Mark Those Calendars
- Kindergarten Closing Ceremonies: Friday, June 23, 11:30-1:10pm. We’ve had a
great year of goal-setting and reaching since we began our Olympic Brain & Body Goal Wall! Now, it’s almost time for the Kinder Academic Games of 2016-2017 to end 🙂 Parents, please join us in class on the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for the Special Kindergarten Closing Ceremonies for Room 7. We’ll celebrate our accomplishments, together, parade around the school passing around “the goal torch” and have a nice potluck! More details to come.
- 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.
- Box City: It’s during Conference Week this year, June 5-9th. Start collecting large cardboard boxes to bring in for your child and others! One per child has worked in the past. Please contact Christine G. for questions at cch722 (at) gmail.com.
- Community Snack Schedule: This week is the Olsen family. Please use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator,
Kudsana (firstname.lastname@example.org), know if you need special accommodations or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Ho/Fukuhara family for snack last week!
- 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.
- Happy Mother’s Day: You ladies are fierce, strong, and amazing women who
participate actively in the classroom and your children’s learning. Thank you for ALL you do and we hope you like your special mother’s day gift 🙂
- Art: Making frames for kids’ pictures to give as presents for Mother’s Day!
- Lemonade Stand: Kids learned how to get what they want by working hard and having fun! We started and finished our lemonade stand together to raise money for Kindergarten playground equipment after Coach David said we weren’t allowed to use his, anymore, because we were responsible in taking care of it. We wanted to buy our own to practice being responsible and earn back our privileges. Students learned how to plan, execute, and run a successful business from start to finish. They worked HARD, earning a total of $366.16 over 4 days!
- Box City: We started conversations about Box City. What is a city? What does it have inside it? What is a community? What does it feel like to be part of a community? We discussed ways that we’d like to focus on building a community vs. the previous box city conglomerate of competitive businesses based on the
commodity of “sugary” goods.
- Fairies! Esmeralda, Luna’s sister, visited us! 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
- Skill Sharing: We share every Friday! Dominic and Jada shared their skills with us 🙂 (Why? Many children have brought in toy items for show-and-tell, which became a materialistic contest. 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 brushed up our addition/subtraction skills with money for our lemonade stand! We also talked about supply and demand, daily profit goals, and daily profit averages (the amount of money total divided by the days we sold our lemonade).
- Buddies: They came to our room and helped kids wrap their Mother’s Day presents. Then, they played together!
- Literacy: We played literacy games, did fairy letter writing, handwriting with lemonade posters and fliers, and self-assessments.
- Science: We continued experiments with gummy bears on osmosis!
- 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, everyone has one taped to the floor!
Lemonade Stand: Applying Academic Skills to Real Life!
Context is everything when it comes to learning! We’ve been practicing equations, counting, subtraction, and addition all year. This was the perfect opportunity to put all those skills to use and see just how valuable they are in real life, as well as how much we learned!
Step 1: Community Meetings
Students wanted to raise money for playground equipment for our pod after they lost P.E. equipment privileges with Coach David’s, due to their lack of responsibility in putting it back after use. They were upset and needed a way to earn back Coach David’s trust. So, we had a meeting. We talked about the problem and asked kids what we should do. They’ve been wanting to “sell stuff” for months. So, they brainstormed ideas about how we could raise money selling different goods to buy our OWN equipment and learn to practice responsibility using that. We voted and settled on a lemonade stand! Some kids had experience with this, before, and had good suggestions to get us started.
Step 2: Making a Business Plan
We talked about how we’d get the resources we needed. Parents were our first thought! So, our community pooled together a lemonade stand, cups, lemons, reamers/juicers, sugar, and pitchers. Then, we had to think about the cost of the lemonade. “LET’S CHARGE $20!” some said, “No, $5…or $2.” We had to talk about cost and worth in terms of goods. “If we charge $20 for 1 cup of lemonade…would you buy it? (“No!!!”) Neither would I and I love you to pieces, but I am NOT spending $20 that could get me two burritos at Chipotle on a dinky cup of lemonade!” That quickly brought us down to voting between $1 or $2, and $1 won! We talked about how who our customers would be (the school) and how to get the word out (posters, fliers, word of mouth). Nakiya suggested we have a catchy slogan – so we went with “Cool for a hot day!” They showed their posters to other teachers in the pod to get feedback on the sign and went back to incorporate information they were missing. Students asked me to email the staff to let their classes know, as well. We talked about how long we’d have the stand (four days) and the times we were able to actually run it (2:30-3:30 Tuesday-Friday, except Wednesday which was 1:00-1:30.) They had to think about how to make information about our event CLEAR and VISIBLE, which meant really talking about what went on the sign. As several kids pointed out a couple times – “It’s got too much stuff on it!” and “You can’t read the important things. We can’t have so many drawings everywhere.” and “It’s too busy! Like, we’re not selling hearts guys. We’re selling lemonade!” It also meant walking around the school to find high-traffic spots to post the posters and seeing if we could notice them easily from various access points (corridors, the gate, the quad, etc.).
