Week 27: D2 Space Mission Odyssey!

Mark Those Calendars

  • Kinder Pod-Wide Spring Celebration: Friday March 31st before the potluck (10:30-11:45am). Some fun activities we will have include visiting baby chicks, eggs-ercise hunts, egg races, egg dying, egg decorating, a Passover cooking table, and planting!


    BIG MOMENT: Ellie’s first read-aloud to the class!

  • Community Snack Schedule:  This week is the Carroll 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 Ho family for snack last week!
  • Spring Fun Faire: Saturday April 29th
  • Silent Auction: Saturday May 13th (adults only) at Shir Hadash in Los Gatos. Christina (art coordinator) will help children make a plushy sensory reading rug for our auction item and we need donations SOFT yarn in various ocean hues (blue and green). Thanks!
  • Upcoming Field Trip:  Tuesday March 28th at NASA Ames Research Center which ties in nicely to the space unit we’re doing. Because of traffic we’ll need to leave as close to 8:30am as possible! See carpool list, below, but please don’t share with your little ones in case we make changes.
  • The Spring Green Feast: On March 31st from 12:00-12:50pm, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring 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!
  • Spring Break: NO SCHOOL Monday April 3 through Friday April 14th.
  • FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates:  Wednesday April 26th, Wednesday May 24th, andWednesday June 14th.

AMES Field Trip Carpool List

Amber (Jada’s mom) 4 kids:


Christine (Henry’s mom) 2 kids:


Ale (Oscar’s mom) 2 kids:


Mercedes (Ellie’s mom) 4 kids: 


Shairstin (Nicholas’s mom) 2 kids:


Arielle (Maddie K’s mom) 4 kids:

Maddie K

Trevor (Quentin’s dad) 4 kids:

Maddie S

Weekly Highlights

  • Skill Sharing: Many children have brought in items and it’s become a contest. The items keep getting bigger and newer and have created some imbalance in the system of power

    A relieved Ellie smiles as friends clap for Ellie after she finishes her book! 

    and social status within our classroom, solely based on toys being shared. So, we will STOP bringing in items and start bringing in SKILLS! Everyone is good at something and this spring is everyone’s time to shine. I discussed it with them and then asked what’s a skill. They gave the definition you see below. Then, kids raised hands to volunteer a skill they wanted to share. Take a look at the schedule so far! We will share every Friday, starting March 31 🙂

  • Ellie’s Read-Aloud: Ellie began the year not knowing how to read. So, she has worked very hard this year to accomplish her brain goal (learning how to read). She felt ready and asked on Monday if she could read aloud to the class. At first I was surprised, but it turns out it’s the same book she’s been practicing at home and asking to with me and other adults at school. She’d set her goal a while ago! (And here I just thought she loved Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham!) The children were very supportive and encouraging of her big moment, high-fiving her and shhh-ing friends who began to have side-conversations, now and again. Many were blown away by her new-found reading skills and immediately wanted a chance read in front of classmates, as well! So, a sign up is probably coming soon if they push for it 🙂
  • Math: Introduced base 10 blocks for equations. We looked at the actual manipulatives

    Skill Sharing Schedule in lieu of toys!

    as well as drawings to help us: 10’s rods, 1’s cubes (called units or “baby ones”), and the 100’s flat blocks. They saw how 10 rods of 10 made a flat 100 block. So, then they asked about how to make 1000 and I told them it’s a huge cube, but I didn’t have it at the moment. So, instead, we made a make-shift one, by stacking 10 flat 100 stacks together to make a 1000 cube!) Children explored these materials freely first, building and making trains. But then, they began to add their rods, flat stacks, and unit ones up to see how big a number they could get. Many kids went over to join groups and share materials to increase their numbers. It was awesome! Later in the week, we used them to solve math equations demonstrating the 10s and 1s.

