Week 15: Homelessness, Immiscibility, & Calendars!

Christmas in the Park is around the corner!

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Mark Those Calendars!

  • Field Trip #4:  Wednesday December 14, 2016. We’re taking the  Light Rail to

    Maddie used the 100’s chart to help her find the “days in school” number (70). Then, she colored it in for kids to see and as a strategy to help her find the next day!

    Christmas in the Park in San JoseAlso, our class has sponsored a tree to decorate! Jen and her family helped trim our tree! (For info about field trip norms, please refer to my email from break.)

  • Community Snack Schedule:  This week is the Ramos 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 5 families who kindly volunteered last minute to help us last week – Thank you Kizaraly, Graham, Carroll, Kerbey, and Guiang Family!
  • Holiday Exploration Pod Party: Fun filled activities in every K/TK classroom for kids in class on Thursday December 15th 10:30-12:30pm.
  • Pajama Day & Movie: Friday December 16th
  • Early Dismissal Day: Friday December 16th
  • 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.
  • Winter Break: December 19th-January 6th…right around the corner!
  • Field Trip #5: We are working on going to the Second Harvest Food Pantry in January as an extension of our homelessness unit. Details to come once we have worked out a date for the trip with the site.
  • Donations for Angela Henshall’s Projector Project: Angela spent a lot of time, effort, and financial resources ($161.08!) to attach the projector to the ceiling and wire everything correctly – and the classroom is REALLY benefitting from it! The collection envelope is on the window, as you walk in the door. Please give back if you can! We only have $40, so far. Tis the season for giving!  Thank you!

Field Trip Chaperone List for Wednesday 12/14:  NOTE: Please do not share the list below with students, as children are assigned to carseats but assignments are subject to change. Thanks!

Amber (Jada’s mom) 2 kids
  1. Jada
  2. Genevieve

Julie (Sadie’s mom) 4 kids

  1. Sadie
  2. Claudia
  3. Donovan
  4. Nakiya

Akiko (Nadia’s mom) 2 kids

  1. Nadia
  2. Maddie S

Mercedes (Ellie’s mom) 4 kids

  1. Ellie
  2. Steele
  3. Dominic
  4. Maddie K
Colleen (Cameron’s mom) 2 kids
  1. Cameron
  2. Sthanika

Trevor -Quentin’s dad 4 kids

  1. Quentin
  2. Nicholas
  3. Guido
  4. Byron

Christine (Henry’s mom) 2 kids

  1. Henry
  2. Tyler
Angela (George’s mom) 4 kids
  1. George
  2. Pranav
  3. Oscar
  4. Logan

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.

Weekly Highlights

  • Art Enrichment: We explored water color with lazy Susan plates!
  • Buddies: We did a fun partner art project and made a buddy quilt. Then, we played on the playground, afterwards!
  • Body Safety Reset: It’s natural and developmentally appropriate for kids to be curious about their and others’ bodies. However, it was brought to my attention that some inappropriate curiosity emerged with some children crossing body boundaries when other children said no. So, we talked several times about it this week and we will read a couple books next week about body safety. Hopefully, this will help to remind friends to respect each other’s bodies. Please help my efforts by talking with your child about appropriate ways to use his/her body in class, respect body boundaries of others, and to speak up or tell a grown up if he/she experiences any uncomfortable behavior. Thanks!
  •  Just-Right Reading Begins! Each morning, parents helped kids choose leveled books

    Example of how our buddy quilt would turn out after we colored all our pieces!

    to take home and practice reading with children. Please be sure to return the books and put them in the proper bins!

  • Homelessness Unit: We started exploring the topic of homelessness this week. As  we are in the midst of the holidays and kids have made mention of their experiences in seeing homeless people or have wondered why they homeless are homeless, I thought it was a good time to explore!
  • Math: We discussed the calendar and made our own December calendars this week and crossed them off! (Note: Don’t worry if you see reversals. It’s typical for this age and kids will self-correct when we compare our calendars to the large calendar in class.) Children had 4 different choices for types of calendars based on level of difficulty (from tracing all numbers, to tracing 2-9, to tracing only 1 and 31 but writing everything in between, to writing all the numbers themselves – many took that challenge!) Later in the week, we had math game stations!
  • 1-on-1 Reading: I continued taking kids 1-on-1 to practice reading and working on
    sight words during Quiet Time. It’s been going well so far! I can take about 2 kids a day.
  • Handwriting: More practice with Handwriting without Tears and writing letters with curves and lines.
  • Phonics & Spelling: Finger spelling CVC, CVCC, and CVCV words and sight words in salt with children. After a while, they began happily taking turns giving letter clues on the alphabet poster and running the station by themselves! (Note: below is two separate examples from two different times during the game!) This was a great informal assessment to gauge letter recognition progress, sight word knowledge, and ability to blend sounds to say words.
  • Double Bubble Maps: We tried our hand at double bubble map comparisons, first as a group comparing strawberry ice cream and chocolate cake and then individually (comparing whatever they wanted). This activity is preparing us to discuss WANTS vs. NEEDS next week as we talk about homelessness. img_0130
  • Story Workshop: We based our new stories on the density and immiscibility lesson, from Tuesday.
  • P.E.

