Hello everyone. It has been a loooooong time since my last post. I have so many wonderful photos of your children that I’m excited to share with you. Over the last couple of months I have sent some photos along with your email updates, but I’m excited to be able to share them with everyone. I’m going to start with the most recent photos and go back in time from there. Enjoy!
What an amazing Forest Friday we had outside playing in the spring snowstorm. The snow was perfect for rolling giant snowballs, enjoying sugar on snow, and warming up by the fire with some hot cocoa.
In the morning when we created our forest plans, I challenged the kids to create a plan for keeping the snow from falling into our fire. They had to make a plan using only items that are available to us in the forest classroom. There were some very creative ideas and detailed drawings. Make sure to ask your child about their invention.
Sugar on Snow – The children were so excited when our maple syrup finally reached the right temperature for us to make perfectly delicious oooey-gooey maple sugar. They jumped up and down and cheered!
And just last week…
Reader’s Theater, Leprechaun Traps, and
Last week we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with some rainbow science experiments, rainbow crafts, leprechaun trap building with our 3/4 reading buddies, and reader’s theater scripts.
Valentine’s Day is such a fun and special holiday for kindergartners. They just love passing out valentines to one another and then taking home their special envelope filled with love. After all of the valentines were passed out one student held up his envelope and announced, “Ms. Myriah, this is the sweetest thing ever!” It truly is.
We mustache you a question?
This is the day that we celebrated being 100 days smarter!
Reading, Counting, & Measuring
In the Classroom
FALL In Love With Squash
Last week the children had so much fun learning about the benefits of eating squash with Ms. Laura and Miss Ashley. Ms. Laura is an amazing and super fun chef and food educator for our district. Miss Ashley is an intern from UVM working towards her Master’s degree in food sciences. They planned an engaging and educational lesson around squash. The children had an opportunity to see, taste, touch, and feel many squash varieties. These included spaghetti, acorn, butternut, and delicata squashes.
Laura and Ashley planned several activities for the children. The children used squash to stamp and create a picture, played Memory to help them learn the names of the different types of squash, pulled the “spaghetti” out of a cooked squash, and ran butternut squash through a food mill. Afterwards they taste tested the different varieties and voted on their favorites. What fun!
SCARECROW Fun With Our Reading Buddies
Each week we get together with our reading buddies from Mrs. Hahr’s 3/4 class. Last week we made scarecrows together that now decorate the hallways. The entire school made scarecrows that day. Many of the scarecrows have “talking bubbles” that tell about how we can follow our school’s FLY rules. Ask your child what the FLY rules are.
A big part of kindergarten learning skills are listening to and following directions. A fun way to practice these skills is to use a Directed Drawing activity. Tis the season for Jack-O-Lanterns, so that’s what we drew. Following my verbal directions for adding parts to their drawings, the children created unique and colorful Jack-O-Lanterns that are now hanging in our hallway. All of the children were given the same directions, but as you can see each one is truly unique just like the artists that made them.
Coming Soon…BAT directed drawings.
Timber Tuesdays and Forest Fridays are the most popular times of the week. Our forest children now have their Forest names and they have chosen their “sit spots” which they will keep for the entire year. In their “sit spots” children observe nature, have an opportunity to practice mindfulness, as well as ground themselves and find calmness. Afterwards, they come back to our fire pit (circle) and share their “Findings From the Field” with their classmates.
Now that the weather has turned cold, please make sure that your child comes to school prepared for whatever the temperature. We do go outside in all temps, in the snow, and in the rain.
Last year’s parents found that leaving an extra set of hats and gloves, warm layers, etc, at school in their child’s cubby worked really well.
Important Dates will come in a separate email.
GAMES, EARLY LEARNING SKILLS & FRIENDS
***Please see notes at the end of the post regarding this week’s field trips.***
Last week the kindergartners learned some new games to play together. They learned them as a class group first and then played them in smaller groups. Using games as a learning tool helps them to build their cooperation, sharing & compromising skills, as well as their math skills.
The math game is called “Roll & Record”. You have to roll the die and record the number rolled on your game sheet. The first number to get filled up is the winner. This is an easy game that you can play at home. It helps kids to become much more automatic and fluent with numbers 1-6.
Other easy ways to build up your child’s familiarity with numbers is to have them count, count, count & then count some more…count everything. Have them count the steps it takes to walk from one room to another. Count the plates & cups as they set up for dinner and the vegetables on their plate. Have them count out loud in the car. Once your child is consistently solid counting items one at a time 1-10, move on to 1-20 and so on. By the end of kindergarten we will be up to 120.
The other game focuses on the beginning sounds and corresponding letters in words. It is called “Apple Days”. The children took turns spinning the spinner and identifying the beginning sound of items such as a snake, tie, butterfly, and man. The game focuses on the letters S, M, F, B & T.
Talking about the beginning sounds in words and identifying the corresponding letter is a great learning activity to continue to work on with your child at home.
