A Look At Self-Portraits And the Stories They Tell
This week in the Writing Center we created end of the year portraits that we can pass along to our new kindergarten teachers. We did this same exercise at the beginning of the year during the first week of school. We asked the girls to look closely at themselves and create a portrait using only mirrors and crayons. On both occasions we asked them to sign their name. The growth is truly amazing, as the girls have developed a stronger attention to detail and strengthened fine motor as well.
In the Reading Center this week our girls explored different animals that live near ponds. They discovered how most of these animals first begin as an egg. The girls partner read and illustrated a reader called What Hatches. As they read through the story, they searched for a new sight word: of.
In the ABC Center this week we reviewed all of our sight words from the year. We added all new words to our sight word dictionary as well as recognizing, reading, and writing our sight words using a paint bag. This tactile experience was a fun way to reinforce sight words. As the girls read and wrote each word, they highlighted it on their record sheet until all had been accounted for.
A Study Looking Closly At Hutchison's Pond
We discovered the difference between
Fresh Water Black Pen Sketches
When I went to the beach the water tasted salty...but not all water tastes like that it's just the ocean water.
How does the pond make you feel?
I felt the sunshine shining at the pond.
I was in the shade. I felt the shade!
I felt the wind and the air moving.
I felt happy because the sun was shining.
I felt happy when I saw the baby goslings swimming. They were so cute and adorable.
The pond is so pretty to look at.
There are so many things that live in there.
Can we go back again and look for more things?
What did you hear at the pond?
I heard the geese go honk, honk, honk.
Yeah...and the ducks were like quack, quack, quack.
The baby goslings were quiet though because I don' think they know how to make that sound yet.
I heard the water moving...it sounded like whoosh, whoosh.
When I was really quiet I heard a turtle splashing and swimming.
What did you see at the pond?
I saw a turtle...
I saw a REALLY big fish! At first I thought it was a mermaid.
I thought it was a shark.
I saw a goose.
There were so many rocks around the pond. I think the rocks help the water stay in so the pond doesn't flood.
I saw the baby goslings. They were swimming in a line with their parents.
I saw Peanut Butter Puff Ball the duck!!
There was a big fountain in the middle.
I saw a house and lots of trees.
Shapes, shapes, they are everywhere...We all use shapes everyday! We use shapes as a way of sorting and even organizing daily. We use shapes so much that we may not even realize there importance and significance. During early childhood, children begin to make a connection between objects and their shapes. When children explore different shapes, they are already beginning to compare and contrast similar and different objects. This concept provides children a beginning foundation in observing, comparing and discussing all they see.
Throughout the year our girls have explored and discovered the importance of shapes in all that we do. During the first and second semester we have discovered the attributes for the following 2 dimensional shapes:
This week our mathematics focus has been an introduction and exploration in creating 3-dimensional shapes. We challenged our girls by providing tactile experiences with 3D shapes such as:
In small group, the girls were invited to use various toothpicks and marshmallows to build, manipulate, and create shapes. As they worked alongside their friends, conversation began immediately.
This is hard...
Mine keeps falling.
How did you get it to stay up?
You have to add more toothpicks.
It has to be stronger at the bottom or it falls down...
Look mine looks like an ice cream cone!!
Mine is a house but it has a flat roof.
Mine has so many shapes.
As the girls continued working they were tested in perseverance. Many had to experience trial and error, success and failure as their structure fell or help strong.
This project was a wonderful extension of our ongoing shape study and proved to be a strong introduction to 3-dimensional shapes. Follow the slideshow to see how math and art collided into one amazingly creative project!
This week in the Math Center we celebrated the number 30! We immediately noticed that the first number begins with a 3 instead of a 2...We are in the thirties. The girls used various spring pond animals to build the number 30 and invite creative dramatic play. The girls also used plastic links to build a chain of 30 to represent our new number. This activity promoted fine motor development.
Also in the Math Center this week we played a dice game to practice number recognition. The girls were invited to use small colorful erasers and other various materials as petals on a flower.
This week in the ABC Center we practiced identifying ending sound activities. First the girls used an I-Spy bottle to locate different objects then they were asked to say the word slowly and listen for the sound at the end and record the letter.
The girls also looked at various words and identified the ending sound and used a gem to mark the appropriate response.
In the Writing Center this week we enjoyed partner reading our weekly phonics reader
Mem The Hen, After reading they were invited to identify their weekly spelling words:
In the Reading Center this week the girls continued to study the water cycle on our Earth. We asked them to record and retell the process to a friend. Retelling helps short term memory become long term memory. The girls were encouraged to share their new learning at home as well. Some key words from the activity include:
This week in the Science Center the girls created illustrations in a take home reader to share. The reader explored the water cycle beginning with water vapor. We encouraged the girls to sound out tricky words independently as this is a skill that we are becoming so much stronger in. We are discovering how clear and concise illustrations make it much easier to understand what is happening in a story.
