Week 30: Didgeridoos, Spring Fun Fair and More!

Mark Those Calendars

  • Child-led Spring Conferences: Click here for the Sign up genius for June!

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    Spring Fun Fair Success!

  • End of Year Assessments: I am doing assessments during the day (Quiet Time and part Exploration). I would do them during lunch, but I need to be outside on the playground with yard duty. My hope was that doing it during the day would save you scheduling 2 days to come in with your child, as opposed to 1. 
  • Community Snack Schedule:  This week is the Steinhauer 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 Ramos/Paiyou family for snack last week!
  • Staff Appreciation Day: Thursday May 4th
  • Silent Auction: Saturday May 13th (adults only) at Shir Hadash in Los Gatos. Christina (art coordinator) helped children make a plushy sensory reading rug, now turned wall art decor and it’s lovely.
  • Staff Development Day: NO SCHOOL Friday May 19
  • Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL Monday May 29th
  • Other FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates: Wednesday May 24th, and Wednesday June 14th.

Exploring Sound With The Didgeridoo!

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Spring Fun Fair!

Weekly Highlights

  • Fairies! A fairy door SUDDENLY appeared along with a tiny mail box, and now theIMG_5132 children are pen pals with Luna the fairy and her family. Having these visitors has inspired children to try their hand at practicing sentences, practicing neat handwriting, more spelling, and writing questions 🙂 It’s really revved up our literacy curriculum…Gotta love those fairies!
  • Kinder Pod Performed for Community Sing! The kindergarten pod performed Friday April 28th. They ROCKED!
  • Science/Art with Amber: An exploration in sound with making didgeridoos!
  • Spring Fun Fair: Saturday April 29th families gathered for a community extravaganza from 12:00-4:00pm. Room 7 teamed up with Room 6 TKers to run what we decided was a duck pond with prizes to be won! It was a sunny day with clear skies and joyful hearts!
  • New Art Medium: Air dry clay!
  • Skill Sharing: We will share every Friday, and Oscar, Maddie K., Ellie Luz, and Tyler shared their skills for us  🙂 Many children have brought in toy items and it’s become a contest. The items kept getting bigger and newer and created an imbalance in the system of power and social status within our classroom, solely
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    Community Sing: Fight Song!

    based on toys being shared. So, we stopped bringing in items and started bringing in SKILLS. Everyone is good at something and this spring is everyone’s time to shine! Take a look at the schedule so far!

  • Math: We worked on showing math sentences (equations) with base 10blocks: 10’s rods, 1’s units (called “baby ones” or “cubes”), and the 100’s flat blocks. Goals: Understanding that the 10s rod has 10 ones inside of it, the one’s cubes are only representing ONE each, that a larger number can have a combination of 10s, 1’s, and sometimes 100s, and adding can be easier thinking about it in 10s and 1s.
  • Buddies: They came to our room for math workshop. We played a series of base 10 games and did base 10 activities (since 4th grade is ALSO using base 10 blocks). We also numbered our duck pond ducks for Spring Fun Faire.
  • Weekly Kid Read-Aloud: Cici
  • Literacy: Fairy letter writing, handwriting, and story workshop.
  • Story Workshop: We used the loose parts cart to construct our stories!
  • Science: A day in the life of a food scientist – spiraling back to the space unit!
  • Art: Body Tracing!
  • Just-Right Reading! Each morning, parents can help kids choose leveled books totake home and practice reading with children. Please be sure to return the books and put them in the proper bins!
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Buddies: Math Workshop with Base 10 block activities!

Science: A Day in The Life of A Food Scientist!

