Swoop into Kindergarten

life in kindergarten at Laguna Blanca

Olympic Health Fair

The Lower School experienced a wonderful afternoon on Wednesday. The first ever Olympic Health Fair was planned and organized by the second and sixth graders. Students in those grades invited people from the community who are involved in promoting good health to participate in the Health Fair. The visitors ranged from pharmacists, to a pediatric dentist, to a chiropractor. Each presenter had a special activity in which the Lower School students participated. I am impressed with how engaging the activities were and with the leadership role the second and sixth graders took in leading the activities. Take a look at some of the topics that were covered.

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Students made a vertebra with chiropractor, Dr. Farrah Mousseli.

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In the art room, students made fruit faces.

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With pharmacist, Dr. Nissy Mahmoud, students read and filled “prescriptions” paying special attention to expiration dates and instructions.

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Students, and Mrs. Brace, participated in the flossing challenge with pediatric dentist, Dr. Annie Pham-Cheng.

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Students played tug-o-war with swim coach, and Beijing Olympian, Mark Warkentin. The whole kindergarten class participated!

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Of course, students enjoyed healthy snacks as well.

Congratulations second and sixth graders on a job well done!

 

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Peacefulness

The Swooper Citizens theme for the past two weeks has been peacefulness. Peacefulness means feeling calm and at ease. Last Wednesday, students practiced a short meditation routine. They they engaged in a mindful yoga lesson. Finally, students colored a mandala. Mandalas, a circular design that symbolizes that life is never ending, have been in existence since the beginning of time.  Coloring mandalas has presented individuals with a way to maintain healing and wellness and other positive states of being that equate to peacefulness!

Here are some examples of the mandalas students colored.

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I wanted to take this state of peacefulness farther. How could I encourage students to have the feelings of calm and ease as often as possible? When do children experience the most unrest? At my house, this happens at bedtime. This got me thinking….what if the students each made a “peacefulness pillow?”

I created a mandala template for students to use to design their own mandala. Next, they were asked to draw their design on this template.

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Then I traced the blank mandala design on muslin fabric. IMG_6676

Once students created their design, I taped their piece of muslin on top of their design. Then the magic began. Students traced their design in black permanent marker and added bright colors with fabric markers.

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During this process, students were encouraged to create a peaceful classroom environment. After about ten minutes of quiet, the children began sweetly singing “One Day,” the perfect song to accompany this activity.

Soon, students will choose their second piece of fabric from several cozy flannel selections. I will sew them up, and students will stuff the pillow cases with poly-fill. Look for these peaceful pillows to arrive at your house by the end of next week!

 

 

 

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Service Day

We had a group of lovely Laguna Blanca Middle School girls visit the kindergarten classroom on Friday for two hours! Knowing that the girls wanted to spend time with the children, I created three activities that would keep them busy and fully engaged with the kindergartners.

As we are in the midst of our Fairy Tale Unit, the activities all related to fairy tales. Students have been working on writing their own fairy tales that include characters, a setting, and of course, a problem. The first activity consisted of the students making antique paper that we will later use to create a book.

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Students then drew pictures of their characters that will be made into puppets.

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The next activity was for students to construct their setting, which is a castle. Time to get creative with toilet paper rolls!

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These past few days, students have been writing their fairy tale on the antique paper. The final step will be for me to bind the books together. Here is a sneak peek at what a page looks like:

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The puppets are complete and ready to be used to tell each fairy tale.

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Students will add the finishing touches to their castles during Friday Fun this week.

A big thank you to Dr. Piller’s advisory group. You ladies did a great job helping the kindergartners. We appreciate all your work.

 

 

 

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Classroom City

My youngest daughter will be in third grade next year, and I just can’t wait. One of the reasons is that the third graders participate in a classroom city scenario where they run their classroom like a city!  There is a mayor, and bank, and even taxes and health insurance to pay! Students work together to open and run a business. Yesterday, the kindergarten class had the opportunity to go shopping in the third grade city! Here is what that looked like:

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There was a veterinary office.

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The bank!

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There were also several restaurants.

What an engaging, fun, and memorable way for students to not only learn about government and life skills like budgeting, but it also gave them an opportunity to count money and make change.

