Week 24: Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

Mark Those Calendars!

  • D2 Space Odyssey Mission in Rm 7: Amber (snipit@ymail.com) is planning an

    D2 Space Odyssey Mission on Monday March 20, 2017! Join us!

    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 Maxwell/Johnson 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 or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Fierro family for snack last week!
  • Pod-Wide Spring Celebration: Friday March 31st before the potluck (time TBD)  Some fun activities we will have include visiting baby chicks, eggs-ercsise hunts, egg img_2820races, egg dying, egg decorating, and planting!
  • Parent Meeting: Wednesday March 22nd
  • FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates:  Skipping February (short month, too many conflicts), Wedn
    esday 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! In honor of this holiday, we’ll be doing a fun Leprechaun Trap challenge as an engineering project in science that week! Children will build traps during science on Tuesday the 14th. See details further down about materials to bring! 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 M
    arch 16th 6:30-8pm
  • The Spring Green Feast: On March 31st from 12:00-12:50pm, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring by

    Sign up for an item to bring!

    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 do some 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!

Provocation Example: How can you balance the scales?

Leprechaun Traps: Materials needed!

images-13The kids will put on their engineering hats on Tuesday, March 14th and design and build their own leprechaun traps using recyclable materials.  These traps will be left out Wednesday afternoon, so that the leprechauns can “visit” the classroom in the night.  Who knows what the kids will discover Thursday morning!!
While we probably have enough recyclable materials for the kids to use, please feel free to look around and have your child bring in additional items.  Some items that may be useful:
– boxes, especially interesting ones that have unique flaps or pre-cut holesleprechaun-traps-2
– netting material, like the ones that hold produce/potatoes
– plastic/styrofoam clamshells
– twine/yarn/ribbons
– skewers/chopsticks/straws
– plastic containers/tubs
– fabric scraps (especially green/yellow colored)
– cotton balls/pom poms
– toilet paper tubes
– paper bag
-donations of tape (masking and duct tape) are always
Feel free to talk to your child as well as they often have some amazing ideas and suggestions!  If there’s any items that your child wants to use for their own traps (e.g. a special box), please make sure that it is somehow marked with their name or set aside separately.  Otherwise, the assumption is that all material brought in will be available for everyone’s use.
There’s no need to bring these items in before Tuesday, March 14th, though, if necessary, we can collect them ahead of time.

D2 Space Odyssey Mission Countdown!

  1. She’s in need of 25 each of the following items for the mission’s success:


    Spice Jars

  2.  Cereal boxes, one for each kid. Not huge ones, small to medium size.
  3. White and black pipe cleaners
  4.  Solar space stickers &/or scratch art paper with sticks.
  5.  Medium size smooth river rock
  6. Silver glitter (2 or 4 varieties)
  7. Spice jars (15 total of the spice island brand jars with lids or jars that are equivalent.
  8. Mission control center – who has ideas or can help build one?
  9. Plastic containers (see her email)
  10. Volunteer parent to run the AV stuff (music, lights, projector etc.) during activities.
  11. 3 to 6 of the large plastic containers from Coffee Mate or Starbucks, seen below

Empty plastic containers needed!

The Schedule For Our Space Mission Launch Day!

