Week 19: 4 Days of Fun!

Mark Those Calendars!

  • Parent Meeting THIS week: Wednesday January 25, 2017 6:30-7:30pm. 


    Kindergarten: Where Play IS Work!

  • Bring Items for Homelessness Care Kits: Please bring in any of the following items listed below this for Jenell to help children assemble the homelessness kits between, next week. We’re collecting to sort everything this week. Our goal is to make about 10 bags at least filled with the 16 items to be purchased, plus bookmarks of local resources and notes of encouragement made by the kids. Please help us accomplish this by contributing what you can. Thank you!
  • Progress Reports Coming: This Friday January 27, 2017 
  • Field Trip #5: Monday January 30th we are going to the Second Harvest Food Pantry in San Jose, as an extension of our homelessness unit. Details to come. Thanks for your patience!
  • Lunar/Chinese New Year Kinder Pod Celebration & Parade: The teachers will provide a pod-wide celebration and parade for kinders to learn more about Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) on Friday January 27, 2017  10:30am-12:00pm.
  • D2 Campus Work Day: Saturday January 28, 2017 9:00am3:00pm
  • Community Snack Schedule:  The week back from break is the Ho family. Please, use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week tobring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator  Kudsana (kkizaraly@yahoo.com) know if you need special accommodations or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Blake family for snack last week!
  • 100th Day Celebration Party: Kindergarten will celebrate the 100th day of school together in our pod on February 7th! Details to come 🙂
  • FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates:  Wednesday Jan 25th, Skipping February (short month, too many conflicts), Wednesday March 22nd, Wednesday April 26th, Wednesday May 24th, and Wednesday June 14th.
  • Ski Week Break: February 20-24th

Second Harvest Food Bank Field Trip Carpool List


Looking at old photographs and discussing white allies and people of color working together for change.

Please do not share this with your children, yet, as it is subject to change based on a myriad of variables. We don’t want disappointed little ones!

  1. Trevor (Quentin’s dad) 4 kids – Quentin, Nicholas, George
  2. Kudsana (Nakiya’s mom) 2 kids-Nakiya, Logan
  3. Colleen (Cameron’s mom) 2 kids-Cameron, Jada
  4. Nicole (Genevieve’s mom) 2 kids-Genevieve, Donovan
  5. Julie (Sadie’s mom) 4 kids-Sadie, Maddie K., Sthanika, Pranav
  6. Mercedes (Ellie Luz’s mom) 4 kids-Ellie Luz, Maddie S., Oscar, Tyler
  7. Akiko (Nadia’s mom)  2 kids-Nadia, Claudia
  8. Alex (Steele’s dad)  4  kids-Steele, Dominic, Byron, Henry

Homelessness Care Kits

We talked a lot about community and how sometimes you feel caught off gaurd when you see someone who is homeless. You hesitate to give money, because you don’t know where its coming from, but you still want to help and model for our kids how to do that. Jenell (jenellnunan@gmail.com) and Byron are spearheading the Care Kits as a way to be and feel prepared, if we see someone homeless and we want to offer them something

Kinders are assembling care kits this coming week, before our field trip to the pantry. Please, help us to meet this goal by bringing in items we need. You can find fairly inexpensive versions of most items at the dollar store, and food items and other things at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. We will put our items in a gallon-sized zipper lock plastic bag and “present it” within a gift bag. Children will write and draw little pictures and notes to include, as well, for encouragement. Thank you so much for helping us making this project come into fruition. Please contact Jenell for any questions at jenellnunan@gmail.com!


Help us provide for the needs of others!

A typical Homelessness Care Kit consists of items like:

  • Water bottle
  • Socks
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Granola Bar or cereal bar
  • Fruit snack or applesauce cup
  • Crackers with peanut butter or cheese
  • Gift certificate to fast food
  • Hand wipes
  • Pack of Kleenex
  • Maxi pads (for women)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Band Aids/first aid kit
  • Chapstick
  • Comb or small brush
  • Mints, cough drops or gum
  • Bookmarks with local resources and centers that can help (Amber)
  • Notes of encouragement (from kids and/or parents)

Weekly Highlights

  • Sub for Kate: I was sick Thursday and Friday, so Megan and Tiffany subbed.
  • Mid-Year Reflection Meetings: I finished all but 2 mid-year reflection meetings with children. It was fun to look at our goals for the year, discuss the progress made,

    POP! Game

    talk about how much we learned, and discuss our next-steps to take to solidify certain skills. I appreciated the children’s feedback before finalizing their reports!

  • Science: We talked about the sense of smell  and the solar system, again! We discussed how to use different colored play dough to attempt making models of the planets and demonstrating the understanding of scale. We also told them the play dough lacked a certain ingredient so it would dry quickly. Kids noticed, it dried within a couple days!
  • NEW Literacy Games: Alphabet Bingo, Rhyming Bingo, Sight Words Bingo, InitialSounds Bingo, and Hang Man
  • Just-Right Reading! Each morning, parents can help kids choose leveled books to take home and practice reading with children. Please be sure to return the books and put them in the proper bins!
  • 1-on-1 Reading: From now on, I will take emerging and beginner readers (Fountas & Pinnell level A-G) 1-on-1 to practice reading and work on sight words during Quiet Time.
  • Handwriting: More practice with Handwriting without Tears and writing letters with curves and lines.
  • Math:  Numbers Bingo, Addition Bingo, Subtraction Bingo, Dice Game, Domino Addition, POP!: Gum Ball Addition and Subtraction Game


