Plant Life

We spent a couple of weeks learning about plants. We talked about the parts of a plant and the purpose of each part. We also talked about the parts of a plant that we eat. The kindergartners used various plant parts to make a “flower” snack.

We also learned about the needs of a plant and completed an activity. We began an experiment to see how plants survive if only one need is taken away. It has been interesting to see the difference between the plant that has all its needs and those that do not.

The kindergartners painted flowerpots and planted succulents in them.

We talked about pollination as well. The kindergartners colored flowers and bees and positioned the flowers around the room. One flower contained a lot of “pollen.” As the bees flew to that flower, the pollen would stick to a pompom located on the underside of the bees. The bees then flew to other plants and some of the pollen would fall off. It was a great way to see how pollination occurs in nature.

Taking Care of the Earth

In kindergarten we spent a little time learning about taking care of the Earth. Our first activity was to make Earth necklaces out of glue and potting soil. It was a very messy job!

After reading the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, the kindergartners made Lorax mustaches to go with a writing assignment. They used marbles to paint a blue and green background for their Lorax pictures.

We learned about litter and played a cleanup game. The kindergartners had a pond full of litter that needed to be cleaned out. The team who cleaned out their pond first was the winner. The catch in the game was that if a person landed on a raccoon, a piece of litter had to be put back in the pond.

We had a great time when a student’s mother came in to show us how to make recycled paper. It was a wonderful experience and the kindergartners enjoyed it so much!

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Listening carefully to instructions

Making colored pulp

Scooping the white pulp into a paper frame

Using cookie cutters to decorate the white pulp with colored pulp

Taking the paper out of the frame and pressing all the extra water out

The final product!

Oviparous Animals

After focusing on animals in general, we turned our attention to a specific kind – oviparous or animals that lay eggs. The kindergartners went on an egg hunt to find out the oviparous animal they would research. The research had to include information on the animals’ eggs and where they are laid, what the animals looks like after hatching, and what it looks like as an adult. In class, the students put together a research poster.

The kindergartners also participated in an interesting show and tell. Students were asked to bring items that fit in an egg. During class, they wrote clues about what was in their egg. After each clue was shared, the class was able to guess what the item might be.

We learned about the life cycle of several oviparous animals and acted out the life cycle of a butterfly. We brought painted lady larvae to the classroom and have been observing them. Currently, four of the five butterflies are out of their chrysalis. We hope the last one will emerge soon.

We concluded our animal units with a trip to the Greenville Zoo. It was such a lovely day and we had a wonderful time!

 

Animal Fun

We recently completed a science unit on animals and their needs. The students made animal log books and completed pages on living and non-living things, animal needs, habitats, etc.

We also read the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. After reading the book, the students chose a farm animal and wrote letters to Farmer Brown as that animal. We made paper plate animals to go with the letters. The students also worked on a reader’s theater production of the book and performed it for the Pre-K class.

We invited the first and second graders to play a game called, Omnivore, Carnivore, Herbivore. Students were given a label identifying the type of animal they were. Then the running began. There was only one human in the game. He was able to tag anyone. The omnivores could “catch/eat” the carnivores and the herbivores. The carnivores could “catch/eat” the herbivores and the herbivores spent the entire time trying to run away. It was quite exciting and exhausting for some of the kids!

Each kindergartner chose an animal to research. The students completed a flip book research project on the animals and presented it to the class. We all learned some interesting things about porcupines, cheetahs, elephants, lions, and grizzly bears.

To end the unit, we had a pet showcase day where the students were allowed to bring pets from home. One student brought a dog and one brought a cat. Mrs. White’s dog, Mr. Darcy also joined the class.

Magnets

In science we spent some time learning about magnets. This unit included a lot of hands-on activities. The kindergartners tested some items to see whether or not they were magnetic. We talked about the strength of magnets by picking up paperclips. We also learned that like magnetic poles repel and opposite poles attract. The students used the repelling force to race cars in the classroom. We ended the week by playing with Wooly Willy and some other magnet toys.

St. Patrick’s Fun!

We weren’t in school on St. Patrick’s Day, so we celebrated on Monday instead. The kindergartners made leprechaun traps and set them up in the classroom on Friday with the hope of catching one over the weekend. We came to school Monday and had quite a surprise – a mess! There were small green bootprints all over the classroom and a lot of things out of place.

We read a book about a leprechaun who had once been a cobbler. The kindergartners ‘leprechaun’ themselves and did a writing activity based on the book. The kids also wore name tags showing their leprechaun names – Warty McCrackin, Sneaky McTurnips, Warty McRocky, Shamrock O’Dingles, and Potsy McGiggles.

We also had St. Patrick’s day math activities.

Maybe we’ll have better luck next year!

Mt. Rushmore Presidents

After learning about some American symbols, we spent some time focusing on the four presidents from Mt. Rushmore. We began with George Washington – the first president of the United States. We read several books about his life and made tri-corner hats that included some of the things we learned. We also read the book, George Washington’s Teeth. He suffered with teeth problems for years. In fact, when he became president he only had two left. He wore false teeth made from a combination of human teeth, animal teeth, and ivory. The kindergartners wrote number sentences guessing how many teeth Washington had when he was inaugurated.