unnamed-16On Monday March 20th, our astronauts in training will coming wearing white, blue or any NASA or American inspired clothing. They will check in at 8:30am, sign their name with the commanding officer (attendance) and pick up their badges and gear and will be guided through the exciting careers, cool technology and some history that space frontier travel has to offer our young cadets. Amber is hoping for a guest speaker(s) and parent volunteers to help guide this portion of the lesson.  “I have some material for this portion. However, I am happy to accept more ideas too.  If parents wants to help with this part, let’s meet ahead of time to create, talking-point, cue-cards together before the event.”
We will take a recess break then come back to enjoy a “Press Conference Luncheon” unnamed-17(Snack inside the classroom) by 10-10:30 a.m.  They will get to learn about how, what and taste the foods that astronauts eat in space.  Christine will host a mini lesson on states of matter, “freeze dried & plasma-like food”!  How cool is that?!
We will then get into a theatrical portion of the play day.  Kids will attend mission control center, go through astronaut training exercises, take the pledge & oath and get ready for our count-down blast-off, and climb inside our shuttle! We will watch a short video on vortex math /space. “I’ll need a parent volunteer to handle all video, projector, music and lights for the duration of the activities from 11-12:30 pm. While we are enclosed and acting out inside our make shift shuttle (which is just an easy up, made to look like a shuttle), I’ll need a parent volunteer to roll out bubble wrap, turn on the hazer (water vapor machine) and black lights, because our first stop, is the moon!”
We will get out and search for moon rocks.  Moon rocks will be the river rocks, spray painted with glow in the dark paint and moon facts written on them.  Ahead of this day, we will create the rocks and encase these fact finding messages in a crusty shell around the rock using baking soda and pop rock concoction.  The day of, the kids will hunt for one rock each using tongs (fine motor skill activity) and they will get to dissolve the moon rocks crusty shell in a bucket of vinegar to unveil the secret moon fact written on it.  We will share the facts with each other.  This is a take home gift.  (If a parent volunteer would like to assemble those crusty fun finds with me ahead of time, that would be kind.)
After that we will climb back in our shuttle, for our second mission around our solar unnamed-20system, which will be watching a guided projector activity on the ceiling of the easy up, about our solar system.  We will venture back to earth, climb out and play solar planet Simon says to test their knowledge of what they learned about the planets. A parent volunteer is needed to set up this scene by changing up the room by rolling up and putting away the bubble wrap and setting out Simon says game pieces.  Cue cards will be read by Teacher Kate or a volunteer and they have to figure out which planet to land on when the recognize the facts about that particular planet. Then, around 12:20pm – Kids will break for lunch.
Upon returning, there will be several activities… They will be given scratch art paper or paper with solar planets stickers to map out where and how our solar system is laid out. These can be laminated later as place mats! An out of this world art station to be set up.  Here they will create using the spice jar, a Nebula galaxy, as a take home memento. One or two volunteers unnamed-18would be appreciated here to help monitor them pouring colored water and glitter into the cotton ball layered jars, as well as hot glue gun the lid on.

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.

Other various themed activities will eventually guide us to a movement break out doors between 2ish-2:50 pm for pick up.   Is there a parent who can pre-test and then run the water rocket activity on the day of the event (March 20th) for this activity?  This will occur about 2 pm outside. I do want the kids to be totally surprised, so MUM is the word!
Amber is always open to suggestions and comments and she appreciates all your help! Thank you to those few who’ve responded already  🙂

Amber Martines, C.R.S., G.R.I.

408-505-5580, snipit@ymail.com

Weekly Highlights

  • Dr. Seuss Reading Week: It was Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Thursday March 2nd, so we

    Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

    highlighted it by reading many of his books and doing related literacy activities to encourage rhyming and word ending recognition, which helps blending sounds as they learn reading.

  • NEW Story Workshop Cart: Children made stories after using the NEW story workshop cart from the center pod. Children were so excited to use these new loose materials, and did some wonderful play with their imaginations! When they finished, we put them back (since it’s a recycled items activity), but snapped photos beforehand. The next day, some children were able to explain their stories and see their pictures on a slide show! Students took 10 seconds to look at each picture and use their own imaginations to make sense of how the materials were used first. Then, the story was read aloud and they were given time to 3 questions or comments. Children were very proud and their classmates were respectful and encouraging of their sharing!


    Cooking: Cat in The Hat parfaits!

  • Cooking: Cat in The Hat Parfaits with strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and whipper cream!
  • 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!
  • Literacy: Phonics with Dr. Seuss word families!
  • Science: Gak making and experiments!
  • Art: Dr. Seuss themed puppets using plastic cutlery and decorative materials. This

    Art: Dr. Seuss Puppets!

    inspired them to do plays with our puppet theater 🙂

  • 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:  March calendars and money. We introduced money with pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters, and half dollar coins because the kids want to fundraise for a field trip. (They know Monterrey Bay Aquarium isn’t an option this year, but still were interested in selling goods to raise money for the classroom to do something fun!). They looked at the coins for qualities that identify each coins, then sorted the coins. Eventually, we did addition and subtraction practice with money. They did skits taking turned pretending to be a buyer and seller buying cookies for a $1.00.
  • Buddies: We played on the playground together with our 4th grade buddies!


