Dinosaurs are Extinct

Yes, the dinosaurs have left the building. As of today, the dinosaur unit is officially over.

What a unit it was! From our field trips to art creations to research projects and recipes, the students learned all they ever wanted to know about dinosaurs.




We celebrated these magnificent creatures with a showing of our dinosaur presentations. Here are just two examples of these incredible presentations that the students created.


Of course, students enjoyed herbivore and carnivore-type food. When I went to the food table to clean up, look at one of my little paleontologists did….



So clever!

We will be exploring our oceans next…get ready for a big splash!



100 Days Smarter!


Happy 100th day of school! We had a fun-filled learning day which began with students arriving to school dressed up like they might look when they are 100.




Of course, Ms. Horibe and I had to get in on the fun!

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.20.33 AM

During reading centers, students tried to write 100 words that rhyme. Another activity had students fill in the blank regarding 100 items…read on to see what some students said:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.26.02 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.26.09 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.26.27 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.26.34 AM


After lunch, we made 100th day trail mix. Yum!


The day ended with a 100th day parade, where we visited each classroom to explore the different collections.





Then, students were treated to 100 cupcakes!


I can’t wait to see what fun the 101st day of school brings!


The Swooper Citizens theme for the next two weeks is trust. What better way to learn about the importance of trust then by visiting a bank?! That’s exactly what we did today.


The folks at Union Bank in Carpinteria opened their doors (and vault!) to the Kindergarten and First Grade classes. We received a tour of the facility, which included the safety deposit box room as well as the vault. (Ask your child about the size of the vault….you may be surprised.)


The theme of trustworthiness was explored throughout the entire trip with questions like, “Why might you need to trust people that work at a bank?” or “Why do we, the employees, need to be trusted?”


Students were shown the keys it takes to keep the money safe. They were thrilled to use the money counting machines and operate the drive through window.


A big thank you to the people down at Union Bank in Carpinteria for making the trip so special. Each student was even given a special piggy bank with a half dollar inside!

Once back at school, students wrote thank you notes.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 1.29.55 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 1.30.01 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 1.17.30 PM

Friday Fun

There were two themes to Friday Fun today. First, as we are wrapping up the unit on dinosaurs, it was time for students to put their paleontology knowledge to the test….they each received a stone block that had dinosaur bones inside. Using a chisel and brush, students tried to unearth a dinosaur.



Good news, parents! It takes so long to unearth the bones, that each of your children has a Ziploc baggie in their backpacks with the kit! Your child will likely spend a good chunk of the afternoon working on this activity!

Our second activity was in honor of Presidents Day. Students made Patriotic Berry Cups.



It was a messy job, but these dad’s took it on!

Gary and Rob

The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day

Love, kindness, compassion, understanding, courtesy, patience….all the Swoooper Citizens character traits wrapped into one very special field trip.

Today, students in kindergarten and first grade visited the retirement community of Valle Verde for a second time this year. Our goal for the field trip was for the students to continue to strengthen their bond with the residents through a small group read aloud. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we decided to have the children each make a special valentine to give to each resident. The field trip preparations also included having the students practice reading Valentine’s Day themed books aloud during reading groups.





It absolutely warmed my heart to see the students interacting so kindly with the elderly residents. Many children wanted to read to each resident! They definitely showed the true meaning of Valentine’s Day!

We are so proud.

Field Trip Mania!


Busy days in kindergarten! We had two field trips this past week to further build the students’ learning about dinosaurs. First, we went to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where students participated in a learning lab called Meet the Teeth. They learned about incisors, canines, sharp molars, and flat molars. An added bit of knowledge is the fact that the placements of an animals eyes tells us whether the animal is an herbivore or a carnivore.

All about herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, students received skulls that they had to categorize by identifying the types of teeth each skull had. But first, students examined their own teeth!


Watch as students explore the skulls and make observations and predictions about the kind of food each animal ate.

Next, students had the opportunity to take their learning into the field. In the Mammal Hall, they were split into pairs and given a skull.


Using this skull, students had to look at the teeth and eye sockets and match the skull to one of the animals in the room. Once each group had completed this, we came together and students presented their findings to the class.

One group was quite perplexed….they knew their animal was a carnivore, but they couldn’t find a mammal on display that matched the size of the skull. Turns out, the skull belonged to a coyote, which was no longer on display. There’s no stumping these kindergartners!

Friday, we had a private tour of the SBCC Earth Science Lab. This field trip has been on hold for the last five years, as the head of the lab retired, and there was no replacement. Fast forward to 2015-2016, and we were invited back! I am just thrilled that students had the chance to see the dinosaur fossils, skulls, eggs, and claws that were on display. They were amazed at the size of these terrible lizards!


This is the femur of a sauropod!



And this is the toe claw of a Velociraptor!


We even had the chance to see a special collection of Woolly Mammoth fossils that were found on Vandenberg Air Force Base back in the 1930’s! The paleontologists at the lab said they continue excavating sites at the Base today!

Next, our lead paleontologist, Eiko, demonstrated how they make molds and casts of the fragile bones.

Next, students explored four stations which included a fossil finding station, a coloring station, an interactive topographic map, and a mineral finding station.

IMG_2895 IMG_2896

What a fun, fun day! You can have this much fun on Saturday, March 5, when SBCC has their annual giant science fair. All the science labs will be open from 1:00-5:00 on that day so that children can experience many more hands-on, interactive learning exhibits.

Science Discovery Day

It was a very special day at school on Tuesday…Science Discovery Day! There were at least fifteen visitors from the community who demonstrated the importance of science in their every day life.


There was the teddy bear surgery activity, where students had an opportunity to practice their veterinary skills and perform surgery on a stuffed animal.


Santa Barbara City College’s Earth Science Lab brought fossils and bone replicas for students to explore.


Students practiced being paleontologists and digging up fossils.


Sensational Pets brought a large menagerie of reptiles for students to view….and hold!


If that wasn’t interesting enough, Cottage Hospital Pathology had a variety of organs for students to learn about.

Add these activities to the Physics Fun, U.C.S.B. Touch Tanks, Sewer Bugs, Knot Tying, and Race the Radar (where I ran a speedy eleven miles an hour in heels….) and you have an amazing Science Discovery Event! Thank you to all those who helped to make this event such a big success.