Next, we learned about America’s third President – Thomas Jefferson. He was an avid reader and donated thousands of books to the Library of Congress. He was a brilliant man who designed his own house, invented the dumb waiter, swivel chair, and other things. He was the writer of the Declaration of Independence and, as president, doubled the size of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. The kindergartners used quill pens and “ink” to trace over some of the famous words from the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson spent five years in France. When he returned home he introduced several types of food to America – ice cream, French fries, macaroni and cheese and tomatoes. We had a Thomas Jefferson feast that included homemade ice-cream, and macaroni and cheese made from his recipe.

Abraham Lincoln was the next president that we studied. We learned that he was born in a log cabin and helped his dad build one as well. He loved to read and would walk several miles to borrow books. He was known for his honestly, which earned him the nickname Honest Abe. He wore a tall, black hat where he put important letter and papers.

We also read the book, Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers, which is the story of a young girl who wrote to President Lincoln suggesting that he grow whiskers. In the book are copies of her letter to him and his response to her. The kindergartners crafted Lincoln’s face and added paper-torn whiskers. Their Lincoln also wore a tall, black hat complete with a letter inside.

Theodore Roosevelt was the final president we discussed. During the Spanish-American war, he organized a volunteer calvary called the Rough Riders. He was also instrumental in making National Parks around the country. The kindergartners used colored pencils and watercolor paints to complete a picture of Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider. Then to remind us of his role in setting aside land, they painted forest scenes using paint brushes and their fingertips.

We also learned that the teddy bear was named after Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt. To celebrate that fact we had a teddy bear picnic. Because the weather was not very nice outside, we brought our picnic inside. The kindergartners brought teddy bears to school and we ate teddy bear shaped sandwiches, a forest of vegetables, pretzel sticks, ‘bear’ies, and chocolate ice cream made to look like a bear’s face.

To go along with the President unit, the kindergartners researched one of the four presidents and wrote about his life. They presented the reports to the class and then made paper dolls to go with their reports.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Since it fell on a Saturday this year, we made Friday our celebration day. We began by dressing up as Things and taking class pictures with The Cat in the Hat. Skippyjon Jones even joined the fun as Thing 2.

We read Dr. Seuss books all day and had activities to go with them. We started with the book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut and made some fun reading glasses.

We had a special guest come to read our next book. The Cat in the Hat came to read about “his” fun with Thing 1 and Thing 2. After the book, we played an entertaining game called, I Can Do That!

Yertle the Turtle was next on our list of books. We talked about how Yertle was a bucket dipper by standing on the other turtles so his throne would be higher. The kindergartners played a math game by stacking turtles to show the answers to math facts.

When the kindergartners came back from p.e., our room was a little wacky. We read Wacky Wednesday. Then the kindergartners had to find 20 wacky things – including a shoe on the wall – and write them on a list.

After lunch, we read the book Fox in Socks. It is a super tongue-twisting rhyming book. The kindergartners wrote rhyming words on socks and decorated them.

We also made a special snack using bagels, cream cheese, pretzels, bananas, strawberries, and raisins. Yum!

We ended the day with a special rhyming show and tell.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS!

American Symbols

During our continent unit early this year, we learned about one of America’s Symbols – The Statue of Liberty. We just spent some time focusing on a few more, in our American Symbols unit.  We began by talking about the flag. We learned about its colors, nicknames, and what the stars and stripes represent. The kindergartners made a construction paper flag and wrote a description about it.

We learned that the National bird is the bald eagle. Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey, but we’re glad the bald eagle was chosen instead. We learned that the bald eagle is only found in North America, has incredible eyesight, and represents strength and freedom. The kindergartners made bald eagles with their foot and handprints.

We also discussed The White House. We learned that George Washington picked the place to build the famous house, but he never lived in it. It took eight years to build and has 132 rooms and 32 bathrooms.

Finally, we learned about Mt. Rushmore. This famous mountain carving is found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There were 400 men who worked on this monumental structure that took 14 years to make.

Seasons and Weather

We completed a unit about seasons and weather. We learned how the tilt of the earth, as it orbits the sun, affects the seasons. Our first craft was to make a sun using red, orange, and yellow paint. I squirted the three colors of paint on paper and then covered it with plastic wrap. The kindergartners spread the paint out over the paper causing it to blend and make some interesting sun pictures.

We discussed the order of the seasons and what temperatures are like in each of them. We talked about how we dress, how animals behave, and how the seasons affect trees. The kindergartners made pictures showing the same tree during each season. They painted the backgrounds and used their fingers to “paint” the snow, flowers, and leaves on the tree.

While learning about summer we read the book, How Will We Get to the Beach?. The kindergartners wrote their own version of the book on paper beach balls and played a beach ball popcorn word game.

We read, Snowmen at Night. The kindergartners made droopy snowmen, and wrote about the things their snowmen did at night.

We looked at a lot of books about seasons and weather and learned about clouds, rainbows, and precipitation. We even made it rain in the classroom!

On the last day of our season and weather unit we read the book, Thunder Cake by Patricia Palacco. It is a childhood memory telling how Patricia’s grandmother helped her overcome her fear of thunderstorms. When thunderclouds appeared on the horizon, Patricia and her Babushka would gather the ingredients to make thunder cake. They had to collect the eggs, milk the cow, pick the tomatoes and strawberries, etc. The cake had to be in the oven before the storm arrived or it wasn’t true thunder cake. We read the book and made the cake from a recipe included with the book. This year, our cake did not come out very well. We ate some of it anyway, but I remade one at home and brought it to class for us to really enjoy!