Swoop into Kindergarten

life in kindergarten at Laguna Blanca

Friday Fun-Round 2!

Today, we made our first recipe in the kitchen for Friday Fun. Using three healthy ingredients, grapes, apples, and graham crackers, students created a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree. The coconut tree was created on a piece of paper and then students used a pencil to write in the letters that we have learned so far this year. They were beyond excited that they got to eat the tree at snack time. One friend gleefully said, “This is the best day EVER!” over and over again!

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Student also listened to a lively version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in the Listening Center. This version was read aloud by Ray Charles. Music accompanied the story. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the Reading Pond and saw a group of six kindergarteners dancing their little hearts out!

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The final center was a cooperative learning game called Lost Puppies. Students worked together to find the lost puppies and deliver them to their homes.  This is one of the cooperative learning games that students will have the option of playing during Choice Time.

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Next week, parent volunteer will join us for Choice Time. We are super excited about that!

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Friday Fun with the Sense of Hearing

The Kindergartners enjoyed our first Friday Fun of the year today. We had three craft rotations and a fun story to listen to at Listening Center. Two of the three craft activities focused on the sense of hearing, since we are currently studying the Five Senses.

Students made a rain stick in my center. First they colored the outside of their tube. Next, they folded cardboard into triangles. After rubber-banding foam pieces to one end, I added a 1/4 cup of plastic beads to each tube. Then I added a second foam piece to the other end. The result is a beautiful, calming rain stick. (Maybe we can call the rain with them!)

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Coloring the rain stick tubes.

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Folding the cardboard triangles.

The students also worked to create a drum! They colored the outside of the drum, and then we added a piece of foam to the top. I plan on having the students use these “sense of hearing” crafts during our Tecolote Tuesday performance on October 7, when we share what we learned about the Five Senses with the rest of the Lower School.

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Mr. Surber joined us as the leader of our third craft rotation, where students created a “getting to know you” necklace.

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 Here is the key:

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We had such a great time this Friday….we can’t wait for next Friday!

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Dice Roll

One of the many skills the students learn in kindergarten is how to roll more than one dice on their desk and keep them on their desk. Throughout the year, we play many games that use dice, whether they are used in a board game or to practice addition and subtraction facts. Important time is lost when students are chasing the dice around the classroom. This year, as the students were getting ready to play a number recognition game using two dice, I wondered out loud what I could do from day one that would help contain the dice. Miss Horibe suggested we put the dice in a Dixie cup.  Brilliant! I showed the children how to gently shake the Dixie cup,  put it upside down on their desks, and then lift it up. There, the students easily found two dice ready to be counted, and they could engage in the math part of the lesson without having to chase the dice first!

 

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Students were enthusiastic and focused on the activity.

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This lead to a happy teacher and happy students!

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Brain Breaks

Let’s be honest, we all need brain breaks. These first few months my kindergarten friends need a lot of brain breaks and stretching time as they start to learn the routines of the classroom. Miss Atkinson, our incredible First Grade teacher, sent me a link to a website that refreshed the brain breaks I had been doing with the class. These are hilarious, and the students really got into them, begging to do more.

Here’s a picture of the children dancing to “Push all the Buttons.”

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If you would like to check out the Brain Breaks website, please visit https://www.gonoodle.com/  In order to watch the videos, you need to create a free account.

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First Day Jitters

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Ah, the first day of school!  After twelve years of teaching and twelve “first days,” I still get butterflies in my stomach! I have so much I want to do and want to say, but the trick is making the first day moments count without overwhelming the children. This is why after twelve “first days” I have never planned the same “first day” twice! Each year I reevaluate, asking “What went well?” and “What can be improved upon?” and “What do the students want to do?” I used to go over classroom rules, playground rules….rules, rules rules! (This was until a kindergartener sweetly asked me, “Mrs. Delwiche, do you always talk this much?”) Granted, I do talk a lot, but I know that on that particular “first day,” I wanted to really make the rules clear. Needless to say, on the next “first day” the following year, I prepared more activities and did less talking!

So today we skipped the rules and got right to the fun part of Kindergarten. We had an all school meeting, let by Mr. Surber, who shared his tip of the week. We listened to the story The Night Before Kindergarten (learn more about this book: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Before-Kindergarten-Natasha-Wing/dp/0448425009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409802207&sr=8-1&keywords=the+night+before+kindergarten) and played a “getting to know you” game. The children drew a picture of themselves on their first day of Kindergarten. They even got to attend their first LEGO at Laguna class. We talked about walking quietly with marshmallow toes. After snack and recess, I read Give Up Gecko and students drew a picture of what they will work hard to accomplish this year. (Learn more about this book: http://www.amazon.com/Give-Gecko-Margaret-Read-MacDonald/dp/1477816356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409802151&sr=8-1&keywords=give+up+gecko) Then it was off to music and finally, carline! The day zoomed by! Sure we discussed some general play ground rules, but the children innately know to be safe, be kind, be considerate, and HAVE FUN.

Three cheers for a VERY successful first day of school!

(Pictures of the kindergarteners will be added next week, as I receive permission from the new parents!)

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