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Popcorn Words

Please read these weekly Popcorn Words with your K-Kid each night!

*I *it *run *help *away
*a *in *jump *down
*is *we *one
*am *big *two
*to *for *make
*the *this *get
*go *red *play
*me *like *find
*see *my *funny
*and *come *look
*can *up *blue
*you *not *yellow
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Let's be HEALTHY!

We have finished up our Healthy Body unit and the kids had so much fun with our weeklong project!

We continued our study of the skeletal system, and the K-Kids loved walking stiffly around the room pretending their spine was one long bone instead of the vertebrae it's actually made of. 

Next, we moved onto our cardiovascular/respiratory system, exploring how the heart and lungs work. We learned that the heart pumps blood filled with oxygen out to all different parts of the body through the arteries and works as a partner with the lungs to make sure that each part of our body is getting the oxygen it needs. We also learned that after dropping off the oxygen, blood travels back through the veins to revisit the heart and lungs to pick up more oxygen. Truly magnificent! We did a quick experiment to test how hard our heart has to work when we are moving faster, by checking our pulse, running in place for 30 seconds, then counting our pulse again. We were so impressed to see how much faster our heart was working after we ran for a short amount of time and quickly connected the idea that this was helping to “exercise our heart muscle!”  

Lastly, we discussed the brain. Without the brain, we would not be able to do anything! We discussed the three parts of the brain (Thanks to Erin's mom!) and how they work together to help each part of our body function. We talked about how the brain controls each of our senses and also how our brain is always working, even when we aren't thinking about it!

Although all of this was so fun and incredibly interesting, the best part of this week (by far!) were the life size healthy bodies we created! We started with the skeletal system, adding in a majority of the 206 bones. Next, we added our brains, to ensure that our healthy bodies could think, of course! After this, we added many of our bodies organs (mainly the digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems) to show what our insides look like. After adding the organs, we drew red and blue lines to illustrate arteries and veins. I hope you have time to check them out in the hallway this week!

There will not be a blog post next week due to Grandparent's Day and Thanksgiving. Have a great and safe break!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Building Strong, Healthy Bodies!

This week we began our Healthy Bodies unit, focusing mainly on nutrition and the digestive system. Throughout the next couple of weeks, we will be exploring the circulatory system and the skeletal system, along with aspects from the nervous system, the respiratory system, and the muscular system. The kids were very interested in learning about the different 'food teams' this week, and each day at lunch I heard comments like, "I am eating from the protein team!" and "I still have to take bites from the grain team and the fruit team!"

Language Arts:
 We are taking a slight break from literacy stations this week to really give our Healthy Body unit a great deal of focus. Occasionally throughout the year, it's important to put our normal routine on the back burner and fully dive into our thematic unit. This is one of those times! There is so much 'real-world' learning that can take place as we discuss the Healthy Body unit that I love to give it as much time as possible. You will continue to see books come home, as we are making sure to still conduct reading groups. 

We also completed math work stations that relate to our healthy body theme. Many of the games introduced this week introduced the idea of representing data on various graphs/charts. Using spinners, cards and dice the K-Kids worked to show information in different visual ways. In our whole group math partners, we also worked on different addition strategies, looking at more effective ways to use our fingers, use manipulatives, or use self-made pictures to solve equations. 

This week's discussion on the skeletal system and eating healthy led to some great science information. We discussed how our bones are actually alive inside of our bodies! We also learned that a new baby has 300 bones but adults only have 206! We talked about the smallest bones in our body (inside our ear) and the largest bone (our femur). We also began creating our skeletal system for our own life size body replicas, which will be our big project this week!

Our other main science focus this week was nutrition and eating healthy. We talked about the negative impacts of sugar (although it tastes delicious!) and how the healthiest way to eat is by eating the rainbow and including protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and grains. We talked about different foods that fit into each category and looked at a 'healthy plate!' 

Social Studies:
We have continued having our class meetings to incorporate The Leader in Me Habits for Happy Kids. We have reached Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. This is a tricky habit, but focuses mainly on listening first to understand before you jump right into the conversation. This habit teaches us to listen with our eyes, ears, and heart allowing us to best comprehend what our parents/friends/teachers/etc. are telling us. This habit encourages us not to interrupt and to instead wait until the other person has finished speaking. We will continue working on this habit this upcoming week!

This week we began our 'How To' unit of writing. The K-Kids have discussed ideas of what we are all 'experts' in and the list stretched from "swimming," "reading," and "writing" to "taking care of pets," "being a good friend," and "acting kind." We have discussed how to talk about the steps your reader will need to best understand how to complete a certain task. I always love reading these stories!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

If I were President

This week we worked to finish up our unit on the election, focusing on the three branches of government and what each one does. The K-Kids were interested to hear about 'veto' power and how the president has to work with many other groups of people to get things done. As the election approaches this week we will all be watching to see what happens. 

Language Arts: 
This week we finished up another rotation of literacy stations. As I am continuously assessing the K-Kids, and meeting with you for conferences, it was so interesting to see how far they have already come. I cannot believe we have already had 2 full months of school and I have a group of 16 readers on my hands! As our stations continue throughout the year, we will continue to focus on various phonic, phonemic, reading, and writing skills that will best prepare them to develop a true love of reading and writing. 

We also finished up our math work stations this week, where many of the K-Kids are working to order/compare two-digit numbers, complete addition/subtraction skills, and started Moby Max. Moby Max is a great website where the K-Kids are able to work on math skills at his/her own level. I have them working on iPads to complete the various math lessons, but there is access on the computer as well. If you would like to do Moby Max with your K-Kid at home, simply have them login using their first name as both the username and password (creative I know!). Moby Max changes the difficulty of the content based on how the student solves problems. 

This week we continued our Pumpkin Jack science experiment, which is already showing some signs of change. In just a couple weeks he will truly be DISGUSTING! We also were able to travel up to Mrs. Shower's Biology Lab to conduct some spooky science with the high schoolers. This is always a treat! 

Social Studies: 
To round out the week, many of our class discussions that took place talked about what happens in Washington D.C. and the upcoming election. Many of the K-Kids have been hearing your conversations at home and have developed some strong ties to the election. It looks like we have our hands full with many tiny advocates! I love the see the determination! In the hallway, you will see the K-Kids pitches for what they would do if they were elected president. 

See you tomorrow!