Week 34: Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

Mark Those Calendars

  • Progress Reports Underway: I am done with assessments and have started writing their reports! I’m half-way through and it’s been amazing to look back on their incredible learning journeys.  What a privilege it is to teach your children!
  • Child-led Spring Conferences: Click here for the Sign up genius for June!
  • Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL Monday May 29th
  • Sub for Kate: Wednesday May 31st
  • 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 Wayne family. Please use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator,

    Sheila is teaching kids to sew pillows and other items on Thursdays!

    Kudsana (kkizaraly@yahoo.com), know if you need special accommodations or are unable to fulfill your commitment. And a BIG thank you to the Ramam 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!
  • LAST Parent Meeting Date:  Wednesday June 14th.
  • Whole-Kinder Pod Hike: Monday June 19th – We will go on a nature hike behind the school. Technically it’s a field trip, so you’ll be hearing from Arielle!
  • Whole Kinder-Pod Water Exploration Celebration: Wednesday June 21, Victoria Tran (Joan’s coordinator) will email details soon.
  • ADULTS-ONLY End of the Year Party: Saturday June 24, 12-6pm at 1257 Lakeside

    Join us on Saturday 6/24 at our pool to celebrate a great year!

    Drive, Sunnyvale CA 94085. Please join me at my complex for an end of the year pool party/BBQ potluck. Free parking in the garage, but I recommend carpooling. We have a grill, a pool, good music and a cabana! Feel free to bring a yummy dish or drinks and DEFINITELY a bathing suit 🙂 Adam and I have rented the cabana adjacent to our pool, and are looking forward to hosting you for some fun in the sun to celebrate all your hard work this year! Let’s party like it’s 1999!

  • Kindergarten Closing Ceremonies: Friday, June 23, 11:30-1:10pm. We’ve had 
    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.
  • Enrichments/Coordinators for FIRST GRADE: Think about what enrichments or
    Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 12.45.35 PM

    Help remind your little ones of what’s expected with our new equipment!

    classroom jobs you may want to take on for first grade. I would like to start making plans for curriculum with those volunteers for next year. For definitions of the roles below visit https://discoverykinderworld.wordpress.com/classroom-coordinator-info/:

    1. Classroom Coordinator-
    2. Field Trip Coordinator -Arielle Kurtze (taken)
    3. Class Librarian/Scholastic Coordinator –
    4. Social Events Coordinator – Jennifer Coscarart (taken)
    5. Documentation Parent – (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! A Weekly/Monthly job)
    6. Science – Christine Ging, _______________
    7. Cooking –  
    8. Arts & Crafts –
    9. Gardening  –

Weekly Highlights!

  • Project: Fairy House Building/Decorating


    NEW line up system!

  • Box City: We continued conversations about Box City (coming up in two weeks!)
  • Fairies Still Visit: They were sky camping this week, so they only visited us on Thursday when they returned!
  • Trouble in Line-Up Paradise: We were having issues traveling to and from the playground. So, we had a few meetings and came up with a line-up strategy that worked so far – the buddy system! This will make a huge difference in eliminating power struggles to be near the front, shoving, cutting, etc.  We line up the same way, every time, holding hands.
  • Community Talks: We discussed several agenda items, timed 7 minutes each. Whatever we didn’t finish, we left for the net day. Some of the topics were making playground toy agreements, talking about taking better care of the materials around the room, and socio-emotional issues that came up about people not treating one another with kindness in words or actions.
  • Skill Shares: Logan (math facts) and Henry (gymnastics)


    Identifying shape names, matching them up, and writing how many sides each has.

