Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some Wintery Beauty For You!

For our winter party, the students decided that the decorations should be winter animals and snowmen.  Each one is so special and shows the students' attention to detail and growing skills!  I hope you enjoy this and share with any family who you think might like to see too!  

Have a beautiful winter!  Love, Jennifer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Practicing Appreciations

As a part of our class councils, there is a time for appreciations.  We are thinking about being specific and clear in our words so that this time becomes akin to a helpful list of tips of how to be a thoughtful friend.  We can use this list to remind us of practices we would like to continue or do more often. 

Which of these things did you do this week?  
Which appreciations inspire you to want to do something new next week?

Kai: I appreciate for Natalie playing with me and she was keeping hands to herself.
Mason: I appreciate Haden for playing with me.  It worked for me because when I asked him if I could play with him, he said yes.
Rachel Lee: I appreciate Amelie and Mathis because I like it when they follow me in the game.
Preston: I appreciate Haden for playing brothers with me because he followed the rules and I liked it because he keeped his hands and his legs to himself.
Evelyn: I appreciate Brianna and Lia because they let me be a kitty in their game.
Brianna: I appreciate Rachel and Lia because they was playing with me and they was being funny and chasing me.
Malaya:I appreciate Rachel Lee and Rachel and Lia for to teaching me how to jump off the slide to the monkey bars.
Joshua: I appreciate Lukas and Evelyn for playing bad wolf with me.  It worked because they made me feel good in a good way by keeping their hands to their self.
Lukas: I appreciate Kayla because before school started I was walking in and Kayla saw me and then she asked me if she could hug me and I said yes and she did.  
Rachel: I'm proud of Lia because she can skip the monkey bars.  She couldn't do it for a long time and I teached her.
Lia: I appreciate Rachel.  A long time I couldn't do the monkey bars and then she teached me how to do it and now I can do the monkey bars.
Mathis: I appreciate Rachel Lee for swinging next me because we chatted for a little while.  And she said something that we could do on the swings.
Amelie: I appreciate Mathis because he played on the swing with me.  He closed his eyes and chat and he said he doesn't see me and I like the game.
Rowan: I appreciate Lia for skipping the monkey bars and I appreciate you, Jennifer, for teaching Lia how to do it.  
Haden: Good morning and I appreciate Preston for making funny jokes with me.
Kayla: I feeled proud of Lukas for letting me play with him.  Because some days he didn't but this day he did.  I feel happy because it makes me feel like a princess.
Demetri:   Thank you for helping me.  (To Clara)  She helped me with drawing the polar bear.
Clara: I want to appreciate Jennifer for being so clear in her words and that helps me help everyone else in the classroom.  
Jennifer: I wanted to appreciate all the families who answered my emails and brought in food for the cooking and for the party tomorrow.  

Don't we have such special people in our class?  I appreciate each one for their ability to challenge themselves to try new things each day!  Have a great afternoon, Jennifer

Friday, December 14, 2012

Reflecting on Our Amazing Work

December 13, 2012

What are you proud of about the work we did to make the tree video?

Rachel Lee: I am proud of talking in the video because usually, sometimes I am shy when I am in video.
Mason: I'm proud because I was in the video and I talked and I was almost not gonna be in the video because I was scare and now I'm not. I didn't want my face in it because I didn't want people to see and I thought it was not scary anymore and I wanted to talk.
Kai: I am proud of me being in the video.
Haden: I am proud of talking in the video because first I wasn't brave enough and I then I thought the video was going to help other people so I wanted to join it.
Demetri: I am proud of myself because I was shy first and then I was thinking about it and then I wasn't shy, so I did it.
Rachel: I'm proud of me because I did my best drawing of the magnolia flower. I tried and tried and tried and I didn't give up.
Jennifer: I am proud of myself because it has been so long since I have made a movie and I challenged myself to re learn and organize us so that we could get this done in three weeks.
Amelie: First, I didn't think and then when nobody was there and only me, I can think and then I did my best try from looking at the leaf.
Mathis: I am proud of doing doing a voice over because I was thinking about it but I felt a little shy, but then I thought and then I saw it wasn't bad, so then I joined in. I am proud because first I kept doing the rings too small, and then Jennifer gave me feedback to do it bigger. If it's smaller then I couldn't do anything inside and then I made it bigger so I could get more rings inside.
Preston: I liked it because because I drawed good. It looks good to me because I made it my best effort.
Lia: I am proud of trying to draw the magnolia seed because I did not give up. I made four tries. I really looked close at the magnolia seed part and I drawed all the details.
Rowan: I am proud that I finished my work, because it was a little bit tricky because the top line was a little hard because I keeped drawing a circle in the top. It wasn't a circle, because it was just a little curve line so we couldn't see the hole in the top.
Evelyn: I am proud of me drawing the dogwood flowers because some of them were tricky to draw. I actually had to look at a picture and look at the shapes that they had. Instead of just drawing a huge circle for the petals to go on the flower, I needed to draw teeny tiny circles inside of the circle for the petals to go on.
Malaya: I'm proud of myself when I talked about the rings.
Brianna: I'm proud of myself because people are going to see my work.

