Friday, June 6, 2014

POLs, Melted Chocolate Chips, Hummingbirds, Party Planning, and- Let's See- What Else?...

Hello Kindergarten Families!

How are you?  Can you believe how time is flying?  It is amazing.  This week has been extra sweet with all the lovely POL moments.  Every child has been so brave and calm while they present their work.  Thank you for making these moments so special.

(I am so sad and sorry that this shot is blurry!!!)

We spent a few mornings this week working on finalizing a bunch of the work that friends have in progress.  They are just writing so much because they have so many ideas to get down on paper.  The work we were working on was: the military letters, story-problems, coin notes, equations, habitats and stories.  We also are working on three unfolding journal entries, which I am excited for you to check out.  Here are the three prompts:
What did you learn before Kindergarten?
What did you learn in Kindergarten?
What do you want to learn in First Grade?

Another concept that keeps coming up in discussion is solid vs liquid and how matter can change it's state.  To go along with this (and because it is fun) we did a test with chocolate chips.  The variables were the sun, and the shade, and the fact that each of us has a subtly different hand temperature.  The kids held out to see if it would begin to transform to a liquid, before eating it up!

 Next, we made brownies which call for melted chocolate chips, vs. cocoa powder.  Myriah also brought a recipe in for blondes, for good measure.  On Wednesday we made the batter for these two treats.  Thank you to the families who came and helped out with baking and to have a fun reading time while friends took turns making the batter.

Rachel and Lucy took the batter home to bake so that we could eat the treats on Thursday.  It turns out we had a "snaffoo" with the chocolate melting and the fact that we were using a toaster oven at school to melt it, instead of a double boiler type set up, as I usually do.  So we ended up with some chocolate chip bars, and blondies!  Maybe I will have to bring the dark chocolate brownies to the party tomorrow...

Here is the recipe, if you are interested!

Thursday we had a little celebration with our treats, to honor all the hard work we did to prepare for our POLs.  The students were so brave and poised and have grown so much from the experience of presenting.

Another exciting change in our room is the wall of names that has grown up.  We have created a poster for each child, which is collecting words or phrases that tell what is special about that person.  The kids have really enjoyed writing something for many friends.  They are filling up!  Please feel free to come in before or after school, or during our class party next Thursday, to write your own words on these posters.  You have gotten to know your child's peers over the year, so you might have lovely things to add, too!

Yay!  I just lost the last half of this blog entry due to technical issues, so I will try to recreate this.  Bear with me!  So frustrating- I will try to go back and repeat all the editing and additions I made, but I am sorry if I miss some!

Let's see: Hummingbirds!  This week we got an update on Jack's hummingbird family that is growing in his back yard.  I won't spoil it, because I imagine your child would love to tell this amazing story!

We also tried to watch a cool video of hummingbirds making their nest, but unfortunately YouTube would not let us do anything.  So, hopefully you can read it at home!

We also are continuing our party prep!  Thursday's end of the year party is going to be so fun.  They are creating not one, but two board games, and one new card game!  Their ideas were so sweet, which means it is going to be a lovely day.  I hope you can come at 10am if you are interested- all parents (and grandparents) are welcome!

Here was their initial brainstorm:

Here are the committees they joined:

Today they worked so well as groups- taking turns, compromising, doing different jobs so more work gets done and staying focused!  It really shows how far they have grown, how much work they have done to be a caring and hardworking community of people.

The sign up committee finished the sign ups, so feel free to come in to sign up Monday, or email me and I will write you in!  (I am sure you already knew to click on the image if you want to see it enlarged...)

Thanks so much for all you have done this year to help out and to make this year meaningful!  Have a beautiful weekend, and I hope I see most of you at tomorrow's Family Potluck (and bouncy extravaganza!)!  Thank you to Brett's family for offering to host our party!

Take care, Jennifer

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