Friday, September 25, 2015

Brainstorms, scientific artifacts and math we love!

Hello Families!

This group is really coming together.  We have created so many lists and brainstorms about what we know about school and the types of behaviors and decisions that work best in a group setting.  It is so neat for the students to feel in the expert role in this process.  As you walk into the room I try to keep many of these brainstorm lists clipped together as a memory that you can find to discuss and or have your child show you.  If you don't see them there, they are usually up on the wall in an area close the where the students might be using those ideas most often.  I hope your child enjoys sharing some of these with you!

(This is from our interview process which I will be sharing more about next week!  If you want to check it out in class, it is up by the lunch boxes near the door!)

(Can you find my writing mistakes as I try to write as friends are talking and keep the class together?:)

Water- How does it flow?  What can it do?  What words do we use to describe water?

This week we opened the water station by testing it out in small groups.  I was fascinated to see what they would discuss while working on this and what they would do and discover while using the various tools.  I find it so interesting that so much of their world is through the lens of stories.  I will put my notes (in their messy and fast written informality) up for you to read.  I hope these images work.  If you click on the image, it will be able to be viewed in a larger form.  The students were enjoying discovery, but they also quickly wanted to pretend and try out roles they see in the "real world" or adult world!  They are so fun to listen to!

Math problem:
Do we have enough drivers for our first field trip?

I thought this would be a great real world problem for us to look at.  The kids worked in partnerships.  One fun part was when groups discovered we still had empty seats in the "cars".  Many said, "We need more kids!"  :)  So this is a great sign!  We have more than enough drivers (since we have so many parents who want to volunteer and be involved in their kids' lives!).

Estimation Jar!

Last week I introduced this new learning opportunity and this week many friends made their estimates, and went through the process to get themselves to an educated guess.  (See this week's reflection page for more information this!)

On Thursday we counted the keys!  Next week I will be putting out a new jar for more counting and estimation fun!

Reading skills- Students interpreting illustrations and creating their own stories.
It is so fun to listen to the partnerships at Relax and Read because they are connecting over retelling stories and sharing their interpretations of the illustrations to their partner.  (Scanning and assessing illustrations is an important skill in our reading journey) These personal versions they tell show us a lot about what their lens and perspective is at this particular time in their lives.  It is so fun!

The books we read this week:
I wonder how your child will retell these stories to you.  :)

More Language Skills!
We have also been discussing the difference between letters words and syllables.  It can be tricky to separate out these concepts.  Last week we made one table and this week we made a second table to investigate.  It is neat to see these side by side and many of the students were tickled to see that they are in such different groupings on each page.  

More Science!

We have been lucky to already be getting such cool specimens coming into the class organically!  I encourage friends to share things that make them wonder and this is already happening. This week Rachel brought in shells that her Mum brought from the Atlantic Ocean.  That prompted Sienna Marie to bring in her own shells.  As a next step, I have set out books to help foster research.  So much fun!  We also got two more specimens: Caleb brought a scorpion which his dad found.  Gabe found some bugs and even brought a page to show us what they are called.

I am always pondering some amazing feat of nature, and I can imagine as a Kindergartner the "wow factor" that each of these new pieces invokes!   Each piece adds depth to the class choice for research, wonder and new learning experiences.  Keep them coming!

(Speaking of nature, here is something I personally love checking each day, when I get a chance...

Her images, collages and pull-down commentary are always thought-provoking!  Some commentaries are more for adults, but the images are always something to share with the little ones!)

Well, there are so many beautiful moments we have each week in class. 
I hope you enjoyed what I shared this week!  
Have a lovely weekend, Jennifer