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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, May 21, 2017

Salutations From the Farm!

Science: 
The students are really into our farm unit! They get excited to fill out their farm journals, where we investigate questions, take surveys, complete chit-chat messages, and answer true/false questions (the overwhelming favorite activity!) This week we discovered that a rooster will boldly attack any animal or person that he thinks is messing with his flock of hens. They asked so many follow up questions after learning this little factoid, and we spent several minutes making hypothesis about whether roosters would scare away various animals, such as bears, dogs, humans, wolves, and even sharks. Of course, we had to watch a little video of a rooster attacking a human who got too close to the other chickens. It was a big hit! The K kids were equally fascinated with the idea of herding dogs when we learned about sheep. I love how they become swept away with little nuggets of information, and suddenly the original discussion I had been planning is tossed aside, and we have an impromptu deep dive into a much different topic! They have such scientific minds!!
Language Arts:
We kicked literacy stations into high gear this week, focusing on end of the year reading and writing activities while using farm manipulatives. Most of the materials we are using now are really gearing us up for first grade and we are getting more and more excited since we went to the first grade classroom this week to speak to a panel of first grade experts- the first graders themselves! Our K kids asked a lot of questions, and the first graders provided a lot of answers for them!

Math:
Along with literacy work stations, we've also kicked our math work stations into full gear. We have really dialed up our math skills as well, working a great deal with number sense, and competency in all math areas that will serve as a strong base while we move forward. We focused this week on number bonds and part-part-whole story problems. It's been pretty easy for us to solve an equation like, 5+3=__, but it's much harder to solve __+3=8. I am encouraging the kids to look at these number bonds to help them create fact families, as well. For example, from the number bond relationship between 8, 5, and 3, you can create four equations! 5+3=8, 3+5=8, 8-5=3 and 8-3=5. I have loved watching the K-Kids come up to those A-ha! moments with this concept.

                                                                 Writer's Workshop:
This week we continued our Fiction Writing Unit using a story planner to better lay out our stories. We were able to identify our character, setting, problem, solution, and 3 different events (or details) to add to our stories. I also continued to encourage the K-Kids to stretch their writing to 'fill the page.' I am so impressed with how far the K Kids writing has come this year and I cannot wait for you to see the whole year of writing at the end of the year!
Sunday, May 14, 2017

E-I-E-I-LOWE

We had a very busy week beginning our Farm Unit. The K-Kids loved starting one of the best stories, Charlotte's Web and are making some fantastic predictions as we dive deeper into Wilbur and Charlotte's tale. They really seem to be connecting to Wilbur’s character and are quite worried how he is going to get out of his current predicaments.

Literacy and Math Workstations
We returned back to our normal literacy workstations this week! We've also been working on our own Farm books, which we use while researching farm animals.  We've also been starting our own little farm out in the hallway. Check out our pig and cows, as well as 2 awesome tractors, and keep on the lookout for the newest animals that we will add to our menagerie this week! In math workstations we continue to play a variety of games to help strengthen our number confidence. This week a few of our stations helped us solve different equations by filling in a part of the number sentence that was missing. Finding the answer to 5+7= __ isn’t so bad, but when you have __ +7 = 12, we have to figure out what strategy to use! This is tricky!!

Writer’s Workshop
This week we started our 7th writing unit of the year! This unit is all about Fiction Writing, and provides a new challenge to the kids. Sometimes it is so much easier to write about yourself than it is to make up new characters! We worked on taking stories from our past and putting silly or outrageous characters in the place of people. It has been such a joy challenging this group of bright kiddos, and I am so impressed with how quickly they internalize various lessons. I am now seeing many digraphs, long vowel sounds, and even r-influenced vowel sounds (that silly bossy r) in much of their writing.  Their stories are so creative and hysterical. I wish I could publish them all!

Science
We created a 'Schema' chart to show all of our previous knowledge about pigs and cows, before completing some further research on each animal. Did you know that cows have 32 teeth, same as humans, and pigs have 44?? The K-Kids were also amazed to hear that pigs are actually quite clean animals- they only roll in the mud to cool down, because they aren't able to sweat. The mud also protects their skin from sunburn.   As we began our study of cows, the K-Kids were amazed to hear that they have 4 parts to their stomach. They spend up to 8 hours a day chewing on cud! Ew! We had 2 awesome cow-centric science projects this week. We learned how to "milk" cows by hanging pink latex gloves filled with water mixed with white paint. On Friday, our classroom smelled so yummy, as we baked farm bread! Of course, fresh baked bread needs to be slathered with yummy butter, and, thanks to cows, we were able to make our own butter! Each table got a little jar that we poured some heavy cream into. Then we turned on their new favorite song (Sesame Street The Number of the Day) and the kids shook the cream to the beat, and soon enough they made their own butter! Your city kids may have some country in them after all!


I am so excited to continue our Farm unit next week! (Pictures will be uploaded tomorrow).