In the Art Center this week our girls discovered and explored new 3-dimensional shapes. In a hands on activity we created 3-d sculptures using toothpicks and marshmallows. The girls created various shapes some of which included cubes, pyramids, rectangular prisms.
We learned about the difference between 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes. Here are a list of our new shapes:
What Should We Do To Help?
Images of Healthy Water
"Sometimes the waves are big and sometimes they are small. When the sun shines on it the waves are so bright and beautiful. I hope it will always be that way."
As we continued our study we made many new discoveries such as...
The more we researched, the more we began to understand how important water is. We thought about our role as 4 and 5 year old girls and decided that we have a BIG responsibility in taking care of our water.
I love to visit the beach and swim. I don't ever want to swim in an ocean that is dirty.
I think we have to pick up trash so that it doesn't get in the ocean and hurt the animals.
Glass and plastic could hurt the fish.
People should throw it away in the garbage can.
We need to keep our air clean too. Like all that black smoke we saw on Moby can get in the water and make it yucky.
I think we should save our water so there is more.
Well you have to turn off the water when you aren't using it.
Or you could take a shorter shower and that would save water too.
Then we could have our ocean for even longer and we could go back again and again and again. The beach is so fun.
Our Earth's water is beautiful We have to keep it clean so that it will always be pretty to look at.
Our ideas about how to maintain and conserve water were so pure. The girls seemed to really grasp their responsibility in sustaining our Earth's water. We recorded our new learning about water in our journals. Our entries seemed to resonate one main idea...keep the water clean and free of pollution and trash!
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This week in the Reading Center we continue learning about our Earth's land, water, and air. A visit to the Reading center allowed the girls the opportunity for conversation and exploration as they viewed various images of things that depend on the land, water, and air. The girls were encouraged to sort the images and reflect on the importance of each area of our Earth.
In the Science Center this week our girls explored the idea of recycling. We began to understand the different objects that can be recycled and discovered how to sort them so that they can be reused. In the Science Center we also explored an I pad app that allowed the girls to take a closer look at different areas of the Earth, specifically bodies of water and land.
In the Math Center this week our girls explored the number 29...only one more until we hit 30! We practiced forming the number 29 as well as reinforcing number representation using using dot paint and their creativity.
We also explored a measuring activity in the math center to practice analyzing and comparing different insect's lengths using nonstandard units. As they used mini sticky notes to measure they began to make predictions and even draw conclusions.
This week in the Art Center we continued to investigate our Earth. We paid particular attention to an area of great interest...the water on our Earth. As we began to make new discoveries about how to conserve and sustain the water on our Earth we built a comprehension poster that could act as an educational aid for us to share and others to learn. We are excited to see where our project goes next...
Interest In Our Earth's Water
Interest In Our Earth's Air
In the Math Center this week, we are exploring the number 28. As we continue building strong counting skills to 50 and even beyond, we are also mastering our counting to 100 by 10's and 5's. This week we reinforced shape recognition as we built the number 28 using trapezoids, rhombuses, squares, hexagons, and triangles. As the girls completed their shape 28, they were invited to represent the number 28 through a shape collection. Some girls chose to line them up and create patterns while others made abstract art.
This week in the Math Center we also explored an Everyday Math lesson as we learned how to take surveys. This activity provided the opportunity to practice collecting, recording, and comparing data as they conducted a their own survey. Our questions included...
In the ABC Center our focus during the week has been building a personal sight word dictionary. This activity allowed the girls to review all introduced sight words introduced so far during the school year. It also allowed the girls the opportunity to have a take home personal word wall that they can grow as they learn new sight words. Recognizing, reading, and writing sight words is a strong tool for our girls and needs constant reinforcement.
In the Reading Center this week we began learning about our responsibility to maintaining and sustaining a healthy earth. We discussed ways to help keep our Earth beautiful. Next we watched a Brain Pop video about our Earth to build a good beginning knowledge. Last we read and illustrated an Earth Day reader to build comprehension skills
In the Science Center we are exploring the land and water that make up our Earth. To reinforce strong fine motor the girls used tweezers to transfer small blue and green bottle caps onto a model of the Earth.
Next they used blue and green dot paint in the appropriate places to create a representation of the land and water on our Earth.
Welcome to our classroom blog! We hope you enjoy exploring with us!