Fifth Grade Visit


We enjoyed our visit from the Fifth Graders bright and early this morning. They came bearing iPads that had their Gingerbread Man–inspired e-books books on them!

Mrs. Brown and I divided the students into groups- one kindergartener with two Fifth Graders, so that the story telling could be more personal.

I was amazed with all the hard work that the Fifth Graders put into their original stories. Using an app called Book Creator, some chose to read their books to their kindergarteners, while others had previously recorded their voices reading the different characters and inserted specific sound effects. It was all very entertaining!

Sound Effects (Click on the words Sound Effects to watch this video!)

Accompanying the stories were illustrations, some were original artistic masterpieces! (I wish I had taken a picture of the dragon and castle illustrations! Mrs. Brown is hoping to upload the e-books to her blog in the near future, so you may be able to view them for yourself!)

5th 1The Kindergarteners were captivated and loved the opportunity to flip the e-pages on the iPads and touch the sound buttons. Here are some of the Kindergarteners observations:


-Evie liked the Sweater Man story because the Sweater Man character spoke like he was tiny with a little voice.


 -Nahum says, “Some pictures were real.”  Nahum liked rollercoaster kitty because there were lots -of different colors on the roller coaster.


-Charlotte liked the Sweater Man story because it was a short story.  She also liked the one with the pig and the fish and the cheetah because she liked all the animals.


-Brandon liked the boy who always lied because he learned a lesson that he should never lie.


After each Kindergartener visited each Fifth Grade pair, we did a craft activity. I was thrilled to see the Fifth Graders were interested in creating  their own Gingerbread Glyph in addition to helping their new Kindergarten friend.


A publishing party wouldn’t be complete without a snack to enjoy. Two kindergarteners spent yesterday after school making and decorating gingerbread cookies! for us all to enjoy Yummy!


We thoroughly enjoyed this experience. A very special thank you goes out to Mrs. Brown for creating this cross-curriculum learning opportunity. I truly appreciate how she took my Kindergarten Unit and was able to give my students such an amazing learning experience.  You can take a look at her blog to see more of the incredible learning experience she offers in Fifth Grade at Laguna Blanca School. Visit her blog at:

Thanks for coming Fifth Graders!


Skype Session


Our school day began today with a special Skype session with the Fifth Grade class. The Fifth Graders have been working on an exciting writing project, creating their own versions of the Gingerbread Man, in conjunction with our Gingerbread Unit! They have developed unique characters, settings, and plots that follow the basic outline of the classic tale.

Mrs. Brown the Fifth Grade instructor, thought it would be fun for the Kindergarteners to learn a little more about their peers in Fifth Grade, using Skype. During the Skype session, students shared their favorite activities and gave us a little teaser from each of their stories. We are so excited to hear more tomorrow and meet the Fifth Graders face to face!
skypeStay tuned for a post tomorrow regarding the storytelling event of the season! I am excited to see the Fifth Graders’ creations!

Gingerbread Man Experiment

We are enjoying our third week of the Gingerbread Man Unit. The students have listened to more than half a dozen versions of this classic tale. Today we tried to answer the question, “Why didn’t the Gingerbread Man just swim across the river?” with a fun experiment. First, we discussed our hypothesis in response to this question. Students guessed that the Gingerbread Man would have sunk or melted had he attempted to cross the river on his own. Some hypothesized that the cookies would break or squish. They then recorded their answers in their Gingerbread Notebook.
Next, students placed their gingerbread cookies into a cup of water.
gingerbread 1 We set the timer and waited twenty minutes to see what happened. One could feel the excitement in the room! After just five minutes, several students’ cookies had broken in two! After twenty minutes, the cookies were soggy and had broken into several pieces.
gingerbread 2After twenty minutes…

 The students recorded their observations, and we reset the timer for an additional twenty minutes. When the bell rang, the cookies had broken apart into more pieces!
gingerbread3After forty minutes…

Students again recorded their observations.

gingerbread5Finally, students concluded that the Gingerbread Man would have gotten soggy and broken had he swam across the river. Success!

How Full is your Stocking?

Yesterday we began a new project in kindergarten. First, I read the book How Full is Your Bucket aloud. This book illustrates the importance of being kind to others. Imagine you have an invisible bucket atop your head. Each time someone says something kind to you or does something positive towards you, a drop of water is added to your bucket. Conversely, when someone is unkind, or you make an unkind choice, a drop of water falls out of the bucket. We had a great discussion about how being kind to others in turn makes us feel happy.
Next we discussed what a compliment is. The project will be to write a compliment about each student in the class. Each student created a stocking, which I hung in the front of the classroom. As a compliment is written, the student places it in the appropriate bag. (I created a checklist with our class roster to ensure that each student writes and receives a compliment from each classmate.)
Here is a picture of our stockings waiting to be filled!

Friday Fun

We did three Friday Fun activities today. First, students made fruit smoothies in the kitchen. There were smiles all around!
Next, students made candy decorations for our classroom windows. Using a piece of clear Contact paper, students stuck colored pieces of tissue paper to drawings of candies. The finished products are hung in our back windows and greatly resemble stained glass!
candy1The third project is top secret.  Check back December 20 to learn more!

Properties of Water

Recently the kindergarteners have been learning about the properties of water in Science Class. They were excited to learn that H2O means water and returned from Science Class to ask me for a drink of H2O. Students learned about water molecules and how they stick together. Yesterday, the kindergarteners enjoyed a guest speaker from the City of Santa Barbara Department of Water Conservation. Their educational specialist, Madeline Ward taught the students a water cycle song. I love how this song touches on several of the multiple intelligences! Click on the link below to see a video of the students singing:
water cycle

Fire Station

Today, as part of our study of the community, we took a field trip to the Montecito Fire Station. What an adventure! We were greeted by three friendly, funny fireman who did a great job of making the children feel at ease. The Fire Chief even stopped by to say hello!

Our visit began with a tour of the station. We got to see the kitchen where the firefighters cook their meals.
This is a picture of kitchen. Did you know that the station has to be able to prepare food for 100 people in case of an emergency?!

Next we saw the workout room. Firefighters have to work out for two hours a day. (Makes sense, since their oxygen bottles alone weigh 40 pounds!) After the workout room, we saw bedrooms and an outdoor eating area. Then it was time for the fun to begin!

The children were allowed to sit in the cab of the fire truck and push the bell button!
They also got to see all the tools the firefighters have loaded on the engines.
This included the jaws of life!
We saw the 4 x 4 fire engine that goes to back country fires.
At the end of the tour, the firefighters presented the children with a helmet, tattoos, and even firefighter paper dolls to take home. The students came away from our visit having learned the importance of firefighters in our community. Below are some journal entries that students wrote describing what they saw at the station:

fire truck spelling (click here to see!)

Thank you Station 3 for the entertaining and educational tour!