Friday, April 21, 2017

Teddy Bear Day!

Bring Your Best Bear to School!

We had an amazing day with our guest bears. We were so impressed with how well-behaved these bears were today! They joined us for every activity we had...
Morning Meeting

Word Work

 Reading Workshop


And...the biggest event of the day---The Three Bears Show!
They were our audience for the dress rehearsal

We performed the show twice--once for each preschool class.  Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Preissing were also invited.  Each kindergartner made something for the show, and each kindergartner had a part in one of the shows. Our class had performers both times.  They have both been uploaded to Seesaw for your viewing pleasure. We all agreed it took a lot of courage (our CARE theme this month) to perform in front of people, but we did it! What a great day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

What a glorious day we had for our field trip to Eastman Nature Center!

We had an awesome time with their "Heads, Tails, Wings and Claws" presentation. It was the perfect addition to our study of animal classification! We saw a funny puppet show about a just-hatched baby turtle. She doesn't know that she's a reptile, and she keeps meeting animals from other classification groups (a deer, a woodpecker, a snail and a frog) and along the way she finds out that even though she's different from those other animals she is special just the way she is!

Then we had a fun game where small groups had to find all of the right body parts for a certain animal (mammal, bird or reptile) and put the parts together to make the mystery animal.

Next, we got to enjoy the gorgeous spring day with a nature hike. We were supposed to be looking for wooden animals from all of the animals groups, but we ended up finding (and being much more interested in) some REAL animals:  a pair of swans on the pond, a butterfly, two millipedes and a red velvet mite. We also saw a squirrel's nest, and heard a goldfinch singing its spring song.

Last but not least, we went back indoors and got to see a real, live turtle! It was a Blanding's Turtle, which is rare and special in Minnesota. He kept crawling around our circle while we were learning about him. Then we got to touch him gently.

It was a GREAT afternoon!  A big thank you to Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Cavanaugh for joining us today!

Here are also some pictures from our final time with our Bio Buddies last week. We learned about animal senses, and how some animals have heightened senses that are much stronger than ours. Did you know that a butterfly tastes with its feet? And that a snake sticks out it tongue to taste the air? Or that a skunk can see really well in the night, but in the daytime, they only see colors as shades of black and white? We imagined what we would look like if we had a super sense and drew a picture to show our thinking. Then we made animal masks and got to eat lunch with our Bio Buddies in the Middle School dining room!  It was a very special way to end our time together.

***Important message from Mrs. Jones in the Library:

For our next STEAM activity, we are creating animal habitats. If you have any empty shoe boxes we might use for our habitats, please bring them to school by NEXT MONDAY, April 24th. Thanks!

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

Welcome back to school, and WELCOME SPRING! What beautiful weather we've had this week! It's been so lovely not to have to bundle up quite as warmly as we needed to just two weeks ago.

We really hit the ground running this week. We launched a new writing unit, "All Abouts".  We are all experts in many things, and we can write about all we know about a subject. We use the "five finger rule" when deciding if we really are an expert about something.  If we can think of five different facts that we know about a subject, then we probably know enough about it to write an all about. Ms. Moran and I have been learning All About: Babies, Football, Tigers, Puppies, Cats, Dolphins, Star Wars, the Titanic and Love.

Rainbows are the theme for stations! Rainbow math (did you know the rainbow could help you learn about all the ways to make 10? Ask your kindergartner!), Rainbow writing sight words and phonetic words, drip drop rainbows made with liquid watercolors and eye droppers, and the Rainbow Lego Challenge. The biggest challenge was trying to build the rainbow from the inside out, and perhaps having to rethink your strategy and design when you ran out of purple legos. We saw a lot of problem solving, and ingenuity and flexibility ("Plan B") when these roadblocks appeared!

We are learning about animals and animal classification. We had a visitor from the Como Zoo come for a presentation "Fur, Feathers, Scales and Slime". Chelsea, our presenter, brought four animals for us to see. Before she brought out each animal, she gave us clues about the animal, and we had to try and guess what it might be--mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian. We saw and learned a bit about a hedgehog, chicken, leopard gecko and poison dart frog. They were amazing! We were so impressed with how well-behaved and respectful the children were.  They were mesmerized by each animal and asked wonderful questions!

This afternoon Ms. Moran and our guest teacher Mrs. Rogers took the children on a nature walk. They were able to see a turtle, a rabbit, many birds, a bird nest and some insects. They discussed each animal and what animal group they belonged to. What a glorious afternoon they spent together!

We have also begun our STEAM rotation with Mrs. Jones. This will be in lieu of our library classes, although the children will still have an opportunity to check out books each cycle. This week, they worked on the iPad coding app "Kodable", which they loved.

Have a wonderful weekend!

                           ***See below for some important messages***

from Mrs. Z:

Birthday Wishes
April 6-21

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items
that make a birthday special,like
Cake Mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix,
Paper Plates & Cups. Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate,
please bring items to school April 6-21.  Thanks!

And Mrs. Bailey:

April 2017

Dear Lower School Parents:

Each year, I invite parents to provide input into the class placement process for their children.  If you wish to share your thoughts with me, please send me a letter or an email by Thursday, April 20.  The timeliness of this information is very important, as we will begin this process the following week.  Therefore, letters received after this date will not be considered for the upcoming school year.

A few important things to remember:

·       Please write your child's full name and grade next year at the top of the letter.  *If writing about more than one child, please send a separate letter for each student. 

·       Share your insights about friendships to foster or separate, your child’s learning dispositions and/or temperament, and the type of environment you feel your child thrives in. 
(You may want to share feedback on what has made this year particularly successful for your
child, or if this has been a challenging year, what you believe may have contributed to this.) 

·       Requests for specific teachers will not be considered.

Several factors are taken into consideration as teachers and the administrative team place students into next year’s classes.  Summer moves and other changes impact class assignments.  Thank you, in advance, for respecting and trusting our decisions.

Best regards,
Peg Bailey