Carrot Corner News: January 17, 2019

Math Workshop

Addition is the focus in our math workshop. The children are making models and writing number sentences to make a variety of addition problems. For math game day we played, Sum Swamp. In order to move around the game board you need to solve addition problems.

Writer’s Workshop

The children are busy writing How-To books. In the near future they plan to turn our classroom into a bookstore and sell their books. Invitations to our bookstore and more details will be coming. Stay tuned.

Life Skills and Martin Luther King Junior

Our life skill for January is Problem Solving. The children learned about the life of Martin Luther King Junior and how he tried to solve problems peacefully.

Try This at Home

How many different addition equations can you make that equal the numbers below? Be sure to write the number sentence and draw a model (picture). Example: 2+2=4, 3+1=4, 0+4=4, 4+0=4.

  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Challenge: 13, 17, 19, 26
  • Bonus: Try doing it with subtraction problems

Carrot Corner News: January 10, 2020

Field Trip!

We took our very first field trip and visited Jamba Juice and Pizza My Heart. We learned how to make smoothies and how to make pizza! This was a perfect way to launch our new writing unit – How To books.

Writer’s Workshop

The children are learning how to write How To books. Five year old children are experts in so many things, and they are excited to teach others. They became experts in how to make chocolate milk!

Math Workshop

We have started simple addition. The children are learning to draw a model to show their thinking and then write a number sentence.

Try This at Home

Have your child practice some addition problems up to 5. If that seems easy, try addition problems up to 10 or higher numbers. Encourage him her to count using fingers or other objects to count.

Carrot Corner News: December 20, 2019

Math and Cooking

This week the children made gingerbread cookies! They measured ingredients and learned new math skills along the way.

Gingerbread Escape

The children discovered the cookies ran away!  All that was left was a clue. Together with big buddies they followed the clues all over the school. They finally found the cookies hiding in the office.

Enjoying Cookies and Books

They enjoyed eating gingerbread cookies with their big buddies while reading books together.

Try This at Home

When you are in the kitchen, invite your child to help you. There is so much math to learn.  (information below is from: Mathematics in the Kitchen with your Kids:

Set the table. The simple task of setting the table offers myriad opportunities to strengthen math concepts. Ask your child to count out the appropriate number of plates, glasses, and cups. Demonstrate how to set a service – where to put the silverware and glasses. Then ask your child to set the table just as you did, which is an excellent exercise in patterning and visual discrimination. Set the table with cups of varying sizes and ask your child to use a measuring cup to pour the drinks. Point out that one cup of water is always one cup of water, but it looks different, depending on the size and shape of the container.

Organize the pantry. Your pantry offers a treasure trove of learning opportunities. Ask your child to help you put groceries away. Compare different types of cereal, grains or pasta. How are they the same? How are they different? Point out quantities of items. Which containers have more? Which have less?

Get cooking. Children of all ages love to help in the kitchen. Cooking with children not only encourages healthy food habits and valuable life skills, but they learn basic math concepts such as measurements, fractions, and counting. While making a salad, ask your child to count 10 cherry tomatoes. Add 10 pepper slices, olives, or cucumbers. Point out fractions in cooking – ½ cup, ¼ cup, 1 cup. Cut sandwiches, pizza, and cheese slices into fourths, thirds, and halves. If you have a kitchen scale, let your child help you measure dry ingredients.

Carrot Corner News: December 13

Santa Lucia Day

Mrs. Ford celebrates this Swedish holiday with her family at home. She wanted to share this holiday with the kindergartners. Santa Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13. On this day the oldest girl in the family dresses up in a white dress with red sash, and wears a crown with candles. She delivers coffee (or hot chocolate) and saffron flavored buns to her parents. In Sweden girls dressed as Santa Lucia, along with star boys, deliver coffee and Lucia rolls to community helpers such as police officers, nurses, trash collectors, and fire fighters. We honored somebody at our school who helps us learn: Mrs. Lee! We gave her a Lucia roll and hot chocolate. The children enjoyed dressing up in their crowns and hats to learn about and celebrate this day. The hot chocolate, with marshmallows, and Lucia rolls were a hit too.

Math: Base 10

We continue our study of base 10 as a way of organizing our thinking to look at and understand bigger numbers. The kindergartners enjoyed dipping their fingers in paint to fill in ten frames!

Literacy: The Gingerbread Man

This week we began our unit on the Gingerbread Man. We are reading a variety of different versions of this familiar story, and the children are helping to retell what happened in the story (conflict/problem, climax, turning point, resolution).