  • Wednesday’s Parent Meeting: It went very well, and you can find the Parent Meeting

    D2 Space Odyssey Mission Day was out of this world!

    minutes here: Parent Meeting 6. We talked about how to support your child at home with math computation and number sense. We also did a small group exercise in comparing developmental shifts between older 5 year olds and 6 year olds with the help of Yardstick’s: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. Then, we shared out our findings and discussed our reflections about what we read and heard. MANY parents found this helpful! If you’d like the materials we used from Yardsticks, please email me.

  • D2 Space Odyssey Mission in Rm 7: Amber planned and executed an AMAZING all day space exploration and training for our 22 little astronauts with the help of our room 7 parent and teacher community. Together the parents and I helped bring Amber’s vision into a reality…and boy did it exceed expectations! As Amber said, “Well, if we’re going to talk about space, space is big. Literally! So we had to go big!” Well done!!!
  • Animal Visitor: Sheila (Claudia’s mom) brought a box turtle for the kids to see!
  • Boys & Bathroom Agreements: Please continue to remind them! We found a giant

    Animal Visitor: Sheila brought a box turtle!

    pee puddle in the middle of the floor on their side…

  • Literacy: Drawing and writing reflections on their favorite part of space day!
  • Story Workshop: Children made their story workshop stories with the loose parts cart and we finished sharing the 5 stories from the previous week, on Wednesday via power point. Children have 10 seconds to look at someone’s work, then say what they think it might be. After, either I or they read their story and explain what the parts represent. They have time for 1 minute of questions or comments. So far, everyone has been warmly received and supported!
  • Science: “Fluffy gak” with shaving cream!
  • Art: Cosmic Sun catchers using plastic lids, white glue, liquid water color dye, and tooth picks!
  • Just-Right Reading! Each morning, parents can help kids choose leveled books to

    Art: Cosmic Sun Catchers!

    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.
  • Buddies: Buddy reading in P1 with fourth graders!

NEW! Friday Skill Sharing Schedule (9:00-9:30am)

Children will have an opportunity to explain, demonstrate and field question/comments IMG_3857on ONE (1) skill of their choice. Some have to decide WHICH SKILL because they thought of two. Those children have an (*) next to their name. They have 5-10 minutes each. You can discuss with them how they may want to show their skill, what props they might need, how they will utilize the space of our classroom safely, and help them prepare for this public speaking opportunity by rehearsing it with them. I will prepare the children to be encouraging, kind, and respectful audience members. Some children already told me what they chose as a skill. So that’s why some names already have a skill in parenthesis. If your child has not chosen a skill, yet, please help them choose and prepare before their debut! Please see the following sign-ups:

  • March 31: Cici (Flexibility), *Genevieve (Gymnastics/Art) and Oscar (T-ball)
  • April 21: Byron (Karate) and *Nadia (Dancing/Singing)
  • April 28: Tyler (Dance moves), Ellie (Drawing) and Logan (_________)
  • May 5: Donovan (Hockey), Pranav (Gymnastics), Maddie S. (Gymnastics)
  • May 12:  Dominic (Basketball) and Jada (Gymnastics)
  • May 26: Maddie K (Gymnastics) and Henry (Gymnastics)
  • June 2: Sthanika (_________) and Nakiya (Teaching reading)
  • June 9: Cameron (Gymnastics) and Nicholas (_______), Steele (Protecting)
  • June 16: Quentin (Running) and Sadie (Dance moves)

D2 Space Odyssey Mission Countdown: The Schedule For Our Space Mission Launch Day!


Reporting for duty!

This past Monday March 20th, our little astronauts went through an intense(ly fun) training. Amber and I, through the help of our community and her friends, turned the whole classroom into an interactive museum, essentially. The students had no idea what they were about to experience when they  checked in with the commanding officer (for attendance) at 8:30am and picked up their high security clearance badges. As they entered the completely transformed classroom, they picked up their gear and were guided through a pop-up wall picture gallery of the exciting careers, cooltechnology, and rich history that space frontier travel has to offer our young cadets. We took a wee break with some “astronaut tag” outside to get their wiggles out, after they patiently listened and watched for 45 minutes.

