The FOES Circus

I think we can all agree that our kindergarten circus was the greatest (and cutest) show on earth!! These performers stole the show and were so proud to show off their hard work!!

 

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Shade Engineering

Our new science standards integrate engineering elements and it excites me!  I am eager to bring back opportunities for my kindergartners to imagine, plan, create, and build.  Even young learners can engineer solutions to problems. This week we learned about the effects of sunlight. The engineering challenge was for the students to create a structure to protect an ice cube from the sun. With a ton of tape, sticks, and ingenuity, I think the kids did a good job with their creations.

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Flexible Seating

Thank you so much to everyone who donated to my recent Donors Choose project.  We finally received all of our new furniture, moved the big bulky tables and chairs out, and reorganized our learning space.  After the first full week of this new format, I can honestly say that this is a GAME. CHANGER.  It’s one of those things I wish I would have done 10 years ago!  I’ll never go back to the traditional arrangement again.  In a week I’ve seen more engagement, the students are on task (well…most of the time), and they seem happier.  In fact, one of the best compliments I’ve received so far came from one of my administrators.  She came in one morning as they kids were doing morning work tubs, with a little Kidz Bop playing in the background, and she said, “This feels happy.  This is a happy place!”  Bottom line is, they are not as crowded, they aren’t in each others’ space, and they have room to spread out.  They are happy…I am happy….it’s a win-win for all!

Where did this crazy idea come from?  Well, I sat at my desk one afternoon and looked across my classroom.  It seemed so small and crowded.  The kids were loud.  They were knocking each others’ things off the tables.  They were arguing.  They were tattling.  I thought to myself, there has to be a better way.  I started researching over the weekend and came across a few blogs where teachers implemented flexible seating.  I remember hearing about it before and thinking, this is not for me.  We use our tables too much.  What about parties?  What about all their stuff?  The more I started reading, the more intrigued I was.  I came across one particular blog where the teacher compared it to being at home on a Saturday.  Do you sit at your kitchen table all day long?  No!!  We might for a little while, but then we might sit in the floor, or the couch, or even lie down.  I wanted my classroom to have the same atmosphere.  Flexibility…no more assigned seats…coziness…home-like.  Just like that I created my donors choose project, which was funded in about 3 days.  Unbelievable!  It made a tremendous impact on the vibe in my room, and I am so thankful!  Here are some pics of the new space!!

The first time the kids saw the new room, it was like Christmas!!!  Their faces were so precious.  I wish I took pictures.  One little friend said, “I wish my room was like this!”.  They have so much more pride in our classroom now.  They want to keep everything neat, and always pick up crayons, push chairs in, and straighten the little mats.  They never did that before!  They really want to keep everything new and neat!  Here are some pics of the flexible seating in action.

And finally, to really see it in action, I wanted to take a couple of videos.  The first video was taken during Writing Workshop. The second one is as the kids are coming in first thing in the morning.  Some are doing their work and early finishers are looking at books.   They are sideways, and I have no idea how to fix that.  I’ll keep working on it!  Hope you enjoyed the peek into our room!!

 

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100th Day of School

What a BLAST we had today celebrating 100 days of fun, learning, and friendships!  The kids were welcomed with a special entrance to the classroom and a few fun treats at their tables.

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Then the grannies and gramps started to arrive, and boy were they cute!!

The teachers were pretty funny too!!

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We made fruit loop necklaces using 100 Fruit Loops!  We had to work really hard and not give up!  That was a lot of Fruit Loops to string on!

We sang “Happy 100th Days to Us”, blew out our candles, and had cupcakes!

 

We ended the day with some really fun centers!  We tried to see if we could eat a lollipop in 100 licks, made “Ten Tens Trail Mix”, built cup structures out of 100 cups, and used Q-tips to paint 100 dots on the number 100.

And I would call that a pretty fun-filled day!!






 




















































 

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Snowflake Bentley

The month of January is the perfect time to talk about the beauty that the season of winter can bring.  Here in the south, we don’t usually get to see the lovely white stuff very often, so we spent some time learning about Snowflake Bentley and looking at his ornate snowflake photographs.  We noticed that all of the snowflakes he photographed had six sides, and that they were symmetrical.  (Fancy stuff for kindergarten, right?)  We used pattern blocks to create our own versions of Snowflake Bentley’s famous snowflakes.  We also read a funny fiction story called, The Snowglobe Family.  In this tale, we learn about a little family that lives inside of snowglobe, and how they wish someone would shake them around so they could have a blizzard and go sledding!  We imagined what it would be like to live inside of a snowglobe, and then completed this adorable craft and writing activity! Now if only we could see some real snow!!

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Christmas in Poland

Thank you so much to Barbara Zieba, Caroline’s mom, for coming and teaching the class about Christmas in Poland.  She brought so many neat artifacts, beautiful dolls, and even treats for the class!  She made me want to go to Poland for Christmas.  It sounds so beautiful.  Here are some pics!  Isn’t her dress amazing?

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St. Lucia Day

As you know we have been learning about Christmas traditions around the world.  One tradition we enjoyed learning about was from the country of Sweden.  In Sweden each year they celebrate St. Lucia Day.  On the morning of St. Lucia Day, the oldest girl in the family dresses like St. Lucia, and carries breakfast to her family.  They wear a crown of candles on their head to light the way.  They have processionals as well and the boys dress as “Star Boys”.  We had fun role-playing this tradition during snack time.

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Ornament Day

Look at how much fun we had making our ornaments during Ornament Day! We hope these will be a sweet reminder of our kindergarten year when you hang them on your tree each year.

 

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Thanksgiving Feast

We learned so much during our study of the Native Americans and Pilgrims during our month long culture study this month!  We were so proud to sing the songs we learned and excited to feast with our friends!  Enjoy the pics!

 

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Old Baker Farm Field Trip

It was a beautiful day when we ventured out on our first field trip to Old Baker Farm.  We learned about the animals on the farm, took a long and bumpy hay ride to the pumpkin patch, found perfect pumpkins, ate lunch in the hay loft, and picked some cotton!  Fun was had by all!

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