Monday, December 2, 2013

December's Here!

I hope you all had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. My wife and I did what countless other families in America did: enjoyed a celebration focused on gratitude and family fellowship. In my case we gathered in Athens, Georgia where my son teaches an undergraduate class at the University of Georgia and is working on his doctorate.

I was glad to arrive here on Monday morning to find a note on my desk from the substitute, Miss White, telling me how much fun she had and how wonderful she thinks this kindergarten class is.

We started off the day with the monthly school wide assembly. One of the things we do is to talk about progress we are making as a whole class. My little talk was about how many kindergartners have learned to ride bikes this year.

When we began kindergarten last August, 12 kindergartners could ride on 2 wheels. Since that time 11 kids, mostly girls—whose names are listed on the above chart in green ink—have learned how to do that trick. In large measure, Mrs. Zell has been the one to work this magic. The rest of the teaching has been done by the students themselves. Of the 5 remaining as yet non-bicyclists, there will soon be only 4: Julie is determined to join the two-wheel brigade.

We went straight to centers after the assembly. In the math center we're building boxes made of popsicle sticks. The idea is to make the walls two linking cubes high. You can see Julie working on hers as Evan (in the background) looks carefully to see if his wall measure up.

Jax chose our newest dance, a line dance called "Listen and Move." The kinders listen to the music in the dance and remember what sort of movement to do. In the photo below, Jax is partially out of frame on the right edge of the picture. He's leading the "RUN!" verse of this song/dance.

Everyone participates in this dance!
A new KIDS club group started today. We did some science, PE, art, and ukulele playing. Here you can see the science part of the afternoon. We had crafted wire from tape and aluminum and I let them play with wire, batteries and flashlight bulbs to see if anyone could get them to light.

Not easy. Several tried without success.

Eventually Ella happened on the solution and was able to get the light to glow by holding the bulb, the battery, and the wire in a special way:

Way to go, Ella!

A little later I showed what happened when batteries are stacked together the way flashlights do it.

Look at the place where the thumb and index fingers pinch to bulb.

It was brighter than this picture makes it seem.

Science done by doing is fun stuff, as you can see in the faces of the kindergarten scholars. More of this coming up!!

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