The forecast for this Tuesday and Wednesday calls for lots of rain. Please make sure that your child is dressed for the rainy weather on Tuesday (raincoat, rain boots, rain pants if they have them). We will still go apple picking even though the weather isn’t looking like it will be ideal.
That is not the case for our All School Lake trip. A school decision will be made tomorrow afternoon regarding whether or not we will be going to Kingsland Bay. The weather isn’t looking good.
Tuesday 9/25 Adams Apple Orchard Field Trip 8:15-11:30 (Traveling by Bus)
Wednesday 9/26 Kingsland Bay ALL SCHOOL TRIP (Traveling by Bus)***
Thursday, 9/27 Robinson Open House 6:00-7:00
Tuesday 10/2 Early Release 11:45
Our first 12 days of Kindergarten have been filled with fun & learning! We’ve spent time getting to know each other, explored the Outdoor Classroom, made new friends during choice time, made a beautiful nest together for our classroom wormlings, read books, played math games, practiced writing our names, and learned daily routines. I hope you enjoy the photos below.
***If you haven’t already completed the Volunteer/Driver Application for MAUSD I’d like to encourage you to do so. Over the last 2 years we were able to take the children on several field trips that provided rich learning opportunities that extended beyond the classroom. Some of the places that we were able to visit thanks to parent drivers were Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Museum, ECHO Aquarium, & the Audobon Center. The only way that these field trips are affordable is if we use parent drivers for the transportation-so we need your help. Please consider completing the application process if you haven’t already. Thank you.
Practicing Our Names & Chicka Boom Boom Trees
MORNING EASE-IN TIME
MAKING OUR CLASSROOM NEST & EXPLORING THE OUTDOORS
Tuesday 9/25 Adams Apple Orchard Field Trip 8:15-11:30 (Traveling by Bus)
Wednesday 9/26 Kingsland Bay ALL SCHOOL TRIP (Traveling by Bus)
Tuesday 10/2 Early Release 11:45
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update the blog due to some technical difficulties. So many wonderful learning opportunities have happened since the last update. The best way to share it all is through photographs. Enjoy!
Harvesting Ramps, Making Ramp Pesto
and Kiosk Celebration
Animal Research and Note Taking
5/16 Early Release
5/17 Dentist visits RES to talk about good oral healthcare
5/25 4 Winds
5/28 No School
6/6 Kindergarten trip to Shelburne Farms
6/13 Last M.A.R.S.
6/14 Field Days at Camp Commonground, 6th grade graduation
6/15 Last Day of School
100th Day of School
This week we celebrated the 100th day of school. So much excitement! The children traveled from STEM station to STEM station building and engineering items that celebrated our 100th day of school. You can see some of the stations below. A few of the stations included making the number 100 out of Legos, making a party hat out of pattern blocks, stacking cookies to make a tower, and making a multilayered cake using play dough and 100 toothpicks. My personal favorite was making glasses into as many shapes as possible using gray hairs (sparkly silver pipe cleaners).
A former Robinson student, Ryan Cochran-Siegle is currently competing in the winter Olympics in South Korea. He is a member of the U.S. ski team. We celebrated and honored his hard work at this week’s M.A.R.S. We also had the kindergartners parade around the gym as we played the Olympic anthem-maybe one of them will be competing in the Olympics some day.
Fun in the Snow
Bring on the snow! We have been having so much fun exploring the outdoors in the snow. Our kindergartners are so creative and have built so many fun obstacles in the outdoor classroom. Our forest kinders have been creating very detailed and organized forest plans on our Forest Fridays.
They’ve made sledding hills, a skating trail that is frequented by penguins that like to slide, as well as a zamboni that cleans up the ice. The penguins and the zamboni very closely resemble some adorable 5 year olds ;).
Thanks to our volunteers from 4 Winds we have learned about different kinds of gulls found in the forest. You can see our young scientists taking a closer look and examining gulls with their magnifying glasses below.
What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day when you are in kindergarten? First, your teacher reads you a hilarious love story about 2 squirrels named Mr. Peanuts and Rosie. Then you decorate heart shaped sugar cookies with as much frosting, candy hearts, and sprinkles as you can get on the top of the cookie. Some kiddos even added a 2nd layer with more frosting and decorations. Then you eat that top heavy sweet cookie that is the most beautiful cookie you have ever seen! Oh and you also exchange valentines with your classmates.
Mr. Peanuts and Rosie
3/5 & 3/7 Parent Conferences
3/9 Early Release (Dismissal 11:45)
3/29 Early Release (Dismissal 11:45)
3/30 No School (Teacher Inservice)
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a happy new year with their family and friends. We came back to frigid temperatures, brrrr! Here are some photos of what we’ve been spending some of our time doing in the new year. Enjoy!
Fort Building and Forest Friday
The children built a very impressive lean-to using two large rocks to support the structure and many long branches. They then packed any holes with leaves and snow for insulation. It’s pretty awesome!
