Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Math

We had a great time at our Pumpkin Math party.  We had 8 pumpkins, 4 small and 4 big ones.  The children estimated, weighed, measured, predicted, counted and just had fun!  A HUGE thank you to all the parents who sent in pumpkins and supplies and to the parents who were able to join us for the morning.  Pumpkin Math doesn't happen without great parents!  Thanks again for helping us have a great day!
 Checking out the Pumpkin Math paper and getting started.
 Weighing the pumpkin. Finding the number.
 More weighing.
 They float!
 Counting the seams.
 Choosing words to describe the pumpkin.
 Measuring the circumference.
 Checking the predictions of the pumpkins circumference
 Addison is digging in!
 Ooey gooey fun!
 Dalton is ready to have his pumpkin carved.  He has it all planned out!
 Little Madison and her little pumpkin!  Just as cute as she is!
 What you do when they won't put their hands into the pumpkin...rubber gloves!
 Counting seeds.
 More counting.
 Still counting.
 Pumpkin Math in action!
 All done!
 8 Pumpkins sitting on the window sill!  All lit up for rest time!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

September Highlights...part 2

We usually start September reading stories by Eric Carle, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  This reviews the days of the week and counting.  It also gives me an opportunity to introduce my favorite kind of art projects.  These art projects are called TLC directed art lessons, here is a description from their website:

The TLC directed art lessons help children:

  • Learn to Follow Oral and Visual Directions
  • Acquire an Understanding of How Shapes Work
  • Develop Fine-Motor Skills
  • Strengthen Eye-Hand Coordination
  • Learn Color and Shape Recognition
  • Develop an Awareness of Spatial Relationships
  • Learn to Work Individually and Independently
Basically we start with squares and rectangles, no patterns, and we turn those shapes into other shapes, following step by step directions.  We start out pretty easy with our caterpillars.  We start with 7 squares and learn how to turn them into circles...cut off the corners and trim the points.  Once we have all 7 cut, we start from the back and make a pattern with the light and dark green circles, and we learn to overlap.  Then we add the red circle for the head and add the detail with out black crayon.

Here we have all of our caterpillars on the board.  I always love how they are all different. 

We also made our the backgrounds to our Johnny Appleseed directed drawings!

I love how these came out.  They did such a great job with their first directed drawing!  they even got to use a Sharpie to go over their pencil lines.  Of course we had the "Sharpie Talk" first.

And speaking of apples, what kindergarten teacher doesn't teach about apples in the month of September?
We started by learning how to make a graph with all of the apples that we brought to school.  We all just placed them on the graph at first.

 Then we talked about how all of the apples should be in their own rows, sorted by color.  We then talked about filling in the graph without leaving empty boxes in between on the graph so it is easier to read.  Then we were able to identify which color had the most and the least and compare the different colors.
We then began our Apple Investigation page.
The best part was the weighing of the apples.  We used one of our Science tools, the balance scale.  Thanks to Mr. Phillips for loaning us a bunch of balances.

Of course we had to have a taste test, to see what kind of apple we like the best.  I always do a graph with what they think is their favorite.
Then we do the taste test!

Then we make another graph to see if their choice has changed.
And of course we had to take the rest of the apples and make applesauce!  Thanks to Emery's and Gia's moms for helping us with the peeling and chopping.

And of course we had to make a chart to see if we liked the applesauce!
But probably the biggest highlight of the month...we had our first performance!  We had to move it to the cafeteria instead of the courtyard, but the children did a fantastic job and Mr. G got to play the piano!

All in all, September was a pretty busy and fun month.  Now we move on to October...