Monday, November 7, 2011

Discussion, Rainy Days, and Gardening

Happy Monday!

I want to start off by saying that your children are such wonderful human beings.  We are really sharing lots of ideas, hearing different perspectives, and problem solving!

Some things we have been wondering about includes the rotation of the Earth and how it affects our days and nights.  We created a diagram of our ideas about the placement of Earth in relation to the sun and moon, along with a list of questions we have about these ideas.

Our main question was whether or not the the sun went around the Earth.  This created a lot discussion!  Here are some comments that friends made:

Aaminah:  When it's dark, it turns into a moon.
Hannah: When the sun goes down, the moon comes up.
Maximus:  The Earth turns, and when the Earth turns, slowly, the sun is still shining, slowly, the sun is shining on the Earth.
Aaminah:  If we had no sun and we can't see, and then, when the moon, when it's morning, the moon goes down and then the sun goes up.
Avery:  Once it's midnight [in San Diego], in China. it's their afternoon.
Isa:  You know at the top of the world, the very top, the people, they always have the dark place, but sometimes, it's light and it stays light when it's night time.
Maximus:  And you don't even know that the Earth is spinning.
Davin:  The Earth is spinning so slow.... Why does the Earth spin?
Aaminah:  Only the Earth is spinning, not us.
Maximus:  The Earth is moving, but you just don't know.
Aaminah  And when the trees are shaking, that means it like, the leaves, the wind is blowing.  The Earth is not spinning it, the wind is.

We watched a video after our discussion about the Earth's rotation.  This helped answer some of our questions, like how long it took for the Earth to rotate!  Check it out here!

We also had a Rainy Day on Friday, which felt a little different.  We spent Recess inside, working on puzzles, reading books, and playing "Doggie Doggie, Where's Your Bone?" Our Open Choice Time felt different as well.  We did partner activities, like Staring Game and Mirror.  This brought up lots of discussion about what it is like to work with a friend, how it is important to listen to each others ideas,  what works, and what makes it feel hard. 


We also have been talking a lot about our Gardening Crew.  We generated a list of tools we might need to help us do our job.  We have been bringing in lots of great donations from families and have been practicing using these tools and have talked about how to take care of them.  One tool that we got to practice with were the gardening gloves.  We had a friend model how to put each glove onto the right hand, how to take them off and roll them up, and how to ask a friend for help.

Hope you had a lovely Monday!

Love, Gaby

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reading Buddies, Crews, and Clubs!


There is so much happening in our community right now, it's hard to keep up!  Last week, we introduced 3 new ways to help our community stay connected with IA. 

Reading Buddies is a time where we will be working with the 5th graders and reading some  good books in pairs!  Our first meeting was really special.  We met in the Multipurpose Room and did a Meet and Greet Circle.  Our Kindergarten friends sat in the inner circle, the 5th graders sat in the outer circle, and they faced each other to chat.  The inner circle rotated so that students were able to get to know everyone!  Before meeting our new friends, we practiced what it would look like to introduce yourself to someone, how to shake hands, and made the connection that this time might feel like our morning interview time!

We will be meeting with our Reading Buddies every Wednesday afternoon.  Today, we talked about what impression we wanted to give the 5th graders when they came to visit our class.  We agreed that we were going to impress them and show them that Kindergarteners really know how to be school people!  We were also going to help the 5th graders find a cozy spot to sit, show them where our books are, and make them feel welcomed in our class.  It was really lovely to see how genuinely excited our friends were to be together!

Crews is an opportunity for us to give back to our school and help do a very special job.  We will be helping create and tend the school's Garden, along with the 7th and 8th grade class!  Last week, we met in the Multipurpose Room, shared what our initial ideas were about gardening, and then got into groups of 3 (K,7th, 8th graders), and took a walk through of the area we would be working on.  There is lots to do to prepare!

Today, we made a list to help us plan what tools we might need while gardening. Our list included seeds, shovels, rakes, trash cans, gloves, hats, shoes, and much more.  Please come check it out, it's currently on our Information Table near the door.  Any donations you could make to help us do this wonderful job would be highly appreciated!  I just stocked up on gloves for gardening, so we can check that off of our list =]

Clubs is another opportunity to meet new friends, work with new teachers, and learn new skills!  Our friends were able to choose from four different clubs:  Art Studio with 1st grade teacher, Jennifer; Games with 2nd grade teacher, DeeDee; Storytelling with 4th grade teacher, Patrick;  and Teamwork with myself.  These Clubs are available to K-2 graders, so we are making even more Cross-Class Connections!

In our first Teamwork Club meeting, we brainstormed what types of things teams do, what types of teamwork do friends do in their classes already, and then we tried some out!  One thing friends liked to do in teams was reading!  When you read in teams, you can ask your partner for help sounding out words.  That's teamwork!

There is so much community building going on, I'm so proud to be a part of this team!  And thank you again or sharing these very special people with us. 

Love, Gaby