Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WELCOME BACK TO US!  Wow!  A whole week off definitely made us excited to be back.  There were lots of stories to share!  It was good to be back together!

Mrs. Moen came on Monday, so we were able to tackle different stations during our literacy time.  Mrs. Moen's group read a story that we just didn't get to about Turkey Disguises.  Each group does an activity tweaked to the group.

Mrs. Gerber's center worked on letters (capitals or lowers or sounds- depending on each group)

Mrs. T's center was writing our names!  It is tough going these first few times, but we will get better and better at it as we go!  The kindergarten teachers LOVE having TK kiddos in their class because we know how to write our names THE RIGHT WAY.  Because- by hook or by crook, it WILL happen! :)  That's why we start early.  I kept these first attempts so you will be able to see the amazing growth that happens when you come for your visit in February at conference time.  You just won't believe it and I like looking at them and sharing them with your kiddos so we can all marvel at what smarties we are!!  :)

We worked on several different math activities including ten frames.  I flash a ten frame on the smartboard and the kids shout out what it is showing.  They are really, REALLY good at this!

We also each made a little CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN for our room.  He's green and he's mean but his heart grows each day and by Christmas Day... he will be a good guy!!!  Yes!  He's the grinch.  These will stay at school until our party day and then he will come home with a couple of stickers to add until Christmas Day.  They turned out pretty cute!

Wednesday morning we read the story MOOSELTOE.
We had a lively discussion about MISTLETOE- what it looks like and what happens if you see it.  Making a moose out of a precut M that looked like the Moose in the story was the next order of business.
We had to glue the M down, add eyes, a nose and antlers cut out from tracing our hands.  The last thing was making ornaments to hook to the moose's antlers.

I also had the good fortune to hit Hobby Lobby last winter when antler headbands were on the 90% off bin!  SOOOOOOO, we busted them out today and made wearable MOOSELTOE antlers!!  :)  (once again, you are so very welcome!:) )

The school nurse came in to our room this afternoon to talk about handwashing.  She gives them a discussion about spreading germs and how to try to NOT spread them.  The main thing she focused on was hand washing.  They practiced pretend washing their hands and then, the MAIN EVENT.  Mrs. De Jong put some "germs" on their hands.
These "germs" are a special powder that glow in the dark IF they are not washed off.  After spreading the germs on their hands the kids went into the bathroom and washed their hands.

They came back to the room and Mrs. De Jong used her magic light and checked our washing habits.
 It was good for the kids to see the spots they missed when they were washing their hands.  Hopefully, this will stick with them and they will really work on making sure their hands are washed well.  (funny story- Mrs. Twedt came in this afternoon and we had a kiddo in the classroom bathroom.  He didn't come out and he didn't come out and we could hear the water running- we all knew that he was really working hard on getting those hands clean!!  :) )

The REALLY big news on Wednesday is we got a package from the North Pole!  This special delivery held not one, but TWO elves to watch over us until Christmas break!  We read the story that came with them and the special note that Santa wrote to us.  The first thing we had to was to name our elves!  We voted and (drum roll please).... the girl is OLIVIA and the boy is CHARLIE!  HOPEFULLY they won't get in too much mischief on the days we are gone but we will see on Friday!!

Ella brought treats today to celebrate her half birthday today!  She chose CHA CHA CHA for her birthday song add on.
Happy half birthday, Ella!

(which brings me to a side note: your child may have a snack or two in their backpack this afternoon.  That would be because we had our regular snack, Ella's birthday treat AND it was WACKY WEDNESDAY!  When it rains, it pours!)

TK on Friday, December 2!

It is ALWAYS cold out here in the arctic circle! ALWAYS!  The wind just blows constantly.  If it is a gentle breeze in town - it is a GALE FORCE WIND out here!  We always go outside.  Please send the proper outside gear EVERYDAY with your child- most important on the list: HAT AND GLOVES/MITTENS.  They don't take up much room in your child's bag and if we would happen to NOT need them, they can just leave them in their bag.  Boots and snowpants are optional, HOWEVER, if they do not have boots and it is deemed too sloppy on the blacktop to not have boots, your child will have to stand by the wall.  If your child has boots but does not have a pair of shoes to wear in school- the boots are considered their shoes and they stand by the wall.  Not my rules.  Just the way it is at West Lyon.

