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Important Upcoming Dates:

May 29 Kindergarten Class Play - 6:30pm

June 6 Celebration at Brown's Revolution Hall (parents only event)

June 12 Field Day

June 14 Moving Up Day at Emma Willard School for all students

 

Classroom News:

Click Here to see our May photos!

 

One of the most memorable units in kindergarten has to be hatching chicks! Our incubation project is officially underway! We have placed one dozen eggs in our incubator and are anxiously counting down the days until they hatch!

This project is the perfect opportunity to revisit what we have learned about life cycles and to observe part of a real life cycle with our own eyes. Every few days we will read about the changes happening inside the eggs and record the changes in our Chick Journals.  Next week we will candle the eggs by holding them up to a bright light, looking for signs of life inside. Many of our reading, writing, math and art activities are centered around our chick theme.

 

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In honor of Earth Day our class created posters to suggest ways in which we can all make responsible decisions to keep our oceans clean. We’ve learned that oceans are vital to the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Examining objects that we use every day, and making choices about which ones are best for the environment, was an engaging activity to help kindergarten students realize that the decisions they make every day can make a difference.

Click Here to watch a video of our new favorite song; Keep the Ocean Clean, by Birdsong and the Eco-Wonders.

 

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 Writing Workshop has become one of our favorite parts of the day. We love reading completed stories to the class!

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TAYLOR SCHOOL'S GOT TALENT!

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Our annual Taylor School Talent Share has begun!  Talent Share takes place every Friday morning, from 8:30-9:00, during our morning meeting in the common room.  There is a sign-up sheet posted outside of the 3-4 classroom. Children may sign up to share a talent such as; singing, dancing, playing an instrument, gymnastics, drawing, or soccer skills, just to name a few.  Students in grades Kindergarten through fourth grade are invited to participate. It is completely optional. Once children sign up on the board, with their name and the talent they would like to share, they will be assigned a performance date.  A note with the date will be sent home in your child’s folder a week or two in advance. Kindergarten students wishing to participate must sign up with permission from a parent.

 

March

Kindergarten has been learning all about the ocean!  Some of the big ideas that we explore during this unit include; comparing the difference between fish and mammals, studying the unique creatures that inhabit the different ocean zones and how they depend on each other to form a food chain, and the important ways in which the ocean matters in our lives.

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One of the highlights was studying a real octopus from the fish market.  We located, named, and touched the different parts. It was incredible to see and touch the octopus’ tentacles, suction cups, siphon, and especially the mouth.


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We read interesting facts about toothed whales and baleen whales and did an experiment to discover how whales stay warm in icy water.  We created a Blubber Mitten from Crisco. We compared how ice water felt with and without the mitten. Through our experiment we discovered how blubber keeps whales warm. We were amazed to learn that whale sharks are the largest fish and we enjoyed working with partners to paint them and write facts about them.  

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We are writing fiction and non-fiction stories with an ocean theme during Writers Workshop.

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Coming up next week, we are looking forward to a visit from a CMOST educator who will tell us more about oceans and ocean life with the Oceans Alive program.  The program will include a shell classification activity, a Scrimshaw project, and the creation of an Ocean mural for the classroom.  In April we will shift our focus to conservation. We will talk about why the oceans are important to all life on Earth and how we can make responsible choices to help keep our oceans clean!

 

This year’s Math-A-Thon was a big success! Our school raised $2,336.00 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thank you for your generosity!

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Our class has been working with Mrs. Bassett to create beautiful hand-decorated, fabric squares, that will be incorporated into a quilt. The finished product will be auctioned off next month. Watch for more details on how to bid on the finished quilt!

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 Happy Spring!

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February 

As part of our month long focus on black history, we learned about Elizabeth Catlett. She was an African American artist known for her sculptures and prints with messages of justice, activism, and empowerment. We were inspired to make our own prints. We practiced instructional writing by writing and illustrating the steps we used in the printmaking process. 

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In math we are focusing on number bonds.  With number bonds, students recognize the relationships between numbers through a written model that shows how the numbers are related.  We use cubes and other counters to understand the concept at the concrete level in order to form a solid foundation for work with addition and subtraction.

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On Tuesday, March 5, we will celebrate the 100th day of school!  We will do some activities centered around the number 100, and we will have a Pajama, Pizza Party! The pizza party will not take the place of lunch. We will be following a regular schedule and having lunch at the regular time.  Pizza will be served in the afternoon as a special treat. Your child may wear pajamas to school on Tuesday and bring one stuffed animal. Please remember to send in sneakers for gym! Thank you.

 

We have been spending a few minutes every day practicing mindfulness in our classroom. The positive effects of mindfulness practices for young learners and teachers are many and well documented. Research has found that incorporating mindfulness activities, breathing techniques and time for stillness in the learning environment, has been correlated to things such as; increased student engagement, better peer relations, a greater enjoyment of the school community, and increased emotional management, just to name a few. We would like to thank Ms. Rebekah, from Prana Mani, for coming in to teach us more about mindfulness and modeling the Mindful Walk for us. It was wonderful to have Rebekah visit us and teach us a new activity to add to our daily practice.

 

We would like to welcome Emma Willard student, Temi Oseni, to our classroom. Temi is a senior boarding student from Nigeria. As part of her senior practicum, Temi will be spending time with our class every Tuesday afternoon. We are happy to welcome her to our class!  

