Week 14: Happy Thanksgiving Break!

Mark Those Calendars!

  • Thanksgiving Break: NO SCHOOL next week Monday-Friday, November 21-25.


    Thanksgiving mats: Children wrote what they were thankful for on the back of the mats.

  • Field Trip #4:  Wednesday December 14, 2016. We’re taking the  Light Rail to Christmas in the Park in San JoseAlso, our class has sponsored a tree to decorate! Jen and her family will help trim our tree on Tuesday November 22nd!
  • Community Snack Schedule:  The week after break is the Henshall Family. Please, use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator  Kudsana (kkizaraly@yahoo.com) know if you need special accommodations. And a BIG thank you to the Fierro family who volunteered last week!
  • FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates: Wednesday Dec 14th, Wednesday Jan 25th, Skipping
     (short month, too many conflicts), Wednesday March 22nd, Wednesday April 26th, Wednesday May 24th, and Wednesday June 14th.
  •  Early Dismissal Day: Friday December 16, 2017
  • Winter Break: December 19th-January 6th…right around the corner!
  • Donations for Angela Henshall’s Projector Project: Angela spent a lot of time, effort, and financial resources to attach the projector to the ceiling and wire everything correctly – and the classroom is REALLY benefitting from it! As soon as she compiles her costs, Doreen Stitt will email the yahoo group asking people to donate money toward the lump sum she spent. We will keep an envelope at school in the parent corner for you to anonymously put your donations inside. Thank you!

Christmas In The Park: Making ornaments during exploration!

Thanksgiving Potluck Pictures!

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Reminder: Protocol for pick-up on Wednesdays:

•  I will not be there for check-out. Other teachers do not typically stay, either, because yard duty is responsible for children after 12:30pm. I was staying until children were used to the lunch/recess routine.
•  Parents/Caregivers: You are responsible for finding your child on the playground/blacktop, if he/she has not yet come back to the silver benches. Please, return to the classroom. There, he/she can grab his/her lunch. No sign-out required.
• After care kids: After care kids will go straight to the atrium from the double doors inside the gate AFTER the 1:10pm bell.

Field Trip Photos: Seymour Marine Lab

Weekly Highlights

  • November Parent Ed. Workshop: What a success! Teachers and PD trainers planned

    Reading Strategies & Supports Presentation Resources

    a parent education workshop series of 30-45 minute sessions for Thursday November 17 6:30-8:00pm on the following topics: Reggio based learning 101, reading strategies to support children, social skills, PD playground problem-solving 101, math games, math curriculum, music and movement, quality children’s literature, and more! It was very successful and we will probably do it, again, in the spring.

  • Field Trip #3: We went to Seymour Marine Lab in Santa Cruz. It was a blast! Children received vouchers for a free entry ticket back for next time. You should receive an email within the next day or two, regarding this field trip and information for future trips to come. Thanks!
  • Thanksgiving Potluck: Children and families had a great time enjoying the bountiful spread and coming together to give thanks!  Thank you for all your efforts to contribute to its success. I’m grateful we’re such a great community!
  • Cooking: Arielle helped the kids make Thanksgiving turkeys using toothpicks, apples, marshmallows, and raisins!
  • Math: Part of our math this week was focusing on patterns and making Christmasornaments for our Christmas in the Park tree with pipe cleaners, beads, and other materials. Many beautiful AB, ABB, ABC, and ABCD patterns. They also wove Thanksgiving place mats with pictures or words of thanks for our potluck which we laminated with classroom pictures on the back!
  • 1-on-1 Reading: I continued taking kids 1-on-1 to practice reading and working on

    YEAH! Mystery 100 chart puzzle figured out!

    sight words during Quiet Time. It’s been going well so far! I can take about 2-3 kids a day.

  • Handwriting: More practice with Handwriting without Tears.
  • Story Workshop: We continued Story Workshop on the FREEZINATOR, except for children who wanted to start new stories based on the density lesson from Tuesday.
  • Phonics Talk: We continued talking about digraphs and playing charades!
  • P.E.
  • Art Enrichment: We finished our Christmas ornaments for our tree we will have inChristmas in the Park! We also made our Thanksgiving placemats for our feast on Friday, which were a very nice keepsake.
  • Math- 100s Chart & Patterns: Children put the 100s chart puzzles back together in pairs or independently and even made their own. The puzzles were labeled to show varying difficulty A-D and children started making their own and trying them out to label difficulty, as well.

Science- Molecules, Atoms, and Density–Oh My!

