Sunday, October 21, 2012

We're More Colorful Than Crayola!

This week, we wrapped up our primary color unit. We will still discuss pink, white, black and brown, but we have no more "color days," where we wear the specific color we're talking about. I was really surprised how difficult it was for students to brainstorm things that are each color. When I asked for things that are yellow, I got answers like "a shirt" or "a crayon," but not "lemon" or "sun." I got the same "shirt" and "crayon" answers for every color -- but things that are ALWAYS a given color, such as "strawberry" or "tomato" or "fire truck" for red were only said after I mentioned them. Please continue to brainstorm things by a color category at home and see how your child does with this now that we've discussed them all.



For yellow, we read the book "The Big Yellow Bus," a spin on the traditional 'Wheels on the Bus' rhyme. Then we made our own bus with yellow things as passengers. Since we discussed Red, Orange and Yellow at this point, we did our Fall is as (red/orange/yellow) as _______ writing, where we describe Fall based on the colors. For example, Fall is as red as a cherry, as orange as a carrot and as yellow as a banana.



Really this day just seemed like St. Patrick's Day had come early :) We made turtles for green using a dark green base and torn light green paper to make his shell. Tearing actually helps children work on their fine motor skills. Did your child come home with giant strips of light green paper glued, or small torn pieces? If they actually used their fingers to tear and not their whole hand to haphazardly rip, they got a smaller, nicer shape for their shell. If your child is still working on their pencil grip, have him or her use this trick at home and tear newspaper to strengthen the muscles which power their fingers.



Have you read this story before? It's one that the children can relate to. Sal and her mom go blueberry picking, but Sal just eats hers instead of putting them in her bucket. After reading this story, each child gets a bucket to write "Blueberries for _________ ." Then they fingerpaint seven blueberries in their bucket. I make it very clear that I only want them to paint seven blueberries, this way I have a quick assessment -- either your child can count to seven, or he/she cannot. Check your child's -- did he or she paint seven? (Too late to check? If you didn't see a note, they got it correct.)



We didn't actually read the book Harold and the Purple Crayon... we went a step further and watched the video! It's not that I don't love the book, I just think the video really shows the kids how imaginative Harold is with his purple crayon. They see him draw everything step-by-step and it gives them more guidance for when they draw their own picture with a purple crayon. What did your child draw?



S. ice creamY. ice cream

I am sure their smiles would be bigger if that were real ice cream, and not a cone made entirely of paper.

M&M Graph

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We had a ton of fun graphing our M&M's! While most students were excited to have a HANDFUL of M&M's in front of them, Gabriel realized the more M&M's he had, the more work he had to do. So when he got his M&M's, he said "man, this is a long graph!" Haha :D Some kiddos got confused because this graph had wider bars than our last graph. Instead of putting ONE M&M in each block, I had a couple of kids put multiple M&M's in the same block. Before we do a graph, I always show the students how to do it. They watch me complete my own graph, one step at a time, and then they go to their seat to do their own. If your child got confused on this, you would have gotten a red note at the top of his/her page. Please remind your child to put one item in each box and to go slowly -- not to rush to the end to eat the food!

Moose Muffins

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It always amazes me how much of a story can get lost in kindergarten translation. After we read the story "If You Give a Moose a Muffin," students made their own moose and fed him the muffins that had pictures of "M" words inside of them (i.e., "melon," "mom," "money," etc.) I told the class that if we accidentally fed our moose a muffin that had a picture with a different sound (i.e., basketball), he would get sick! Of course, when I overheard Laci trying to explain this to her sister, she simply said "We couldn't feed him the muffins that would get him sick! These ones won't." She didn't remember why certain ones would make him sick. So if ever a time comes that your child tells you a story of what happened during the day ... and he or she leaves out a significant portion of the story... and you are confused... feel free to email me or leave a comment here and I'll fill you in on what the full story is. :D


Since we have gotten used to the rules and routines with our Literacy Work Stations, this week it was time to introduce math work stations!

Math Work Station #1: Sorting

Like our whole-group activity earlier in the year, this station is all about dumping a large bucket of items (lids or dinosaurs!) and grouping by a similar characteristic. sortingsorting 2

Math Work Stations #2-4: Play-Doh, SMARTboard, and Computers

These stations are the same as those for literacy, but with numbers or math activities in place of letters or language arts ones. At the Play-Doh station, students create numerals the same way they form letters during the language arts block. SMARTboard and computers have students on ABCya! in place of Starfall. To find out more about ABCya! and what activities it offers, please click here. We are only doing dot-to-dot and counting fish right now for work on numeral recognition, but you are free to introduce the other activities at home!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend; the weather was beautiful! I went up to Old Rag yesterday and was lucky enough to see a Black Bear cub ... with no Mama Bear sighting to accompany that one. Phew! ;) Owl be teaching you more tomorrow!

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