One of my favorite times of the year in Kindergarten is around Thanksgiving when we dive into gratitude and thankfulness. Each Kinder could list 100's of things that they are thankful for and they are always so excited to share. One project that we always create are our very own thankfulness turkeys. The Kinders had to think of only 6 things that they were thankful for and stretch out each word on their own and then write it on a feather. After that, they colored, cut, and glued. Lastly, they got to use a Sharpie to trace over their words. If you want to experience pure joy at its best, tell 20 Kindergartners that they get to use a Sharpie! It was a huge project and they were beaming with pride over how they looked!
Welcome to the Kindergarten Pizzeria!
The Kindergartners took one day to celebrate all of our hard work with number sense, number recognition, counting, and finishing the first module of math! When we walked into our classroom, we discovered that it had transformed into a pizzeria!
This was no normal pizzeria! At this pizzeria, it was the Kindergartners' job to add all of the toppings- no more and no less than the order stated.
Using our recipe cards, the Kindergartners spent an afternoon creating pizzas galore. Mama mia! What a fun time we had practicing our numbers and exploring our imaginations!
Towards the end of our pumpkin unit, we read the book Pete the Cat and the 5 Little Pumpkins. There was an opportunity to connect our literacy lesson to a STEM challenge, and we couldn't pass it up!
Kindergartners were each given 5 pumpkins and were then asked to create a gate for them using 3 materials: clothespins, popsicle sticks, Keva planks, and Jenga blocks. The Kindergartners easily created several gates and were then given an even bigger challenge...create a gate/structure that holds a real pumpkin! There was building, redesigning, problem solving, and giggles galore during this great STEM challenge. We ended up with some truly amazing structures and the end and some very proud Kindergartners!
In math this year, the Kindergartners have been working hard to become masters in their numbers to 10. They are already composing and breaking apart numbers to find "hidden partners" and creating number sentences! The thought process and discussions that we have had during our math time have been simply fantastic. What their little brains can see and discover is a constant reminder that these Kindergartners can do great things!
To celebrate finally learning the number 10, the Kindergartners made their very own rekenrek bracelets this week. Using the bracelets, the Kindergartners tried to find and build as many hidden partners there were in 10. We discovered several from 5&5 to 2&8. The Kinders should have all brought their bracelet home on Friday. Ask to see it and challenge them to show you all the different ways that they can build the number 10!
To see them hard at work, check out a few pictures below!
Every year in Kindergarten, we read the book Stellaluna and then compare/contrast this fiction story with a few nonfiction texts about bats. It just so happened that it is now a standard that Kindergartners learn about various habitats of animals and how heat and the sun help our Earth. This seemed like the perfect time and opportunity to transform our room into a bat cave and give students to opportunity to fully experience what it might be like to be a bat.
Over the course of several days, we decorated our bat cave with various projects, learned about the importance of echolocation, along with being able to describe to need of bat's super senses.
On one of our last days in the bat cave, we went on a scavenger hunt around our room, making our room dark (which meant we needed a few flashlights to help!)
It was an activity full of giggles, excitement, and the Kinders became even more knowledgable about just how important light is!
Have you asked your Kindergartner about what they do in the morning? Make sure to ask about their "Wake Up Work" that we started this month! Instead of not knowing what we're going to do each morning when they get to school, the Kindergartners have 9 activities to choose from. These activities range from making patterns with themed mini erasers to putting letters in order and making a long chain.
The goal of these activities is for the Kindergartners to have choice in the morning while waiting for everyone to arrive. Another great part is that they are incorporating many fine motor skills, which are a big focus in Kindergarten. Check out a few pictures of the choices below!
One of the first things that Kindergartners learn at the start of the school year is that they are already readers, writers, scientists, and storytellers. Now that we are a month into our year, we are really truly becoming writers! The Kindergartners have been learning 2-3 new sight words a week, making certain that we can not only read/recognize them but also that we can spell them correctly. In order to do this, we've been practicing them and also learning rhymes and songs for each one! Make sure to ask your Kindergartner to share our "see" song or our "the" rhyme with you!
It is hard to believe that we are already an entire month into the school year! One thing that we have been practicing is our literacy centers. We've been working hard in small groups learning several different activities, games, and other ways to practice our reading skills. Over the past week, the Kindergartners have found their groove and are SO proud of all the hard work they have been doing. Take a peek at some of the Kinders favorite activities from practicing their letter formation to building sight words!
A classic elementary book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and it is always a favorite at the start of the year in Kindergarten! Since it was our book of the week, we ended the week with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom celebration! When the Kinders entered the room, they found coconut trees, and letters galore. They were just a little excited! Over the course of the day, we acted out the story, practiced our math unit by sorting letters by color, letter, and uppercase/lowercase, along with a letter scavenger hunt around the room. To top the day off, we ended the day with a Chicka Chicka STEM challenge. The Kindergartners were challenged to build their own coconut tree that could balance and hold all the letters in their name. The persistence, inventiveness, and excitement that was in the room was simply amazing!
It was such a great end to our first official full week of Kindergarten!
One of the best parts about Kindergarten (and 8th grade!) at NDA are our buddies! Every Wednesday, the 8th graders make their way to our room and go to Mass with us. The excitement buzzes throughout the room as the 8th graders enter and spend some time with their Kinders prior to Mass. It is just about one of the sweetest things you can witness! Over the course of the school year, there are several different activities that we do with our buddies from reading books together to shopping at the Christmas Boutique. They are such a special part of our Kindergarten year!