This week, we did an in-depth dive into food in outer space while touching upon our next curriculum unit of diffusion/osmosis (the spread and movement of molecules).
The high-level objective of these activities:
  • Talk about some of the food requirements that NASA’s food scientists must meet, fullsizeoutput_6c84and gather data through experiments to make our own conclusions about the type of foods astronauts should take into space.
  • Learn about weight – how to use weigh scales to measure the weight of items, how to use that information to make decisions, comparing numbers to determine what is heaviest/lightest, etc.
  • Explore how taste perception is affected by other senses – does something familiar still taste the same if it is repackaged in an unfamiliar form?
  • Explore how different atmospheres on various planets/celestial bodies affect our own weight
  • Initial exposure to water diffusion/osmosis
Activity #1: A day in the life of a Food Scientist
The kids had a chance to step in the shoes of a NASA Food Scientist.  The astronauts IMG_4986wanted to take blueberrries on their next flight up into space, and the kids had to conduct experiments to determine which type of blueberry to pack in the shuttle.  The kids were told that the blueberries had to be tasty as well as light-weight.  There were three different types of blueberries – frozen, dried, and freeze-dried.
The kids conducted two experiments.  One was a taste-test experiment, where the kids tried the different types of blueberries and ranked the taste using a scale of 😵 to 😀.  The other was a weight experiment, and the kids worked together to weigh the blueberries using a precision scale.
The kids were given a template to fill in their results, and then, using that information, they had to determine which type of blueberry they would recommend for the next space mission.
Some concepts the kids were exposed:
  • We noticed that one child’s freeze-dried blueberry weight measurement might be different from another child’s, but the RELATIVE weight between the different types of blueberries was the same.  After looking at some of the data from different kids, the class was able to draw the conclusion that frozen berries ALWAYS weighed more than dried berries, which ALWAYS weighed more than freeze-dried berries.   It was a great way to highlight the difference between ABSOLUTE and RELATIVE weights.
  • The kids were introduced to both qualitative data (non-numerical observations) and quantitative data (numerical, measurable information).  Measuring “tastiness” is a qualitative measurement and measuring weight is quantitiative.  Depending on the subjective “taste” measurement, not all the children came up with the same recommendation for the astronauts.  A great way to highlight how science is not always exact with only one right or wrong answer.
If your child has further interest, this website gives more details about goals that the NASA Space Food Team has.
Activity #2: A (lunch)day in the life of an Astronaut
Amber had previously purchased a couple of freeze-dried meals (chicken/rice and IMG_5004marinara/noodles), so the kids had a chance to experience a typical meal that a real astronaut might have for lunch.
Before taste-testing them, we weighed the food packs before adding water as well as after adding water.  We asked the kids to hypothesize whether the weight would be more, less, or the same after adding water.  Of course, all of the kids guessed that the food packs would weigh more with the water added.  It reinforced the fact that water = heavy and highlighted the benefits of freeze-drying food for space travel.

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The kids also had a chance to look at the food before and after rehydration.  They were especially wary of the chicken/rice meal, which looked like yellow powder.  Freeze-dried noodles look like regular uncooked pasta, so that wasn’t as strange to them.

There was a wide range of opinions of whether the meals tasted good or not, but most agreed that they couldn’t eat meals like this for an extended period of time and it highlighted just one of the (many) luxuries that astronauts willingly give up in the name of science!

Activity #3: How color affects taste!

Amber has already done a number of experiments in the past with taste and how our
other senses affect our sense of taste.  For NASA’s Space Food team, one of the challenges is to make food in space LOOK and TASTE the way they were meant to be.
The kids got to be taste-testers in a juice experiment.  They first tried a red-colored juice, and were asked to guess the flavor of the juice.  They then repeated the taste-test with a dark/purple-ish juice.
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For the red juice, kids thought the flavor was:
  • fruit punch gatorade
  • apple
  • pomegranate
  • cherry
  • grape
For the purple juice, kids thought the flavor was:
  • apple cider
  • kiwi
  • grape
  • purple jelly bean
  • fruit punch
  • pomegranate
  • blackberry
Most of the kids were excited to drink the red juice, but initially refused to drink the dark purple juice.  When asked, many had a preference towards one juice, saying that it tasted better than the other.
It turned out that the two “different” juices were the exact same (apple juice) that had been dyed different colors!  Because our brain has been trained to associate different colors with different flavors, it can affect how we perceive what something tastes like.  This activity showed why the NASA team spends effort on how food looks!
Activity #4: “Un-freeze-drying” blueberries
We had some leftover freeze-dried blueberries, and one child wanted to know what happened when we added water to it.  So we did an impromptu experiment where we rehydrated freeze-dried blueberries.
In the afternoon, Sadie rang the chimes and announced that the kids could taste-test and observe freeze-dried blueberries that had been rehydrated.  The water’s behavior (“moving” into the blueberry) is a loose example of diffusion. Several partook in this opportunity!
We’ll be doing a lot more experiments over the next month demonstrating the concept of diffusion and osmosis (which is just diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane)

