Week 31: Fairies, Gummy Bears, & Lemonade -Oh My!

Mark Those Calendars

  • Lemonade Stand Starting Tuesday: Coach David has banned younger kids from
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    Next Week: Raising money for playground hockey pucks, kick balls, soccer balls, basketballs and other equipment!

     using the P.E. balls, as a natural consequence, since they tend to not put them away at the end of recess. So, the kids want to raise money to buy their own playground equipment collection. The other kinder classes were notified of this Friday, during Kinder Sing, and would like to also raise money for a pod-wide ball collection. 

  • Child-led Spring Conferences: Click here for the Sign up genius for June!
  • End of Year Assessments: I am doing assessments during the day (Quiet Time and Exploration). 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 Ho/Fukuhara 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 Steinhauer family for snack last week!
  • 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.
  • APPLY SUNSCREEN: Please make sure your child is protected and prepared for sunny weather! We have a sunscreen basket under the morning message. Feel free to drop in the kind you like and shoot me an email saying I can use it on your child. Thanks!
  • 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.

Fairy House Design Plans!

Weekly Highlights!

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Teacher Appreciation Day: Flowers from my kiddos!

  • Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank you SO much for all the outpouring of thanks
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    Thank you for your showering of love and appreciation!

    via notes, drawings, gift cards, and flowers. I’m so sorry!

  • Fairies! A fairy door SUDDENLY appeared along with a tiny mail box, and now the
    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 Sing: We discussed bathroom ettiquette, again, (like not peeing on the toilet paper roll), and fundraising for pod-wide playground equipment.

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    R2D2 visits for Star Wars Day!

  • New Toys and Games: We brought out the foam wood-working set and two games – the Lady Bug Game and the Fairy Game. One is competitive and one is cooperative. Children enjoyed them both!
  • Star Wars Day: R2D2 came to visit and many children wore their Star Wars costumes!
  • Skill Sharing: We will share every Friday, and Donovan and Pranav shared their skills with us  🙂 Why? Many children have brought in toy items and it became a contest. The items kept getting bigger and newer and created an imbalance in the system of power and social status within our classroom, solelybased 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
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    Fairy Game: A popular cooperative game amongst all the kids!

    shine! Take a look at the schedule so far!

  • Math: We did math conferences. Children were given a base 10 mat with a number shaded in. They had 10 seconds to figure out what number it represented. Then, they could say it and explain their strategy for how they figured it out. The 2 agreements we had were “raise your hand and don’t call out if you know.” Children were very respectful of this! Everyone had a turn, as we used the attendance name
    rocks.
  • Buddies: They came to our room! We played parachute outside, and then they
    helped us fill out our self-assessments for the year. It was a really engaging experience to have their buddies walk through this process with them!
  • Literacy: We played literacy games, ddid fairy letter writing,
    handwriting, and self-assessments.
  • Science: We did experiments with gummy bears on osmosis and heat transfer!
  • 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!
  • Focus Spots: The lack of listening and responding during group times merited spots around the room. Children came to me and asked for a focus spot if they exhausted other strategies. Now, almost everyone has one taped to the floor!

Buddy Time: Parachute & Self-Assessments

Science:  Gummy Bear Osmosis & Heat Transfer!