MONDAY: Library  PE  Snacks: Evie
WEDNESDAY: ART  Snacks: Flyn

Monday, November 21, 2016


We were all about Thanksgiving today!  We read a story called THANKSGIVING RULES.  It is written with lots of rhymes.  Later in the day, we read TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING.  This is a very sweet story about some kids on a field trip to a Turkey Farm.  Both of these stories are coming home with your child as they are HAPPY THANKSGIVING gifts from me to your child.

We got a predictable text book to bring home called I KNOW AN OLD LADY.  This book is based on the story called, I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE.  She eats so much throughout the story that she ends up being a Thanksgiving Day balloon in a parade!  We looked up some pictures of other balloons in the actual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.  Don't be surprised if your child asks to watch the parade on Thanksgiving Day.  Sorry.  It was an important detail to understanding the book!  :)

We practiced coloring by number today.  Small motor skills along with number recognition was the goal.  The kids need to color with care as certain spaces are different colors and the WHOLE space needs to be colored in order for the picture to be complete.

We were able to go to the computer lab as well as the library today, also.

Putting on and taking off our outdoor gear went AAAAAMAZING!  Seriously!  They were AWESOME at taking care of themselves!  Getting ready has never gone so smoothly in TK for me!  WOW!  Thank you for sending them prepared for the weather and for getting themselves ready!  Mittens/gloves are a toughie (often times) to get on by themselves.  The goal is INDEPENDENCE!  We encourage them to pull, tug, work around the outside of the mitten, shove their glove hands into each other to get them on. It's tough love out in the hallway.  Lots of encouragement, but not a lot of help.  They eventually figure it out.  Maybe not today, but it will happen.  I am sure there are some kiddos that are frustrated with me and our classroom helpers.  Again, the goal is independence.  There were a couple of kiddos that didn't have gloves/mittens with them today.  I have a couple of pairs of those very thin knit mittens in my locker, and that worked for today but it won't cut it in January out here in the Arctic Circle!  Thank you again for preparing your kiddos so well!  WOW.  Just WOW!

Ella is our STUDENT OF THE WEEK this week.  She loves the colors purple and pink.  Ella would like to be a horse rider when she grows up and does NOT like to be hit with mud.  We asked her to explain that one a little, and she told us a very funny story that involved her brother and mud.  Finally, Ella loves her dog, Bailey and she is a good bike rider!
Thank you for sharing your pictures with us, Ella!

Monday, November 28 will be the deadline for ordering books from the Book Club.  I think I may have said WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, but I would like to get the order in and beat the Christmas rush.  If you are ordering online, be sure to have that done before noon on Monday.  If you send an order with your child, please remind them that they have something they need to give me- we do not go through the kids' folders.  (There's that INDEPENDENCE thing again! :) )

MONDAY: Library  PE  Snack: Ella
FRIDAY: MUSIC  Snack: Elliss

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It was MMMMMMMustache MMMMMMMMonday this week!  We read a great story called MOOSETACHE by Margie Palatini.  Moose has a horrible, uncontrollable MOOSETACHE that he just cannot get a handle on.... until he meets a GIRL Moose who shows him the secret to manageable hair!  :)  Ask your child what the END of the story had in store for Moose! We had fun sporting our own mustaches!

CHECK OUT OUR COVER PHOTO CAREFULLY... We ALL had on a mustache!  :)
Mrs. Moen was able to join us for our Literacy Centers also on Monday.
Mrs. Moen worked with different groups doing pictures on feathers for different lettered turkeys.  Some groups worked as a whole group.  A couple of groups worked independently.
Mrs. Gerber worked on dotting a turkey with letters. Again, different activities for different groups.
Mrs. T's group worked on writing the letter M the correct way.  M is a tricky letter to write so we needed a lot of practice on the Magna Doodles (since they are easy to erase).  We will be working on that letter again and again.
And of course, the independent group working on iPads.

We did a graphing game rolling different Thanksgiving foods for math time.  It was a race to the top and SALAD of all things, won the race!  The kids are very good graphers at this point and there is always lots of discussion about which row has more or less and if there are equal amounts... it is really fun to hear them use math terms we have learned!

Book Orders came home on Monday afternoon.  If you would like to order books and would like them for a Christmas surprise, just email me or attach a note to the order form and we can arrange some other mode of transportation home!  As always, there is no obligation to order, just an opportunity! :)
Our online classroom code is GRY67 on Scholastic's site.

