Monday, April 30, 2018

May Dates at a Glance!

Wednesday, May 2nd   Trip to the Capitol in Lansing, MI with Evan's Dad
Thursday, May 10th      3rd/Last session of EBs begins! 10:10-11 A.M. (also 5/17 & 5/24)
Monday, May 14th       Trip to AASO w/ Shan at Ypsilanti Library 9:30 A.M.
Monday, May 14th       3rd/Last session of EBs, 12:30-1:20 P.M. (also 5/21)
Tuesday, May 15th       Ks "Reflections" Music  performance, 1:25-2:15 P.M.
Wednesday, May 16th  Ks encore "Reflections" Music performance, 2:40-3:30 P.M.
Friday, May 18th          Trip to Normal Park for Community Gardening, 2-3:10
Monday, May 21st        Dental Hygiene Presentation w/Lily's Dad, 9:00 A.M.   
Wednesday, May 23rd  Trip to Maya Lin's "Wave Field", U of M 9 A.M.
Wednesday, May 23rd  Music Class "Reflections" evening performance, 6-7 P.M.
Thursday, May 24th     Ann Arbor District Library presentation at SK. 9:30-9-50am
Thursday, May 24th     Last day for EBs 10:10-11:00 A.M.
Friday, May 25             No School. Professional Development Day!
Monday, May 28          No School.  Memorial Day Observance!
Thursday, May 31st      Normal Park Garden Community Service trip, 8:45 A.M.

Friday, June 1st            Trip to the Toledo Zoo! Departure at 8:45 until 3:30 P.M.
Monday, June 4th         Korean Tales with Lily and Dad, 8:45 A.M.
Friday, June 8th           Ks cheer on the SK 5K Run at County Farm Park, 2 P.M.
Thursday, June 13th      SK Field Day! 2-3:30 P.M.
Thursday, June 14th      8th Grade Graduation! 10:00 A.M.
                                 Last  Day of School for 2017-18! Dismissal at 11:30.
                                 No After Care.
Saturday, June 16th      SK at the A2 Art Festival KidZone Tent!
Sunday, June 17th        Happy Father's Day to all of our Wonderful Dads!!

​Coming Soon!!!! Kindergarten Lemonade Stand Dates/times TBA

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Kindergarten Ketchup (Catch Up) w/e March 9th & 16th

We began this week with a whole new set of “trickster tales” all retold and illustrated by Native Detroiter Gerald McDermott.  We talked about how Mr. McDermott did not try to claim the stories as his own but instead, went around the world collecting, comparing and appreciating the tales of other cultures like Indian, Japanese and Brazilian myths (including the animals of the Amazon Rainforest).  We observed how he used his unique style of bold, bright illustrations to enhance each book and always included an intricate symbol for the viewer to find. One story, Anansi the Spider: Tales of the Ashanti, included numerous symbols in the text to represent a story character and its special “ability” i.e Son “Road Builder” was depicted as a road crossing sign.  Kindergartners are “retelling” this story with a whole new set of characters and their unique symbols that they are developing themselves. Each K was thoughtful and clever to create a “Daughter” of Anansi who will cleverly assist him with getting out of the trouble that he so easily falls into.

During Math class, “Time” was of the essence.  We “plotted” time maps by properly placing numbers 1-12 on clock faces, used our table as a giant clock,
and our bodies as units of time. We also welded yard sticks to demonstrate increments of time for our classmates to decipher.  We are learning how to read and write time digitally and translate into analog time as well.

Our walls outside of our classroom are filled with intricately designed African (and other) masks  made out of colorful scrapbook paper, metallic paints and other materials in celebration of the end to a very inspiring African American History Month.  We ended the week with a snowy and picturesque ice skating party at Buhr Park and a birthday celebration of favored author, Dr. Seuss.

Week ending March 16th

Kindergartners continued with our collection of Gerald McDermott “trickster tales” with a story called Pig Boy. We compared and contrasted this myth to Disney’s Polynesian tale of Moana.  The Ks were surprised to see how many details the two stories had in common (pigs, chickens, boats, mountains, etc.) and even shared prior knowledge about their own trips to Hawaii. We mapped out our story origins and noticed the close proximity of similar tales too. We discussed what it means to be “inspired” by something that we have heard or experienced. Later, Kindergartners were heard stating that a classmate had “inspired” them with an idea while creating their own projects.

During Math class, more “time” was of the essence.  We continued to “plot" time maps by properly placing numbers 1-12 on clock faces and practiced counting by 5s.  We are learning how to read and write time digitally and translate into analog time and vice versa. We positioned our own hands/arms straight above our heads as if pointing to the sky or high noon to remind us of the o’clock hour and practiced writing a colon zero-zero (:00) as its “code”. We also welded yard sticks and positioned them around the table to demonstrate other increments of time for our classmates to guess.  Additionally, we played a card game of “I Have.. Who Has…” to practice identifying and reading the time.