           

 

In recognition of Black History Month our class is learning about influential African Americans in history. We have read about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks and discussed the impact of their work on creating a better society. We are also highlighting one artist each week; learning a little bit about their life and style of art, and creating our own pieces inspired by the featured artist’s style. We read about Alma Thomas and used torn paper to create colorful, abstract collages, using pattern and movement in our designs. Alma Thomas was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator best known for her colorful abstract paintings.

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We learned about the evolution of black vocal tradition form Garland Nelson. He visited us last week to engage our students through singing, clapping, and percussion instruments, while teaching important lessons about black history. Did we love our visit with Mr. Nelson? Shout it out!

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We wrapped up our engineering unit called, Raise the Roof: Designing Shelters. During this unit we used the Engineering Design Process as a tool to guide the design and improvement of shelters that block the sunlight.  We used flashlights to model light from the sun.

Kindergarten Engineers tested materials to determine how well they block light. Next, they made evidence based decisions.  Plans were made for creating shelters using what they learned about how size and shape affect the amount of shade that can be created, and how different materials can block light. Ideas were sketched and shared.

Then came building day!  Kindergarten Engineers used the data they collected, and plans they made, to create, test, and improve shelters. By placing a light over the shelter, and tracing the shaded area below, we were able to get a better idea of how much shade was created by different sizes and shapes. We were surprised to discover that some structures that used the most building materials didn’t necessarily cast the largest shadow; the shape and use of materials was very important to the outcome. Learning how to collaborate with a partner and work together was an important part of the project. We learned that communicating our ideas clearly, listening to our partners, and being willing to compromise are essential skills in cooperative work.

 

This unit helped students to understand that:

~Sunlight warms everything it shines on.

~A shelter is a technology that can block the sunlight and make shade.

~Making shade is one way to make things cooler.

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We had a blast playing math games with our families during Math and a Muffin!  Math games reinforce skills such as; counting, patterning, addition, number recognition, fractions and strategic thinking.  Thank you for joining us!

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The students in K-8 have been asked to participate in a very special service learning project for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The 12th annual Taylor School MATH-A-THON is scheduled for Thursday, March 14th. The Math-A-Thon program gets kids excited about math and helping others. A letter explaining the details, and instructions for collecting donations, was sent home in your child’s folder last week. Our MATH-A-THON has raised over $16,000.00 over the past 10 years! The math activities will happen in school during the regular school day on March 14. In order for this service learning project to be a success we need you (and your family, friends and neighbors!) to support your child by making a donation to St. Jude by Thursday, March 14, using the envelope that was sent home. There is no minimum amount. All donations will be accepted with gratitude.Thank you for your help!    


January

We have begun our second engineering unit called, Raise the Roof: Designing Shelters. We are using the Engineering Design Process as a tool to guide the design and improvement of model shelters that block sunlight. Kindergarten Engineers are using a story about a dog, named Penny, who gets too warm in the sun. In the first steps of the process we used a heat lamp to symbolize the warming effects of the sun. We imagined solutions and drew sketches of ways to protect Penny from sunlight. We examined different building materials and decided which would be best for blocking sunlight. The next step involved exploring different shapes and sizes that best block sunlight and cast the largest shadows. Students worked cooperatively to experiment with different designs and used flashlights to represent the sun. They observed how much light was blocked by each different design. The data collected will be used in the next step of the design process.

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Our weather unit has kept us very busy with art, writing, and science projects! Some of our favorites so far have been; creating rain clouds in a cup, tornadoes in a bottle, and designing our own books inspired by It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw.

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Luckily, the snowy weather didn’t put a damper on our field trip to CMOST! It was a wonderful opportunity to explore the museum, participate in weather projects, and enjoy the museum’s building space. Thank you so much to the parent volunteers who drove and chaperoned our trip.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

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We have been playing math games to strengthen skills such as; number recognition, counting, patterning, and addition. We are excited to play our math games with you during Math and a Muffin on Friday, 2/8, from 8:30-9:30.

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December

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Our class class had a great time participating in the Silly Sock Exchange! Each child brought in a bag filled with toiletries and a pair of silly socks. The children exchanged bags, kept a pair of silly socks, and donated all of the toiletries to Joseph's House. Thank you so much for sending in items for the exchange. We were joyful and excited to know we helped people right here in our community!

 

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This week we started a unit on weather. We explored the topic in our art, reading, and writing. Each unit is planned with big ideas that we want the children to think about over time as we read and explore our new topic of study. The big ideas are framed as essential questions. Some of the essential questions we will be exploring during this unit are; What is weather? How does the weather influence things such as our clothing, planting, and activity choices? How does the weather change from one season to the next? Are there patterns that can be observed and predicted over time? We will take a field trip to The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST). Our visit will include an instructional program called, “The Weather is Everywhere”,  the opportunity to complete a building challenge in the museum’s Playspace, and time to explore the museum exhibits. Details will be sent home in folders next week.

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Next week we will begin our next engineering unit called, Raise the Roof: Designing Shelters. During this unit we will use the Engineering Design Process as a tool to guide the design and improvement of model shelters that block the sunlight. Kindergarten Engineers will listen to a story about a fictional dog who gets too warm in the sun and will work out solutions, along with the characters in the story, to solve the problem. They’ll learn about concepts related to the warming effects of the sun.

 

Click here to view our January Photos!

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