Friday, January 19, 2018

New Year, New Opportunities For Growth!

As a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Kindergartners participated in a reenactment of a typical bus ride before segregation laws were changed. We found out that some patrons could only sit in certain seats and had to enter the front of the bus to pay, exit, then reenter at the back door. The bus driver would sometimes take off in the interim. Some of the children stated that they actually had an opportunity to sit on that same bus (located at Henry Ford Village in Dearborn) on which Rosa refused to give up her seat.

During the reenactment, Ks were allowed to sit at the front of the bus depending on certain physical attributes like if they had an animal depicted on their clothing, wore shoes or no shoes, type of hairstyle and one’s gender. Prior to this activity, we read a story about Rosa Parks’ life and discussed some of the events that were precursors to Dr. King’s speeches and actions to acquire equality for others.
We found out that on the day of her arrest, Mrs. Parks was tired,  but not the kind of tired that we might think. Kindergartners heard about Mrs. Park’s many, many efforts to end segregation long before her most famous stand (or sit) and for years up until her death.  We, as a class, are practicing being kind, fair, peaceful and reasonable in our classroom as well.

Later in the morning, one child chose to have her stuffed animals "ride the bus". Children sometimes use dramatic play to work through difficult situations and to make sense of their world.

In Math class, Kindergartners used the same amount of days of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott that resulted  from Rosa Parks’ arrest as our magic number for practicing counting up.  We presently have 220 days tallied and documented so far and will be working on our goal of representing the entire 381 days.

Other Math lessons centered on logical reasoning and ways to apply a process of elimination. Identifying one, two, three and double- double digit numbers  were also goals.  Additionally, we are practicing committing fact families to memory and gathering groups of ten. Beaded number lines were assembled to aid with our practice of counting by tens and to strengthen our fine motor skills.

Kindergartners enthusiastically welcomed our newest awesome Kindergarten class member Lily and her family.
Lily's family graciously came in on Friday and read an informative story about the rain forest. Lily's mom and Dad taught us some of the Korean names (and sounds) of rain forest animals found in the book. We  compared them to the animal names and sounds taught by Madame in Latin class this week and last week.  Lily's family also shared an oral story from the Korean tradition.  The moral of the story:  It doesn't pay to be greedy!  

K Buddies was another highlight of our activities this week!  Our SK 8th Grade students came by for a visit of board game playing, dress up, string cutting and other shenanigans on Thursday morning.  It was fun to watch the Big Kids reminisce about their prior experiences and the Ks express such joy and admiration for our oldest young people in the building.  We had such a good time that Teacher Rachel and I plan to have another play date together really soon.

Here are some of the Kindergartners’ responses about our time together:

“It was fun playing Zingo and Ghost.  Someone was the ghost and wore a cloth on their head.  They tried to tag other people.” -June

“It was fun to have them (the 8th Graders) here.  They were like teaching us to take care of a baby by putting them in the washing machine and the oven.”- Maya

“We were reading a book. I like listening to books.” -Naomi

“It was fun putting the baby in the washer (to clean her of course) and reading a book.” -Lily

“It was just a ‘thumbs up’ on everything but mostly on making money by selling wormy strings.”

“It was nice because I played games with Eva and Miel.  I played Othello and a matching socks game.” -Finley

“I played with my stuffed animals. I liked that I built my big house limousine.”-Rook

“I played with the stuffed animals and Miel and Nic.  I liked that June played that she put something in the caterpillar puppet’s eyeballs.” -Margo

“It was different with so many people in the room.” -Mira

“I was playing Pengoloo with Nico and then I played with Owen. I felt really sad when they had to leave.” -Ezra

“I played with blocks and the Pengoloo (game) with the Eighth Graders.”

Happy 6th Birthday, Kalyan!!!!

Our Circle Time stories lately have centered around our newly ushered in Winter season.  A Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts allowed us a chance to imagine what happens when a snow friend is allowed to take a vacation after the busy holidays.  During the story, we were introduced to artist Paul Gauguin and will be studying his passions, techniques and inspirations further during our Art lessons.  We were also excited that the illustrator used a very bright, Matisse-like cut out style in his designs.  Revisiting artists provides wonderful opportunities to note time lines, influences and inspirations.

During Language Arts, two versions of  The Mitten (the first by Jan Brett and second by Jim Aylesworth) were read and compared. Kindergartners worked together to sequence the tale from memory then acted out an impromptu play using puppets as props. Ks contrasted the two authors’ choices for characters and added our own ideas for  new characters during our writing activity.  We discussed how the story was originally a Ukrainian tale passed down from generation to generation.  We will be delving into more oral tales and traditions around the world as we continue our theme unit on "Identity" and move into our new Theme: Cities.

Kindergartners culminated their "mitten" stories with a fantastic presentation at our SK Friday's all school meeting!  The children used humor and intrigue by purposely mixing up their order of appearance then demonstrated their amazing ability to properly sequence the tale.  Ks each gave exciting individual animal character performances as well.  It was a very cozy way to begin the weekend.

During recess times we could not resist the large amount of snow... then slush... then mud puddles..then snow at our  playgrounds this and last week.  We splashed, slathered and scooped ’til our hearts content.

Ks experimented with adding powdery shavings from colored chalks in order to make their luminescent snow brick sculptures.

Our welcome back and Happy 2018 activity included (non-edible) treat making!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January Dates at a Glance!

Happy New Year!!!!!

Monday, January 8th           School resumes!
Monday, January 15th          No School!  Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service!
Sunday, January 21st           SK Admissions Open House! 2-4 P.M.
Friday, January 26th            No School! PD/Assessment Writing for Teachers

Also, Mark Your Calendars!!!!

Sat. March 3rd, 2018  "Eudaimonia" Annual SK Fundraiser!