Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Workshop

We had a wonderful time at our Holiday Workshop on Friday!  We had so much fun and were so busy, that I forgot to take pictures.  I did manage to snap a few afterwards though.  :)  
A big thank you to our room moms Flavia, Amber, and Kelly for helping organize everything.  And  thank you to everyone else who donated items and those who volunteered their time.  You guys rock!  

Reindeer and 3D Shapes

This week we have been learning all about reindeer.  We began our study by checking out some real reindeer on Santa's Reindeer Cam at  

We organized all our new learning in our Reindeer Facts books.  

We learned a lot of cool facts about reindeer.  Our favorite one involved their antlers.  We learned that male and female reindeer lose their antlers at different times of the year.  The females always have their antlers during December, while the males do not.  This means that Rudolph is a girl!  Our boys were not to please about this! ;) 

In math this week, we have been learning about 3D shapes.  We learned about spheres, cubes, cones, and cylinders.  We used play-doh to make spheres.  

When talking about cubes, I gave each child gumdrops and toothpicks and challenged them to build a cube.  They did great! 

We also spent some time with that mean old Grinch!  This is one of my favorite holiday books to read.  After reading the story, we used a green marker to describe the Grinch at the beginning of the story.  Then we used a red marker to describe how he was at the end.  We realized that characters actions and feelings can change in a story.  

During writing we brainstormed ways we could make the Grinch grin.  We came up with a great list!  We said we could tickle him, make funny face, give him a hug, give him a present, and much more! 

Next week we will be doing a lot of fun Polar Express themed activities!  I can't wait! 

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Our Gingerbread Man unit is probably my favorite one we do all year!  We spend a week reading different versions of the classic tale.  We read "The Gingerbread Cowboy", "The Gingerbread Pirates", and even a book called "Stop That Pickle!"  Ask your child to explain why we read this one.  ;) 
After reading each story, we filled in a comparison story map showing the title, characters, refrain, and ending.  We learned that a refrain is something that is repeated throughout the entire story.  For example, in "The Gingerbread Man", the refrain is "Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me.  I'm the gingerbread man!" We were also reminded by Xander about a big word we learned a while back: Personification.  I was so proud that they remembered this!!! :)  

We also kept a gingerbread journal where we wrote how each of our stories ended.  

On Thursday, we did a really fun science experiment.  Our essential question was "What would have happened if the gingerbread man had swam across the river by himself?"  We stated our hypothesis and then tested it out.  We put a gingerbread man in a cup of water and recorded our observations.  We observed him after 20 minutes, and then again after an hour.  We concluded that the gingerbread man couldn't swim across the river by himself because he would have absorbed the water and crumbled.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Owls and Shapes!

Last week our learning was focused around owls.  We used a tree map to organize all of our information.  We learned that owls are nocturnal just like bats.  I was so excited that they remembered that word!  :)  We also learned that owls do not chew their prey, they swallow it whole.  We watched a cool video in Discovery Education that showed an owl eating a mouse whole.  Owls have more than one stomach and their stomachs can't digest their prey's fur, bones, claws, etc.  So the owls regurgitate (another big science word we learned) an owl pellet.  We watched a class on Discovery Education do an owl pellet dissection.  It was really neat!  Each day we added a fact to our Owl Facts book.  I hope your child had a good time sharing their book with you!  They were excited to take them home.  :)  

In math we have been studying 2-dimensional shapes.  We have learned about circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and hexagons.  We talked about the different characteristics of each shape, how to draw  them, and compare them.  We did magazine hunts for each shape and added them to our poster.  It was a lot of fun!  Next we will be learning about 3-dimensional shapes and comparing them to 2-dimensional shapes.