Step 3: Learning About Company Production
Students learned about production (making lemonade) which meant juicing A LOT OF LEMONS! They learned about quality control (making sure we don’t leave good juice filled lemon carcasses), repeatedly using the same recipe steps to mix the lemonade, etc. They saw how much effort it took to make lemon juice and then the steps involved in turning it into a desirable product. THEY took ownership over this process. By the end, they were helping each other juice lemons, reminding them to check the pulp and rinds, straining the juice without help, and making the lemonade recipe, independently. They even invited other students from other classrooms to help and taught them how to successfully participate in the process. Leaders arose during this time and we heard students say things like:
- “If you get tired, just tell someone so they can help you take over.”
- “We’re almost done, but someone needs to juice this one, again!”
- “That’s a good one Logan, you got all the juice out! Keep going!”
- “If you can’t get all the juice out, give it to someone else to try with a different juicer!”
- “I want to run the lemonade table, can I?”
- “You have to share!”
- “No fighting at the table! If you fight over the juicers you could spill the juice and then all our hard work is ruined.”
- “We have so much lemon juice, because we did teamwork!”
- “Teacher Kate, nobody’s at the lemon juicing table, right now, and if we don’t get enough juice we won’t meet the supply for the demand! Can I ring the chimes and tell people to come over?”
- “Okay, if you want to help – Donovan you can pour 2 cups of water and Steele, you can pour 2 cups of water, because then you each poured two and that’s fair.”
- “If you want to help you have to wash your hands and wait your turn to add ingredients.”
- “Why don’t we have some kids keep making lemonade in the classroom while we’re selling. So, if we run out we have some ready to replace it?”
Step 4: Salesmanship, Advertising, and Money
Students talked about what would make THEM buy lemonade and they practiced in our classroom what good customer service looked like: Friendly greeting, asking for an order, giving change, and cuing the “pourer.” We had lots of mini-lessons tucked in there (i.e. remember to smile, cash first – lemonade second, always stay at the cash box, always sanitize your hands, only people working the stand behind the counter, etc.) They were ready! Students decided on how I’d schedule people to work the stand. They wanted it to to be fair and asked me to choose sticks. So, I did and wrote the schedule out for two jobs at a time: cashier and lemonade pourer. The person passing out leis was a job they delegated themselves.
Step 5: Reflection – Community Talks About Successes and Challenges
Supply and demand was one thing. We didn’t make enough for our first day and had to
turn away paying customers. Also, everyone in our class bought 1 cup of our own lemonade. So, we realized we’d have to forgo drinking it the next day in order for the supply to meet the high demand. We made daily profit goals based on our first two day’s of success and voted on what amount we wanted to earn. Students took our posters around the school and advertised by word of mouth for our lemonade stand. They then realized creating a DELIVERY service was a good idea for people who wanted a cup, but couldn’t leave their desks.
Additionally, at first, customers were self-serving because they didn’t realize we had a person pouring. Maddie K. was very upset and I asked her what we needed to fix the problem and help them see we work here. She said “Well, they keep pouring for themselves and we can’t do our job- we need a badge or something!” So, I encouraged her to make some and 5 minutes later we had green ‘lemonade’ badges with duct tape on the back.
Below is a video of Donovan telling children how much money we made in two days. He happily stayed after school and counted ALL the money with a little help (but not much!). He was so proud to reveal what his hard work in calculations amounted to…and the kids were SHOCKED!
Step 6: Community Outreach
Other classrooms hadn’t talked about starting businesses, yet, and so I asked if any of them wanted to go into classrooms and tell kids about our process and get them interested in it. Several kids volunteered to talk to other students (Genevieve, Quentin, Maddie K. and Sadie are featured above) about our business process and explained in our successes, challenges, and fielded questions! Their presentations were NOT planned, but they volunteered and confidently explained everything. The best part? It didn’t matter who I sent over, because they all could have probably explained it 🙂
- How to get what they want by doing hard work to earn it WHILE having fun!
- Grade level and above math skills in an applicable context.
- Useful life skills: Customer service, working in the food industry, cashier work, how to start and run a business, advertising, etc.
- The power of a community working together for a singular goal.
Buddy Time: Mother’s Day Gift Wrapping & Play!
Science: Gummy Bear Osmosis Experiments Continue!
expanded to 2-3X their size! Most understood that the gummy bears got bigger, because water somehow moved inside the bear. To better demonstrate the science of what was happening, the kids had a chance to participate in an interactive skit about osmosis, the movement of water through a membrane! We recreated the story about a poor gummy bear who fell into a cup of water. The gummy bear’s gelatin structure was represented by a large sheet held up by adults. “Inside” the gummy bear (behind the sheet) was sugar, represented by small bouncy balls.
- What happens when you put the gummy bear in the freezer?
- What happens when you add ice to the gummy bear?
- What happens when you add sugar to the gummy bear?
- What happens when you put the gummy bear in dirt?
- What happens when you put the gummy bears in fire?
- What happens when you leave the gummy bear out for a long time?
- What happens when you put gummy bears in gak?