Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20th, 2014

K is for Karate Kick!

This week we karate kicked our way through the remaining days of school!

Learning the letter, "K" is actually very difficult.  The sound is not easy to discriminate and the diagonal strokes of its shape are not easy to print.  So, we made sure to practice a lot.  With shaving cream, with playdough, with whiteboards, and finally on paper, we eventually mastered the letter (mostly).

The majority of our week, however, was concentrating on Christmas.  We watched poignant scenes from The Nutcracker...

...and then practiced cracking our own walnuts.

We made ornaments...

...and carefully wrapped them as gifts.

We practiced our sorting skills as we crafted a Christmas tree, with shortest-to-longest branches.

Then, on Friday, we performed The 12 Days of Christmas and Navidad, Navidad in front of a gracious audience.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December 6th, 2014

J is for Jingle Bells!

This week, we really got into the Christmas spirit!

The weather outside was frightful...

...but inside was so delightful.

Let it (hydrated polymer blend) snow, let it snow, let it snow.

While we will closely examine the Christmas Story the week of the 15th (so it will stick longer over Christmas break), we took the opportunity to learn the basics this week.

This week, we also learned a concept we will continue extensively after Christmas break; Independent Study.  As we rotated through small groups in the morning, one group was given a set of multi-step instructions to follow without teacher support.

By the week's end, we were getting the hang of it!

j is for jack-in-the-box!

On Thursday, we learned all about The Gingerbread Boy...

...and, in preparation for our Friday night pajama party, we made a batch of gingerbread cookie dough.  
We cut out our own gingerbread boys and the plan was to actually decorate and consume them.  But, in an unfortunate turn of events, I did a fantastically terrible job baking them.  They were dry, crumbly and burnt.  

The show must go on, however, and Vons supplied our party with tasty sugar cookies to decorate instead.  I was forgiven.

Actually, our Friday night pajama party was so fun!

Our little school family is the best!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21st, 2014

This week, we were interested in the incredible Ii.
I is for Iguana!

We also celebrated turkeys this week...

...and no holiday is complete without a handprint.

Or a hat.

When discussing Thanksgiving, we learned at-length about The Three Sisters.  When the Wampanoag came to the pilgrim's rescue after the winter of 1620, they showed them how to grow (and you can say this with your child) "the corn that grows so high, the beans that wrap around the corn stalk, and the squash that grows on the ground".  

The kids also collaboratively built a replica of the Mayflower.  Carefully noting the fundamental flaws of the original Mayflower being unable to carry enough food and water to sustain the passengers, my students built a freshwater pond in the middle of their updated ship that contained fish.  Problem solved.

We worked hard this week.

We built letter Ii's...

...we discussed its sounds.

When we were ready to create our i-icicles, we took it as an opportunity to get in some scissor practice as well.

Whether we're sister and brother...

...or brothers from another mother, we're thankful for our nearest and dearest.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14th, 2014

Hay is for horses

This week we were introduced to the letter Hh.

We built them with playdough...

...we did some high tech writing...

...we did some low-tech writing.

This week, we also wrapped up our unit on community helpers.  We had a fun small group activity where we had to match cars to their numbered/lettered parking stalls.

We learned about dentists in our community...

...we learned about dogs who also help people in our community.

And we definitely didn't forget to thank the firefighters for coming to visit last week.

Some highlights...

"Thank you for letting us climb on to your firefighter office. You are the best!"

"Dear fire trucks, thank you for saving people's lives. I hope you have a good day, dear fire trucks." 

"Thank you, firefighters.  You are really, really cool. The best ever. Really, really thank you because I love your fire truck."

To help orient ourselves within the community, we studied maps this week.  We started simple and collaboratively put together a map of the classroom. 

...and eventually looked at globes and children from around the world.

On Friday, we teamed up with Miss Lauren's class and took a walking field trip around our Oceach Beach community.  The first stop was The Lazy Hummingbird Coffee and Tea.  We got to say hi to some of the patrons and coffee makers and we each got a hot chocolate. 

Special thanks to this community helper for serving 35 cups of hot chocolate...with whipped cream!

Our next stop was the Ocean Beach library.  Mrs. Smalls read us a book, Thanks for Thanksgiving, and then directed a reenactment of the pilgrims' story.  

After that, we stopped at the post office.  We made sure to mail our thank-you notes to the Ocean Beach fire station no. 15 and to firefighter Ryan.

Finally, we stopped at The Sanctuary Day Spa and said hello.  We got to smell all sorts of good smells, which was a nice way to wind down from our field trip.  I think several of the adults would have preferred to stay at this point. 

Cheers to the week!  It was a good one!