Birthdays and Half-Birthdays

Each kindergartner is excited when it is their birthday. They get to wear a special crown, and spend the day with our class birthday bear. The kids sing Happy Birthday, and we take a photo. For those who have summer birthdays, we want to make sure they get a special day too. So, we celebrate their half-birthdays!

Try This at Home

As you read stories together, encourage your child to find Snap Words on the page. See below for words you can find.


Carrot Corner News: December 6, 2019

We have Super Powers!

Our amazing readers have earned 7 reading super powers! Each day they practice reading just right books at their level that they have chosen based on their interest. When reading to and with your child at home, remind them to use their super powers!

  • Pointer Power (pointing below each word as you read)
  • Reread Power (go back and reread smoothly after a tricky part)
  • Picture Power (look at the picture)
  • Snap Word Power (use snap words when reading)
  • Sound Power (look at the first sound, then last sound, then all sounds in a word)
  • Persistence Power (keep trying all the super powers)
  • Partner Power (ask a partner for help)

Math Game Day

I am pleased to announce that our kindergarten was awarded a $500 math grant to purchase more math games for our math game day! This week we played one of our brand new games – Memory Match. Memory match games are very important to teach a variety of important skills, such as these listed below:

  • improve concentration
  • train visual memory
  • increase short term memory
  • increase attention to detail
  • improve the ability to find similarities and differences in objects
  • help to classify objects that are grouped by similar traits
  • improve vocabulary

Some of the math games purchased with the grant money


As mathematicians, the children are learning a variety of strategies to solve problems. We have been looking for and making patterns. We have also been learning base 10 strategies to count numbers greater than 10. For example, the number 17 is one group of 10 and seven ones.

Try This at Home: Counting to 100 Activities

  • Go on a counting walk. Find things in nature or on the playground, or within buildings to count as you go by.
  • Playing “Around the World” using numbers is a fast and easy game to play that gets everyone involved and paying attention. Start with a certain number and continue to count orally as you go around the circle.
  • You can always use small items (such as popsicle sticks) for children to easily hold in their hands and manipulate while counting.
  • It’s handy to have plenty of small items like mini-erasers, marbles, dry beans, polished rocks, and plastic gems. Children can use them to practice counting.
  • Counting on a number line is helpful to see the progression of numbers. Place a number line on the floor or wall and use a pointer to count along the line.





Carrot Corner News: November 22, 2019

We are Thankful

This month’s life skill was: thankfulness. We spent some time thinking, writing, and talking about the things we are thankful for.  On this last day before vacation, we had a Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast. The families brought dishes representative of their cultures. Each child said what they were thankful for, and then we had a grand feast together. Thank you to the parents to who prepared food, helped serve, and helped clean up. The children even made thankful place mats and learned a little about proper place settings!

Fun with Writing

We had a great time writing our friend’s names and even Snap words on the tables with shaving cream!

Try This at Home

Encourage your child to use their place mat and help set the table at home. This place mat will help them learn where to put all the utensils.


Carrot Corner News: November 15, 2019

Math Game Day

Every Friday we have Math Game Day. This week we played Uno! Parents and children enjoy playing a variety of games from our kindergarten game library. These games are supportive of mathematical learning. These games will help your child strengthen their math knowledge and fluency and also help students learn valuable social skills, such as sportsmanship, cooperation, turn taking, and how to win and lose graciously.  We are thrilled to announce that we were just awarded a $500 math grant to purchase more math games!  We look forward to the addition of more games and fun! Thank you to the parents who have attended our Math Game Days this year!

Life Skill: Thankful

This month we are focusing on the life skill of thankfulness. We are talking about all the wonderful things we are thankful for. Together with our 4th grade big buddy class, the children made pine cone turkeys. For the feathers, they traced their hands and wrote something to be thankful for on each finger. These will make a great decoration on our table for the Thanksgiving holiday.


The children are learning that mathematicians can show a number in multiple ways. The children have learned about 10 frames, ordinal numbers, and models. This week they learned how to make tally marks.

Try This at Home

As a family, have each person share 3-5 things they are thankful for. Bonus: make a list of all the things, and hang it up as a reminder to be thankful.

Carrot Corner News: November 8, 2019

Rio, the Lizard, is Molting!

