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.

Math

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye8mB6VsUHw

Examples:

  • 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.

Carrot Corner News: August 30, 2019

Alphabet PBL

The children are having a great time as they become alphabet experts! Every day a different child is crowned king or queen of the day. We celebrate them and learn all about their name. We count the syllables, look at tall and short letters, and say what sound each letter makes. We also practice how to write those letters neatly on paper. The children had a great time reading the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and then making their very own coconut tree full of alphabet stickers. These are now proudly displayed in the classroom.

Reader’s Workshop

The children are practicing good reading habits. They are learning how to handle books gently, and what to do when you look at a book. With a reading partner, they are taking turns discussing each page of the book.

Writer’s Workshop

We have launched into writing with topics that we know a lot about. Writing at this stage often is pictures, and a first letter label for each picture on the page. Some kids wrote about crocodiles, some wrote about swimming, and some wrote about a playground. Each child chose a topic that was interesting and one that he/she knows a lot about.

Math

We continue our focus on numeracy. This week we started dot talks. The children are very quickly shown a small group of dots. They try to figure out how many dots they see in the short time they see the images. This helps them to see quantities in groups. We then talk about all the different ways to see the combination of dots. This is an important first step in numeracy.

Future Ready Skills and Character Education

This month we focused on how to ROAR like our school lion. At De Vargas, ROAR stands for Respect Others and Act Responsibly.  The kindergartners decided respect means to be kind, and responsible means to do the right thing. We celebrated learning to ROAR by making lions!

Try This at Home

Take a walk around the neighborhood and notice all the street signs. Look at the first letter on the sign. Say the name of the letter and the sound it makes. Then, say some words that also begin with that letter. For example, Moorpark starts with the letter M. It makes the sound “m” like Mickey Mouse, Mabel, microwave, marshmallow, and music. Have fun!