like to play outside because its my favorite place-Jade
I like to ride my bike with my sister-Paige
I like to plant fruit and vegetables in the springtime. Brooke
I like to pick flowers in our backyard. Ellen
Everyday Math was developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. Everyday Math is based on the idea that children build understanding and develop skills as a result of meaningful and connected learning experiences. Mastery of mathematics concepts and skills comes from repeated exposure and practice, not just after one lesson of teaching. This enables children to make new connections and build on the mathematical content they already know while gradually learning more difficult and challenging content. Think of this process as climbing a spiral staircase—with each twist of the stairs, the previous steps still can be seen but you are farther and higher.
To help the children develop mastery, you may notice that the mathematical content in this program is taught in a repeated fashion, first with informal exposure and ten through more formal and directed instruction.
The design of Everyday Mathematics allows your child to gain a more genuine understanding of mathematical concepts, a much more solid mathematical foundation, and exposure to the entire scope of mathematics.
In Junior Kindergarten Everyday is very age appropriate in that we teach these math skills through games. The girls do not even realize they are learning math. The games are always different and it is so exciting to see each student having fun and learning at the same time. Take a look at some of the games we played this week!
Child Bingo Game:
Teach children how to play a life-size version of bingo. Call children up one at a time to pick a number from the basket without looking. Each child read the number aloud and matches it to the number on the carpet; and then sits on that number. We continue playing as we make multiple bingos and everyone has had a turn.
-Key Concepts and Skills:
Associate number names with written numerals (5-20)
Use spatial reasoning to navigate a life-size Bingo grid and identify filled rows.
Counting Beyond Ten
Invite the child to close her eyes, pick a number from the bucket; and tell the class what number she drew. The girl who chose the card gets to choose how the group will count: for example, count and do 10 push-ups or count and do the twist. The girls repeat by choosing a different number until each girl has had a turn.
Key Math Concepts and Skills
Verbally count in sequence to numbers beyond 10.
Count movements with one-to-one correspondence.
Associate number names with written numerals for numbers beyond 10.
Count Down Game
Gather the class in a circle to play a counting version of Duck, Duck,Goose. The first girl who is picked goes around the circle and counts down from 10 until you get down to 1. Announce “Blast Off!” as you tap the next child’s head. That child gets up and takes a turn until everyone has gone.
Key Math Concepts and Skills
Say one count for each child when counting around the circle