Magnetic Letters

All the letter sounds have been introduced, and students have mastered many phonemic awareness skills like counting syllables and identifying the beginning, middle, and ending sounds. So today, students had the opportunity to use those skills in a CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) spelling challenge. Each student was given a small cookie sheet and a card with a picture on it. Students used magnetic letters to spell each three letter word.

Having the three boxes made it clear to the students that the word was spelled with three letters, and it helped to remind them that each word needs a vowel. (Note the vowels are red and the consonants are blue.)


The students loved the activity and raced to complete as many picture cards as possible. (The most completed was 11, in case you were wondering!)

Sensory Table Silliness

Have you ever had an idea that you thought was amazing until you actually tried it? I have….and it’s the November sensory table filler! Last summer as I was ordering supplies for the school year, I compiled a list of items to purchase that would fill the sensory bin each month. Pasta, puff balls, sensory sand, shredded paper, dried beans, rice, and FEATHERS. How wonderful would it be for the children to dig through mountains of feathers to find the items I had hidden in the sensory table?! The feathers would add a colorful and festive touch to the classroom learning environment. Students would feel the softness, smoothness, and pokey edges.


Well…..that all sounds great, but once the sweet students began moving the feathers around in search of the bats and spiders I had hidden beneath, they became covered with feather fluff! Feathers went everywhere….on the floor, on their clothes in their eyes….what a mess!!

Thankfully, these students have really great senses of humor! They completed the high-frequency word matching activity with positive attitudes.

See how excited they were?!


A mess is a sign of fun learning, right?

Needless to say, the feathers have been put away and the new, and hopefully less invasive, sensory table filler is ready to be explored.

STEM Buddies Update

The third grade and kindergarten STEM Buddies have been meeting weekly for the past month to work on creating Bee-Bot mats. Some of the themes include colors, pet vs. wild animal, living vs. nonliving, and number recognition. The progress is exciting!

The mats and game pieces are almost complete. Students will present their mats when we return from break.

What is a Good Citizen?

Being a good citizen is an important part of being a part of Laguna Blanca School. We strive, campus-wide, to be the best citizens we can be. Positive character traits are discussed weekly at our Tecolote Tuesday meetings, as well as during our Swooper Citizens lessons. Last week, the kindergarten and first-grade class had the chance to see a good citizen in action in the community of Santa Barbara. We were invited to visit the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol and were treated to a very special tour of the Harbor Patrol boat.


While the first graders toured the boat, the kindergarteners enjoyed snack down by the waterfront.

I also read the book, Officer Buckle and Gloria. “Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle’s school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Stealthily pantomiming each safety tip behind Officer Buckle’s back, Gloria wins the children’s hearts. Meanwhile, Officer Buckle assumes the cheers and laughter are all for him. Children will be highly entertained by the laugh-out-loud, adorable illustrations in this 1996 Caldecott Medal winner while learning the value of teamwork and a pawful of nifty safety tips.” (Ages 4 to 8) –Gail Hudson

The students thought the book was hilarious!

When it was our turn, we made our way to the Harbor Patrol boats and were greeted by Officer Nathan, who spoke to us about what it means to be a good citizen.

Then it was time to board the boat and learn about what Officer Nathan and the other members of Harbor Patrol do and the tools they use.

The students were very impressed with all the tools on Officer Nathan’s tool belt.

Each student took a turn “driving” the boat.

Then they were able to use the water hose!

This field trip was truly a “hands-on” learning experience for the kindergarteners. Thank you, Officer Nathan and the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol!

November Morning Exploring

The new Morning Exploring tubs are a hit, with nine fall themed fine motor, math and reading activities for the children to explore.

Using playdough and a ten frame, students complete equations.

Students extend complex patterns using acrylic leaves.

Students build high-frequency words using links and letter cards.

Students match numbers, items, and tally marks, and link them together.

Students count items and record the number. This activity works with the teen numbers.

Greater than or less than….students choose a pumpkin that has a two digit number on it. They spin the spinner to choose greater than or less than….and then they compare numbers. The winner gets both pumpkins.

Pom pom counting: Students roll a die and use chopsticks to move the number of pom poms to their turkey bucket. The winner is the person who has more in their bucket.

Students choose a card with a number on it and fill in a tens frame using acrylic leaves. Next, they write the number that comes before and after.

Using tongs, students pull out leaves and read the high-frequency words that are on each leaf. They then match the leaf to their game board.


Our Swooper Citizens theme of the week is Understanding. We defined Understanding as being empathetic and tolerant. To drive the theme of understanding home, I introduced the kindergarteners to one of my favorite children in the world….my friend Andrew.  I started by displaying a picture of Andrew and asking the children what they would do if they met Andrew in a park.

The children offered many conversation starters like, “What is your name? How old are you? Would you like to play with me? Do you like to swing?” It was that last question that caught some students’ attention. “Mrs. Delwiche, Andrew is missing a hand! Can he swing?” one student asked. “Oh yes,” I answered. “In fact, Andrew can do just about anything you can do,” I continued on.

I went on to share a little more information about Andrew. He loves to swing and play basketball. He is an artist, like his mother. Andrew is in first grade at a local school, and his smile lights up a room!

The students began to understand that though Andrew is missing a hand, he plays the same games and loves the same activities that the kindergarteners do. Next, I played a short video from a few years ago when Andrew’s mom visited our class.

We then discussed how showing understanding also means being empathetic. Two big ideas! Here is a video we showed to help clarify the meanig of empathy:

November Sensory Table Fun

I brought out the newly restocked sensory table this morning. What could be better for November than feathers?!

For this morning’s activity, I added CVC word puzzles to the feathers for the students to dig out and match. (CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant.)

Getting these puzzles out of the feathers proved to be trickier than I had originally imagined!

The thin pieces of laminated paper stuck to the feathers! The students demonstrated persistence and grit as they sifted through the fuzzy feathers.

But, they still enjoyed the sensory experience!

And the classroom is now more colorful too!