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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, April 30, 2017

We Stand Against Racism!

I'm sure you are all so proud of your little activists! On Friday we stood with Evanston residents to show that we Stand Against Racism, and it was beautiful! The kids were SO into it, shouting "Stop Racism! We Stand For Love!" They put so much thought and effort into their signs, and I was tearing up watching them stand together, and announce to people what their signs stood for. You are all raising outstanding humans!
This was the last week of our Flat Stanley unit. I'm going to miss our flat friend! He traveled to so many countries, saw so many sights, and had incredible adventures. I hope the kids remember him for years to come!
Thank you so much to all the parents who joined us recently!
Erin's mom came in to talk about Jewish culture, and share some traditions with the kids. We learned where in the world Erin's family originated from, and how they traveled to America. We got to taste matzo, and some challah that Erin and her mom baked!
Killian's mom talked to us about a few aspects of Chinese culture. Killian taught us how to count to 10 in Cantonese, and we read a story about dim sum. Then we got to sample some homemade dumplings and scallion pancakes! The kids loved it, especially the little fruit jello/jelly cups Killian gave them to try as well!
Emily's mom joined us to tell us about Georgia. We saw photos of Stone Mountain, and watched a little video of an amazing laser show they have on the mountain. We saw photos of baby Emily at the Coca Cola factory, which everyone loved! We got to sample delicious peach cobbler, and Emily sweetly gave everyone their own mini peach pie to take home!
Xavier's mom and aunt came in to talk about Jamaica! The kids are really into islands, so they really appreciated talking about that. Xavier's aunt recently spent time in Ethiopia, so she showed us photos of her experiences there. Our students asked a lot of thoughtful questions, and were very interested in the cultural differences! Xavier passed out his favorite snack to everyone to take home- plantain chips! I think we have a lot of plantain fans in our room now!
Alex's mom gave us a great preview for our upcoming farm unit. She came in and talked about life growing up on a farm, and the kids were mesmerized! It's a much different life than the one our city kids live! We got to see photos of Alex's mom's farm animals, and ribbons from the state fair. It was really cool!!
Henry H's mom joined us to talk about Sweden. We learned a lot of interesting facts, including that the store with the "fancy furniture" Ikea is a Swedish store! (Love that Ikea is considered fancy!) We sampled ligonberry jam and ginger cookies. The kids loved it!
Next week we will be working hard on some special top secret projects! ;) Then we will begin our fun farm unit!
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Happy Earth Day!

This week we followed Flat Stanley to see his adventures in his furthest destination yet-  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!  Our little Stanley has really become an extremely well cultured fella!
A big thank you to all of the parents and family members who took the time to come in to talk to the K kids about their families grew up this week.
Lorenzo's grandma joined us to talk to us about Austria. She brought in beautiful posters so that we could really get a sense of how pretty the landscape is there. We learned that Mozart was from Austria, and sang some songs! She treated us to some homemade apple strudel, as well as pencils that say Austria!
Bronx's dad came in all the way from Mexico to talk about Mexico! We saw photos of the ancient pyramids, popular Mexican cuisine, and people surfing at the beaches. Several kids requested that we take a field trip to Mexico, however, when they learned there might be sharks in the ocean there some of them reconsidered! Bronx's dad brought everyone some candy from his hometown to sample at home as well!
On Friday we worked on an Earth Day project. We talked about ways that we can help the Earth, and discussed the 3 R's- reduce, reuse, recycle. We practiced sorting trash into different recycling bins, and saw what new items can be made from recycling old objects. Then we wrote about how we can love and take care of the Earth, and made cool happy Earths!

On Wednesday, we went to the dress rehearsal performance of the Lion King that the Lower School put on. It was fantastic!! The K kids were an excellent audience. We loved the music, and acted starstruck when we saw the actors in the hallway later!!

It has been so much fun to learn about so many of our friends' cultures, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors this week!!
Monday, April 17, 2017

Me on the Map!

