Mark Those Calendars!
- D2 Space Odyssey Mission in Rm 7: Amber (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 Hunter family. Please use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator Kudsana (email@example.com) know if you need special accommodations or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Maxwell/Johnson 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 races, egg dying, egg decorating, and planting!
- 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! 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 March 16th 6:30-8pm
- The Spring Green Feast: On March 31st from 12:00-12:50pm, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring b
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!
Literacy: Leprechaun Letters!
- Sub for Kate: Shalini subbed for me Wednesday and Thursday because I was sick.
- Boys & Bathroom Agreements: It came to our attention that the boys’ side of the bathroom was being misused, again. They were peeing on the toilet paper roll on the wall, on the floor, in the sink, on the rug, weren’t flushing, bringing toys into he toilet, and peed in a firefighter’s helmet in the toilet. So, all 4 classrooms of boys sat down with teachers to discuss the situation. So far, it’s been better, but please continue having the talk with your children (especially boys) about bathroom agreements and expectations. Thanks!
- Literacy: Handwriting and Letters to Leprechauns! Hopefully, they’ll swing by after getting the signal from our letters… 🙂
- Science: Gak, salt water and buoyancy experiments!
- Art: Rainbow paper craft and hidden messages using a white crayon and watercolor paint
- 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: We did differentiated addition with coins that required kids to recognize coins
and then add their sums (A: sums less than 20 with nickels, dimes, and pennies, B: addition by 5s or nickels only, and C: sums with all coins adding up to odd numbers and/or numbers above $1 requiring use of the decimal point), as well as board games and kakooma. Children wanted to make a store to raise money for the classroom field trips and in order to do that they agreed that they needed to learn how to add and subtract money to run their store.
- Buddies: We took turns in two groups playing steal the bacon outside and doing inside building choices with our 4th grade buddies.
- 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
foam blocks, rocks, and shells.
- Sharing: We tried a different sharing structure, more akin to museum style. 5 children at a time sat at tables with shares and everyone has 2 mins per table to ask questions or give comments.
- Friday Treat: A Magic School Bus Gets Planted episode for part of Quiet Time/Beginning of Exploration.
- Friday Kinder Sing
- Campus Clean-up: Kids used trash pickers and filled 6 garbage bags in 20 minutes! They took turns using the trash pickers and did an excellent job as stewards of the school and super helpers of Salvador.
Art: Spring Rainbows & Secret Messages!
Money: Adding coins!
Leprechaun Traps: Materials Needed!
Campus Clean-Up: Practicing Stewardship
“Taking care of the things and people around us.”
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.
Science with Christine: Gak, Buoyancy, and Salt Water!
Class Experiment: Buoyancy and Gak
Last week, when the kids had a chance to experiment with different materials and how they interacted with gak, there was a fair amount of interest in whether something floated or sank in gak. We have previously discussed buoyancy and looked at some float/sink experiments with water, so it was great to see kids pulling from that knowledge source and creating experiments using gak as the liquid
Feeding on that interest, we conducted a simple experiment where kids hypothesize whether certain items would float or sink in gak. The items we tested were a plastic toy, a small rock, a piece of dense foil folded into a square, and a piece of foil shaped into a ball. We first gathered information about how those materials acted in water. For each item, we did a body vote (we asked the kids to go to one half of the room if they thought it would sink and go to the other half if they thought it would float.) They tallied the number of kids in each group. A few kids chose to abstain from making hypotheses.
Kids then followed a similar process for making hypotheses on how those items would behave when placed in gak. We observed that the gak was “thicker” (more viscous) than water and one of the kids explained that, last week, it took the entire recess period for a toy snake to sink from the top of a pile of gak to the bottom. Thus, after placing the items into the container of gak, we let the container sit until after recess.
After recess, we analyzed the results. We made the discovery that the items behaved the same with both gak and water. If the items floated in water, they also floated in gak.
GUIDED ACTIVITY: How water affects Gak
Observations about Gak mixed with (plain) water:
- It gets stringy. It’s cold. It’s squishy. (Genevieve)
- It gets soft. (Logan)
- It gets less sticky. It feels like jello. It turns the water to the color of the gak. (Nakiya and Maddie S)
- It feels like poop. (Oscar)
- It smells like pee. (Quentin)
- It feels a little wet. (Henry)
Observations about Gak mixed with salt water:
- It squished out all the water, I hate this feeling! The salt’s going in my skin. It separates the water. (Genevieve)
- The color is getting lighter, the salt goes inside. (Nakiya)
- Mine’s not sticky anymore. (Donovan)
- It gets harder. If you press down on it, it looks like cells. (Claudia)
- It gets harder. (Maddie S)
- It’s slobbery and it looks like a brain but it’s blue. Not a good feeling. (Ellie)
- I see really, really light white in my gak. (Logan and Oscar)
- Slobbery and wet, slippery. It’s sticky, really sticky, gak is getting smaller in the water. It’s slimy, it’s green on the table and blue in my hand (Maddie K and Cameron)
- Squishy. (Dominic and Tyler)
- Slimy (Jada)
- It’s turning into blue water. (Byron)
- Viscosity – kids noticed that the gak was “thicker” or “harder” than water. We observed that things sank slower in the gak (compared to water). There’s probably videos out there if we want to introduce this concept to their vocabulary. We could also do some class experiments on this, such as bringing in liquids of different viscosity and timing how long it takes rocks to move through them.
- Using the metal balls/magnets to demonstrate how glue and borax works (I think we’ve gotten through enough kids to be able to bring that in next time)
- Osmosis – Especially since one of the kids mentioned how the gak blob looked like a cell, Christine thinks it would be great to talk more about how salt affects living cells in both plants and animals and Julie Olsen, our gardening parent, is very excited about this prospect! Christine and I would love to do some version of the “how do plants grow in regular vs. salt water”.
(NOTE: Thank you Christine for always doing such detailed weekly write ups of the science experience!)