Social Awareness: Discussing Homelessness

What do we know? What do we want to know?

What changes our thinking?

img_0040This week, we began talking about homelessness. In the beginning of the year, a child very innocently but matter-of-factly said that the reason people are homeless is mostly because they’re lazy and won’t get a job. “They could find money on the street and save it and get one. I find pennies all the time!” This stayed with me, because after discussing it with that child and asking others, my suspicions were correct: This child was not the only one holding this idea. And as we know, there are a thousand ways for someone to reach rock bottom and not every way ends with a lack of purpose. So, I hoped to address this as the holidays approached.  The holiday season is a time of compassion, empathy, and giving. I thought this might be a good time to learn more about the homelessness and then give the kids an opportunity to help the community with a little philanthropy to show them that even at this age, they can feel empowered to make a difference.

When asked what they knew about the homeless I wrote down a lot of information! Many kids commented that they saw a lot of homeless people on the way to school or nearby stores they frequent with parents. Some said they gave money to them. Others said they didn’t give money because they might spend it on something bad for them (they didn’t say what). Children had a lot of information to volunteer about what they knew or thought they knew regarding homeless people.

We first started by writing down what they knew being homeless was:

  • When you don’t have a home – this led to a discussion about what a home is (see below)
  • You eat garbage
  • You might not have food
  • You live in other people’s houses or make your own in the woods, on the road, or on the sidewalk
  • You don’t have a phone- “And that’s important for emergencies!”
  • Don’t have money
  • Homeless people take pets

What is a home? (Single bubble map)

  • A place to keep your stuff
  • Where you live
  • Has food
  • Protects you (shelter)

After showing them some pictures of homeless people on the street they added the following to the list of what they thought:

  • They make signs – to show how they feel or what they need
  • We see homeless people on the way to school
  • They have carts (for clothes, food, blankets, and money jars)
  • They live in tents or under bridges

I asked them if they had ideas why someone might be homeless and they came up with this first list:

  • No money means they have no house
  • They spent all their money on 1 thing and now they ran out
  • Something happened to their house and it broke down or got destroyed
  • They can’t pay their bills and get kicked out
  • Robbers broke into the house and took all their stuff and trashed the house

After seeing this video HERE about a single mother named Eve and her two kids going to a shelter to live until they got back on their feet, they came up with one more reason to add to the list:

  • They lost their job and couldn’t get another one

Drawing our homes and what’s most important to us in them: Using visuals, I asked them how many lived in apartments or houses. Then, I asked them to draw what their houses looked like with at least 5 important details. In words below, I asked them to describe what they loved most about their home. We will build off this activity by looking at our drawings and words and discussing wants vs. needs next week using a double bubble map and post-its.

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

img_9945We continued talking about molecules and density, and approached a new topic: immiscibility! Miscibility is the ability of substances to fully mix or dissolve together when combined to make a new (homogenous) liquid. When something is immiscible, the molecules literally REPEL each other and the substances don’t mix (i.e. oil and water). Depending on the density of the substances you are combining, some will float or sink as they repel.

