Mark Those Calendars!
- D2 Space Odyssey Mission in Rm 7: Amber (email@example.com) is planning an
AMAZING all day space exploration and training for our 22 little astronauts, but WE NEED YOUR HELP! She sent an email about materials and volunteers she needs and is in desperate need of parent helpers! Are you available Monday March 20th for part or all of this space mission Odyssey OR as NASA would call it an, “Extended Duration Orbiter Mission” Day? See details later in blog below!
- Community Snack Schedule: POST-PRESIDENT’S week break is the Fierro family. Please, use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator Kudsana (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you need special accommodations or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Guiang family for snack last week!
- D2 Family Board Game Night: Friday March 3rd 6-9pm
- Parent Meeting: Wednesday March 22nd
- FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates: Skipping February (short month, too many conflicts), Wednesday March 22nd, Wednesday April 26th, Wednesday May 24th, and Wednesday June 14th.
- Leprechaun Trap Challenge: On Thursday March 16th, we’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a fun Leprechaun Trap challenge! Children can build traps at home or bring materials from home to build them during exploration at school. Then, we will test how well they work by leaving them overnight on Wednesday. Should be fun!
- St. Patrick’s Day: NO SCHOOL Friday March 17th (staff development day)
- PSC Meeting: Wednesday March 15th 6:30-9pm
- Board Meeting: Thursday March 16th 6:30-8pm
- The Spring Green Feast: On March 31st, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring by
having a fun GREEN feast of all green foods provided by the bounty of the earth. Sort of like Stone Soup, everyone brings in an item to make salads, and that item also serves as a side dish for kids to choose from. Please view the sing-up genius HERE and feel free to add anything else ‘green’ you feel might be appropriate! We’ll talk about baby animals, ask Jolan to share her baby chicks with us, if possible, and even do some planting and revamping of the compost leading up to the big day. The Green Feast is to remind us of the wonderful gifts and mysteries of nature’s goodness 🙂
- Kinder Pod Performs for Community Sing! All families are welcome to join us on the last Fridays of each month for the sing. However, the kindergarten pod will be performing Friday April 28th for the school. Click here to see all the dates and who’s performing!
Field Trip: De Anza College Planetarium
D2 Space Odyssey Mission Countdown!
- She’s in need of 25 each of the following items for the mission’s success:
- Cereal boxes, one for each kid. Not huge ones, small to medium size.
- White and black pipe cleaners
- Solar space stickers &/or scratch art paper with sticks.
- Medium size smooth river rock
- Silver glitter (2 or 4 varieties)
- Spice jars (15 total of the spice island brand jars with lids or jars that are equivalent.
- Mission control center – who has ideas or can help build one?
- Plastic containers (see her email)
- Volunteer parent to run the AV stuff (music, lights, projector etc.) during activities.
- 3 to 6 of the large plastic containers from Coffee Mate or Starbucks, seen below
The Schedule For Our Space Mission Launch Day!
There will be bio lab boxes set up to try out, two to four kids at a time at this station. This is their chance to mine for rocks and test out what it’s like running a mini bio lab. Another station to be set up called Stargazing for letters and number search.
Amber Martines, C.R.S., G.R.I.
- Newly Organized Atelier Space: The pod teachers came in over break to purge and organize the center space between our classrooms. Please, feel free to check it out and encourage your children to respect the space. We will go over agreements in each classroom and then, again, as a whole pod next Friday at Kinder Sing. Thanks!
- Valentine‘s Day Potluck: We had a small Valentine’s Day potluck Tuesday February 14th at 12pm. Children brought in healthy RED or heart themed foods (pink counted, too, though!) and we exchanged valentines, together.
- NO MORE Mud Puddles! Aside from some kids coming back from both recesses
covered/caked with/bathed in mud from chest to feet (some with no change of clothing), there’s a sanitary issue. We recently found out that several of the large mud puddles children were playing in have been contaminated by dog poop. Several witnesses saw at least 5 dogs choose their spots and owners didn’t fish for the logs…So, please, tell your child that mud puddles are off limits!
- New Clean Up Agreement Cont.: I keep anything left on the floor after transitions or
found after school in my office, until Friday. On Friday, I give back what I collected that week. They missed the space themed toys and huge 3×3 foot box of motorized gears. This turned out to be a very effective strategy, though, and they’re picking up much better!