    Truffalla Tree Word Families!

  • Truffalla Tree Phonics: Students helped each other in groups brainstorm and write down words for various word ending families. This was a mostly independent activity where kids worked together and circulated to each table of word families!
  • Scales: As an open ended morning math activity during free choice, children worked with scales to answer the provocation -how can you balance the scales? They used beans and noticed that because they’re different sizes, that skewed the results. This week, they will try foam blocks.
  • Sharing: Several kids brought in special items they wanted to share as an extension of our science discussion on models.
  • Dr. Seuss Movie: Horton Hears A Who (25 mins)
  • Friday School Community Sing
  • Japanese Doll Festival: Akiko and Nadia did a wonderful presentation about Japanese Doll Festival that they celebrated March 3rd. Akiko brought in one of the foods typically eaten during the celebration. Nadia wore her traditional clothing and Akiko showed kids how to make their own paper dolls!

We read Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss over two days and then watched the movie!


Dr. Seuss Inspired Phonics!


Japanese Doll Festival

Story Workshop Cart in Action!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Science with Christine: GAK


We continued going through the list of “experiment ideas” that the kids had brainstormed a few weeks ago.  We did the following idea: “What happens when you add _____ to gak?”

Gak was available at tables, as well as the other materials, though some of the materials the kids needed to go outside and find (e.g. dirt, grass, sticks, rocks).  They attempted to do a simple write-up of the experiment, prior to experimenting since everything got very img_2936messy very quickly.
Materials included flour, salt, oil, nature objects, toys, etc.  Questions proposed to the kids included whether the final mixed product was a liquid or a solid, whether the various ingredients mix and dissolve into the gak or just stay separated, and whether the ingredients changes the way gak behaves (does it still ooze?  does it stick to your hand?)
There was some overlap of the other experiment ideas (e.g. several wanted to leave it out to see how it dries or want to freeze it).  We did it for a day. However, gak in art cubbies was not the best idea!  It was very interesting to see how they used gak with toys! See some quoted kid observations below:
  • I put flour oatmeal salt and sugar into my back and it’s just like don’t know!
  • Salt is pulling the water out of the gak!
  • Salt changed the color
  • Mesh: it goes through a little easy and it gets stuck
  • Rocks: Gak sticks to them. We smoothed it up and put it on top, the octopus wassticking to the rock because of the gak.img_2921

  • Sometimes when I stick the animals on and try to take it off the toys would stick and then the gak stretched and broke.
  • Toys and gak: it sticks, doesn’t come off that easily,
  • Grass: gak makes  float stuck
  • Gak on a house: easy to clean off, slowly covers it, sticky, breaks,
  • Gak on clothes feels cold and sticky
  • You can’t see the color when you mix everything in
  • I added mostly oats I put water oil and oil after I put dry stuff in then I added liquid
    and it was kid of dry and liquidy
  • I added everything and it looked exactly oatmeal, it looked weird!
  • I made a purple beautiful design- because I added a lot of  flour
  • Stick and gak: The stick was stuck and when I tried to pull it really high and the gak stretched and broke! It’s strong!
  • When I added only salt and it turned liquid and the gak separated from the water
  • Animal hotel: We put rocks sticks salt and sugar in gak and it turned a certain color and mixed into a lot of colors together. All of those ingredients together made some kind of glue.
  • I found out if you put flour and salt together and then I just go into the gak  and then it turned into more bits.
  • Toys sink in gak: I put a pink snake in before recess and it was on the top and now it’s sunk inside. (Other kid) yeah! My triceratops sunk and now the gak is rising out of the container


GUIDED ACTIVITY: Morning Exploration Time (Gak Making Station)

During the 2nd shift morning time slot, we followed a similar format like last time with morning exploration.  Christine had her science station, where she continued taking kids (2 at a time) and experiment with the ingredients that make gak.
She has these other random toys that she brought in to be an addition to the other items we usually have available.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s