Press Conference Lunch

Next, we enjoyed a “Press Conference Luncheon” (Snack inside the classroom) by 10-10:30 a.m., where they tasted the kinds of foods that astronauts eat in space.  Christine hosted a mini-lesson on states of matter, with freeze dried & plasma-like food using blueberries. How cool is that?!

After that, we entered into the theatrical portion of the play day.  Kids were granted access to mission control center, and encouraged to go through various stations of astronaut training exercises. The stations included a tube crawl, a lung test of blowing bubbles, a stamina test on the trampoline, an


Lung Capacity: 1 of 6 tests to pass before astronaut credentials would be given!

agility jumping test on the floor-size number line, a balance test, and a vomit comet test in a spinning chair. Once they passed these tests, they then took the Astronaut’s Pledge and got ready to enter space, beginning our count-down blast-off as we climbed inside our shuttle (giant tent in the middle of the room)! We watched a short launch video and reenacted going into space as they held on tight to their jet packs. While we were enclosed  inside our make shift shuttle, parent volunteers to rolled out bubble wrap to turn and turned on black lights to reenact our first stop: The moon! Children hopped out wearing their jet packs and happily bounced around, finding curious rocks on the ground…

We collected out moon rocks, which were river rocks that were spray painted with glow in


Moon rocks!

the dark paint and moon facts written on them.  They were encased  in a crusty shell of baking soda and pop rocks. They  dissolved the moon rocks’ crusty shell in a bucket of vinegar to unveil the secret moon fact written underneath it.  We shared the facts with each other, and it was meant as a fun take home home gift, however, most were left behind. (Feel free to grab on on the blue bench outside the classroom door!)

After that, we let the children play with their environment which led to a lot of “side


Dramatic Play: Impromptu-space missions!

missions” to pluto, mars, and more. We climbed back in our shuttle, for our second mission around our solar system, during which we watched a fun rap song video that told us cool facts about the planets! We ventured back to earth, climbed out, and played solar planet Q&A to test their knowledge of what they learned about the planets. Afterward, kids  had lunch and couldn’t wait to return!


Moon phases with Oreos!

Upon returning, there were several activities… They were given black paper or paper with solar planets’ stickers to map out where and how our solar system is laid out. (Parent: These can be laminated later as place mats!)  Trey, Jada’s older brother, led an out of this world informational food activity about moon phases involving Oreos. There were 5 different bio lab boxes set up to try out, two to four kids at a time at the station. This was their chance to mine for rocks, feel materials similar to the surfaces of certain planets, and a chance to test out what it’s like running a mini bio lab. Another station set up was called Stargazing for letters and number search. They had a chance to look at constellations and play with pretend computers to calculate missions and launches they led. There was even a simulated BLACK hole (made by Steele’s family) using a fan and a GIANT, GIANT GARBAGE BAG! They even painted the inside with stars. It was a huge hit with the kids. Joan,
Terra and Carol’s classes were curious and were encouraged to come during this free exploration time and thoroughly enjoyed the choices. Eventually, it was time for us to land for pick up.  So we climbed inside the shuttle (tent) and watched a shuttle landing video with Terra’s class who swung by towards the end. We safely landed and the astronauts were asked to get



their jet packs for a classic post-landing picture outside. It was a phenomenal experience and the kids couldn’t have imagined something so surreal and HUGE! What a huge success for our community in pulling off something so grandiose and a wonderful testament to the visionary skills and leadership provided by Amber Martinez (Jada’s mom). Only in room 7 kindergarten, ya’ll!  🙂  If you’d like to send her a message of gratitude, please email her at snipit@ymail.com.


We finished dropping some sick space knowledge…That’s a rap!

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Story Workshop & Sharing

Math: Base 10 Blocks

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