Wednesday we read the story IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN by Laura Numeroff.  This is a great story to practice sequencing so that's just what we did with a little "wallet" of numbered cards to retell the story.

And no reading of IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN would be complete without making some muffins, so we mixed up some muffins and baked them in the FCS room in the High School.
We let them cool off during recess and then we ate them!  :)

We matched numbers to muffins for math and did a couple of boxes (rounds) of fine motor practice!

It sounds like we COULD have the "S" word this weekend.  IF there is snow on the ground, West Lyon's rule is that kids have to have boots to play on the blacktop at recess time.  If they want to get off the blacktop, they will need snow pants and boots.  If the snow melts (hopefully) as quickly as it falls, and there is no accumulation, then boots will not be needed- unless it is a sloppy mess- in which case we probably won't go off the blacktop until it freezes hard or is covered with snow.  All kids will go outside - even if they don't have boots, they will stand by the wall of the school.  We have talked about it in class and what the West Lyon rules are concerning boots, snow, etc.  (and so it begins... )

We have been practicing on some Thanksgiving songs and we also have a Turkey Poem in our repertoire!  Ask your child to sing you the songs and say the poem for you!  They are all pretty good at it! :)

MONDAY: Library  Music  Snack: Cora

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This week we worked on the letter N!  Mrs. Moen came in on Monday so we were able to do our Literacy Centers.
Mrs. Gerber's group worked on putting feathers in the right order to make our NAME on a turkey
Mrs. T's group practiced the correct formation of the letter N (ALL letters will start at the top.  If you ever notice your child starting at the BOTTOM to make a letter be sure to stop them and remind them to start at the top!!)
Mrs. Moen's group worked on different skills all around the letter N and the sound it makes
and the 4th group worked on the iPads individually

For math, we played a little game called ROLL AND COVER.  We have played this game before and will play it again.  Subitizing (being able to see small groups of objects and not have to count them) is an important skill to have and this is a fun way to practice that skill.

We found out on Monday that WE WON THE PIZZA PARTY!  Luckily for us, we only had to wait until WEDNESDAY TO ENJOY IT!  Along with winning the pizza party, we were able to get some amazing books from the Book Fair!  We got a few 3D books, a couple of dinosaur books, a couple of shark books (including a ginormous shark encyclopedia) 2 pet books, a newly released Thanksgiving book and a dinosaur model that we will make on one of our FRIDAY SCIENCE DAYS!

Thank you so much for sending in your extra change (and bills!:) ) to help us earn such amazing books and of course, the pizza party!  WOOP WOOP FOR US!

Wednesday we learned about NOCTURNAL ANIMALS!  We already knew that bats were nocturnal, but we added to our base finding out (sometimes by checking with google) what animals were nocturnal or not.  I found an activity with animals on a teacher website, so I downloaded it and VOILA! We had nocturnal and diurnal animals to sort!
We did not know that rabbits are basically nocturnal- it's true!  Google it! :) TECHNICALLY they are crepuscular (which means most active at dusk and dawn) We didn't go quite that in depth, but rabbits were in the picture at the night school of the book we read, so we had to double check it!  Speaking of the book we jumped off our discussion on, we read THE KISSING HAND.  This is usually a story that is read at the beginning of the school year since it is about going to school the first day and the feelings of being a bit afraid of the unknown, but I save it for our NOCTURNAL discussion.  The main character is Chester the raccoon, and he goes to school at night with other nocturnal animals.

We got a small little paper book to read and bring home (The book is not really predictable, except for the pictures- which I'm pretty sure your child will point out that we noticed there is a mistake in the daytime picture.  I'm sure they will want to show it to you themselves, so I will leave it to them to tell you! :)

We did a patterning page with Chester during math time.  These were ABAB patterns and pretty basic for the smartie TK kids that we are at this point, but we did it anyway with gusto!

We also did a counting page with the leftover pattern pieces we had.  We didn't have enough to finish the whole page but nearly everyone got done with numbers 1-5

Ella found a butterfly outside of her house on the ground.  She picked it up and brought it with her on the bus to show us all.  To ALL of our surprise (except to Ella) the butterfly was ALIVE!  We put it in our butterfly house and it fluttered around a bit.  We identified that he was a boy and so since Ella found him, she got to name him.  She named him DAD. :)  We took DAD out to the football field but not to the trees.  Just away from the school far enough that he wouldn't have to deal with kids bothering him.  We put him on the fence, all walked past him and said "BYE, DADDY!" and we left him to fly to Mexico.  Thank you, Ella for finding DAD and sharing him with us!

