January is my absolute favorite time of year to be a kindergarten teacher. The children come back from winter break well rested, excited and ready to learn and we have almost an entire month of uninterrupted by craziness (other than our own!). We get SO much accomplished and the growth 5 and 6 year olds make at this time of the year is astounding. Every year I am amazed at what they accomplish!
Our Medallions project has been wildly successful. Even though we are at the end of January, we will continue to invite all to earn medallions until everyone that is still working on those last one or two can achieve their goal. This year, we have been absolutely thrilled by the determination and drive this class has exhibited throughout the project. Many children set a goal and practiced both in class and at home to meet (or exceed) their goal. The medallion ribbons are almost all full (going up front and back of the ribbons!), and are quite pretty. The medallions will be presented to you at conferences. Well done, kids!
Skating is another activity that amazes me year after year. For some children, our skating day in January was only their second time on the ice. And yet, we again witnessed children with fierce determination not only skating with the aid of the trainers, but feeling brave enough to let go and try skating on their own! AMAZING!
We have been studying all about the circulatory system, and how our heart and lungs work together. We learned lots of amazing facts about the heart. Did you know that your heart is a muscle and that it pumps blood all around your body? That in one day it beats about 100,000 times? That you can keep your heart healthy by exercising? And that your blood is made up of red and white blood cells--the white blood cells fight illness? We learned all of those fascinating facts and many more this month!
We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the values he worked for--fairness, equality, peace and love. These are issues that are very important to kindergartners. We had many lively discussions and read books not only about Dr. King and his life, but tangential topics that the kindergartners were able to make connections to. Some of our favorite books surrounding this subject were:
We made a "People Poster". We searched through magazines and cut out pictures of people. We each had a task of finding at least ten pictures, and each one had to be different in some way from the others. We surrounded it with the lyrics to our favorite song about Dr. King: Sing About Martin. It turned out great!
With all of the bitter cold, indoor recess days we had in a row, we decided to cozy up and enjoy Jan Brett's The Mitten.
We loved it so much, we created a play and acted it out! It was so much fun!
Our STEAM buddies came and we made habitats for Arctic (and Antarctic) animals together. We used plastic cups (for ice), marshmallows and toothpicks. It was great!
Thank you so much for your support of the kitchen utensil "Bridging Bouquets". The Bridging helps about 100 families a week transition from homeless shelters into their first homes, and helps provide them with furniture and household items. Our Lower School families donated enough supplies to create over 100 bouquets! Our class created four bouquets and had lots of extras left over to tuck into other bouquets for bonuses!
Next up--save those Box Tops! We will be collecting them in February. All of the money that Breck School collects from this project is used for student-driven philanthropy projects.