Sunday, January 29, 2012

Edit, Research, Repeat!

Hello Loving Kinder Gardener Families!

Time flies when you're having fun!

Here's a "quick" recap of some of the things we have been wondering about, practicing, and getting good at!

Things We Are Getting Good At:

We've been at school for 84 days!  We check our work every day now during Calendar and Journal time.  There's a new tool in our class that challenges us to group days into ones, ten, and hundred bundles.  We are really excited to see how close we are to getting to the next ten bundle!

If your child is interested, here is some homework that they were asked to think about:  How many more days until we get to our 100th day?  Also, what other numbers can you count by to get to 100?  How will you check your work?

On another note, we are REALLY getting good at recognizing words we know in our Morning Message!  Just this past week, every friend helped find at least one word in the message, and next thing you know, we had recognized EVERY word!  This has happened twice already, and the past time, students were able to even READ the message without any help from a teacher!  We were all so proud of ourselves!  That was hard work!

Things We Are Practicing:

Giving and receiving helpful feedback for each others work is something we are still practicing.  However, it is really exciting when we get to see how our work changes after listening to some suggestions!  Take a look at some of these examples of friends hearing each other.  Can you tell what changes were made?  What other suggestions could help make our work more clear?

 In other news, there is a new challenge in our class that is stirring up a lot of excitement!  The 3-Clues Mystery Box has found it's way into our room and it is something that lots of us can't wait to try out!  Feel free to ask your child all about this new concept!

Things We Are Wondering About:

As you know, we have a lot of ideas sprouting up in our classroom!  One inquiry we have been researching about is the Kookaburra!  We have been looking through a handful of resources to try to learn more about the Kookaburra, one being the Encyclopedia, and the other being the World Wide Web!  We are learning to use tools, such as the Index, Glossary, and Bold Print to help us find the specific information we are looking for in the reference books we have in our classroom.

We also used the Internet to help learn more about the Kookaburra.  We found lots of helpful information about it's specific features, habitat, diet, and of course, it's call! We even watched a video of the Kookaburra catching it's prey!  >>>CHECK IT OUT!<<<

Our other topic of interest involves the beautification of the outside of our classroom.  A big thank you to all the families who have helped us by bringing in bags of soil for our planter box!  We have started the discussion of what tools we will be needing to maintain the upkeep of our garden, what measures we will need to take to ensure that curious or hungry critters respect our space, and also which types of visitors we DO wish to have come to our garden.  We made a brainstorm list about which types of visitors are likely to come (ladybugs, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc), but now, we must find which plants or flowers will be most inviting for them... 

Thank you for checking out the blog!  Stay tuned for information about our upcoming field trips!

Love, Gaby

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello Loving Kinder Gardeners!

It has been so long since I have posted!  I'd like to start with saying Happy 2012!  I hope you all had a lovely winter break!  I had such a nice time catching up with my nephews Victor Hugo (6) and Ruben (5) and my young niece, Samantha (1).  Here they are Christmas Day, sporting the outfits I gave them as gifts.

Next I would like to say thank you to all the families that helped us prepare for our Gift Making Party!  All the snowflake cutting, sign hanging, and streamer hanging really paid off!  The expressions on their faces when they walked in was priceless!  I'm so sad I didn't think to take a picture of the room once we finished =[.

Also, thank you to all of the families who brought treats for us to enjoy and stayed with us to help us with our activities!  We couldn't have done it without you!  We really appreciate your presence!

This new year has started off with a bang!  Did you know that your child is AMAZING??  I have been blown away these past few days by how much everyone has grown up over the break!  We came back to school and everyone still remembered how to be a school person (and were even doing it better than before)!   Our Meeting times have felt really good, we've been speaking to each other in a friendly way, we're taking care of our classroom, and our discussions have been filled with great ideas!

Our first day back, we had a ReConnect type of day, where we revisited the basics to being back at school.  Our new songs and poems triggered quite a discussion!  The Kookaburra Song, in particular, got us thinking about what a Kookaburra is, as well as a gum tree.  We had lots of theories and friends were great at hearing other friends' opinions.  And it being such a beautiful day, we went on a walk to the nearby park.  There, we sat under a tree and discussed whether or not it was a gum tree....

...a pine tree...
 ...a honey tree, or a tree with a bee hive...
  ...or could it have been a shoe tree...?  =]

I'm sad I didn't record that discussion!  We listened to different theories friends had about what the sticky yellow stuff on the tree was, and how did those shoes get up into the branches of that tree?  So many possibilities!

Our time outside also inspired us to think a little bit more about bees!  They were hovering all around us and we followed them to some flowers to try to get a closer look at how they gather pollen.  Is it with their tongue or do they carry it on their legs?

 We came back to class and wrote out a chart of some of the questions that we had about bees.

Can you see why I get so excited to come to work everyday?  Thank you so much for sharing them with me!

And big welcome to our two newest friends Pearl and Demetrius!  The Loving Kinder Gardeners have really been modeling for them what it's like to be a part of their community and they are catching on so fast thanks to all their help!  Keep it up!

Love, Gaby