This week we followed Flat Stanley to see his adventures in Brazil, New York, Maine, Indiana and more! We had several more Flat Stanleys return that we will get to open this week as well! Flat Stanley is becoming quite the world traveler and we have loved learning about all of these new places. In our adventures, we are also doing a little exploring of the landscape, customs, and people who live in these areas, and it has been fascinating!
A big thank you to all of the parents and family members who took the time to come in to talk to the K kids about their families grew up, and different cultures. We started a new keepsake journal called "Where in the World Are the K Kids From?" Each time a family comes in to talk to us, we have filled out a page to record the city or country, distance from Illinois, and our favorite interesting fact that we learned.
Leo's dad came in to talk about French culture with Leo's mom and grandma. We learned about some French landmarks, got to sample delicious chocolate croissants, played a French card game, and Leo even gave each of us a Tour de France model bike! The class's overwhelming favorite fun fact was that French cuisine includes frogs and snails!
Zoha's dad came in to talk about India. We saw pictures of the Taj Mahal, looked at beautifully colored saris, and tasted samosas! Of course, the thing that stuck with the kids the most was that there are cows that wander on the streets and walk alongside people in India!
David's dad, mom, and sister joined us to teach us about South Korea. We saw photos of all of the countries that David has traveled to, discovered that Illinois is 2x the size of the whole country of South Korea, watched a video about Seoul, and the kids recognized many famous brands that come from Korea! They also asked many questions about taekwondo, and were extremely impressed to learn that David's dad is a black belt!
James' mom came in to talk to us about the place where James was born- Michigan. We used Google Maps to look at James' first home, and then talked about the car industry, which the kids were fascinated with. We watched some videos about how the car companies test for safety features, saw how car assembly lines work, colored pictures of a Corvette that James brought in for us, and sampled some of Michigan's famous fudge in ice cream form!
At the end of the week, William's grandma came in to talk to us about what it's like to grow up on a farm. William's parents and grandma helped each kid plant their own tomato sprout in a pot! How are your sprouts faring at home? As a special treat, William gave everyone a "dirt cup" (chocolate pudding) to eat as well.
It was exciting to learn about so many of our friends' cultures, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors this week and next week!!

One topic that continues to confuse many of our K Kids is the aspect that we all live in a neighborhood, in a city, in a state, in a country, on a continent, on Planet Earth. This is a complex topic, which we will continue to explore as a class in the next two weeks. This week we made Me on The Map projects, to pinpoint exactly where we belong on Earth. We added our Flat selves to the project, and they look adorable!
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Flat Stanley's Adventures!

As we ventured back to our normal schedules and routines, the K-Kids loved beginning our Flat Stanley unit. Throughout the next few weeks our normal routine will be a tad different, since we have so many visitors coming to our classroom to take us away on different adventures. A huge thank you to Bertie's mom, Heidi, for coming in to talk to us about the U.K., and allowing us to soak up some British culture with a tea party! It was a lot of fun! We are looking forward to many other guests joining us this week. Please contact me to schedule your time in the classroom, if you haven't already! 

As we explored many of the places Flat Stanley has already visited, the K-Kids loved learning new facts about each place. This week we watched Stan as he traveled to China, South Korea, LA, San Diego, St. Louis, Switzerland, Austria, Dubai, Florida, Wisconsin, England, Atlanta, Hilton Head! Can you imagine his frequent flier miles?! We have a large stack of Stanley adventures still waiting to be opened, and more keep arriving each day. It is so uplifting to see how many people have been participating in this project! The kids have been thrilled to mark each new destination Stanley has been to, and they have been keeping a travel journal of his adventures. We record the city/state and country he visits, calculate how many miles away it is from Evanston, discuss what he did on his trip, and note which classmate sent him there. The journal will be an awesome keepsake, and it has also created a lot of fun discussion for us about cultures around the world, and allowed us to compare distances and understand a little about the geography of our world!

Of course, we couldn't forget about some of our normal routine! We did complete reading groups throughout the week, and I was even able to assess many of the kiddos this week. I am definitely not ready to send them to first grade emotionally, but academically they are going to be extremely well prepared! We are also working our way well through the math curriculum, which continues to challenge us in many ways while we all work to build a strong and automatic number sense.

Next week we will continue to keep up with Flat Stanley's adventures, and welcome parents into our classroom. We will also talk a little bit about ourselves, and where we belong on a map.