Friday, December 21, 2012

Tis the Season!


It's been so nice being surrounded by friends who are fill with Christmas cheer!  The kids have been working hard all week getting our classroom ready for our party.  With everybody pitching in, the work of making decorations isn't so big. It's always neat seeing their ideas come to life!

On Friday, our 8th Grade Buddies came over and it turned out they had decided to wear their pajamas to school, too!  The friends worked together to make so pretty impressive snowflakes!  It was sweet to see everyone with their partners enjoying each other's company.

I tried to catch as many friends as I could out on the playground as they romped around in their slippers and and blankets, but I'm sad to sad I think I missed a few...

For the rest of our day, the students enjoyed working in small groups, rotating through the two stations at our party:  Baking and Sewing.  Here are a few snaps shots from our day.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and did not get a chance to put the frosting on our cookies, but the students enjoyed their sugar cookies anyways.

Thank you to everyone for all of their support and for the lovely gifts!  I really appreciate it <3

Have a safe and happy winter break!
Love, Gaby

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Urban Corps ECO Recycling Center

Happy Wednesday!

What a lovely day we had here in Kindergarten.  I just love it when things work out!  Thank you to everyone who was able to join us, drive us, and even provide us with extra booster seats for those friends who forgot to take theirs out of their car!  It's like there was no stopping us from getting to this field trip!

We were greeted at the Urban Corps ECO Recycling Center by our tour guide, Dino, and learned a little bit about their facility.  We found that the 22 year old center doubled as a school and we got to peak into some of their classrooms, learn about their student body's English Learner program, and practice some of their P.T. (Physical Training) routines.

Dino led us to the Sorting Center and went through which materials were recyclable and which were not.  They were also explaining the different types of plastic that are used for different bottles.  I looked up the numbers on a >>>WEBSITE<<< which helps explain what they all mean.  Here are what the numbers represent:
The most common plastics have a resin code in a chasing arrow symbol (often found on the bottom of the product).
 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): AVOID
Common Uses: Soda Bottles, Water Bottles, Cooking Oil Bottles
Concerns: Can leach antimony and phthalates.
 HDPE (High Density Polyethylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Milk Jugs, Plastic Bags, Yogurt Cups
 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride, aka Vinyl): AVOID
Common Uses: Condiment Bottles, Cling Wrap, Teething Rings, Toys, Shower Curtains
Concerns: Can leach lead and phthalates among other things. Can also off-gas toxic chemicals.
 LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Produce Bags, Food Storage Containers
 PP (Polypropylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Bottle Caps, Storage Containers, Dishware
 PS (Polystyrene, aka Styrofoam): AVOID
Common Uses: Meat Trays, Foam Food Containers & Cups
Concerns: Can leach carcinogenic styrene and estrogenic alkylphenols
 Other this is a catch-all category which includes:
PC (Polycarbonate): AVOID - can leach Bisphenol-A (BPA). It also includes ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), SAN (Styrene Acrylonitrile), Acrylic, and Polyamide. These plastics can be a safer option because they are typically very durable and resistant to high heat resulting in less leaching. Their drawbacks are that they are not typically recyclable and some need additional safety research. New plant-based, biodegradable plastics like PLA (Polylactic Acid) also fall into the #7 category  

We also learned that the Recycling Center receives money for the materials they collect.  They use a large scale to weigh the loads and each pound roughly equates to $1.00.  The kids had a chance to jump on the scale, and if they were made out of aluminum cans, they'd be able to raise over $700!


After the recyclables are sifted and sorted through, they are usually poured into, what the kids are calling, a dump truck.  We got to watch a demonstration of how these trucks are maneuvered to lift the blue recycling bins and compact its contents!

The next stop was upstairs to their Rooftop Garden of California native plants!  It was super neat to see different fruit trees, veggies, and succulents flourishing all around us!  There were also Solar Tubes on their rooftop, which capture the light from the sun and helps to generate the electricity for the building below us!

Succulents, being drought resistant plants, require very little water, so they are a great option to help conserve our water.  Each student got the chance to select one to plant and in their very own recycled material Green House!

Once back at school, the students generated some questions that were still percolating in their brains about what they saw on the trip.  The students took to their journals to respond to these questions with their own ideas and possibilities.

Thank you all again for helping make today a success!
Love, Gaby

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Exhibition Night

Good day!

Welcome to our Monochromatic Art Gallery!

It was so lovely to see so many families come out to our Exhibition Night.  The students were really excited and proud of their work.  I love seeing how eager they are to share their expertise.  Here are a few snapshots from that night!

The following day, we got ready to exhibit our work for our 8th Grade Buddies.  Everyone was so brave to answer questions about their work and the older students expressed how impressed they were with their paintings.

But we know that we're not the only ones who do hard work at IA, so we went to go check out our Buddies' exhibit on their "Rate My Beach Project."  It's always lovely to see these two groups connecting!

Have a great night!
Love, Gaby