Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Tastings

I knew my 3 week Apple Unit was coming up soon so last weekend Mr. Lochel and I headed up to Sky Top Apple Orchard for a little inspiration.

We started off with an empty bucket--

We followed the signs to our favorite kinds of apples--

We picked our first apple--

And we knew where there was one--there would be many more!

Mr. Lochel is SUCH a good sport! 

Back in Kindergarten, we had a YUMMY tasting time during centers.  Some of our wonderful moms came to help and brought in some apple treats! 

Audrey loved the apples I brought back from the orchard!

Reese's Mom brought in an apple pie for us to taste!

Jennifer's Mom brought in some apple juice for us to drink! 

Our wonderful intern, Mrs. Miskelly helped pour out some servings of apple juice.

Chloƫ and Audrey's Mom brought in some homemade applesauce!

Dario loved the applesauce!

Giovanna loved tasting these dried apples!

What a GREAT experience for the children to taste some of the products that can be made from apples!  A big "Thank You" to all my classroom parents that helped by sending in more apple products for us to try and to those that came to help! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Number Murals

At the culmination of our number sense unit, I wanted to engage the children in a fun project that would showcase all that they had learned.  And, let's face it: we love anything that involves ART!

This number mural idea came from the Math Out of The Box series.  Another K Teacher and I are piloting the Numbers kit this year.  We got the kit this summer and couldn't wait to try it out.

The children painted a number and then represented that quantity in some way. 

Abby painted the numeral 3 and glued down 3 stars!

 Nathan had the numeral 8 and Giovanna had the numeral 2.  They both decided to use dot markers to show that many circles.

 This was one of the finished products from a table of children working with various numerals. 

This was also a creative post-assessment--see the extra dot there near the 7?  Like many teachers believe, just because we are finished with our number sense unit doesn't mean that we'll stop noticing numbers, number words, or quantities.  It doesn't mean we'll stop counting!  It's just time to build on some different mathematical concepts!  Up next-- patterns!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pete The Cat

I was just recently introduced to Pete the Cat, and now I can't get enough of  him! 

I heard about this book and read some ideas about it on a number of blogs this summer, but it wasn't until I happened upon the book at the book store a few weekends ago that I truly understood the fascination with Pete. 

I brought this book into my classroom in the middle of our two week Color Theme Unit and it fit in perfectly.  You see, Pete is a cat that LOVES his white shoes.  But alas, he goes walking along and steps into strawberries and blueberries and so on and so on.  The character education part of this story allows children to see how Pete goes with the flow and doesn't get upset when something happens.  He just changes his tune; literally!

It wasn't until we listened to the version recorded by the author that we truly fell in love!  I sent the link home so the children could enjoy it with their parents as well!  You can find it here.  You can also hear the newest book by Mr. Eric, Pete The Cat Rockin in My School Shoes

After several readings, the children did some color word matching to fill in Pete's shoes.

Then, the children completed their own mini books by writing the word "I" and drawing Pete!

I was amazed at their drawings of Pete! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Letter H

It's time to celebrate the letter H!

These H snacks had to be the most favorite snacks we've had all year!  Since we study each letter for two days, I plan two days of coordinating snacks! 

This week we had Honeybuns

And Ham Roll Ups! 

As usual, we practiced sorting some uppercase and lowercase H's on the smartboard.  I made all these sorts last year, but they are so easy to update and change!  My goal was to have a variety of fonts of each upper and lower case as to expose the children to different fonts they may see in different texts they may encounter.

Then, the children practice writing their own H's on this practice page from Starfall.  We watch the short letter clip on and many of the pictures are same!

We added the H page to our ABC books.  It's hard to believe that we are 1/3 of the way through the alphabet already!

On Fridays, we combine the two letters of the week and work sorting and distinguishing between them.  This Friday, we combined and sorted the letters G and H. 

The children identify, cut, and sort pictures of items that begin with each letter.

I always leave two blank spots.  The children can choose to draw two pictures of things that start with either letter.

Another activity that the children love is finding the G's and H's in a mix of other letters using our dot markers. 
Here is Austin working hard!

Also on Fridays, one of our amazing families acts as "Produce Managers" and sends in a seasonal, healthy snack for us to all enjoy!  Last week was a short one, so we combined snacks this week! 

The apple slices came from Kailyn's family!

And, the grape skewers came from Giovanna's family! 

We are making our way through the alphabet--one letter at a time! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Green and Blue and Purple

It's COLOR theme time in Kindergarten! 

Our entire kindergarten team planned 9 days of COLOR fun.  We all dress up in a certain color each day and encourage the children to do the same.  We all show our excitement and spirit for kindergarten together.

See what fun with had with GREEN and BLUE and PURPLE!

I put out all the green art materials I could find at the art center.  This included paper, paint, glitter, feathers, stickers and pom poms.

We shared in a reading and singing of this poem--

(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

G-R-E-E-N, G-R-E-E-N
I know how
to spell green,
Caterpillars are green.
Grasshoppers are too.
I know how
to spell green,

Next came BLUE day! 

Art supplies included paint, a stamp pad, stars, pom poms, paper, glitter, craft sticks, feathers and stickers!

I remember learning this BLUE song last year for the first time.  It took me so long to pick up on the tune!  Once you get it though, you just can't stop singing it!

(to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

B-L-U-E spells blue
B-L-U-E spells blue
Hi-ho, did you know?
B-L-U-E spells blue
The big sky is blue.
The ocean is, too!
Hi-ho, did you know?
B-L-U-E spells blue

 Now, onto PURPLE day!

I had less PURPLE art materials to put out today--but the children were just as creative!  They had paper, paint, pom poms, a stamp pad and purple googly eyes to work with.

And the PURPLE poem we shared in went something like this--

(to the tune of This Old Man)

P-U-R  P-L-E
spells the color purple, you see!
Like the grapes on a vine
or some plums on a tree.
P-U-R  P-L-E

On Monday, one of our awesome parent volunteers, Mrs. Claire, came in during Center time.  She worked with a groups of children on color mixing.  She had a crowd of children waiting in line to play!  This Color Mixing Game is one of the Learning Centers from Lakeshore. 

Abby is mixing red and blue!

The children had to put the two color cards together to find out what they make.  

 Austin is mixing red and yellow!

Another center the children worked at during Center time was a color sort on the Smart Board.  This game was a hit!  Here is the link to the site. 

What a colorful couple of weeks we enjoyed together!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brought To Tears

Yep-- I was brought to tears today in kindergarten. 

We had an unannounced fire drill late this afternoon and my class was on their way back from Related Arts. I panicked a little because I've never not been with my class when this sort of thing happens.

I raced to the door they had exited from to witness one of the sweetest sights I've ever seen. 

Three children from the Transitional Kindergarten class joins mine for circle time, lunch, and related arts.  One of the little boys from TK was struggling with all that was going on.  One of my kindergartners, Jack, took his hand and held it the entire way out.  I was speechless.

I have a special place in my heart for children with special needs.  I was blessed with three very special brothers-- one older and two younger twins.  They were all born physically and mentally handicapped.  They lived tough lives, but they touched so many others.  I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today. 

It wasn't until I called Jack up in front of our class to announce this selfless act that tears came to my eyes.  I was asking Jack why he would do something like this and his reply was so matter of fact, "Because, Mrs. Lochel, he was scared." 

Everything that you ever needed to know you learned in Kindergarten, right? 

When someone is scared,  you just take their hand and everything will be okay.