This week, we played around with gummy bears! Some of the science concepts explored this week:
  • Continuing the practice of taking measurements accurately
  • Drawing conclusions using quantitative data and qualitative (non-numerical) data
  • Introducing the concept of the Control (the variable/object that doesn’t change in an experiment)
  • Providing further examples of osmosis/diffusion
Activity #1: Gummy Bear Osmosis
IMG_5369We reminded the kids about last week’s impromptu experiment with adding water to freeze-dried blueberries.  As many of the kids discovered, the “water went into the blueberry and made it squishy.”
This week’s activity builds on the concept of water “going into something” (a.k.a. osmosis) using gummy bears!  The experiment itself was fairly simple on the surface – put a gummy bear in water and wait to see what happens!
Before we started the experiment, we asked the kids their hypothesis on what would happen to their gummy bear in water.  Some of their ideas:
  • The gummy bear might sink (or float).
  • The gummy bear will grow bigger (or shrink down).
  • The water will turn the color of the gummy bear.
  • The gummy bear will melt or break into a pieces and disappear.
  • The gummy bear will turn a different color.
  • The gummy bear will get stickier.
It was interesting to see how the kids’ hypotheses drew from science concepts studied in previous science activities, such as color interaction and density!
Each child got to pick one gummy bear for their experiment.  They used a precision scale IMG_5370to measure the weight and measured their bear against tally marks on a paper to measure the height.  We explained how to make sure our measurements were accurate.  This included checking that the scale was properly tared (reading “0”) before putting their gummy bear on as well as waiting until the final value stabilized.
They recorded these measurements on a data worksheet.  They then added their gummy bear into a cup of water.  Throughout the rest of the day, many of the kids enjoyed looking at their gummy bear and providing observations of changes they saw.
  • “The water smells really really good!”
  • “The gummy bear is getting bigger!”
  • “The water might be turning colors… no, it’s still clear.”
  • “The gummy is still sinking.”
IMG_5394The next day, the kids had a chance to remeasure the weight and height of their bears
and record their findings.  Comparing the numbers recorded from the previous day, the kids all came to the same conclusion looking at the quantitative data – their gummy bear was bigger!  Christine then asked the kids to analyze their experiment gummy bear by visually comparing it to a regular gummy bear.  She explained how the regular gummy bear was the Control Gummy Bear in the experiment, the bear that didn’t have any changes done to it.  Of course, observing the two gummy bears side by side, the kids, using qualitative information, all came to the same conclusion – their gummy bear was bigger!
Although a few kids mentioned that it was the water going “inside” the gummy bear that made it bigger, we will talk more about the science behind the growing gummy bear next week!
*** NOTE: Some kids talked about doing this experiment at home.  We made sure to communicate to the kids that gummy bears left out in water overnight should never be eaten.  A few kids really practiced their constraint in not consuming these bears!!
Activity #2: Heat Transfer with Gummy Bears
Even before I had a chance to explain the “official” science activity, a few of the kids had their own questions about gummy bears that they wanted answered.  Specifically, Maddie K wanted to know what would happen if we heated up our gummy bear with the sun.  So, we decided to do an impromptu science experiment!
Each child got a fork and a gummy bear and the chance to go outside to try to heat up their gummy bear.  Most didn’t have the patience to wait outside long with their gummy, and went to the second part of the experiment – tasting it!
A lot of the other kids had experiment ideas they wanted to do, and we’ll be giving all the interested kids a chance to ask their own question, run their own experiment, and draw their own conclusion next week!  This will be the full scientific method in motion!

Skill Teach & Tell Continues!

IMG_5371After Nadia showed the class her skill of doing cat’s cradle with string, Henry’s interest was piqued and he spent a considerable amount of time trying to learn how to do it via online videos.  Henry wanted Nadia to teach him (and the rest of the kids) more about cat’s cradle, and, after consulting with her, she agreed!  So, during Exploration, they passed out loops of yarn to interested kids and Nadia and Henry IMG_5372both spent the time walking
kids through various cat’s cradle configurations.  Once the kids understood the basic concept of moving yarn with their fingers, they discovered that they could create their own designs and configurations.  It was a great way for the kids to share and learn from each other.

Children’s 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 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, in time. 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 3/29
  4. Dominic 3/30
  5. Jada 4/21
  6. Claudia 4/27
  7. Maddie S./Izzy 5/4 (reschedule?)
  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

Friday Skill Sharing Schedule (9:15ish-9:50am)

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Pranav shared his art!

Children will have an opportunity to explain, demonstrate and field question/comments 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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    Donovan shared his hockey skills!

  • April 21: Byron (Karate) and Nadia (Cat’s cradle)
  • April 28: Tyler (Dance moves), Ellie (Drawing), Maddie K (Gymnastics)
  • May 5: Donovan (Hockey), Pranav (Art), 
  • May 12:  Dominic (Basketball), Oscar (T-Ball) and Jada (Gymnastics)
  • May 26: Logan (?) and Henry (Gymnastics)
  • June 2: Cameron (Gymnastics), Sthanika (_________) and , Maddie S. (Gymnastics)
  • June 9: Nakiya (Teaching Reading) and Nicholas (_______), Steele (Protecting)
  • June 16: Quentin (Running) and Sadie (Dance moves)
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