One of the kindergartners noticed the lizard looked different. He asked, “Mrs. Ford, why is Rio turning white?” This prompted a class discussion about the molting process of lizards. The kids were excited to observe the process as Rio shed her old skin in order to have a new and larger skin. This allows her to grow. During the molting process, Rio does not eat, but does like to scratch her old skin against the tree stems.

Super Readers!

We have launched my favorite reading unit of the year – Super Powers! The children will eventually learn nine different “super power” reading strategies that will help them learn to read. This week the children learned their first two super powers: Pointer Power and Reread Power. To celebrate our super powers, each child received a special super power reading pointer with a cape!

Feeling Grateful

Our life skill for the month of November is Grateful. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday we will be talking about all we have to be grateful for.

Try This at Home

The children have been practicing reading and writing their snap words. These words should be so easy, they can read and write them in a snap! Check in with your child to see if he/she knows the following snap words. If some are still tricky, spend a little time learning them. * = bonus, we will learn soon.

  • Me
  • A
  • The
  • I
  • Like
  • My
  • Look
  • At
  • See
  • Here
  • Is
  • This
  • It
  • In
  • An
  • *And



Carrot Corner News: October 31, 2019


We learned about Diwali, the festival of lights, which coincides with the Hindu New Year,  and celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. We also made rangoli, colored patterns that are created and placed by the door.


We enjoyed reading the story, The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything. The children acted out the different parts and made their very own scarecrows!


We had a fantastic school wide parade in the morning where everyone got to show their costume. It was so great to see everyone having a good time. In the afternoon we had a party with our big buddy class. The children enjoyed games such as: bat toss, spider and ghost Tic-Tac-Toe, haunted house Legos, bat airplanes, and optical illusions. They even made skeletons with Q-tips!

Happy Halloween From the “Kinder-Garden” Team

Try This at Home

If you participate in the Trick-or Treat activities, and find you have a pile of candy, put it to good use. Practice counting and addition/subtraction with your child using the candy. Some suggestions are listed below.

  • Give your child a manageable amount of candy and ask him/her to count it (making sure they touch each candy as they say the number).
  • Ask your child to group the candy in sets of 10.
  • Ask your child to sort the candy into different groups. Which has the most? Which has the least?
  • Give your child 4 candies. Ask, “How many more do you need to make 5?” “How many more do you need to make 6?” “How many do you need to give me so that you only have 3 left?” “How many do you need to give me so that you only have 1 left?”
    • Do this same thing for different numbers of candies.


Carrot Corner News: October 25, 2019

How Much Can We Learn About a Pumpkin?


We started with the poem and song, Five Little Pumpkins. The children enjoyed singing and acting it out. It is so much fun to roll around like pumpkins. This poem gives us a great opportunity to study rhyming words. After finding all the rhyming words, we made new words that rhyme and added them to the poem.


We tried to figure out if the pumpkin would float or sink. After discussing our hypothesis, we put it to the test and put our pumpkin in a big tub of water. Can you guess what happened?


We measured and counted the lines on the pumpkin. After that came carving and deciding on the shapes for the face. The kids loved getting their hands ooey-gooey in the pumpkin pulp. Working together they separated pulp from seeds.

Counting the seeds was a big task that called for lots of collaboration. First we estimated how many seeds were in the pumpkin. Then, the children took groups of seeds and counted them using a hundreds chart. After the seeds were all counted, we used bigger counting tools (counting by hundreds and tens) to figure out the total number of seeds. Our pumpkin had 674 seeds!


The week couldn’t be complete without some pumpkin art. The children enjoyed creating their own two-dimensional jack-o-lantern creations and making spooky Halloween patterns with pumpkins, goblins and ghosts.

Try This at Home

If you decide to carve a pumpkin at home, make seed counting a fun learning experience. You can use a 100’s chart (easy to find on google) or just make groups of 10. After you have all your seeds in groups of tens, count by tens to find the total number of seeds.

October 18, 2019


This week we started Math Game Day with fun and engaging board games. These games are supportive of mathematical learning and will help children strengthen their math knowledge and fluency. These game also help children learn valuable social skills, such as sportsmanship, cooperation, turn taking, and how to win and lose graciously. This week we focused on how to win and lose graciously. The children practiced saying “Good game. That was fun.” Thank you to everyone who helped make this wonderful learning opportunity possible. We look forward to Math Game Day again next week.

This week we began solving open ended problems, where there can be multiple ways of solving the problem with multiple correct answers. One fun activity was an Emogi sort. The children were given a group of Emogis and were asked to sort them into groups of their choosing. Below are some examples of ways the Emogis were sorted.


