Sunday, February 28, 2010


TOMORROW, March 1, our community will be celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss with our big buddies from the Community School. Our celebration will include PAJAMA DAY, Seuss themed activities throughout our learning spaces, and of course, sharing some of our favorite stories written by the author.

If your child wants to participate in wearing their pajamas to school please help them choose something they will be comfortable wearing throughout the day (we will still be going outside, ect.).

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Today Mr. Mark came to teach us. We love Mr. Mark on the account that he built our whole school. Also, when we write a note to ask him for something, things seem to get accomplished very quickly. We always give him our rapt attention.

We talked about how the plants outside are merely sleeping and NOT dead. We are expecting them to wake from hibernation very soon.

Mr. Mark and Ms. Kelsey made us signs with a picture of a sleeping baby plant for us to scatter among our own sleeping plants. We will see these signs and they will remind us to not step on the plants or bushes in our garden.

We went outside to plant the signs in the garden.

Our buddies came today and preformed a skit for us about Pennies for Peace - a fundraiser to buy books and supplies for students in Pakistan.

We also started our penny collection for Pennies for Peace. During centers, we took turns counting our pennies. Before we counted, we first estimated how many pennies we had in our pile. It took alot of persistence, concentration and patience to count our pennies. Some friends had over 100 pennies. We learned that 100 pennies equals $1.

During afternoon centers, we experimented with blubber. We put our gloved hands into a bowl of ice water. Our hands were freezing! We could only keep them in the water for a few seconds. If felt uncomfortable to put our bare hands in the water.

We then put our gloved hand into a bag of blubber. We dunked the blubber bag in the water. We could not feel the cold water through all the blubber! Most of us said we could keep our hand in the freezing water all day as long as it was surrounded by blubber!

We realized that if animals don't hibernate or migrate, they have to find other ways (adaptations) to survive the winter. Blubber is one of the ways animals in winter stay warm!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18th, 2010

We are making the morning math graph part of our daily routine. Today, Sam ran the math center in the morning and helped kids put up their math babies. Here is a video of Sam running the math center (again, sorry for the sideways!)

Our mathematical observations are getting stronger every day. First, we all think in our heads about what we notice about the math graph. Then, we share with a buddy our observations. Finally, mathematicians that choose to come up and teach the class about what they have noticed. The teacher then calls on another mathematician friend to share his or her thoughts!

Teacher Justin.

Teacher James.

Here is a video of Teacher Justin's mathematical observations.

At centers, we used our animals in winter vocabulary words and sorted them on our word wall by the first letter of each word. For example, hibernation went in the "H" category. This helps us not only expand our vocabularies, but also helped us with letter recognition and making the connection between letters and their sounds.

Today we read a story called Listen to the Wind. It is about children in Pakistan with no school and no school materials. We thought it would feel "bad" and "sad" to have no school and no materials. We also thought it would be very difficult to learn under those conditions. We brainstormed solutions to help children in disadvantaged areas. Some of us wanted to buy a window, some of us thought we could buy markers. We finally decided to work together with our friends to collect pennies all next week. We will give all the money we collect to Pennies for Peace, a group that works to help children with no schools or supplies. Together, we can make a big difference!

We looked up Pakistan on the globe. We estimated that it would be 40 hours away by plane.

We were very excited to work together to help the children in Pakistan.

Our big buddies from the community school came today. We worked together to write stories. Our buddies wrote down our words. Next time we have big buddies, they are going to bring our typed stories back for us to illustrate!

After we were done with our stories, we enjoyed the sunshine, got some exercise and honed our motor skills by playing outside with our big buddies!

We built a road and buildings in the sand...

We created music in the music garden...

We painted with water all over the walls and concrete...

And we worked together to build an obstacle course for all of us to enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17th, 2010

We have explored hibernation and migration in our animals in winter unit. Today, we started talking about adaptation. Some animals neither migrate or hibernate, they stay in one place and have to find ways to survive through the winter. We thought some animals might grow extra fur, store up blubber, and store food in the spring to eat in winter.

To find out which animals in our community "stay" for winter and find ways to adapt, we went on an adaptation exploration!

We first brainstormed a list of safety rules to remember on our hike.

We first chose which tools we were going to use during our adventure. Some scientists chose a clipboard, paper and pencil, some chose binoculars, and some chose magnifying glasses.

We explored all over campus. We had buddies and we were responsible for keeping each other safe.

We noticed several squirrels. We used our binoculars/magnifying glasses and clipboards to observe and record the squirrels. We noticed the squirrels were looking for nuts. They were also running though the trees to look for a hole or branch to rest. Several squirrels were chasing each other all over campus! We practiced moving quietly and carefully to get super close to the squirrels.

We found nuts and a pinecone that we thought could be a food source for the squirrel in winter.

We found mushrooms. We thought some animals could eat mushrooms for food to survive the winter.

We also heard with our ears birds calling in the trees, and we noticed a bird's nest as well! We were shocked to realize that not all birds migrate!

It was Mia's fourth birthday today. Happy birthday, Mia!

At afternoon centers, we used our animals in winter vocabulary words and sorted them on our word wall by the first letter of each word. For example, hibernation went in the "H" category. This helps us not only expand our vocabularies, but also helped us with letter recognition and making the connection between letters and their sounds.