Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kaleidoscopes and Bowling

The Northview PTO provided us with a pretty fun experience this morning.  We attended a class put on by The Works.  The Works, located in Bloomington, creates successful, inspiring, hands-on learning experiences for kids.  Their unique exhibits and educational programs demystify science and engineering, and inspire interest and confidence in learning.  The Works has provided kid-friendly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs since 1995.  Not only do they provide these programs at their location in Bloomington, they also take their programs to area schools as well.

Our teacher was Miss Sonia and she taught us about mirrors.  With the help of Miss Sonia, Mrs. Kurt and Mrs. Radermacher we were all able to make our own kaleidoscopes using three rectangular mirrors and some colored electrical tape.  It was so amazing to see what we were able to do and we loved being able to share our creation with our friends.  Miss Sonia was so happy that we were such good listeners and that we had fun!

Thanks to the Northview PTO for providing this fun activity for us.

Going to gym today was another highlight of our day.  Not only did we win the "Golden Shoe Award" (again!), we got to go bowling.  Ms. Salter is helping us learn how to bowl and when we get a strike, we get to write our name on a piece of paper to bring home!

We learned the value of teamwork, too.  We all work together as a team for bowling.  We help each other by setting up pins after they fall and encouraging each other.  We also all helped at the end of class to put all of the equipment away.  That made Ms. Salter really happy.  She told us we were her best helpers, and that makes us proud!

It was another great day in Kindergarten Plus!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet Mr. Anderson and Solving Problems

Today we welcomed a visitor to our classroom.  His name is Mr. Jackson Anderson.  Mr. Anderson is a junior at Eagan High School.  One of his classes gives him an opportunity to job shadow someone in a profession that he may be interested in.  Since Mr. Anderson wants to be a teacher, he will be job shadowing Mrs. Kurt in the afternoons for this week.  Mr. Anderson is a former student of Mrs. Kurt's...she was his Kindergarten and First Grade teacher at Thomas Lake Elementary a "few" years ago and he also attended Northview Elementary for grades 2 - 5!  Welcome, Mr. Anderson and we hope you enjoy working in our classroom.

Today we finished up our Social Studies unit on solving problems with others.  We reviewed an earlier lesson where our puppets Buddy Butterfly and Lucky Ladybug had a disagreement while playing with blocks.  We came up with strategies that they could have used instead.  Then each student had a chance to show their work to the class using the document camera and the SMART board.  It was such a great experience to have the kids do the teaching for this and use our awesome technology tools that we have in our classroom!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Giving Tree

As I shared in my previous blog, we added our hands, or leaves, to the Giving Tree in the school lunch room.  Ms. Fifield helped us out with this and it looks great!

I hope you had a good day.  Our Kindergarten teachers worked hard entering and analyzing assessment data and getting things ready for Mix It Up Literacy next week.  We also sent out an e-mail to families regarding International Book Giving Day on February 14!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ImpactLives Giving Tree and Martin Luther King, Jr. Project

Today it seemed like we spent a lot of time on hands!

This morning we decorated the cut out hands that will represent our class on the school "Giving Tree". The hands, which are the leaves of the tree, represent the work we will do to bag food to "give" to others less fortunate than us.  The "GivingTree" will be on display in the school lunchroom.  Tomorrow afternoon we will add our hands to this tree.  The students did a beautiful job decorating these and we can't wait to see the tree when it is all finished!

We learned about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today and why we celebrate a special day for him in January.  We read a couple of stories about him and made some connections.  We have been learning how to solve problems with others and Dr. King did that, too.  We talked about his famous "I Have A Dream" speech and how he worked so hard to be sure everyone was treated as equals.

Our discussion concluded with our project.  The heart represents that we love and respect each other, regardless of the color of our skin.  Together, we can all make a difference in the world!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inside Recess and Sock Snowmen

As you might imagine, today was an inside recess day.  With that in mind, we wanted to come up with something fun and different to do during our recess time.  Mrs. Kurt pulled out a large roll of white paper and cut a large piece for each table.  Each table was given a piece of paper and we all had to work together to decorate it.  We could use pencils, crayons or markers.  We could come up with a theme or idea or we could each do our own thing.

It was amazing...we all worked together and got along with each other so well.  It was great to hear kids using strategies for solving problems while they worked on the project.  And, best of all, we had FUN!

This afternoon we made a sock snowman.  However, since this project was a little tricky, we enlisted the help of Mr. Nylin's Third Grade class.  We used a tube sock, a roll of toilet tissue, a styrofoam ball, a pom pom, felt and ribbon.  It was so much fun and we were so glad to have the third graders to help us out.

We will bring our snowman home in a couple of days.  For now, they are decorating the office and the library.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Golden Shoe Award

Today was one of the highlights of Kindergarten Plus so far this year.  Our class won the coveted Golden Shoe Award!

The Golden Shoe Award is kind of a big deal to us.  It is given out by Ms. Salter, our P.E. teacher.  Ms. Salter gives this prestigious award to the class that consistently comes to gym wearing the proper shoes.  Yes, we won the award for this week!

We get to keep the award in our classroom until our next gym class.  Hopefully, we can continue this trend so we can win the award again before the end of the school year.  We are pretty proud and excited at our accomplishment!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Solving Problems and Viktor the Viking

We continue to work on our Social Studies unit titled "How Do I Solve Problems With Others?".  We are focusing on how to solve problems and we have learned a song to help us remember the four steps for solving problems.

When you have a problem with someone, the first step is to stop and calm down.  (Yesterday we worked on strategies to help us calm down.)  Step two is to talk AND listen.  Step three is to think of ways to solve the problem.  The fourth step is to agree on a plan and try it!  Here is what it looks like:

I stop and calm down.

I talk and listen.

I think of ways to solve the problem.

I agree on a plan and try it!

This afternoon we had a special school assembly.  We celebrated our Fuel Up For 60 program.  Mrs. Salter, our P.E. Specialist, Mrs. Hannasch, the school nurse and Mrs. Hanson from the lunchroom have coordinated this since the school year began.  We have been learning about the importance of exercise EVERY day and eating healthy.

Today's assembly was a pretty cool event because we had a program and a special visitor...Viktor the Viking!  He was really fun to watch and he encouraged us to continue to exercise regularly and eat right all the time.  We really liked meeting him and he really liked seeing so much purple in the audience!!!

Viktor the Viking and Mrs. Carl

We read the story "Snow Bears" by Martin Waddell.  It is a cute story about three bear cubs who try to trick their mom.  Then we visited a pretty cool website called  the North American Bear Center at www.bear.org/.  Go to the Live Cameras tab and click on Lily's Den Cam 2013.  (The USream.tv tab has worked best for us.)  Lily the black bear gave birth to two cubs last week.  The website is pretty amazing, so check it out sometime if you'd like.  We will be visiting it in Kindergarten Plus.