Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June Dates at a Glance!

Monday, May 29th      No School!  Memorial Day!
Friday, June 2nd         Plant a Pollinator Garden w/ Chris' 3/4, 12:30-1:30 P.M
Tuesday, June 6th       K Trip to the Toledo Zoo in search of Egyptian Animals!
Monday, June 12th      Visit from O.J. the Rocket Scientist 12;30 P.M.
Tuesday, June 13th      SK Field Day, 1-3 P.M.
Wed., June 14th          Last Day of 2016-17 School Year for Students!!!!!
Thurs. & Fri. 6/15-16     Professional Development & Assessment Writing!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Haiku and Portraits for Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Bald Eagle

I have a bald eagle.
My Mom likes the bald eagle.
We kept the bald eagle. -Jacob

Poetry for My Mom

She likes radishes.
and she likes lilac flowers.
I like Pokemon. -Alexander

A Poem for Mom)

She likes orca whales
and she likes hare bunnies
and morels and me. -Geronimo

My Mom

A bald eagle flew away
landed on a maple tree branch
Mom got scared. -Marco

Flowers and Apples

She likes flowers and
she likes apples and flowers.
I like peregrine falcons and cheetahs. -Miles F.

Mom's Title

She likes grown up cats.
She likes me and Baby River.
She also likes baby ducks. -Nels


She likes tigers.
She does not like tigers.
She likes tiger paws. -Isaac


She likes strawberries.
She likes red-breasted robins.
She likes marigolds. -Margo

Dolphins and Sea Otters

She likes sea otters.
She likes baby dolphins when
they jump with backs up. -Isha


She likes her son Miles.
She likes a bunch of different
kinds of birds like cardinals. -Miles


When I don't listen
My Mom is a porcupine.
She protects herself. -Sophia

Mom Loves Me

Oh, how sweet she is!
She loves me and red-winged blackbirds.
So I made breakfast. -Jackson

Monday, May 8, 2017

May/June Dates at a Glance1

(rain clouds looming over Gallup Park to welcome in the month of May)

These Months' Themes: Sustainability/Reflections

Tuesday, May 2nd       No School-Professional Development Day!
Wednesday, May 3rd  Ann Arbor District Library visits-Summer Reading! 2:30
Thursday, May 4th      SK Community Meeting, 7-8:30 P.M.
Friday, May 5th          Trip to Wild Swan Theatre's "Market Place" 9:30 A.M.

Monday, May 8th       Spring EBs (Exploratory Blocks) begin (also Wed. 5/10)
Thursday, May 11th     Author Amy Shrodes reads* & book signing 1-1:45 P.M.!
Friday, May 12th         SK All School "Fun Run", 2:15 P.M.
                               "Reflections Night" Music & Arts featured, 6:30-8:30 P.M.

Sunday, May 14th       HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
Monday, May 15th      EBs continue (also Wednesday 5/17, 2:30 P.M.)
Tuesday, May 16th      Planting at Normal Park Community Garden, 8:45 A.M.
Thursday, May 18th    "Outdoor Classroom Day"
Friday, May, 19th        Staff Breakfast today!  Thank You!
Saturday, May 20th    Paint Party (Eudaimonia experience), 2-4 P.M.

Monday, May 22nd     Trip to Fossil Park with Science/P.E. Teacher Shan, 9 AM
                               E.B.s continue 12:30 P.M. (also Wednesday, 5/24 2:30p)
Friday, May 26th        Ks present "Ancient Egypt" at SK AM Meeting, 8:45 A.M.
Monday, May 29th     No School!  Memorial Day!