April Dates at a Glance!

This Month's Theme:  Cities

Sunday, April 8th         Celebration of Kindergarten, 2:30-3:30 P.M.

Wednesday, May 2nd   Trip to the Capitol in Lansing, MI with Evan's Dad
Thursday, May 3rd       Trip to Normal Park for Community Gardening, 8:45am
Thursday, May 10th     3rd/Last session of *EBs begins! Also 5/14, 17, 21, & 24
Tuesday, May 15th      Ks Music class "Reflections" performance, 1:25-2:15 
Wednesday, May 16th  Ks encore Music performance, "Reflections" 2:40-3:30
Friday, May 25            No School. Professional Development Day
Thursday, May 31st      Return trip to Normal Park for Community Service
Friday, June 1st            Trip to the Toledo Zoo, departure at 8:45 A.M.

* Exploratory Block Electives. Mondays-12:30-1:20 P.M. & Thursdays-10:10-11:00am  Stay tuned for an email from Karen to notify us of your child's preferences.

Kindergarten Ketchup (Catch up)

Recent Circle Times and Language Arts activities centered around the “creation” story.  These tales are universal and attempt to explain the “whys” or how something (or someone) happened for the first time.  We explored reasons for the sun and moon being in the sky, the cycles of the moon, and some animals’ unique physical characteristics like the “burnt looking” tip of a coyote’s tail. We are also finding out that these stories open wonderful discussions about our own cultures, traditions and belief systems. 

Wondering what all of that extra yarn is in the classroom mailboxes, cubbies and the back of your cars?  Ks have been finger knitting to whittle away the end of Winter (hopefully) and the beginning of warmer temperatures.

Speaking of Winter, true learning occurs when topics are introduced  in the Fall, and still remembered many months later.  Naomi discovered some of "nature's toilet paper" growing out of the snow in her Grandparents' backyard recently.  Kindergartners heard about this convenient commodity during our beginning of the year trip to Howell Nature Center! 

Beatrix Potter EBers listened to several tales read by teacher Donna such as Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, the gentle but forgetful laundress for the Potter critters and Peter Rabbit, whose sisters enjoyed berry pie for their obedience. Exploratory Block (EB) participants used patterns to create origami bunnies for one session,  used fresh vegetables as stampers for another and used mortar and pestles to crush berries during a third session. EBers also stained pieces of fabric with several of the vibrant berry juices and sewed stuffed animals in celebration of The Tailor of Gloucester, also beautifully written and illustrated by the beloved Beatrix Potter. We also talked about how gifted she was (even as a very young child) and how she is still widely celebrated all over the world.

On Thursday, EB participants experimented with mystery "chemicals" to find out which one(s) would remove the dried berry stains most effectively. K-2s surprisingly found out that plain baking soda or salt cleaned just as well as dish detergent!  Mrs. Tiggy Winkle would have appreciated their findings and skills for she had trouble removing berry stains from Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail's aprons and the onion scent from Benjamin Bunny's kerchief. 

Kindergartners found out that there can be many “wrinkles” in learning how to tell time.  Ks created their own clock tools and practiced distinguishing between increments of time (minute, five minutes, half hours, hours, etc.) counting by 1 and 5.  They are also learning how to visually "divide" a clock while learning about fractions.  One way this was practiced was during our celebration of Pi Day.  Ks worked hard to solve the problem of just how many “pies” are equal to 3.14. We also revisited prior lessons on geometric shapes, dabbled with percentages and even compared conversions into decimals!

Kindergartners were blessed to have two of our awesome Grandmothers spend time in our classroom this week! They came in to share their invaluable experiences and talents as educators and lifelong learners. Ezra's Grandma, (also a former Kindergarten teacher, yea!) reread one of our favorite trickster tales, Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel. She was as delighted as we were, I think, about this funny and charming tale.  Grandma also graciously acted in the role of "clock master" for our Math activity. She welded yard sticks (as hour and minute hands) and had the Ks almost stumped when trying to read the time on our giant table clock.  Ks acted as placeholders for the "hours" and applied logical thinking and counting skills in order to problem solve the time.

Another highlight of our week was  when Evan’s Vecmama ( "Sveik" is Latvian for hello) came in to share her passion, Abstract Art. Grandma  explained the difference between "figurative" and "abstract" subject matter and presented very impressive examples of her own work as well as some favored acquisitions of hers. 

She set a lovely atmosphere for exploration and risk taking. Each K chose and reflected on their own “soul color” and experimented with these acrylic paints while using spackling knives. The activity culminated into very energetic, vibrant and impressive canvas paintings.  

Check out the upcoming blog entry, "My Soul Doth Wonder: Abstract Art with Sveiks Ma" for even more pictures and the Ks' finished canvas Abstract Art masterpieces.