Kindergarten had their first ROAR day this week. They engaged in STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Growth Mindset activities throughout the day. They were so  proud to bring all their creations home.


This week the kindergartners started writing about favorite places. After brainstorming an idea, they learned to touch each page of their blank writing book and say what they would write on that page. After planning across the pages, they began to write and draw about their favorite place.

Try This at Home

Choose a game to play with the family at home. Some suggestions are listed below. Practice turn taking, cooperation, and winning and losing graciously. In class we practice saying “good game” and “that was fun” at the end of the game, whether we win or lose.

Suggested Games to Play at Home


Carrot Corner News: October 11, 2019


This week we focused on the characters in a story, their feelings, and how those feelings affect the story. In our discussions we used the graphic organizer below to help organize our thinking. Each story has a problem or conflict (which is related to a character’s feelings about an event that happened in the story), a climax (the most exciting or suspenseful part), a turning point (the problem is resolved) and a resolution (an ending to the story).

Owl Babies was one of the stories we read this week. The children enjoyed painting the owl babies using cotton balls, and making owl cupcakes. Yum!


Safety Week

We practiced different ways to be safe this week. On Monday we had an assembly from the San Jose Police about pedestrian and bike safety. On Tuesday we practiced what to do in the event of an earthquake. On Thursday we practiced what to do if there was a dangerous person in the area.

Try This at Home

When reading a story to your child at home, find and talk about the following things:

  • Who are the characters in the story?
  • Where does the story take place?
  • What is the problem in the story? (conflict)
    • How does that problem make the character feel?
  • What is the most exciting or suspenseful part of the story? (climax)
  • How did the characters solve the problem? (turning point)
  • How does the story end? (resolution)


Carrot Corner News: October 4, 2019

Alphabet Fashion Show

After weeks of preparing, the children performed their Alphabet Fashion Show. Leading up to this momentous occasion the children worked hard to learn each letter name and the sound it makes. They practiced reading and writing the letters. They made letters with play dough, letter stamps, and manipulatives. Each child chose a letter to focus on. They made a costume of that letter, with pictures of items that begin with that letter. Next, they learned about the components of a fashion show, and set about learning to strut the catwalk and pose. The final step was performing for our friends and family. Thank you to everyone who attended this memorable event. The kids were amazing! Our 4th grade big buddies (who held the spotlights) took a video of the fashion show.  I will share the link when they are finished with the editing process.

Try This at Home

Try putting your child’s new alphabet knowledge to use when reading books together at home. Ask him/her to try and find character names or other repeated words on the page. For example, if you are reading the book, The Three Little Pigs, ask your child to find the word “pig” and “wolf” by looking for the first letter of that word. We have been practicing this in class during Reader’s Workshop time. Most importantly, be sure to make time each and every day to read to your child.


Carrot Corner News: September 27, 2019

Alphabet PBL

The children are busy making their alphabet costumes for the fashion show! Lots of cutting, gluing, decorating, and figuring out what things start with that letter. In addition, we have been practicing our “catwalk strut.”  We can’t wait to perform our Alphabet Fashion Show for the parents and community next Friday. I hope you can all attend. Be sure to bring your cameras!

They also had a fabulous time creating an animal with an alphabet letter. A letter, whiskers, ears, tails, eyes, and some creativity transforms an alphabet letter into a fantastic animal!

Reader’s Workshop

This week the children are practicing reading storybooks like a teacher. They are making their voices sound like the characters, and saying a lot for when there are lots of words on the page, and saying a little for when there are just a few words on the page. These are all important emergent reading skills.

Math Workshop

We graphed our favorite books. We counted quantities, talked about more and less, and even did a few math problems by adding numbers together.

Try This at Home

This week we introduced our first 3 SNAP Words (readers and writers know these words in a snap). Make sure your child can read and write the following words below. Then, try to find those words in a book you are reading together at home.

  • me
  • a
  • the
  • *Bonus (next week’s word): I
  • *Bonus (next week’s word): like
  • *Bonus (future word): my


Carrot Corner News: September 19, 2019

Mexico’s Independence Day

We celebrated the Independence Day of Mexico on Sept 16th. We learned some history about the country and some geography about where it is. We also learned about the parts of the Mexican flag and what they stand for. The children enjoyed making their own Mexican flag. They also enjoyed drinking a traditional Mexican drink, Horchata (rice milk). Finally, we all had a great time learning to dance the Mexican Hat Dance.