    Dr. King’s Speech

  • P.E.
  • Civil Rights Conversation Continued: We looked more closely at at the idea of
    “separate but equal” and read This Is The Dream, which highlights side-by-side in beautifully clear illustrations the inequities in libraries, classrooms, and diners. Children also had another opportunity to talk about their feelings about the visuals and the time period in history. We also listened to MLK Jr’s speech while we read the book I Have A Dream, which again had beautiful illustrations of the dream Dr. King had for everyone. They really enjoyed seeing him speak in the black and white video I showed (muted) in the background, while we read the book. It may seem like a lot of stimulation, but honestly, I think it simulated a bit of the
    feeling of what I imagine it must have been like to experience that moment in time.sjm-mainmarch-0122-013
  • Inauguration Day: President elect Trump officially took office on Friday.
  • Women’s March: A day later more than 2 million people joined Women’s Marches from the nation’s capital to the Bay Area and beyond, promising to fight for a new era of civil rights in the age of President Donald Trump. These are interesting times! It was very cool to hear some kids talking about the march or even being a part of the march and connecting it to the Civil Rights Unit. Real world application of learning is the best!

Science- Solar System Exploration!


Current Unit Science Books: Resources on space and weather for kids to reference at leisure

We’re still exploring the solar system! This week, we continued our discussion on science models, states of matter, and properties of playdough.

Guided Activity #1 –  Building Playdough Solar Systems 
The first activity was an expansion of last week’s activity, when the kids were introduced to the concept of science models and created their own models with marshmallows.  This time around, the kids made models using salt playdough.  I spoke in more detail beforehand about recognizing the relative sizes of the planet, as well as color, and one could see that increased awareness when the kids were picking and choosing colors and sizes.  We displayed a picture of the solar system on our projector so children could see it as they worked. After all, scale is very important in a model of the solar system!  Secondarily, this activity allowed the kids to observe how playdough hardens and dries out (the water that is in the playdough evaporates away, so, in effect, you are leaving behind only the solid flour/salt).
img_1224Some observations:
  • Christine made the playdough with just flour, water, and salt.  Because there were no stabilizers, and because the dough was made ahead of time, we got an unexpected science/cooking demo with sticky playdough!!  We brought out flour for the kids to knead into the playdough to reduce the stickiness. A few kids remembered how, when they made their own playdough, how they had to add more solid (flour) if the dough was too mushy.
  • One child really enjoyed playing with the flour and creating a crumbly mixture (“Is that a solid or liquid?”…  “SOLID!”)
  • One child realized that she had accidentally made two Neptunes so she scraped it off her model and went to get the appropriate colors to make the planet that she had missed.
  • A few kids still preferred to create their own imaginary galaxy, which is totally ok!  It was fun seeing their creativity.
  • After both snack/recess and PE, Christine asked the kids to go check to see if their models were dried yet.  Many kids who went to check said that their models were hard, though a few kids pointed out “No, it’s still squishy.  You have to wait until it’s really hard.”  We didn’t get into it, but there’s opportunity to talk about whether the squishy playdough is a solid (it is) and whether the hardened playdough is still a solid (it is).

Guided Activity #2 (After PE)

The second activity we did expanded on our previous discussions with states of matter img_1239(solids and liquids).  The kids were given playdough and water and a myraid of containers/sieves and allowed to conduct any experiments that they wanted.  Beforehand, the kids talked about what they thought they might discover or things they were interested in exploring.  From this discussion, we came up with three questions that the kids would try to answer:

1.  Does playdough sink or float in water?
2.  Does clear water turn colors when you add in colored playdough?
3.  Does playdough in water turn into a solid or a liquid?
Some observations:
  • The kids quickly discovered that playdough sank to the bottom.img_1232
    • One child excitedly showed me a ball of playdough in a plastic yogurt cup floating in the water (“I figured out how to make playdough float!”).  Another then chimed in, “But if you add in too much playdough, it sinks!”  He then showed me his yogurt cup at the bottom of the container of water.
    • One discovered another way to make playdough “float”.  He built an island/volcano of playdough until some stuck out of the water (“It’s not really floating, but it looks like it is.”)
  • The kids also noticed that the water turned colors.
    • One methodically set up four different small cups and placed a different color of playdough in each cup before adding water.  She pointed out that the different colors of playdough make different colors of water.
    • When they first added playdough, many kids noticed that the water turned cloudy white first and then, after a while, they could see the color more clearly.  img_1231
  • Some kids pointed out that their playdough completely “disappeared” in the water and turned into a liquid.
  • One child worked the entire time to add a little bit of water to some playdough in a meticulous fashion until she had created a goo.  “Is that a liquid or solid?”  “It’s in-between!”  “Is the goo taking the shape of the container?”  “Yes…. so it’s a liquid!”
  • One child put tanbark in her container of water.  “Do you think the tanbark will stay a solid or turn into a liquid?”  She went to mix her concoction, and later returned saying that some of the tanbark had disappeared so it must have turned into a liquid.
  • At some point, one child accidentally(?) dropped a giant container of water and it img_1228spilled down the tanbark, creating a giant river of water down the path.  The kids enjoyed watching the river as it trickled down.  I pointed out some blobs of playdough that had also been in that container that were now on the ground, and asked them if the playdough was a solid or liquid.  Some immediately said solid, while a few said liquid.  I asked them why it was a solid (“Because it’s not moving like the river.  It has to move.”)  I restated their statement to remind them of the difference between a liquid and solid (“so it’s trying to take the shape of the land?”)  The ones who had originally said that the playdough was liquid then concurred and said that the playdough was a solid.


What’s Next?

The playdough-in-water exploration is a good segway into our next series of activities – gak!  But, before starting that, we’ll finish up our exploration into science models.  In addition, we’ll take a quick detour and do another engineering challenge making boats, as it was a strong interest amongst the kids after discovering that the plastic cup holding playdough could float.

Emergency Parent Sub Protocol:

We all get sick and so do our kids! 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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