Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Published Writers

We recently completed our How-To Writing unit. Throughout this unit we have been focused on being teachers. We were able to select any number of things we were "experts" on to teach someone through focused steps and lots of detail. Some of the important features of how-to writing is tell what to do in steps, number the steps, labels that teach, and use lots of details. I was so excited to watch the kiddos share their pieces with their classmates. Once finished publishing and "fancying up" we walked around the room and browsed a variety of writing. It was a fantastic moment of celebration! 

Our next unit will be persuasion. We will focus on being convincing, using evidence, and being problem solvers. One of the biggest components of this unit is that students can see a problem somewhere in the world (school or otherwise) and help find solutions to that problem. We will use many mentor texts to help illustrate persuasion. We will also do a variety of other writing like signs, letters, and songs. I can't wait to see what these budding writers come up with this time!


Mr. and Mrs. Fish

What an awesome day it was when Mr. and Mrs. Fish came to teach us some amazing fish facts through performance! In the words of one student, "It's like we are learning and it is a play!" Mr. and Mrs. Fish travel all over the world to teach children about fish and ocean conservation. Their playful and dramatic portrays of life in the sea get students laughing, learning, and engaged!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Real World Fish Science

Whoa! What a fun experience we had on Tuesday with Ms. Sarah Morrisseau! She has worked with fish scientists and researchers for many years and has a wealth of information about our gilled friends. She also has taught young students about fish but this was her first kindergarten experience. You would have never known! Her expertise was felt through the classroom from her awesome slide show and the interactive "schooling" we did at the end!

Ms. Morrisseau prepared a slide show all about fish mouths. We learned that fish mouths can tell us a lot about what fish eat! For example our resident goldfish, "Goldie", has no teeth and a small mouth. Therefore he must eat tiny little things like algae or bacteria. While a shark... well... we know about that giant mouth! One thing we did observe is that sharks have double teeth on the bottom!! We also learned that a shark's tooth is not only pointy and sharp but the sides are jagged which let it rip through its meals.

We then learned about Atlantic Herring that fill our oceans. We learned that herring have a line down their side body called "lateral lines". These lateral lines are super sensitive and sense what is close to them. That is how they are able to "school" so well! We then got to experience what it felt like to move with a school of fish!

Ms. Morrisseau ended our lesson with one very funny and popular joke: Why are Atlantic Herring so smart? Ask your kiddo for the answer! Thank you so much Ms. Morrisseau for enriching our learning!

Whoa! Watch out for those teeth, Aidan! 

Ms. Morrisseau with her own kindergartener, Sam! 

Swimming along to our buddy, but oh no a shark!! Swim away!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dr. Seuss Takeover!

Last week was dedicated to the infamous Dr. Seuss! Each day we used a different book to guide our learning while focusing on our kindergarten goal of "I can recognize and produce rhyme."

We began Monday with a biography of Dr. Seuss where we learned that he wasn't really a doctor and his real name is Theodore!! We then read Fox in Socks. This terrific tongue twister was a huge hit. The kiddos, even after hearing it before, were enthralled with the silly rhyme and watching their teacher get tongue tied! On Tuesday we read I am NOT Going to Get Up Today. This lesser known Dr. Seuss book was great for talking about persuasion as well as text-to-self connections. We talked about how somedays we just don't want to get out of bed! On Wednesday we read Wacky Wednesday. With all the crazy hats it was fitting! The book starts, "It all began with a shoe on the wall..." We connected this book to how somedays can seem just "off" and it is ok because when we go to sleep and wake up, it is a new day! Also on Wednesday we read I Can Read With My Eyes Shut which has a great message to the reader: "If you keep your eyes open enough, oh the stuff you will learn! The most wonderful stuff!" On Thursday we read my personal favorite, There's a Wocket in my Pocket. This is a great way to build a stronger knowledge of word families and real vs. non-sense words. Then we even created our own Wockets!

On Friday we read one of the few "non-rhyming" Dr. Seuss books Bartholomew and The Oobleck. Students saw the terrific performance on Wednesday by The Pond Cove Players (a bunch of brave Pond Cove staff). When we read the book, students made some great connections of similarities and differences between the play and the book. We then were Oobleck scientists! We started by observing as I made the Oobleck. Students had to watch for materials and the steps. Then students went back to their seats and drafted a "How-To Make Oobleck" book. We talked about how in how-to books it is important to include warnings and tips so the reader knows exactly what to do. I was blown away with the how-to writing and the steps students included. Then we experimented with Oobleck and what would sink or float. We also discussed how Oobleck isn't quite a liquid or a solid! Then... well... we got messy!

Science Fun at The Children's Museum

What an awesome experience we had at The a Children's Museum last week. From the touch tank to the rock wall we were full on explorers! Our highlight was the interactive theatre about the ocean levels. Students were fully immersed in learning about sea creatures that live at the different levels of the ocean. It was an awesome way to kick off our science unit about fish. A big thanks to all the volunteers who came and helped make the day such a success!





Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The 100th Day of School

It is hard to believe that the 100th Day of School has come and gone! We celebrated in style with a week dedicated to this magnificent day and all our learning we have done.

We began the week with a little story about a King who wanted a pizza with 100 toppings! The kiddos couldn't begin to imagine such a thing! But through the story, students began noticing how we added ten of ten different toppings! Quickly these mathematicians saw the pattern as we were skip counting by 10! The result was a HUGE pizza that now adorns our hallway.

We also used our imaginations to create something out of the digits in "100". I can say with confidence these are some of the best creations I have ever had! No one in our class copied my examples and there were no duplicates! The creativity and imagination was pouring out. These "100 Creations" are accompanied by a little writing and are marveled at by all who walk by. 


On the 100th Day, we had four different centers that were inventive and designed to spark 21st century skills. Using 100 Legos and a partner, students were challenged to design something using 100 Legos. The students then took a picture using his/her iPad and are in the process of creating digital stories about their teams creation! We also made a 100 piece paper chain! This chain was a team effort as all students traveled to this center to help make it possible! Students also were challenged to flip a coin 100 times and see what the results were. The students decided that there was no way of knowing which would have more or less. We discussed that this is called "chance". It was an awesome celebration!! 

One of the final activities we did during the 100th Day was make predictions! We predicted how far 100 steps would take us from our classroom. We landed in the third grade wing, almost to Mrs. Gallagher's office! It was a fun experience to see how far 100 actually is!

I can not even begin to express how proud I am of these inventive, creative, collaborative learners! Our students have made such huge progress so far this year and I am so excited with what we will do in the time we have left!