THE CLASS EXPERIMENT:  Immiscibility and Ocean Currents

Last time, during the guided activity, the kids got to see how adding salt to freshwater img_9940made beads float.  Some of the kids got the idea that salt water is denser than freshwater and that salt water > beads > fresh water.  This experiment was meant to drive the point home.  We wanted the kids to actually draw a hypothesis for each experiment, so we drew a picture of the container and kids used colored pencils to draw what they thought the water inside the containers would look like.
In the first container was a giant container of fresh water and small bit of blue water in a cup.  We asked “What happens to the color of the water in the giant container if I pour the blue water in?”  Kids thought the water would turn completely blue. They were right!
Then, we repeated the experiment, but, this time, for the second container, we added a few spoonfuls of salt to the blue water. “What happens now to the color of the water in the giant container when the salted blue water is added?” Some children remembered the bead experiment with saltwater and predicted correctly, others thought the same effect.  Of course, the blue salt water sank to the bottom, forming a dual layer of clear freshwater on top and salty blue on the bottom. Very cool! Later, as additional information, we showed a video to explain the connection between our experiment and how salt water ocean currents are created by rising and falling thermohaline (warm salt water currents).
GUIDED ACTIVITY #1: Oil, Salt, Water – Christine
img_9946We did the following oil, water, and salt experiment: http://buggyandbuddy.com/exploring-density-liquids/. This experiment tied back into our ongoing density conversations, as well as the observation some kids made a few weeks ago when they added salt to their colored solution (“The salt is at the bottom of my jar.”).  This experiment added a new element of oil, though, which made the salt will sink to the bottom, the oil float to the top, and the water stay in the middle. We used clear cups for each child to do the experiment. Children really tried to mix the materials, but we talked about a fancy adult word called immiscibility, which means the molecules in each liquid repel each other (“They don’t get along; they’re not friends!”) and don’t “mix”, thus forming layers when combined together.
GUIDED ACTIVITY #2: Oil and Food Coloring – Akiko
img_9956Each child got a clear cup and Akiko filled 1/3 of them with oil.  The kids then chose up to two different colors of food dye that she added to the oil.  Kids then mixed it all up with a spoon to see what happens. Prior to adding the drops of food dye, she asked children what they thought would happen, to reinforce the idea of making a hypothesis.  Because the food dye is water-based, it is not miscible with the oil and did not turn the oil any color. After observing this, we asked the child to add some water to the cup and then mix, again.  We asked them what they thought happen – ask your little one if the water turned a color or not! 🙂


img_9958Last week, the kids got to create a story amongst a setting of ice and colored salt.  This week, we just did salt – both table salt and rock salt!  Leftovers ended up in the sensory table. We started with white salt in the trays, and had colored salt and rock salt in containers available for them to add. Like last time, we had chalk available if they wanted to color their own salt.  We placed pieces around for them to use on their own, which they simply rubbed against the salt in the aluminum trays.
We also had rock salt that the kids could dye.  This was done slightly differently than the table salt using food coloring (add rock salt + coloring to a container, close it up, shake it, and voila!).  The rock salt added a new element to the setting in the story workshop, plus kids could see how table salt looks like before it’s crushed.  We used only primary colors img_9951for dye-ing, so kids continued to lean on their color interaction knowledge.
In addition to the plastic animals, there were some sieves and other tools that the kids could use to create/play with their setting.
Next week in science we will create play dough and SALT dough (salt dough we will use to connect to the Christmas lights to create a fun circuit!)

Science – Taste Stations’ Explorations!

We are exploring taste and the 5 general classifications kinds of tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami. We used this video-CLICK HERE-to demonstrate what happens when food touches the taste bud receptors. However, there may be one more flavors that are still up for debate among scientists, and the experiments we had reflected children’s ability to identify tastes without certain other sense helping them:img_9894

  • 1 -The Blind Fold Challenge: Can you taste two different kinds of the same food and identify which is which without seeing?  (See recording sheet HERE)

    Raisins, golden vs. brown

    Grapes, red vs. green

    Peppers, Red vs green

  • 2-The Nose Knows Challenge: Can you taste the chopped up foods your seeing as well without your sense of smell? (Used nose clips)img_9892

    Onion vs Jai-mica

    Potato vs Apple

    Sweet potato vs pear

    Melon vs strawberry

  • 3- Let’s play the 5 flavor game! How do you classify the powdered/granule tastes you are smelling and do you know what they are?

    Sweet – sugar, sugar waterimg_9895

    Salty – salt, salt water 

    Sour – lemon crystals, lemonade

    Bitter – turmeric, unsweetened cocoa and tonic water

    Savory – parmesan cheese, veggie broth

    (see article for verbiage discussed: http://www.livescience.com/17684-sixth-basic-taste.html)

  • 4-Baby Food Challenge: Identify the flavors


Emergency Parent Sub Protocol:

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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2 thoughts on “Week 15: Homelessness, Immiscibility, & Calendars!

  1. Pingback: Week 16: Wants vs. Needs | Kate's Rm 7 Kinder Class: Exploring Who We Are 1 Day at a Time!

  2. Pingback: Week 17: Holiday Wrap Up! | Kate's Rm 7 Kinder Class: Exploring Who We Are 1 Day at a Time!

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