Future Ideas:

Going forward, many of the ideas Christine has for diffusion/osmosis may require a fairly long wait-time and little preparation time (e.g. putting raisins in water and observing them 24 hours later).  It’s possible we may need to adjust the schedule somewhat… I’ll think about it more and send out more details later.

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Read-Aloud Schedule

After hearing Ellie Luz read last month, many other children felt inspired to read to the

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Cici’s read aloud!

class, too. They begged me to create a sign-up and kept asking when they would read! So, we took time today to create this list, below. They chose where on the list they wanted to be (knowing the higher or lower they were meant sooner or later), but please talk with your child about when they’re scheduled to read and whether they’ll be able to prepare their book, by then.  If your child would like to go a little later on the list, in order to practice a book that he/she is comfortable it be ready to read it on his own, please let me know.

We talked as a class about read-alouds and how children prepared themselves to read for the class. Ellie Luz said that she practiced that ONE book both at school and at home with her family for a month. Genevieve said she practiced it at home a bunch of times and wanted to share it. Dominic and Logan said the same thing! I want to be very clear that this list is not about a list of books that they choose and I read aloud. This is the list that the kids asked me to put together, because they wanted to read a book to the class themselves. If your child’s goal is to do this, but he/she’s not ready right now, I can definitely have him/her go later! For children who aren’t reading yet but volunteered, too, they could simply do a picture walk (narrating the story orally based on each picture)! The last option is perhaps they can read with a partner, taking turns, or they can read a page and I read a page. The bottom line is that I want them to take as much ownership over this activity as possible 🙂 

What type of book?

Whatever book they want! From BOB books to picture books. It’s their choice of whatever makes them feel comfortable and CONFIDENT.

List of read-aloud dates and students:

  1. Ellie  3/23
  2. Genevieve 3/24
  3. Logan 3/29IMG_5143
  4. Dominic 3/30
  5. Jada 4/21
  6. Claudia 4/27
  7. Maddie S./Izzy 5/4
  8. Nakiya 5/11
  9. Pranav 5/12
  10. Tyler 5/18
  11. Maddie K.  6/1
  12. Sthanika 6/2
  13. Sadie 6/7
  14. Donovan 6/8
  15. Quentin 6/9
  16. Oscar 6/13
  17. Byron 6/14
  18. Nadia 6/15
  19. Cameron 6/16

Opted Out (for now?)

Henry

Steele

Nicholas

Nature & Our Garden!

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

Children will have an opportunity to explain, demonstrate and field question/comments

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Ellie’s share: Art!

on 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, this week’s in bold:

  • March 31: Cici (Flexibility), Genevieve (Art)
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    Tyler’s share: Dance moves!

  • April 21: Byron (Karate) and Nadia (Cat’s cradle)
  • April 28: Tyler (Dance moves), Ellie (Drawing), Maddie K (Gymnastics)
  • May 5: Donovan (Hockey), Pranav (Gymnastics), Maddie S. (Gymnastics)
  • May 12:  Dominic (Basketball), Oscar (T-Ball) and Jada (Gymnastics)
  • May 26: Logan (?) 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)

Maddie K’s share:  Gymnastics! She actually showed us 3 moves and then had them vote for which one they wanted to try outside!

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