Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Ready for Exhibition Night!

Hello Kindergarten Families!

How are you?  I am great.  It was a little nerve-wracking to place the book order, since I wanted it to be perfect for printing.  I hope it is!  I was lucky to have Donna proofread it for us, and give us feedback.  I hope you love it!  I loved being able to help these students put together their learning.  Their poems are pretty cool.

This week was a bit of a blur, with checking on each of the students' progression, finalizing poems, looking at their structures and working with the program and editing our book.

This week we began testing out wire as a new medium.  The students noticed differences between the different gauges, and tools.  I plan to write a page on this soon, stay tuned!

We continued to practice using different types of mathematical tools to help us visualize and connect with quantity in a rapid and consistent way.  We have used ten frames, 100 blocks and Unifix cubes.  This week, friends worked in pairs so that they could observe, and also mentor when necessary.  So many students are starting to be able to think of numbers as parts made up with 10 bundles and then ones.

I also wanted to share a few photos of friends sharing about the book they read, after Relax and Read.  This is an important step, which I wanted to remind you to make sure you are also doing at home with your child: discussing the book, after reading.  Here are some questions that can help:
What was the most interesting part for you?
Have you ever felt like the character did?
Did the setting effect the book in any way?
Did you notice the illustrator's style?  What medium do you think they made their originals with?
What was the problem in the book?
Why did you think the author decided to solve the problem that way?
Would you have solved the problem in the book differently?

In our deep investigation of what makes a structure balance while being able to have special and unique features, we are heading to an architect's office to meet with some professionals in the field.  This week the students shared some questions they have for our field trip.

Questions for the architects
Rachel: What do you use to make structures stay up for a really really long time?  Do you choose the colour theme?
Kirana: How do you print out the blue prints and try to follow all those beautiful shapes in the blueprints?
Bayley: How do structures stay up without stacking? [When building we have noticed that a stack of blocks sometimes is not as stable or efficient...]
Demetri: How do you make your work so clear?
Clare: How you make the designs in the structures?
Mikey: How do you make the building curve?
Bridey: Why is there open spaces in architecture?
Katarina: How do you make things tilting but not fall over?
Saul: How do you balance your structures?
Lucy: What other materials can make blocks stick together expect glue?  Is blueprint [on] a different kind of paper than coloring paper?  Or is it the same?
Jack: How do structures balance?
Brianna: How do they make lots of things balance at once?
Liam: How would a big long hallway, that had no supports in the middle, stay up?
Brett: Why do you have to put designs [decorative designs] in a building?
Mykenah: How do you agree about what you're building?
Landon: How did you make the designs?
Patrick: How do other materials make it balance?
Noah: Why do they have so many designs?
Gabby: How do you decide what to draw on the blueprint?
William: How do you make arches curve?

As another element to help us get ready for Exhibition Night, we have been discussing how we learn best, so that our presentations that night will be meaningful to others.  We thought that if we incorporated elements that help us learn, then we might be creating a solid experience where we can teach others about what we have learned.  The students shared such varied experiences, it was really special to listen to.  We also spent a morning journaling in the park, on this same topic- because it was just too beautiful, this week!  Please come in next week to check out your child's journal.

Here are their initial thoughts:

Think of a time when you learned something and you really remember it...
What helped you learn?
How do you think you learn best?
Mykenah: I learned how to help my mom by watching her.
Demetri: I learned is tying my shoe from my mom.  She taught me a couple times. She showed me.
Mikey: How I learn is I went to the science center.  Looking at rocket ships and stuff.
Saul: How I learn is reading books.  It helps me learn words.  Reading them makes me learn.
Liam: How I learn is I do the stuff I want to try to learn.  Like building something really tall and then I mess up and it falls and I build it again.  So I keep on doing it until it stays, until I find a way to keep it up.
Landon: How I remember is riding my bike.  By pedaling, by practicing.
Patrick: How I remember is looking at the speaker, that I listened.
Noah: I learn best, I read books.
Gabby: How I learn is by looking at how to spell things, by looking at the songs and poems.  Looking and singing out loud and listening to the people who are also singing.
Lucy: How I remember, sometimes I write what I learned and how to do it on a piece of paper. Kind of like a blue print.  How I use it, is when I forget how to do the thing and I look at it and it says how to do the thing and I remember it.
Brett: How I learn stuff strong is I learn from my mistakes.  Well, you know not to do that because you did that and you saw that it doesn't work.
Brianna: How I remember things is from sometimes asking questions a lot, sometimes.
Bridey: I learned from drawing what I learned.  So, when I forget I can look at it and do what I wanted to since it's draw out.
Bayley: How I learned is by copying how you do things.  If you didn't know how to do something, and you saw someone doing it, you could copy them if they were doing it.
Clare: I learned from a boy that telled about dinosaurs in a movie.
William: How I learn is keep doing it over and over and over again.
Kirana: I learned from some videos on YouTube about how you make stuff and the mistakes they make in some videos, but I don't laugh at them.
Katarina: How I learn is, like, practicing a lot.
Rachel: How I learned to write upper case and lower case was by checking my writing tool and I sometimes I forget how to write lower case in the middle of the sentence so I have to erase  and then I put a lower case and I check my work to see if there's lower case.
Jack: What makes me learn is reading.

Well, I hope you had a beautiful weekend!  I did!  My new niece is due in the next few weeks, so it is an exciting time for my family!

Have a great evening, Jennifer

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