Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

What a wonderful day it was today!

I had a great weekend too. Yesterday I went paddling—

Me in the Estero Americano, near Valley Ford

Halloween in kindergarten was fun. We had a craft project in the centers time slot with many of the regular parent volunteers sticking around to assist. Here are some of the resulting Halloween decorations:

Jack O'Lanterns



Kayla brought snack today–cheese puffs formed into balls that easily rolled out of hands and on to the floor. Without my asking Kayla K. got out the dustpan and brush to clean up the floor, even though she did not drop the cheese puff. This sort of initiative and responsibility makes me very happy.

Bella likewise showed initiative

As did Vanessa

So we got out for some bike time, green shirts to the front.

Halloween party with parents to help

Holiday coloring

Cookie decorating

Finding goody bags in the cubbies

Ready for the parade #1

Ready for the parade #2

Ready for the parade #3

Ready for the parade #4

The Sheriff showed up to lead the parade

We walked in sweet autumnal sun.
Okay, I gave the kids a bit of a talking-to about listening and being safe out there tonight. Safe-happy-kind. Good ideas to have at hand on Halloween night.

Be safe, be well.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday and Friday

Yesterday was one of those "lulu" days—a cavalcade of catastrophe—or so it seemed to me by the end of the day. In the larger scheme of things, it was really no big deal, but I was glad when the school day was over and I got to go home and go to the doctor to get my flu shot.

Some days are like that, even in kindergarten.

Today was much better. It was "Red Ribbon Week's" last day, a day to wear red. It happens I wear red every Friday anyway in honor of my Georgia Bulldog son in graduate school there, so it was no prob to put on a red shirt. The majority of the kinders wore a red shirt too. I especially like Kayla K.'s shirt which features Rule #2:

I snapped a picture of Jessica's happy snack yesterday, too:

Pretzels can put a smile on your plate.

In math I'm exploring how many objects can go into an estimation jar before students actually start to estimate.

100% of the students correctly  "estimated" the number of pumpkins in this jar:

All kinders  correctly "estimated" the number of shaker eggs in this jar:

0% correctly estimated the number of clothespins in the jar below. I got only a few guesses near the actual number.
The correct answer is twenty eight.

I found that five year olds start to break down at 5 objects in the jar. I remember reading that preliterate human cultures don't have numbers that go much past 10. These people don't apply numbers for quantities more than ten. Instead they use descriptions such as "lots of" or "many."

In other news....

The first grade visited during our snack to recite a Halloween poem for us. We were an attentive audience:

After snack, while the KP crew was restoring order to the table area:

Others were intently studying hidden images in one of the books from the library:

While still others were studying the Soundabet Cards that Archy has mastered so far. 

Raegan showed that she knows everyone's names.

She adds her heart to the wall of fame.

Mastering the Soundabet will be a major focus on between now and the holidays. Once all 41 sounds are mastered, students can start to read and write with much greater ease, confidence, and satisfaction.

I hope you have a good weekend. For me, I'm planning to enjoy a daylong ukulele retreat with my ukulele club on Saturday and then a fantastic paddle on Sunday with my kayak club.

Be well.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wear Red Friday

Thursday's message is short:

Wear Red Friday.

Be well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We got the day underway with another round of "Roll and Read."  There were nine cards in the pocket chart when we began

And soon it looked like this.

We sang the song "Muffin Man" to open the day. We substituted other food words for the word "muffin" in the song. If the new food word had two syllables we would say "Yes, we know the ____ man." If more or less than two syllables, we sang, "We don't know the _____ man."

The kids in my center were introduced to the ukulele today and played two songs for their classmates.

They were good.

Two kinders joined the growing group of children who know everyone's name.  Phoenix and Vanessa, way to go!

Things got too busy at recess for me to prepare the homework in time to put in the cubbies, so the homework page will go home tomorrow. It's 2•8 "Coin Detective in the HomeLinks books.

Be well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday and Tuesday

Note to parents, please read through to the end for three announcements.

I've been really busy these past two days. We started up KIDS club Monday and are settling into the new routines and schedules with some predictable bathrooming accidents arising from the longer day. All in a day's work.

I forgot to dig my camera out of my kayaking gear Monday morning and showed up to work without a camera. It did have this cool photo I got of a Bald Eagle on Lake Hennessey in Napa County on Saturday, though. See?

Luckily, Pat Higgins had his camera and was there to get a photo of Ian riding on two wheels for the first time. As he says, Mrs. Everson has the magic touch with teaching kids to ride on two wheels. She has taught more children to ride on two wheels than I can keep track of.

Here, courtesy of Ian's dad:

Yesterday was also the occasion for Bella, Caleb, and Drew to show us all that they know everyone's names. Today Stasia added herself into the elite crew of eight.

And now there's a long list of classmates who want to be in the know. Gaining this knowledge is as contagious as the giggles. I am pleased.

Today we started out a new set of centers. My center is Ukulele 101. My first table group played wonderfully. We'll be ready to do a concert for parents in a month or so. Here's a peek into the practice room:

They're good!

We also did one of the games in centers as a whole group. It's a game called "Roll and Record" from the math program.

Three Announcements:

We're going to squeeze in a little bicycle time tomorrow, Wednesday. We don't often get to ride on Wednesdays, but we will tomorrow. When the rains start up in earnest we'll be glad to have ridden when the opportunities presented themselves.

Room parent Alicia Petersen sent out information about Halloween. Please read it. To reiterate a four of the points:

  • We'll have a classroom party starting at 11:00. 
  • There is an optional parade after lunch. If you wish, you may bring your child back to take part in the parade, but be sure to be here by 1:00 when the parade begins. I'll be here from about 12:30 to help with costumes etc. for kids who are in daycare. 
  • Do not send your child to school in costumes. Costumes go on starting at 12:30. 
  • Halloween cancels KIDS club.

The PTO is putting on a Walk-a-Thon on Thursday, November 10. This event, like Halloween, preempts KIDS club. All kindergarten students are invited to participate. The kindergarten will dismiss at 2:30 that day so we can help raise funds for the school.