Saturday, September 26, 2015

ST Math, Scorpions, Science Day and MORE!!

Hello families and friends,

Enjoy the snapshots from this week with each other and practice asking questions to help you gain a better insight about what your child is still practicing, wondering, or excited about. 

Open Choice Time has been getting livelier in our room as the children start making the classroom their own by trying new ideas and bringing inspirational specimens, inviting us to study new things!

Fine Motor Skills with Putty

This has been a special time for friends to explore this curious material together and build their muscles in a fun way!

Games and Puzzles

The students have been having a good time getting better at playing games together, listening to their peers, problem solving and finding new strategies to tackle the puzzles.

Language Area

Our class has really been into writing messages to friends and families.  It is fun to witness how excited the students are to complete their hard work and slip it into their friends message box or into their backpacks to take home!  What are some reasons you would write a message to someone?

Construction Area

Friends continue to explore the various materials and inspire each other to do the unimaginable!  It's beautiful to witness their natural curiosity about math in a natural way.

Observational Drawing

Friends brought in new flowers to study, as well as a pumpkin and even a SCORPION!  Come in to check out some of their drawings.  Many friends have really been practicing adding details to their illustrations as well as getting feedback from their peers about what they could add or change to make their work look more clear.

Dramatic Play

In class, friends have been challenged to plan out what they will act out as a group to help give each participant direction and be accountable for their work.  Check out how the students have been using their imagination to go to a different place and time...


Individual patterns keep coming up in our students minds and they are practicing using different materials to bring them to life.


This week, I played a short introductory video of what ST MATH is and what we can expect when we do it ourselves.  It was sweet to watch the students be so attentive and responsive to JiJi.  You can watch the video below.

Language Activity

Friends practiced tracing their names with Rachael to get more practice becoming familiar with the letter shapes and directions, as well as noticing the difference between which letters are uppercase and which are lower case.  Please continue to practice this at home with your own inspiring materials!

Art with Niki

This week, Niki offered our friends the opportunity to explore different textured papers and see how different mediums respond to them.  What did your child notice?  Come in to see some of their friends' words in our Discussion Notes binder.

Nature Studies

This week, Mary invited the friends to study different specimen found in the natural world and use observation tools to help them see the special details.  Come in to read their words in our Discussion Notes binder.

Relax and Read Time

This week, I invited friends to relax quietly with a friend and a book.  After they choose their books, they can enjoy them independently or together, switch when their done, and chat quietly about them when they're done.  We have also been sharing a different element about each story to give friends a small taste of what they can anticipate if they choose that book to read next time.  Come see what they had to share in our Discussion Notes binder.

Measurement Practice

We revisited the trees in the neighboring park and friends worked together to find the circumference of their tree by wrapping a string around it's trunk.  We came back to class and found different materials to use as units of measure and found how long our strings were.  Friends documented their findings on a T-Chart.

Special Birthday Celebration

We had our first friend and family come in to celebrate their special day with us.  This special friend turned 5 right before school started!  She wished for us to do some special things together with her, including: singing her happy birthday, singing Puff the Magic Dragon together, giving her special birthday messages in her ear and listening to some stories about apples before enjoying the apples and pears her and her family picked from Julian.

Parent/Teacher Mixer

This week we had our first ever mixer.  Thank you to all the families that were able to come and get to know each other, build a sense of community for all of the great questions!  It was so nice to be able to share a little bit about myself with you all and some of my beliefs about the beauty of learning together.

Nature Hunt

This week, we had our first Science Day.  I asked friends what they thought we might find on the floor outside and how we would collect items in our specimen collection bags.  We broke into two small groups and took a little trip outside of school to see what kind of nature we could find...

We brought our collections back to class and had a small Gallery Walk to see what our peers found that was different or similar to our own findings.  Come to see what they observed in our Discussion Notes binder.

We will be studying these materials and classifying them together.  I've separated a few items already but do you see anything else that might need to be grouped differently?  What would we names some of these specimen?  How will we find out?

Family Reader

Thank you to Genia for being our Family Reader this week!

Outdoor Education

We met with Coach Curry and practiced some new exercises together to warm up.  Have fun practicing these at home together!

Jumping Jacks

Jumping towards the sky


Push Ups

Sit Ups/Crunches


Overhand Throwing

Coach Curry explained how to play Clean Your Room.  The goal was to get all of the mess out of your "room" and into the other team's "room" before the end of the song.  Can you tell who got their "room" cleaner using overhand throws?

Interviewing our Friends

I have incorporated interviewing a new friend each day into our morning ritual.  This has helped us get to know our friends a little bit more and find more reasons to connect over!  Check out the types of questions friends help generated to help gather more information about each other.

Calendar and Journal

Our End of the Day ritual has gotten a little bit more interesting!  We've incorporated practicing counting using tally marks to help us see groups of five, as well as bundling them up when we get to tens!  Have fun practicing skip counting at home together.  This is a newer concept to many friends, so find fun ways to use this special skill in your everyday life!

Preliminary Research

Do you remember that scorpion I mentioned earlier in this post?  Yes, I said scorpian.  A real, live Stripetail Scorpion was found in a friend's doorway as they were walking out the door, so of course they knew that we would all be super interested in it and brought it for us to study!  Thanks Bethel, Sally and Murray!  

Our friends have been making careful illustrations of it's body and we have generated some questions of what we are wondering about it:

What does a scorpion need to survive?
What does it eat?
How does it eat?
How does it drink water?
What's difference between a boy and a girl?
How does it sting?
Why do they have lines on their back?
How do scorpions walk?
Why do they eat bugs?

We watched a video about how scorpions attack each other and were listening to see if it could also answer any  of the other questions we had.  Check out our Discussion Notes binder for more information.  You can also come in to look through our journals to find out which questions they found the answer to and which they are still wondering about.

We plan on asking Mary more about this little guy when we see her again on Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by.  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts, questions or comments!
Love, Gaby