Kayla: I am very proud of myself of making my best try ever to put in the video. It was my talking about the rings. I putted my hands out. I used my hands to tell that the rings were big.
Natalie: I'm proud that I did my best effort and I did my best drawing of the rings. I looked at the first try in my journal. I looked at it and every time I drew one ring, I looked at my journal so I could make it a better try than the one in my journal.
Joshua: I am proud of myself because it was kind of short that I had to say and I was saying it right, when I was kind of nervous.
Lukas: I am proud of my best writing because first on my card, the "h" stick looked too big and then I erased it and then I made a thinner line and then it looked better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We have a name!

Hello Kindergarten Families,

How are you?  The kids started off the day being amazed that it is 12-12-12!  Will you remember what you did on this date in time?  Today we had a few special things happen!

First, we chose our class name! We had been brainstorming words that describe us, as a first step.  Next we began playing with these words and the students came up with possible names.  After that, we made a table with beginnings and endings to test them all out.

The students began sharing which ones sounded right an explained why.  We used this time to try to sway others by the students sharing why they felt the name did or didn't work.

We had to vote to get down to four possibilities, then we voted for our  final name.  After voting we checked to see how everyone felt. (Just to make sure since voting isn't always the way to ensure the best wins!)  The class was SO excited!  And now we are.......

The Hard Working Detectives!

Another fun part of our day was that it was game day!  We had four stations: Train to 30, Goofy Sentences, the Estimation Jar Counting, and adding descriptive words to the story we wrote together.  Below are some photos to show each one.

A final fabulous thing about today was that we finished our film about trees!  I am so excited about how the students were brave to speak on camera and for the voice overs, and on the care they took in making their work "camera ready"!  THESE KIDS ARE AMAZING IN SO MANY WAYS!

I hope each of you will be able to come to the Exhibition Night Viewing!  We are culminating a great beginning of the year together!  Have a beautiful day, Jennifer

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is it Winter?

Hello Kindergarten Families!

How are you?  I am well.  I have been enjoying the change in weather, it finally feels wintery.  Well, San Diego winter, anyway.  This month, since winter begins, many of our songs and poems are about winter type weather.  One is called Fog and is by  Carl Sandburg.  We read this poem:

The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city
On silent haunches
And then it moves on.

I asked the students to think of how they would describe fog to someone who had never seen or experienced it.  Here are some of their words about fog:

It's when clouds come down.
It makes so you can't see.
Dark and misty
It's near the ground.
White on your window.
Goes fast.
It happens early in the morning.

How would you describe it?

To continue our interest and investigation of clouds, we watched some videos.  Here they are in order that we watched them.  The last one has many words in it, so we just watched the beginning, but often, more viewings can help us understand concepts in a deeper manner   Please watch these with your child, when you get the chance.  What new ideas did they notice?  Please email me or comment here on the blog if you would like to share recent discussions your child had about clouds or the weather changes we have been experiencing!

The students journaled about the videos and we will have more discussions and do more research about the weather too.  They were interested in the many types of clouds and their different names.  They were also interested in researching the types of reactions when it is cold: snow, hail and sleet.  Since we don't often have these in SD, the internet has been very helpful!

I hope you have a beautiful night.  I will, it will be so nice to see all the people coming out to support our school tonight at the Charter meeting.  Hope to see you there!  Love, Jennifer

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Beautiful, Informative Day

Hello Kindergarten Families!

How are you?  This week just felt like it flew by.  Our field trip to the Blue Sky Reserve and Poway Lake was a really lovely experience.  Thank you to Leslie for coordinating it and for finding such a special place to visit and learn from.  

There were so many topics that correlated with the types of investigations we have been doing in class.  We learned about some new trees: the Western Sycamore and the Coastal Live Oak, as well as the term Elfin forest, which is the type of forest that we see here in the chaparral region.  ( I always thought that was a magical, literary term, not a real one!)  We also learned more types of plants and how they were used by the local Kumeyaay native american tribe.

Here are some of the things the children said that they learned:

Rowan:  I didn't know that some snakes could be light colored.
Evelyn: I was surprised because there is a little mouse that builds a home out of sticks. (Wood Rat)  I didn't really know that there's a real snake called a Rosey Boa.
Lukas: I learned that, I didn't really know that bark could look white in the sunlight, from a ghost tree.  (The native american name for the Western Sycamore)
Joshua: What I learned was the song "three leaves, let them be." (Poison Oak)
Kai: I learned that the bobcats paws are black.
Haden: I learned that snakes can slither out of their skin.
Mason: I learned that whenever skunks have tummy aches from eating beetles, they just go and eat a plant and it makes them feel better.  (Lichen)
Amelie: The bobcat plays at night.
Rachel Lee:  I did not know that lizards could do push ups.  The wood rat trick the foxes of what doors to come in, of their house, to try to eat the wood rat.
Mathis: I learned that there is an animal, and his feet is like a heart shape.  (Deer)
Demetri: I didn't know that the cage, the metal gate with the machine in it and then bobcats used to hang out there because they like the sound of the machine.
Brianna: I learned, I didn't know that the poison oak can let you itch.
Rachel: I learned the new poison oak song.  " Leaves of three, let it be."  
Lia: I learned lots of new kinds of trees and plants.  I learned about poison oak and the ghost tree.  
Preston: What I learned about is that the ghost tree seems really white in the sun.  

I hope these words and photos help your child tell you so much more about our day out in nature!  Have a fun weekend, Jennifer