Tuesday, June 6th       K Trip to the Toledo Zoo in search of Egyptian Animals!
Tuesday, June 13th      SK Field Day, 1-3 P.M.
Wed., June 14th          Last Day of 2016-17 School Year for Students!!!!!
Thurs. & Fri. 6/15-16     Professional Development & Assessment Writing!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Magic Trash Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project

We celebrated "Earth Day" by showing our awareness of the need to  preserve our planet in various ways.  We are encouraged to reduce trash that would otherwise overpower landfills, use reusable containers versus throw aways and recycle or repurpose materials.  The Kindergartners only needed an inkling that we had an opportunity to do those things and no further explanation was necessary.

We read a book Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art by J.H. Shapiro. We were excited to know that Environmental Artist Guyton's Heidelberg Project originated in nearby Detroit and that he probably visited the Detroit Institute of Art as a kid just like we did! We also found out that his artwork is featured inside of the D.I.A. (Detroit Institute of Art) and the UMMA (University of Michigan Museum of Art) as well as in his neighborhood.

We listened to a story of how Young Tyree created a solution to the trash problem in his neighborhood that sparked discussion, resistance and eventual change. He also prompted more dialog (just like so many artists before him) about what really constitutes "Art".

The Kindergartners worked feverishly to assemble sound frames, walls and towers out of scrap box materials in celebration of Tyree Guyton's famous "Dotty Wotty House" and the magical powers of trash!

Here are some of the items that were created from their ideas.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

From Sap to Syrup

There is always time to learn something new.  There is also plenty of time to pursue a passion. We saw this lesson being demonstrated right before Spring Break. Mr. Kirk Hedding, a firefighter (and his wife, a school teacher) take time out of their busy schedules to pursue their passion and teach others something that most people enjoy but probably not think much about.  The Kindergartners traveled to Chelsea, Michigan to H & H Sugarbush Farm that, from the highway, just looks like a lovely and spacious home on a vast piece of property.   Inside the grounds, however, is some extra sweetness in the form of a generous spirit and the making of maple syrup.  Mr. Kirk explained that he and his wife decided to tap the many maple trees on their family's property just like his wife's family did beginning over a hundred years ago.

 He began our tour by first showing us a room where he had been busily stoking a fire in a little wood burning stove just before our arrival.  He walked us through a vast number of shiny machines, instruments and containers used for extracting the water from the sap, measuring and maintaining ideal temperatures and cooking down the liquid gold.

We then ventured across a muddy cornfield to a beautiful wooded area where the maple magic originates.

View of the beautiful home and sugar shack processing station.

We stopped at one tree in particular to examine the sturdy bucket used to catch the sap as it dripped from a spile in the tree.  Kirk explained that these metal "straws" do not damage the trees even though they leave evidence of scars just like skin would if poked.
He also explained that maple trees yield only a little bit of sap at this time of year due to increasingly warmer temperatures.  Freezing and warm temperatures are necessary for sap flow.  We discovered that it actually takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup!

The Kindergartners were amused by the fact that one of the great deterrents to effective sap collection are pesky squirrels that chew the tubing that the sap travels through. 

A few friends gathered to admire a tiny maple tree that could be possibly be around yet another hundred years from now. 

Back at the sugar shack, Mr. Kirk explained to us the many innovations that have occurred over the years to make sap collection more effective. Sap levels are easier to spot from a distance in plastic bags  and they can keep out bugs and other debris. Kirk stated that he is so used to the layout of the family's grove of trees, he can walk the grounds to check on things even in darkness.

We were able to play a game about various types of seeds and the trees they produce and found out that Michigan is one of the leading states in maple sugar production.

One of the highlights of our trip was finding out how to make maple candy and being able to sample H& H's delicious maple products.

Mr. Hedding holds up a bottle of 100 year old syrup purchased by the founder!

Thanks to generosity of Kirk Hedding and his family our trip was interesting, informative and sweet!  We chatted about our experience for days.  We are also discovering how maple syrup production fits right in to our theme unit of "Sustainability"!

And, of course we had their delicious syrup on pancakes for snack the next day!
A special THANK YOU to Jackson's family for suggesting the outing and for providing the pancakes!