Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Polar Express Day!

What an exciting day we had in room 116!  Everyone came in looking so comfy in their pajamas, ready for a day of Polar Express fun!

We started out our day by listening to the story on CD.  Julian was kind enough to bring this in for us!  After listening to the story, we filled in our story elements chart.  We talked about the characters, setting, problem, and solution.  

In The Polar Express the problem is that the little boy loses the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell.  This problem is solved when Santa finds the bell in his sleigh and gives it back to the little boy on Christmas morning.  Later in our day, we did a writing activity about the first gift of Christmas.  We wrote about what we would choose if we got a chance to choose the first gift of Christmas.  These activities are from Deanna Jump's Polar Express unit on TPT.  

Emmy said that she would choose candy!  

After lunch and a quick recess, it was time to begin the movie!  

We had hot chocolate with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a candy cane!  We also snacked on some yummy treats!  Thanks to everyone who sent in goodies!  

We also wrapped and labeled our holiday workshop gifts.  They are so excited to share their beautiful creations with their friends and family!  They put a lot of thought into who they were going to give their gifts to!  

Before we left for the day, we got a group picture of the class in their matching reindeer t-shirts!  

And of course, we HAD to take a silly one!  :)  

Happy Holidays!  Thanks for all you do!  I will see you all next year!  

Ms. Crowley  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a busy week we had!  After learning about Hanukkah and holiday customs in Australia, we started focusing on holiday customs here in the United States.  We talked about what a tradition is and the different traditions our families have.  We also began our Holiday Workshop.  A big thanks to all of you that sent in items and those of you who came in and helped!  It was a big success!  Unfortunately we were so busy during our workshop, that I forgot to take pictures!  Oops!

During shared reading this week we read the book, "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell" by Lucille Colandro.  We were able to make text-to-text connections and we also practiced sequencing using a flow map.

On Wednesday we read Dr.Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  We talked about how characters can change and made a chart showing how the Grinch changed.  The green words describe the Grinch at the beginning of the story and the red words describe him at the end of the story.  

Later that day during writing we brainstormed different ways we could make the grouchy Grinch grin!  Each child made their own grinning Grinch and wrote how they would make him grin.  This one says, "To make the Grinch grin I would tickle him with a feather."  We had so much fun with this writing activity and proudly displayed them in the hallway.  

In math this week, we continued our study of three dimensional shapes.  One day we practiced building cubes.  I gave the students toothpicks and marshmallows and challenged them to use them to make a cube.  They did a great job with this!  I was very proud!  

On Thursday, we studied reindeer.  We read a nonfiction book about reindeer and took a look at Santa's reindeer on  

We put the information we learned into a reindeer tree map.

Then we did a reindeer glyph.  Once we finished our reindeer, we graphed and analyzed our data using bar graphs and tally marks.  

Thanks again to everyone who helped our with our Holiday Workshop!  One more workshop day tomorrow, then Polar Express day on Tuesday!  Don't forget to wear your favorite jammies!  :)  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holidays Around the World Continued

This week we concluded our study of holiday customs around the world by first visiting Australia.  We learned that it is summertime in Australia now, so they celebrate Christmas by going to the beach and having picnics.  They also gather in community parks to sing Christmas carols by candlelight.  In writing, we wrote about what we would do if we were in Australia for Christmas.  We came up with a lot of fun ideas!  This student said she would go surfing with Santa!  

We also learned about Hanukkah this week.  Ayla's mom was kind enough to come and talk to us about the holiday.  

We learned about why and how Hanukkah is celebrated.  She brought in a little menorah and showed us how a candle is lit each of the eight nights of Hanukkah.  

She also taught us how to play the dreidel game!  We had a lot of fun!  Thanks so much for coming in and doing that for us!  

The next day, we read a story about an ugly menorah that turned out to be very special and we made our own menorahs.  They turned out beautifully!  

We ended our week learning about the United State's Christmas traditions.  More to come on that in a later post!  Have a great weekend!  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holidays Around the World

What a busy week it has been!  We visited Italy, Mexico, Germany, and Sweden all in just five days!

We learned about how Los Posados is celebrated in Mexico.  We did a shared writing about what we had learned and made poinsettias.  We also learned that boys and girls get to break piñatas during this celebration.  We were jealous! :)

We googled how to say "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"  in German.
"Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr"
We also added to our "Holiday Customs Around the World" flip book.  We have done this for every country we have studied.  

During our shared reading time this week, we have been learning about identifying problems and solutions.  We read Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini.  It is a funny story about a Moose with a giant mustache who was decorating his house for the holidays.  The problem was that he forgot all about the Christmas tree and it was Christmas Eve.  Moose wasn't able to find a tree anywhere, so he decided to be the tree!  He let his family decorate his mustache with ornaments and lights.  It was such a fun book to read!  Here is a picture of the story map that we filled in about Mooseltoe.  

On Thursday, our classroom was filled with the sweet smell of vanilla icing and gumdrops as we decorated our gingerbread houses!  

First, we had to spread the icing.  

Then, we added our candy decorations.  

They all turned out so well!  Here is a picture of our Gingerbread Village.  They couldn't wait to take them home and share them with you!  

Thank you to all our wonderful parents who sent in items for our gingerbread houses!  We are looking forward our Holiday Workshop next week!  Have a great weekend!  

Ms. Crowley :)  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gingerbread Man

We had so much fun reading about the Gingerbread Man last week.  Here is our Gingerbread Man glyphs that we made!  We really do have "A Great Batch of Kindergartners!"  :)

We read a lot of different versions of the tale.  There was one about a gingerbread cowboy, a gingerbread pirate, and even one about a pickle!  Each day we recorded the title, characters, refrain, and ending on this class chart.  Ask your child what a refrain is!  :)

In math we made a pie graph to show which part of the cookie we bit off first.  We also recorded our data on bar graphs.

In science we read "What Do Scientist's Do?"  by Deanna Jump.  We learned that scientists ask questions, make hypotheses, test theories, record observations, and then state their conclusions.  Our essential question was "Why couldn't the Gingerbread Man cross the river on his own?"  We placed gingerbread cookies in buckets of water and observed what happened to them.  Here is what our cookies looked like after they sat in the water for a while.  

We concluded that he sank, crumbled, and got really mushy!  So we now understand why the Gingerbread Man had to climb on the fox's back!  

What a great week of Gingerbread fun!  The majority of these activities came from Deanna Jump's Gingerbread Man unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Thanks Deanna!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Class Blog!

I have discovered so many amazing teacher blogs in the past few months.  I love being able to see what other Kindergarten teachers are doing in their classroom!  I have decided to start this blog so that I can better share with you what we are doing in our classroom each week.
I can't wait to share all of the fun "Holidays Around the World" activities we have planned this week!