Science: Dancing Raisins

We invited our 4th grade big buddies (Mrs. Simpson’s/Mrs. Connors’ class) to join us for a fun science experiment: Dancing Raisins! Through this experiment the children learned about buoyancy and density. When raisins are placed in soda they sink to the bottom because they are more dense. However, when the carbonated bubbles of the soda attach to the raisins, it makes them more buoyant and they dance to the top. At the top the bubbles pop and the raisins dance back down to the bottom again, only to repeat the process over again.

Alphabet PBL

We put the names of everyone in our class in ABC order, and then we studied differences and similarities in the names: longest name, shortest name, which alphabet letter has the most names in our class, number of syllables, number of vowels, etc.

Try This at Home

As part of our Alphabet PBL we have been practicing writing all the letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase. Please help your child to write their first name. If they can do that already, try the last name. Please make sure you follow the directions below.

  • Begin with a capital letter
  • ALL the other letters must be lowercase
  • Start writing each letter from the top of the letter
  • Make sure the name is neat and legible, so that others can read it

Carrot Corner News: Friday, September 13, 2019

Alphabet PBL

The children sorted a variety of different pictures by their beginning sound. We will use these pictures for our class alphabet, and to decorate the costumes for our Alphabet Fashion Show. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.


Our study of numeracy includes counting and understanding the value of the number. This week we transformed our classroom into a giant game board. The children became the game tokens, and we rolled a giant die and counted to move around the game board. Their favorite spot to land on was “Tootsie Roll” which means they get to roll again. Some spots were marked with a stop sign, and they had to stay there until they rolled a particular number. It was great fun moving around the classroom in a giant game.

Life Skills

Our life skill for the month of October is Growth Mindset. This topic was illustrated with our classroom guinea pigs. When the guinea pigs come out of their cage to visit with the children, I always place them in a basket. For some time now, Posey has been reaching up and looking over the top of the basket. Then, she started trying to climb out of the basket. After much practice, she finally succeeded. One day, Posey hopped right out of the basket. The children are trying many new and challenging things in kindergarten. One day, like Posey the guinea pig, they will easily be able to accomplish something that at one time was very challenging.

This week we started free choice seating in the classroom. Each child gets to decide where is their best spot to learn. That spot may be different for different subjects. They are all taking this responsibility very seriously, and they are exploring different seating options as they decide what works best. Some like to be at a table near others. Some like the wobble stools, so they can wiggle while they work. Others like a spot away from distractions on the floor either on a burrito rug (soft padded child sized rug) or on a scoop rocker.

Try This at Home

Encourage your child to say one rhyming word for each person in their family. For example:  Hannah Banana or Justin Rustin. Have them start with their own name, and then do the same for each member of the family. Have fun and be creative.

Carrot Corner News: September 6th, 2019

Alphabet PBL

Mabel, our class mascot, is helping the children learn their letters and sounds. Sometimes Mabel has an item hiding in her bed that gives the children a hint for the letter of the day. For example, this week Mable was wearing a hat. The children correctly guessed we would learn about the letter H that day. As a fun craft, the children got to make their very own Mabel, the elephant.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our culmination event for our Alphabet PBL. The children will dress up and put on an Alphabet Fashion Show for family, friends, and the community on Friday, October 4th at 8:30 AM in the De Vargas GLC/Library. Bring your cameras to get photos and video of your children displaying the latest Alphabet fashions!

Reader’s Workshop

The children are becoming readers by reading nonfiction books. They are practicing the following steps to reading: Look (at the picture), Think (about what it will say), Read (try to read some of the words/tell what the picture says in your own words, Learn (nonfiction books teach us new things).

Carrot Time

We started Carrot Time this week, and it is a favorite time of day for the children. The Carrot Passer (each child will get a turn for a week) passes out carrots for the children to enjoy. Good manners are practiced with please and thank you. As the children enjoy their carrots, they listen to a story that was chosen by the carrot passer (learner choice). Bonus, the Carrot Passer gets to sit in the very special Carrot Chair!

Try This at Home

Try singing the Cookie Monster Song, “C is for Cookie, That’s good enough for me.” Then, change the words to add other letters of the alphabet. Here is a link to the song:


  • C is for cookie that’s good enough for me….cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.
  • T is for Target, that’s good enough for me….Target, Target, Target starts with T
  • N is for noodles, that’s good enough for me… Noodles, noodles, noodles starts with N.