- Book Clubs! We now have added a new club, making 10 book-clubs up and running, so far. The NEW Star Wars book club started this week! The kids are super jazzed about it and are asking to bring in related books. I said sure! 🙂
- Literacy Prompts: What or who do you love? What do you love to do?
- Science: Gak making and experiments!
- 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, and both mid-range readers (H-K) and high readers (L-N, and above) will go with TK teacher Carol for guided readings group 1-2x a week. I also read 1-on-1 with children who ask during exploration, as well.
- Math: February calendars, subtraction and addition practice, Kakooma, and math games.
- Math Stations: Children played different games and practiced computation skills with subtraction and addition.
- Buddies: We snuggled up together and watched a Magic School Bus Episode “Wet All Over” together on the water cycle and rain (since we were rained in all day!)
- Phonics Word/Picture Match Game: Children loved playing this game and sounding
words out. It was a challenge for a few, but really wonderful practice and fun for most!
- Fill-In-The-Blank Phonics Stamps Game: A mystery for which letter is missing. I put this out as an exploration choice and children liked it, but we will use it as a more focused literacy activity during literacy stations next week!
- Sharing: Several kids brought in special items they wanted to share including more lego models (like Tyler’s cross bow!), as an extension of our science discussion on models.
- Field Trip #7: We visited De Anza College Planetarium on Wednesday February 15th at 11:30 a.m. to see the Magic Tree House Show: Space Mission! Click HERE to see a short clip of the video we watched 🙂
- Some New Videos: Between the terribly rainy weather and the holiday of Valentine’s Day, we watched videos and sang songs – 5 Little Hearts, I’m a Little Valentine, H-E-A-R-T Song, Apples and Bananas, some new GoNoodle videos (like Can’t Stop The Feeling), and on Friday the whole pod watched 3 Curious George episodes on recycling, worms in the garden, and plumbing and water conservation.
Free Form Art In Kindergarten Has Evolved!
Valentine’s Day Potluck
Science with Christine: GAK
GUIDED ACTIVITY: MAKING GAK (Christine) (2-3 kids)
This was similar to the playdough making, where kids had the chance to experiment with a glue and borax solution and determine the optimal ratio to make the best gak for them.
- States of matter, specifically looking at how gak’s property and state changed when frozen.
- Scientific method, focusing on the testing and experimenting portion based off of questions previous asked by the kids.
- Understanding the Ingredients of gak and how they affect the final properties of gak
GUIDED ACTIVITY: GLUE WORMS (Andy) (2 kids max)
We had two trays, one with water and one with a saturated solution of Borax. Kids used standard glue bottles and squeezed glue into the water and into the Borax solution. They can then observed the difference. The glue in the water dissolved away, while the glue strands in the borax solution turned into strands of gak. Kids LOVED this station and happily repeated the experiment over and over with Andy, trying to understand why the glue reacted that way when it hit the solution.
GUIDED ACTIVITY: FROZEN GAK
Christine started working through the list of experiment ideas that the kids proposed. The first one we started with was, “What happens if you freeze gak?” Christine had gak already frozen that the kids could observe and play around with. She also had regular gak, so the focus of the observations would be on how frozen gak and regular gak behave, differently.
- We had already-frozen gak discs available for the kids to observe and play with. Before bringing it out, we asked the kids to hypothesize how gak would behave when frozen. A few answers we recall include “it will turn into ice cubes”, “some of the gak will be frozen, but not all the gak will get frozen”, and “it will get really cold but still be gooey.”
- We also had room temperature gak so that they could observe differences.
- Many enjoyed breaking their frozen discs into small pieces and trying to thaw the individual pieces. One child built a house using frozen gak pieces and room temp gak as the “glue”.
- There was a lot of exploration around the concept of heat transfer – after touching the gak, they would come to me “Feel my hand!! It’s so cold!”. Others mixed their frozen gak with their room temp gak and discovered that the frozen gak made their room temp gak feel cold. Many kids tried to thaw their gak by putting it outside in the sun.
- The kids also had access to the freezer next door and could create their own experiments around freezing gak. I worked with the kids on recording their experiment and results/observations. One child tried to mold her gak into a “snowball” and freeze it. When she returned to check on her snowball, she discovered that the gak had oozed and flattened.
After the winter break, we’ll continue with our gak exploration and experimentation, maybe with the whole “What happens if you add ____ to gak?” question that many kids posed. Will send out more details as it gets closer.
Hypotheses For Frozen Gak…