Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Who or What We Are"

November/December begins a new theme unit, Identity.   During Circle Time, Aditi explained so eloquently that "Identity means who or what you are."  We will be investigating the "who" or "what" of several topics beginning with ourselves.
One of our "whats" was the discussion of experiencing "Daylight Savings Time"  over the weekend.  Ks appeared rested and perky and  commented about how light it was outside.   We chatted about this phenom more and learned that "daylight saving time" was first conceived by none other than genius, inventor, writer, and an American Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin!  When it was mentioned that Benjamin Franklin was also featured on U.S. currency, Aditi also said, "Yes, he's on the 100 dollar bill.  That is what is left out for the maid!"  It is awesome that Kindergartners can make real life connections with classroom learning!   (And that we should all be so blessed!;)  We also practiced reciting an Old  English Proverb published by none other than Benjamin Franklin! 

Early to bed, 
Early to rise, 
Makes a man healthy, 
And wise.  

Kindergarten Math is designed  to be hands-on, relevant,  and hopefully fun!  This week's Math lesson was centered around the use of the calendar.  We initially identified  its purpose as a tool to "keep up with things that are important to us"-Nico  then located the  name of the month, the year, and days of the week.  We also practiced  our writing and sequencing while filling in the numbers 1-30.  We  charted the upcoming  Thanksgiving holiday celebrated by most families in our class, Noa's upcoming birthday, and our stay home days.  We will also add our upcoming Hanukkah celebration this year beginning the evening of Thanksgiving.  On another  day we discussed the "teen" numbers and their unique pronunciation-(not three teen or five teen as one would suppose) then played "Guess Shan's Number."  This process of elimination game proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Kindergartners and was not achieved until after 3 rounds of guessing!  Afterward everyone wanted blank calendars  to play this guessing  game with their families at home. 

Language Arts 

Our identity theme began with listening to a picture book called Quick As A Cricket by Audrey and Don Wood.   Many observations about the story were made by the class i.e.  "Hey, there are rhyming words" and "toads are different than frogs."   We also noted that although this book was filled with words that were "opposites" (fast and slow, sad and happy, tame and wild)  that all of these describing words or adjectives can apply to just one person.  We will delve into these concepts of similes and metaphors further as we create "About Me" Books.   By the way, Kindergartners were as "quick as crickets" while playing football at playground time.  They even learned to "take a knee" for injuried players!

We heard a story called Picasso's Trousers and read that Pablo Picasso, one of the most well known artists of all time,  loved wearing striped clothing!   It is  imagined that he even went so far as have a tailor create some striped apparel especially for him.  After the story we took an informal  survey of our clothing and found that the whole class was wearing some type of stripes!  Because we felt Picasso-y after that, we decided to create Picasso inspired portraits.  We talked about how Pablo Picasso had many passions during his long lifetime  and experimented with almost all  art media!   One passion included drawing and painting women and used various female models for his art sessions.  Serendipity ensued when Kindergartner Marcel's Mom walked in for a visit that afternoon.  She became our muse and graciously modeled for us!   Here are some of our amazing  and impressive portraits!

We heard another story titled  The Hueys in the New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers about a boy who tries to be unique only to find that everyone else tries to be unique exactly like him!  Later, we made a graph of some of our unique  characteristics.

#1  "I chew my socks."  Six Kindergartners  identified with this!

#5  We found out that three of our Kindergartners can actually curl their tongues! 

              Our Kindergarten lost tooth count is up to 5!  Sean lost his just this week!                    

Kindergartners participated in their first K Buddies with Mrs. Carpenter's 1st/2nd grade class.  We began with a story about a dog having an "identity crisis" who desired to experience being a wolf. The story was read by our Media Specialist Mom Mrs. Crain.   We were then paired with our K Buddy for some shared reading time.  We also had an opportunity to check out books to take home.  Our next K Buddy time will take place in early December due to our scheduled field trips on the next two Thursdays.  We are looking forward to our next K Buddy time!

One way for Kindergartners to reveal their "identities" is to share a part of themselves-their likes, dislikes, and of course their stuff.  Informal sharing times  occur almost daily as the children  bring in treasures from finds on the sidewalk outside of the school, our shoebox collections, and our favorite books and toys.   Formal "Sharing Days" are Friday afternoons!