  • Literacy: Writing observations of veggies after being soaked in the colored water, Story Workshop, and letter writing to fairies.
  • Math: Talking about shapes, their characteristics, and the difference between 2D (flat – height and width) and 3D shapes (height, width and DEPTH)
  • Science: We continued experiments with osmosis using colored water vegetables!!!
  • 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!
  • Filling Buckets and Taking Names! We read the books Have You Filled A Bucket Today? and How Full Is Your Bucket? which both helped to facilitate the continuation of a conversation we started during our Community Talk. We did an activity called BUGS & WISHES, where students said what bugged them (annoyed them) and what they img_64991.jpgwish would happen instead. MANY people had issues with friends being unkind or saying mean things. So, I introduced my classroom community bucket and said that they could write a drop for every nice deed they did or kind word they said in our classroom. “When the bucket is full, that means our community is stronger, now. We feel better, more confident, more supported by our friends. You will also earn an extra 10 minutes of exploration every time it is filled.” A few kids only heard that last part and quickly tried to fill the bucket with silly reasons! However, most of them took this seriously and together we filled our bucket 3x in one week. They were so proud of their efforts and happily recognized bucket filling moments when they could lift someone up, telling me or another adult. They also articulated when they felt others were DIPPING into their buckets, or “dumping them.” We talked about how no one can dump it, because we’re in charge of holding onto our imaginary buckets. No one else has that power.

Lemonade Stand Budget: Update!


So far, we spent money on the things they originally came up with plus a ball cart, because as Nakiya said, “You should just buy the ball cart from the picture we used for the agreements (to which everyone voted and agreed)!!!! Because we can’t use the lunch cart forever. That’s just a temporary solution.”  Our ball cart arrived Wednesday, and with Mercedes’s help and some dedicated Kindergarten assistants, the ball cart was successfully assembled on Thursday!

I made a little slideshow of visuals based on our conversations, so far, to further discuss IMG_5861our plan with the remaining amount.  They discussed how much we should allocate to various funds with what was left of our budget. Maddie K. and a few others asked us to save some of it in case anything breaks and we have to replace it (i.e. a saving cushion). Henry suggested we donate some of it to the homeless, because “You can’t really buy a ball or
IMG_5925anything for 16 cents, so we could give that to people who need it.” Others jumped in saying we could essentially set aside $20 and give it to the food bank we visited earlier this year (Second Harvest). So, we looked at what we had left and thought about how much should be saved, spent, and donated to a good cause (helping the poor).

We conducted A LOT of votes! Children had suggestions and asked questions. They talked to one another and then reconvened. There was even a little lobbying going on, though they didn’t know that’s what they were doing 🙂 Eventually, we came upon an agreement. Turns out, we have a class of savers and philanthropists! There was actually an argument about why we might not want to save 50% and GIVE 50% to the poor – it was quite touching. In the end, they agreed to save 50% for savings (in case things break and need to be replaced), 20% to the homeless (Second Harvest), and 30% for spending on more equipment.  We talked about what other possible toys we would want and this coming week, we will follow up on our wish list!

Note for Parents: I appreciate you letting the kids figure out how to solve their problem with the lack of access to P.E. equipment. Many parents have asked if they can bring in balls or other toys and I asked before that we hold off. NOW, YOU CAN BRING THEM! Donations are greatly appreciated 🙂 Thank you for waiting!

Science: Osmosis and Vegetables!

We’re still going full-force with our study on osmosis and diffusion.  IMG_5938
  • Explored colored water to visualize how and where water moves through (plant) membranes.
  • Analyzed experimental results by making observations as well as comparing against a control
  • Practiced creating good experimental procedures composed of step-by-step instructions.


Last week, the kids had a chance to observe how salt water affected vegetables.  Kids were amazed to find that salty vegetables turned “bendy” (the salt drew out the water from the vegetables and basically deflated them).  This week, we built on that learning and looked at how vegetables changed when placed in color water.

Dissection: The inside of the veggie was NOT dyed!

Because this experiment was so similar to the one we conducted last week, we took this opportunity to explain best practices when conducting scientific experiments.   We talked about how scientists had to follow specific step-by-step procedures when doing their experiments to ensure that results were accurate and repeatable.