We explored the world of density and children had several concrete ways to access this topic.   First, I showed them two bowls -one with cotton balls and one with marbles. I asked them if the containers were the same. Then, I asked if the objects inside were the same. They deducted that since marbles were heavy and cotton balls were light, the bowl of marbles was heavier. That’s how I explained density. Density is the amount of molecules squished into one space – “The marble is heavier than the cotton ball because it has more molecules, even though they’re the same size.” I let children hold each and tell me which they thought had more density and more molecules. The marbles were the clear choice.

img_9502Children also learned that an atom is the smallest unit that cannot be further divided, and that atoms make up molecules. We can’t see either atoms or molecules without an intense microscope machine. We learned atoms vs. molecules by using the analogy of letters in words. Letters are the smallest unit of the english language and they form words: Atoms are to letters, as molecules are to words. We watched videos to help support the visual understanding and made a skit of our own to help explain the concept of density (the amount of molecules in one object) and why an object, such as an egg might float in salt water but not regular water (because the salt added to the water puts more molecules in the water, making it denser than the object added). Below are the resources used:

THE CLASS EXPERIMENT:  Melting a lot of ice cubes 


Class Experiment

This experiment helped re-inforce the learning that the kids discovered last week – when
you have more ice cubes, they collectively take longer to melt.  The experiment was simple – 3 bowls: one with 1 ice cube, one with 5 ice cubes, and one with 10 ice cubes.  We left them out and kids could periodically check when the ice cubes have all melted.  Once the ice melted, we wrote down the time.   We can focus on the math element of time.  We roughly calculated how many minutes it took for each bowl of ice to melt.  But it was easier for the children to compare the three numbers and sort them from small to large.  Our result was that the 10 ice cubes took the longest!


Story Workshop: Colored salt on ice (Kate) 

This time, the kids had colored salt that they can use on clear chunks of ice.  We brought out bring out the animal figurines.

  • Color Mixing – something that they’ve played around with a lot – returns in a slightly new way (does mixing blue colored salt and yellow colored salt = green colored salt?).  Christine made a few chunks of ice that have red jewels inside, so that added an element to their story as well.
  • Colored Salt: Finally, the kids made their own colored salt, and  with chalk, which added an exciting element to their play and stories.  You basically put salt into a ziploc bag, throw in a colored piece of chalk, and have the kids rub the salt against the chalk.  The coloring will transfer to the salt.

Salt Density Experiment #1: Guided Activity (Christine) img_9503

This is a fairly classic experiment, where an egg sinks in freshwater, but floats in salt water:  Instead of eggs, Christine bought red plastic jewels -which were a huge hit!  These are the same jewels that were embedded in the ice for the story workshop.  She tied in a bit of storytelling with it, as well (ie. jewels are at the bottom of the lake, how can a character get them?) The kids LOVED this activity and were doubly pleased to keep a few jewels, afterwards! They’re stories became so much more rich after participating at this table.



Density Skit & Video: After PE, during the 30 minutes before lunch at 12:30, we talked again about density and children shared what they figured out in their experiments.  Then, we watched a video clip that supported their findings about the jewels and density changing with salt water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aYTH2_Vzqk. We did a density skit based on this experiment, several times, with different kids volunteering to be the molecules of salt added or the egg.  The children loved having multiple visual, hands-on, and concrete ways of understanding density and it was amazing to see how much they understood afterwards! Please, feel free to ask your child about density and to even perform the salt water experiment with objects you have at home. Potatoes, tomatoes, oranges. You name it! Then, have your child come back and tell us the results 🙂

Emergency Parent Sub Protocol:

(NOTE: Sheila emailed the yahoo group that she needs a sub Tuesday 11/29, 2nd shift! No one responded, yet. This is the science block and we need 3 adults. Can you help?)

You are responsible for finding your OWN sub. Do not expect Deepa, our classroom coordinator, to handle that. Also, parents are not allowed to pay other parents for shifts (because it’s volunteering). Instead, you may swap shifts or offer to cover for someone else on another day. Please follow the steps, below:

  1. Please send an SOS email out to the class on the yahoo group, CCing me.
  2. After sending the email, please call through the emergency sub list, below.
  3. Follow up with me regarding who I can expect in your place or tell me if no one has responded. I plan activities based on the parent support available for each shift. Your absence can completely throw off curriculum plans. Please be responsible and respectful with your shift. Thank you!
  • Jennifer Coscarart (Tuesdays 2nd shift & some Thursdays)
  • Doreen Stitt (Tuesdays 2nd shift & some Thursdays)
  • Akiko Fukuhara (3rd shifts) 408-614-9793
  • Angela Henshall (Thursday 2nd shift)
  • Christine Ging (always around Thursday morning, though I may be in Rm 12)
  • Lonnell Graham (408)-836-0385
  • David Ramos (408) 393-4456 (Thursdays after 1pm)

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