Covid-19 Distance Learning

Dear Kindergarten families,

I miss you! This time away from you has been so unexpected, and I greatly miss spending my day with all the amazing children in our class. I love hearing your giggles, your ideas, and your stories. Even though we can’t be together in our classroom, I look forward to continuing our learning and seeing each other from each of our homes. Please know that I am thinking of you all each and every day.

I have added a new tab to the top of this blog: Distance Learning. On that tab you will find some helpful resources.

 

 

Carrot Corner News: March 12, 2020

Science and Germs

This week we learned how germs get inside our body. To keep our bodies healthy we are practicing good handwashing habits – scrubbing all parts of our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We sing the hand washing song while we do this. We learned that germs are so small you can’t see them. However, scientists can see them with a microscope. The children enjoyed using a microscope to see tiny things made bigger.

Project Based Learning – How Can We Catch a Leprechaun?

After learning about Leprechauns and what they like, the children and their big buddies went to CREATE (maker space) to begin building their Leprechaun traps! We will finish the building and decorating on Monday in order to set the traps to catch a Leprechaun early Tuesday morning. Fingers crossed!

Fun with Phonics

Kindergartners know how to have fun while learning. Sometimes, we even get all dressed up to practice sounding out words. This week we read blends – two consonants at the beginning of words. Examples include: black, trip, grapes, Grecia. We also read digraphs – two consonants that make a new sound together. Examples include: Chase, Shrinitha, chop, shut.

Try This at Home

Have your child practice solving addition and subtraction problems where the missing number is not the answer, but part of the number sentence. See below.

  • 2 + ___ = 5
  • 1 + ___ = 5
  • 0 + ___ = 4
  • 1 + ___ = 4
  • 5 – ___ = 3
  • 5 – ___ = 2
  • 4 – ___ = 1
    • Challenge:
    • 7 + ___ = 10
    • ___+ 4 = 12
    • 9 – ___ = 5
    • ___ – 6 = 3

Carrot Corner News: March 6, 2020

Read Across America Day

We celebrated Read Across America Day and the birthday of Dr. Seuss with a Pajama Day Read-In. We invited visitors to our class to read to us while we snuggled up in our pajamas with stuffed animals and cozy blankets.

Mr. Loundy – Instructional Technology Specialist

Mr. Prychodko – Principal at De Vargas Elementary

San Jose Fire Station 14

Deputy Sheriff Marie Molnar from Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office

Mr. Hank Ford – Safety Specialist

Try This at Home

Celebrate reading by picking out some new books to read and add to your home library. Scholastic book orders are a wonderful way to get books at a very affordable cost. Encourage your child to pick books on topics that interest him/her. Reading is more fun when you get to pick the books.

Carrot Corner News: February 28, 2020

World Changers

The children completed their Project Based Learning Unit called World Changers. After much research, each child picked a career they are interested in, and decided how they would change the world when they grow up. They wrote about this and made a future self model. They are all proudly displayed in our classroom.

Kindness

Our life skill for the month of February is kindness.  The children explored the differences between cotton balls and sandpaper. Cotton balls are soft and feel good like kind words. Sandpaper is scratchy and can hurt like hurtful words. Next, we made a list of kind words and hurtful words, and promised to try our best to always use kind-cotton ball words.

Leap Day

This year February has 29 days. This only happens once every four years. We celebrated this occasion with a Leap Day. The children leaped all over the room to different letters of the alphabet to make new words. They made Leap Day crowns, and we even practiced leaping, hopping, and jumping in P.E.

Try This at Home

Help your child to perform a random act of kindness for somebody. Below are some suggestions, or you can come up with your own idea.

  • make a blessing bag (zip-lock bag containing toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, water, and granola bar) and give to a homeless person
  • Help a parent clean up an area at home
  • Help a younger sibling learn something new
  • Give a compliment to somebody in your family
  • Make cookies or another treat and deliver it to somebody special

 

 

Carrot Corner News: February 14th, 2020

World Changers

We took a fabulous field trip to the San Jose Library (West Valley branch) and the Fire Station. They learned about fire safety and about what it is like to be a fire fighter. They also learned how to check out books and use the library, as well as what it is like to be a librarian. This is great research for our World Changers PBL! Soon the children will be choosing the career they would like to have when they grow up.

One important thing they learned on the field trip to the fire station is not to be afraid of a fire fighter in uniform. He/she wears that uniform for protection.

