Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 5, 2014 Weekly Newsletter

 Dear Families,                                                      September 5, 2014

          Hola! Buenos dias, amigos! It has been very busy since the first day of school. The children are doing a great job making the adjustment to their new schedule and routine. We have a wonderful class and everyone is making friends quickly. The children are very eager to ask questions, share their thoughts and knowledge about many interesting things. We are having so much fun together learning about each other, singing, counting, reading, writing, drawing and creating lovely artwork.  All of you will be delighted and very proud when you come to visit during Open House on Tuesday, September, 16th.
          In our science center we have one huge, tomato hornworm caterpillar munching away.  The children have enjoyed watching it eat away at the tomato. Thank you Jenny Martin, Claire’s mom for thinking of us. Yes, we love big, fat caterpillars. Usually, I have Monarch caterpillars, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any eggs on my milkweed this season. This is the first year in at least 25 years I have not raised Monarch caterpillars. I will be looking for some this weekend so the children can observe, inquire and investigate as they watch them closely. As a good scientist would do, they will learn how important it is to observe, gather information and ask questions.  Hopefully I will find some and as the caterpillars mature, they will split their skin and crawl to the top of the cage to transform into a chrysalis. We will release them as they emerge so the can migrate to Mexico.
During math we have been using pattern blocks to introduce new shapes such as hexagon and rhombus. (Wow…in kindergarten? Yes, but they love interesting, mathematical vocabulary!) We have also been doing activities that involve patterns, counting, estimating and sorting.
Each month we will be exploring a different language and culture. This month we will be learning Spanish and exploring Mexico. Spanish is the first language because the children learn that the Monarch butterfly migrates to Mexico and many of the children have already been exposed to this language prior to kindergarten and can easily count to ten, so we decided to count to twenty. The artist of the month is Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter, who created many beautiful self-portraits using lots of colors, flowers and favorite items to enhance her portraits. The children will paint their portraits and add colorful objects and items to them as well. I have a few colorful and beautiful children’s books about her life that I will share with them. The author of the month is Eric Carle.
During September we will be exploring our surroundings through our senses and learning about each other. At the end of each day we will read a selection from our Eric Carle collection of books. This week we have read The Very Quiet Cricket (thus the homework of listening to the night time crickets), The Very Clumsy Click Beetle  and The Grouchy Ladybug. Some of the other literature we have read this week include: Clark the Shark, The Day the Crayons Quit and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (all favorites).  Mo Willems has a way with children’s literature that captures their interest quickly.
 We have also started doing Being a Writer/Writer’s Workshop and the children have been drawing their self-portraits, family pictures and the ways they arrive to school.  We are off to an amazing start!
The children have been enjoying the different centers this week exploring and discovering all the new and interesting things available to them in kindergarten. If you visit the classroom blog you will see the different activities that are taking place during our school day. (I’ll be posting this weekend.)
          It is very exciting for me to get to know your child and I am very grateful to have each and every one of them in my class. It is going to be a wonderful and magical year for all of us.
Please remember to send in medical forms, dismissal arrangements and an extra set of clothes if you haven’t done so.
          Please note: No school for students next Tuesday, September 9th due to Primary Day, Open House is Tuesday, September 16th at 7pm and school picture day is on Friday, September, 12. Please mark your calendars.
          If you ever have a question or concerns about your child please feel free to call me at 423-7020 or email at mitchell.jane@jamestownschools.com.  Also, please use the blue book to communicate daily changes, appointments, milk and lunch money (especially if your child doesn’t buy either on a regular schedule). This will help make our day run smoothly. Thank you very much!
Wish List: Extra healthy snacks (no peanuts products, please) disinfectant wipes, and tissues are ALWAYS appreciated.
This weekend’s recommended family excursion…Beavertail to check out the Monarch butterflies (science center discussion). Have fun!

Have a great weekend! Ms. Mitchell

Science in the Classroom

A child holding a Tomato Hornworm caterpillar. A parent gave the caterpillar to the class for observing. We've been lucky to watch it dig in the dirt and make a coccoon. Stay Tuned.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Creating Pauley, the Pirate's Parrot...How cool!

   I created a form out of tin foil. The children tried to apply the tissue but it would not adhere to the tinfoil. So I covered the form completely with masking tape and off they went. I guided them and they guided me during difficult parts.I cut out wings from cardboard at their request and they covered the wings with tissue paper. They came up with the color scheme, the idea about his legs and feet. (which were very cool!) 
Totally a team effort!

 They came up with the ideas and I helped execute them.
The children were not completely satisfied with the little guy and asked if I would make him a hat like the pirate.
I made one.

Here's the little guy's hat! What a cutie!

Creating the Treasure Box

We took this empty box apart and turned it inside out so we could paint it.
We cut and fit it to look like a treasure box. The children helped paint it.
We put gold shiny paper in it and the children helped me fold gold and red shiny paper to look like "real gems".
They came up with idea to use marker to color wooden shapes and then dip them into glue and glitter to look like real gems.
We also used egg cartons and painted them gold. Then, added gold glitter to look like gold nuggets.

They had fun coloring and painting and adding "sparkles to make them glow".
We put them in the treasure chest to let them dry.
They wanted a key hole and necklaces (donated Mardi Gras beads) and I added a few final touches and presto a glowing and shining treasure chest. We all wished it was real!!!!

Recipe for Building a Pirate Scarecrow for Godena Farm

A tinfoil mold for the parrot.
A recycled box for a treasure chest.
A recycled Clorox bottle for the head and...
 13 extremely eager and creative children...Off we go!!!