Every time we go out into the Forest Classroom we see many signs of wildlife. We made pine cone bird feeders and placed them on trees for our feathered friends. Our favorite is finding animal tracks. There are so many, especially tracks left behind by rabbits. We’ve discovered that the rabbits like to take refuge from the cold in our covered woodpile. Checkout the photo below of Lucky Lynx pointing out some bird tracks she found at the base of a tree.
Check out our new kiosk in the photo below. Thanks to Keegan, Incadescent Inchworm’s dad for building it, Mr. & Mrs. Lake and Erik, Magnificent Moose’s dad for installing it. The funding for this amazing project was provided by a grant from the Otter Creek Audubon.
More Animal Tracking on
Fun With Literacy
This week we practiced some early reading skills indoors and outdoors. Outside, the children did a sight word hunt. Afterwards, they practiced writing sight words using magic potion specially formulated for snow writing (a.k.a. food coloring and H2O in squirt bottles). Most academic skills we teach indoors can be brought outdoors. The level of student engagement sky rockets and it is truly magical to observe. I mean salt writing and stamping words is pretty fun too, but not much beats using magic to write words in the snow.
Here are a few ways that we practice sight words indoors…
Fairy Tales, Non-Fiction
and Magic Beans
We have started reading fairy tales and comparing fiction to non-fiction elements. For example, comparing the bear characters in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears to bears in the wild. What the bears in the story eat and where they live compared to what bears in the wild actually eat and where they actually live. During math, the children are counting Jack’s magic beans as they climb up the beanstalk. Depending on which beanstalk station the children choose, they might need to count by 2’s, or practice their teen numbers, or work on larger numbers beyond 20 to make it to the top.
As a challenge option, a couple of children chose to work on placing larger numbers on a beanstalk (number line) in order from least (5) to greatest (123). The even trickier part is that many numbers are missing so you have to use your number sense to know where to place them on the beanstalk. I provided a 100’s chart as a resource. The 2 children that tackled this challenge later shared with their classmates their strategy for how they placed their numbers and changes they had to make in their thinking as they worked on it.
Rock Sledding Hill
Monday 1/22 – NO SCHOOL for students – In service for teachers
Wednesday 1/31 – Fundraiser at Bluebird BBQ in Burlington to Benefit the Cochran’s Ski Program
February Vacation Week 2/19-2/2
These past weeks have been super busy and fun. Our magical traveling buddy, Globe Trot Scott has sent us packages from France, Germany, Mexico, Sweden and Israel. The children are so excited each day in anticipation of a new package from Globe Trot Scott. They love pulling out their World map and locating each country Globe Trot Scott visits and marking it with a star sticker. They’ve also been enjoying yummy treats- gingerbread cookies from Germany, Buche de Noel from France, and chocolate coins from Israel. Sometimes our friend Scott also sends along a fun craft from one of the countries – Tomtens from Sweden, gingerbread men from Germany, dreidels from Israel, & beautiful poinsettias from Mexico. Every package also contains a book that we read to the children that teaches them about the holiday tradition from each country. A special thank you to the parents that sent in yummy treats to help make the magic possible.
You will also notice a few photos of author/illustrator Jim Arnosky during his visit and presentation. The children really enjoyed his storytelling and singing. I hope you and your child enjoy reading the signed copy of one of his books that.came home last week.
We also had a visit from the Starksboro Firefighter Team and we talked a lot about Fire Safety at home. The children really enjoyed trying on the gear and seeing the awesome truck.
This last Forest Friday we practiced positional words from our math calendar pieces by playing a game where a bear goes around a tree, under a tree and through a tree. The children also made their own bear puppets that they could practice the concepts on their own in the woods.
Finally, our little engineers built a super solid lean-to type structure and even covered the roof with leaves. Then after school the kindergartners in my “Outdoor Explorations” ELP completed the structure. One or two of the kids would get inside the structure with flashlights shining to illuminate any holes or areas that needed more leaf coverage. It was awesome to see so many learning skills all happening at once- cooperation, engineering, persistence, organization, problem solving, and so much more. They were so proud of their hard work and determination. I was super proud of them too.
IMPORTANT INFO & DATES:
Now that winter has arrived, please make sure that your child brings snow pants everyday, winter boots, a jacket, water resistant gloves/mittens, and a hat. Rain boots are not warm enough and children’s feet get very cold very fast.Tuesday 12/12 & 12/15 – Tai Chi in the Outdoor Classroom – sponsored by a grant funded by 5 Towns Friends of the ArtsThursday 12/14 – Field Trip to ECHO Thursday 12/21 – Winter Party – we will be doing the crafts ahead of our usual time in the outdoor classroom. We will start the crafts at 10am. If you signed up to send some materials in please send them in ahead of that time. Thanks to those of you who already sent items in.Friday 12/22 – 1/1 – School VacationTuesday 1/2 – Back to school