Amusement Park Creations

The kindergartners were invited to view an incredible project that the Laguna Blanca eighth graders have been working on in their physics class. Here is the descriptor of the project:

The project deals with the energy transformations associated with amusement park rides but with a Resistance twist. Each group will be assigned a plot of land that they will be responsible for developing in your resistance movie/book/show theme. Rides must utilize and assign energy transformation and demonstrate the law of conservation of energy.

We were divided into groups and partnered with a fifth grader. Mr. Moore, Middle School Physics Instructor,  explained the activity to the students and encouraged us to look for the following things:

– ride functionality, basically how it works
– ride theming (each ride is themed to a type of resistance, depicted in a movie, show, or book)
– types of energy involved in the ride
– g-forces and safety of riders
– accessibility modifications (wheelchair, service animals, etc.)
The amusement park builds were incredible! Some of the themes included Moana, Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda, Barbie, and Minions. The creativity was inspiring and I appreciated the builders’ focus on making their attractions accessible for all.
This Harry Potter-themed ride had the LEGO people riding on broomsticks!
The LEGO people sat on guitars for this Coco-themed ride.
This Minions-themed ride was designed for people with neurodiversity by having just one main color and no flashing lights or loud sounds.
An Angry Birds-themed zip line was the focus of this ride!
There was even a Moana-themed lazy river!
After the kindergarteners viewed each of the rides, they voted on their favorite four. Moana won first place!
Each kindergartener received a special commemorative coin that Mr. Moore created on the laser cutter to remember the day.

Spreading the Love

Valentine’s Day came a little early to Kindergarten this year! I planned our parent party for first thing this morning.  I wanted there to be several activities that the parents could engage in with their child. Take a look at these fun activities!

Race to see how many pompoms you can blow into the bucket in one minute.

Make a three-dimensional shape using heart-shaped gummies and toothpicks.

Stack the conversation hearts! Students used tongs to see how many hearts they could stack in one minute.

Weave a heart-shaped placemat.

Bead a Valentine’s themed necklace.

I also made a photo wall and took pictures throughout the event.

We ended this part of the morning with each student reading their special Fill Up Our Hearts notes that we have been writing. (Read more about this project here:)

How Full is Your Heart?

After recess, students shared the mailboxes that they made.

After the presentations, students passed out their Valentine’s. We then enjoyed a delicious cookie from Lilac Patisserie.

I just love how they are decorated! It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Five Senses

Our unit on the Five Senses is wrapping up, but not before we squeeze in some last minute senses learning! Last week, students were asked to create a musical instrument using any items they had at home. Students were asked to “think like an inventor, be a problem solver, use your imagination, and have fun!” They were given a planning sheet where materials and ideas were recorded and a blueprint was sketched.

Once students brought their instruments to school, they were invited to share the process they used to invent!

Students also brought their instruments to music class, where they played a listening game.

Students even had an opportunity to play their musical instruments!

I love how this project integrates learning at home to school to music class!

Welcome Engineers!

Today we hosted the Middle School Intro to Engineering class as part of our project-based learning unit that revolves around the Magnet Wall. The kindergarten “clients” met with their engineer team.


They explored the magnet wall together, discussing pieces the wall lacks.

The Engineers took notes and made specific measurements.


Here are some preliminary ideas.

Big ideas! We will travel to the Upper School in a few weeks to check on the Engineers’ progress. Wait until you see the new STEM Lab where all of the pieces will be created.

Friday Fun

The kindergarteners made more fairy tale magic today during Friday Fun! In the kitchen, they enjoyed making Rapunzel’s braid bread. This was a great activity for fine motor building, as the students had to roll three pieces of dough.


They also had to divide the dough into three equal parts and learn how to braid! (more fine motor!)

Students also worked on coloring and creating a 3D castle. This will be such a fun tool for them to use as a setting when they retell their fairy tales!

Finally, students engaged in a STEM kit where they constructed a solid chair that would hold one of the three bears.

One more Friday Fun to go before we live happily ever after….

Royal STEM Adventures

Have you ever wondered how the princess in the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, made it to the top of the giant stack of mattresses? The kindergarteners sure did, especially when a beautiful bed stacked high with mattresses showed up in our classroom!

I set out many different supplies that the students could use to construct a way for the princess to reach the top of the mattresses.

They quickly began building different contraptions and revising their ideas.

I loved watching the students design, test, redesign, and then present their creations.

Tricky Traps!

The kindergarten students and their families were tasked with creating a trap with at least one moving part that would catch a tricky leprechaun. As a lead into this activity, I read this wonderful book aloud:

After a mischievous leprechaun makes a mess of the band room, the Gingerbread Man vows to catch him. He follows the leprechaun’s clues all around the building finding chaos everywhere–even in the library! But then he finds the worst clue of all. It says the leprechaun’s next target might be a house made of gingerbread!

Luckily, the Gingerbread Man makes it to his classroom in time to set a trap for the leprechaun. He’ll show that mischief-maker that he messed with the wrong cookie this time.


After hearing this story, students had a clearer idea of what exactly the trap would entail.

We set the traps on each students’ desk, and they wrote instructions on how to use their trap.

Then students presented their traps to the class.


It was so fun hearing about all the different ways to trap a leprechaun!


STEM Buddies

Kindergarten and Third Graders had their weekly STEM Buddies meeting yesterday, and boy was it a fun one! Students were introduced to their first buddy challenge of the year: to create a mat for Bee Bots! The students’ eyes were wide with excitement. To make the project more concrete, I created a plan to guide the students through the activity:

We brainstormed the topics and skills together. Here are some of the students’ ideas:

Next, students found their buddy and got right to work thinking, planning, and designing.

Work will continue on these Bee-Bot games over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see what the students create!

A Princesses Dilemma

Last week, students listened to the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea in preparation for an exciting STEM activity I had planned for Grandfriends’ Day. Imagine that the Queen shows the princess her bed for the evening- it is large and stacked high with mattresses. The princess notices that there is no way for her to get to the top where she will enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep.

This is where the students and their Grandfriends came in… working together, our visitors and students were tasked with inventing something to get the princess to the top of the mattresses. I provided a variety of building materials, like pipe cleaners, marshmallows, toothpicks, spoons, straws, tape and more!

Students brainstormed with their visitors, sketching a draft of their vision. Look at what was created!

a rope

a catapult

a ladder

a pulley elavator

What a fun activity this was!

A Floating Gingerbread?


If the Gingerbread Man (Boy, Girl, Baby, etc.) had just been able to float across the river, then the sneaky fox would not have gobbled that cookie up! As part of our monthly STEM challenges, the kindergartners were tasked this month with creating a floating gingerbread cookie using whatever materials they wished. They made their presentations today.

Students used a variety of materials including Styrofoam, wine corks, straws, balloons, plastic, foam, and wood to make their gingerbread creations float.




I loved the excitement the students showed each time a classmates creation floated. Way to go!

On Friday, the Kindergartners will participate in another gingerbread man-themed STEM project with our third grade buddies. This project includes toothpicks and marshmallows as building materials….stay tuned!