Swoop into Kindergarten

life in kindergarten at Laguna Blanca

Crafting

I love crafting, so Friday Fun is a way for me to bring crafting into the classroom! We also started a program called Explorations this year where teachers lead a group of multi-aged students in an activity on most Friday afternoons for 40 minutes. Last trimester I organized a Student Store, where  we would make crafts to sell. Students decided to paint fans, color reusable bags, make headbands and stained glass window decorations. All the money raised would benefit a local non-profit group, DAWG, that is a no-kill shelter for dogs. Crafting twice in one day!? My dream became a reality! We made more than 80 items to sell, and ended up donating almost $140.00 to DAWG! Crafting for a cause!

The past few Friday Fun’s we have made some of my favorite crafts. First, students had the chance to sew a pillow using adorable owl fabric. This activity was perfect for building fine motor skills, plus the students loved stuffing the polyfill into the pillow. One mom told me that as soon as her son got home from school with his pillow, he threw his regular pillow off his bed and replaced it with the little one he had sewn in class. That brought a smile to my face!

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A student tries out his new pillow to see if there is enough stuffing!

Last Friday we made Turkey Globes. This is an annual craft, perhaps my absolute favorite of all. Students cover a glass globe with mod podge and tissue paper squares. They mold a sphere from clay, that we later paint and decorate to make a turkey head. Add a votive candle to the globe, and you have a beautiful decoration. My own girls have made these, and I am excited each year to use them on my Thanksgiving table.

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And then there is crafting with food!  Look at these adorable owls that we made using mini rice cakes and pretzel rods!

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Because I simply can’t get enough of crafting, I have decided to offer Winter Crafts for my second-trimester Explorations activity. I have found some adorable winter-themed crafts that I can’t wait to do!

 

 

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Fifty Days!

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We have had fifty days of learning in kindergarten! We celebrated this special feat all day long by first coming to school dressed as a person from the 1950’s. From rolled up jeans, to poodle skirts, to slicked back hair, the students (and teachers) had a great time dressing up. I drove to school in a 1957 Chevy wagon and parked it in the back yard so that it could be a backdrop for photos. The students were impressed by the size of the steering wheel and the hood ornaments that looked like rocket ships!

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 After taking our class picture, we headed inside for a morning of 50th Day/Friday Fun. We made pumpkin pies and turkey votive candle holders. For the 50th day, students counted out 50 fruit looks into five groups of ten and strung them on a necklace.

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Students also wrote about of what they wished they had 50.

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 After lunch we had a Sock Hop in the back yard.

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There was hula hooping!

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Bubble gum bubble blowing!

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Frisbee!

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Bowling and Paddle Ball!

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We ended the day with root beer floats!

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Hooray for fifty days! Wait until you see what we do to celebrate our 100th day!!

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Free Write

After two months of the students writing in the journals that had prompts, I finally introduced Free Write! Free Write is when students have the opportunity to write about whatever they choose. This is no small feat. Before we began, I asked each child to tell me something they like or something that happened to them over the weekend. Then we discussed using best guess spelling and the Heart Word wall to help us write what we want to say. I did an example on the white board, and once I felt like all the students were comfortable with the task at hand, I passed out their sparkling  new journals.

The results were exciting! Below are some journal entries that demonstrate the different levels of writing in our class. When space permits, I always rewrite what the students have written in order to model capitalization, punctuation, spacing, and spelling. Enjoy! (Make sure you scroll all the way to the end for a good laugh!)

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Bats!

We finished our study of owls and have moved on to bats! Today, students learned that bats are the only mammal that flies. Like owls, bats are found on every continent, except for Antarctica. There are more than 1,000 species of bats. And…bats use echolocation. This fact was by far the most popular with the students, mainly because of the catchy tune that I played along with it. I apologize in advance if your child arrives home singing, “echo, echo, echo, echolocation…” Click on the link and you’ll hear the rest of the song!

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