We asked the kids to give the step-by-step instructions on the salt water/vegetable experiment from the previous week.  As they verbalized what they did, we wrote and drew pictures of each step to create the full experiment instructions.  Kids reminded each other of steps that they forgot and we moved some steps around until everyone agreed on the final experimental procedure.  We then asked the kids to adjust the step-by-step instructions to reflect this week’s experiment using colored water instead of salt.
After everyone was happy with the final instructions, the kids were asked to go to the tables to start the experiment.  Most of their kids, in their excitement to get at the materials, promptly forgot about the step-by-step procedure until I gently reminded them!  This is something that is to be expected at this age, and we will continue to practice this next year!
While they were preparing their cups of colored water and vegetables, we asked the kids IMG_5933to make hypotheses about what would happen to the vegetables the next day:
  • “I think the food is gonna turn green and if we eat it we might get sick and have to throw it away”
  • “The food might turn the color of the water”
  • “What if the dye goes in the long white part and the little white parts and into the veins of the lettuce? I think then you’ll see the color there.”
  • “I think the skin of the potato will stay brown but the inside part will turn the color of the water.”
  • “I need to push down all the vegetables so they are in the water, but I’m going to leave this carrot sticking out so that only half gets colored.”
  • “The vegetables might get bendy again like when we used the salt water, except it will also turn colors.”
  • “They might turn moldy since it’s dirty.” (specifically referring to the black food coloring)
The next day, the kids had a chance to analyze their results, comparing their vegetables with a pile of Control vegetables (vegetables that had not been placed in colored water).
Many children saw the vegetables did turn color!  Several noticed that the blue, pink or purple dyes seemed to work better than the orange.
IMG_5945Building on our vegetable experiments, we set up a side experiment looking at how salt water affected live plants.  We had two plants – one that the kids would water with salt water and one that the kids would water with fresh water.  Thanks to Julie Olsen (Gardening Enrichment) for providing the bean plants for this activity!
Genevieve and Nadia helped me set up an experiment and figure out some of the logistical details, such as where to put the plants and labelling the plant containers and water bottles.  We also talked about different ways to record the observations over time, including drawing pictures of the plants or writing down differences.  “You could just take a picture everyday and then you can see if the plant changes!”
This experiment possibly extends over several days before results are seen, so it’ll be worth noting to see if the kids are able to follow completely through!

Box City – Creative Learning Zone

This year, the staff requested that the intent of Box City be on community building – IMG_6434encouraging students to think beyond their own businesses and look at ways to make the overall community more positive and enriching for all the citizens.
One issue that has been brought up in the past is addressing the needs of the low-income citizen (aka kids who don’t have successful businesses and run out of bucks early in the game).  In the past, these citizens could earn bucks by doing civil jobs such as collecting trash.  These jobs didn’t provide the same sense of pride and ownership as running a successful business.  For some, it had the opposite effect.  Students said that civil jobs were “embarrassing”, “demeaning”, and “boring”.
Under the guidance of their first-grade teacher, the kids in Room 12 set to tackle this issue and decided to set up a “no-bucks required zone” for the citizens of Box City.
IMG_6436Room 12 is planning the specifics of this open-to-all citizen section of Box City.  It will include communal building challenges.  Room 12 students will also be manning free activities in the dirt area around the playground.
This zone is located in the playground area, including the hockey rink.
We talked briefly about the no-bucks-required zone to get Room 7’s initial feedback and ideas for what they would want to see in there.
  • “All kids should be able to go to the free zone, not just kids that don’t have money.  That’s called excluding and discriminating if you only allowed kids with no money to go.”
  • “I don’t like the idea of a free area because then nobody would want to buy from my business.  They would just get stuff for free.  It’s not fair for me.”
  • Many wanted to convert the hockey area into a dedicated space for kids to invent cardboard-based sport (“We could do cardboard hockey.”  “Or basketball!”  “Or soccer!”  “Or golf!”)
  • “Maybe kids can get some bucks if they play one of the cardboard sport games.  Or maybe they can get a prize.”

We passed this feedback to Room 12!

Children’s Read-Aloud Schedule!

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


Tyler’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.  5/18
  12. Sthanika 6/1
  13. __________ 6/2
  14. Sadie 6/7
  15. Donovan 6/8
  16. Quentin 6/9
  17. Oscar 6/13
  18. Byron 6/14
  19. Nadia 6/15
  20. Cameron 6/16
  21. __________ 6/20
  22. __________ 6/22

Opted Out (for now?)




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

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


Logan shared his math facts about multiplication, explaining repeated addition, and demonstrating 3-digit addition!

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)
  • 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)

Henry shares his gymnastic skills and taught us how to do a favorite move!

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