 

 

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Pollination

Today students enjoyed a hands on activity that demonstrates how pollination works. First students wore a bee puppet on their fingers.

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They “flew” their bees over to a white flower that had pollen in the middle. (I used Cheetos to represent pollen.)

Next, students ate some Cheetos, keeping their fingers (which represents the bee’s legs) good and Cheeto-y!

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Then their bee puppet flew over to a different white flower.

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When the bee lands on the flower, the Cheeto dust (pollen) transfers to the flower. This equals pollination!

Students recorded their information in their Plant Notebooks.

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Wildflower Project Update

With the seed packet labels created and printed, we were ready to start assembling our Native Wildflower Seed packets. Students have been especially interested in California Poppies, so I brought in some poppy seed pods for them to crack open. They were amazed at how small the seeds are.

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  Today during Friday Fun students added the wildflower seeds to small baggies.

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So far we have 137 packets made and ready to distribute! If you would like to help with the distribution, please let me know.

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I just LOVE how the packets came out!

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Fruit or Vegetable?

As part of our plant unit, students are learning about the differences between fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised at how confusing categorizing fruits and vegetables can be! To help guide their understanding, I showed students this informative video:

We played a quick game of thumbs up if this is a fruit or thumbs down if it is a vegetable. Then students wrote a description of what is a fruit and what is a vegetable in their Plant Notebooks.

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Did you learn anything new from this post? 🙂

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The Wild Flower Project

Yesterday, as part of our plant unit, students learned the importance of flowers in our ecosystem. Native insects need native plants to survive. More simply stated, native honey bees need wildflowers to live! As the honey bee population is dwindling, simply planting wildflowers can help provide these pollinators a food source while making our surroundings more beautiful.

Next, I read aloud a beautiful piece of literature called Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

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Miss Rumphius promises her grandfather that she will do three things in her life: travel to faraway places, live by the seashore, and make the world more beautiful. She accomplishes her first two goals easily. Making the world more beautiful is a challenge in her eyes, as the places she has visited are stunning. By chance, Miss Rumphius sees some lupines growing out of the rocky soil outside her window. She sees how beautiful they are and decides she can make the world more beautiful by sowing lupine seeds around her town.

And from this, the Kindergarten Wildflower Project was born! I contacted S & S Seeds in Carpinteria and asked for a donation of California Native Wildflower  Mix. They were happy to donate half a pound!

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Next I had students sketch a native wildflower.

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My plan is to shrink these to create a label that we will attach to each little bag we make.

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On Friday, students will gently spoon a teaspoon full of seeds into these bags.  We will staple the label to them and be ready to pass them out to our Laguna Blanca community. My goal is to make 200 seed packets to distribute. Stay posted for more information on the distribution of our Wildflower Project packets!

 

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Tea Party

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We had a beautiful, overcast day for the annual Kindergarten Mother’s Day Tea Party. The colors of the party certainly brightened up the day!

The preparations for this years’ event included making special, fancy hats. Students also painted flowers on vases.

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Of course, they needed flowers to fill those vases. Flowers were what our field trip last Monday was all about.

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I’ll share more about that soon!

This year, students honored their mothers by writing a short bit about why they love their moms. They read these pieces  aloud while the moms enjoyed some hot tea in their custom made tea cups.

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Students then joined their moms and read the rest of their books aloud and enjoyed some time together.

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We enjoyed delicious sandwiches from PeeBee and Jays in Carpinteria, fresh local strawberries, and custom, adorably decorated gerbera daisy cookies.

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What a special day spent celebrating our amazing moms!

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A Little Plant Humor

I am working on a blog posts regarding our Mother’s Day Tea Party….in the meantime, how about a little plant humor?

Our lesson today focused on the parts of plants we eat….tops and bottoms or roots and stems. As the students were engaged in a sorting activity on the Smart Board, one student said, “Mrs. Delwiche….turnip the beet!” I just about fell over laughing! Hilarious!

We immediately had to make this punchline into a joke. So…

 

What did the carrot say to the potato at the dance party?

Turnip the beet!!

 

Clever kids!

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