Cora is our STUDENT OF THE WEEK this week and next.  Cora has one big sister named Olivia who is in 2nd Grade.  Her favorite color is blue, she loves her mom and dad and hates snakes!  Cora brought in lots of colorful pictures to share.  She pointed out that in one of the pictures it was her birthday and her mom made her a FRUIT cake (because she doesn't like cake cake)  She told us it was really good and all of her cousins ate the cake and she only got ONE piece! : )  She's hoping her mom will make another one next year!  (hint, hint)
Thank you for sharing your pictures with us, Cora!  And I hope your mom makes you a FRUIT cake next year, too!

THE REALLY BIG NEWS ON WEDNESDAY WAS OUR PIZZA PARTY!  It was so exciting and so hard to wait, but definitely WORTH THE WAIT once it finally arrived!  The kids also had the option of having some orange pop, another milk or water with their pizza to wash it down.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COME AND MEET WITH ME FOR PARENT - TEACHER CONFERENCES!  We had 100% attendance for our TK!  YAY US!  I enjoyed meeting so many of you for the first time and I love having siblings of kiddos I have already taught, it is like catching up with friends you haven't seen for a while, and of course, there is always the "I remember when you were in my class all those years ago"... fortunately, I do not have that... THIS year.  :)  I did explain to a couple sets of parents about our morning routine that includes books and puzzles and coloring while the "breakfast kids" are out of the room eating breakfast.  I do not introduce new concepts or start our morning meeting (calendar activities) until they return from breakfast.  So, if your child comes home with coloring pages, be assured that this is happening as a choice while we wait for the breakfast kids to get back to our room.


MONDAY: Library  PE  Snack: Brystol
WEDNESDAY: Art  Snack: Camrie
NO TK FRIDAY, November 18

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fridays are our designated "SCIENCE DAY" where I usually try to do science of some kind with experiments and learning about something that is USUALLY tied to the letter of the week (sometimes, in the case of PIRATES- there's not really SCIENCE involved- it's just a kooky thing to learn about!! :) )  and sometimes there won't be any rhyme or reason and you will wonder what in the world I was thinking - that probably happens more than just on Fridays!!

Friday, November 4 was no exception!  We learned all about RAINBOWS- not really so much about HOW they are made as much as just having fun doing experiments and watching reactions.

The first activity we did was refracting light with the back of a CD.

We could see the rainbow in different shapes on some of them and a few of them really refracted the light so we could see the rainbows VERY clearly!!

The second experiment we did was using our markers on a coffee filter.  We scribbled, drew shapes, lines, etc all over the filter with our markers.

Then we carefully folded it, clipped it to a popsicle stick and put just the tip of it in water as it hung over the plastic cup.
Slowly but surely, the water soaked into the coffee filter and the colors mushed together and blended.  After lunch, we flattened them out to dry and then made them into beautiful butterflies!

The next experiment we tried is called MAGIC MILK!  Everyone got a tray of milk and put 2 drops of each color of food coloring into the milk.
 DON'T MIX!  The next step is to dribble a little dishwashing liquid onto the milk and food coloring!  (Being sure not to touch the tip of the q-tip to the milk)  The reaction is quite awesome!

The kids really had fun watching the colors move and blend and make designs in the milk!

Finally, the last experiment was actually the best one of the day!  I had not done it with students before and was a little hesitant to try it but my guess is that your child MAY be asking you to do this one at home!  Each student was given Skittles and a plate.
They place the Skittles around the plate in a circle and then we added warm water (just enough to cover the bottoms of them- you don't want them floating) and watched the "rainbows" happen.  Really, just the colors run, but it was actually the coolest experiments I've tried (that worked) and I will definitely be doing again next year!!

It was a RAINBOW DAY in TK.  They should be completely tuckered out- I know I am and Mrs. Gerber and Mrs. K both said they were exhausted- Here's to hoping your kiddo is as well!  :)  Have a great weekend and I will see you in person either on Monday or Tuesday for conferences!