Valentine’s Day

This month our life skill is kindness. This coincides with Valentine’s day. The children had fun exchanging Valentine cards and collecting them in their special Valentine collection boxes that they made. They also decorated their own cupcakes to eat for our party. You can’t have too many sprinkles!

Kindergarten Bookstore

We celebrated the end of our How-To writing unit with a Kindergarten Bookstore. All families were invited to come and purchase their child’s published books. All money collected will be used to buy books for our classroom library.

STEM: Candy Heart Catapults

Together with their big buddies, the kindergartners were challenged to design and build a catapult to launch a candy heart. Some flew far enough to land in trees and we even had a few land on the roof!

Try This at Home

Over the February vacation take a trip to the local library. Get a library card if you don’t already have one. Take a copy of Mrs. Ford’s recommended book list and check out a few of the titles. Have fun reading! Click below for the book recommendation list, or you can find it on the tabs at the top of this Carrot Corner web page.

 

 

Carrot Corner News: February 7, 2020

World Changers!

We launched our new Project Based Learning Unit called World Changers! The Driving Question the children will research and answer is: How will you change the world when you grow up? During the course of this project the children will be learning about various people and jobs in our community, and how those people are changing our world. Then, they will choose a profession they would like to do when they grow up, and tell us how they will change the world. On our last field trip they learned about jobs at Jamba Juice and Pizza My Heart. This week they learned about: swim coach, teacher, safety person, scientist, and music teacher.

Math

We have started subtraction! The children have been practicing solving word problems and writing number equations.

Valentine Activities

The children practiced their fine motor skills (drawing, cutting, coloring) while designing and making some creative Valentine art projects. We also learned a little about our heart. We learned what the heart does in our body, how big it is, and we counted how many times our hearts beat in one minute.

Try This at Home

Talk with your child about jobs people in your family may have. What do you do at work? What tools do you use? Do you have any uniform requirements? How do you change the world in your job? Encourage your child to talk about different kinds of jobs he/she may be interested in.

Carrot Corner News: January 31, 2020

Welcome Mr. Han

Mr. Han joined our class this week. He is studying to be a teacher at San Jose State, and he will be spending most of the rest of the year with us in kindergarten. Mr. Han is married to a 4th grade teacher at West Valley Elementary. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Cognitive Science. He loves making paper cranes and eating ice cream. Welcome to our kindergarten family, Mr. Han!

Kindergartners are Reader’s Workshop Experts

This week six teachers from around the district visited our class to observe Reader’s Workshop. They were very impressed at how knowledgeable all the children are. They took lots of notes and hope to take these ideas back to their own classrooms. Congratulations to the amazing kindergartners for being such wonderful role models!

Celebrating 100 Days of School

This week we celebrated 100 days in school. The children had a fabulous time doing various activities all centered around the theme of 100. First, they grouped 100 items brought from home into groups of 10. Next, they made celebration hats with 10 groups of 10 paint stamps. Then, they did a series of 100 themed PE activities. Finally, they made Fruit Loop necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops. Between all these fun activities we read books about 100 day and wrote about what it will be like to be 100 years old.

Try This at Home

In honor of 100 day, practice with your child counting to 100 by 1’s and 10’s. For an added challenge, try doing it by 2’s and 5’s.

 

Carrot Corner News: January 24, 2020

Lunar New Year

The children learned about Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year holiday. 2020 is the year of the rat!  The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian countries. It’s based on the phases of the moon. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21st and February 20th. After learning about this holiday the children enjoyed making festive lanterns. Lanterns are thought to scare aware the Nian monster and bring good luck.

Math Workshop

The children are using all their math tools and strategies to solve challenging math problems. Game day on Friday continues to be a favorite. This week we played “I Sea 10!”  The children had to find and make number combinations that add up to 10.

Reading

We have been focusing on Snap (sight) words and rhyming words. Rhyming is an important literacy skill, and one that involves lots of practice.

Try This at Home

Encourage and help your child to say words that rhyme with the following. The words can be real words, or even silly-nonsensical words. Ex: cat rhymes with fat, sat, rat and silly words such as quat, zat, and wat.

  • cat
  • leg
  • pig
  • dog
  • rug
  • can
  • den
  • pin
  • on
  • run
  • cap
  • pep
  • ship
  • mop
  • cup
  • late
  • eat
  • light
  • coat
  • cue

 

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: https://www.3plearning.com/blog/math-in-the-kitchen/)

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

Mathematicians

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.

Math

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

Diwali

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.

Literacy

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!

Halloween!

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?

Literacy

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.

Science

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?

Math

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!

Art

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

Math

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.

ROAR Day

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.

Writing

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