Saturday, September 5, 2015

Options Kindergarten - Our First Full Day

We had so much fun on our first full day of Options Kindergarten.  We started the day off singing our good morning song with ASL.  I was impressed with how many kids remembered it and how many commented that they taught it to a brother or sister or sang it for a parent.  Next we read "How Full is your Bucket? For Kids".  It was a fun opportunity to give a book to each child and allow them to read and follow along.  They are able to enjoy the pictures, follow along in the book by turning one page at a time to match what I'm reading aloud, and even follow along with the words.  I take the opportunity to give my students as many books as possible throughout the year.  This is possible because I participate in the Scholastic Reading Club and every time a parent orders books it gives the classroom points to earn free books.  I strategically pick those free books to match our lesson plans and give each child their own copy to keep at home.
 As we're still learning our routines and expectations we had very similar centers during our reading time as we had on our first day of school.  We made foam crayon name crafts, we played with play dough and loose parts, and we explored the toys and small classroom library.  After centers we explored our science activities.  The kids were SO EXCITED!  We used the loose parts from the play dough play to experiment with a bucket of water to see what would sink and what would float.  We also explored magnets and started making body maps.  The body maps were super exciting as each child got to lay down on a large sheet of paper and have their outline traced.  They then took it to their own space in the room to add details to their drawing.  It's a project we'll be working on for a while with our "Who We Are" inquiry block.  After gym class and lunch we read one of my favorite books "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More".  Then we got busy painting with water colors!
 We spent time talking about drawing pictures and writing words to match and then wrote in our journals.  The kids did a fantastic job and it was fun to watch them take center stage to share their drawing and writing with the class.  We will keep the journals at school and send them home at graduation.  It will be so fun to look through and see their growth in writing!  During music and movement we read a book called "Loud and Soft".  It is all about the different animals of the world and if they make loud sounds or soft sounds.  We took some time to dance and move like animals to the song "Animal Action" by Greg and Steve where it instructs kids to move like different animals.  They had a hoot!  The teacher next door popped her head in and asked if we were imagining we were animals because she was hearing weird sounds :).
 For math we played a few different games.  We learned how to play "Staircases" where we took turns rolling the dice and making a tower the same number of blocks tall.  The first person to have a staircase of block towers 1-6 tall was the winner.  Next we played "Build a City".  It is very similar with rolling the dice and building towers, but this time we added our towers to a city block and at the end stacked all our towers together to make skyscrapers!
 We had a fantastic day of exploring concepts that we'll be working on all year.  We really nailed down our routines and will be ready to jump in again next week!

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