I love teaching kindergarten Math! We teach so many lessons in hands on ways that the kids love it too. This week the class learned about symmetry. We drew an imaginary line down the middle of our bodies to show how we are symmetrical and looked at lots of pictures of butterflies to see that patterns in nature can be symmetrical too. Then we were able to use pattern blocks to make our own symmetrical designs. They had a great time using their imaginations to give names to their designs.
We recently celebrated Foodie Friday for kindergarten. We made a list of ingredients for Fruit Pizza, sequenced the steps for putting the pizza together, created our pizzas, and graphed our opinions of the result. Cooking in the classroom is so much more than just a fun Friday activity. The students learn important writing skills such as making a list, sequencing an order of events, using correct capitalization rules, and coming up with strong descriptive words. They work on fine motor skills when they mix, cut, and spread. They strengthen their executive functioning skills while they plan out what they want their final product to look like. They gain confidence from completing a “grown-up” task on their own and are often more open to trying new foods around their peers. I was very surprised to see that almost every child graphed that they did like the fruit pizzas! We certainly all had fun making them and trying them.
Kindergarten has been working hard on their writing skills! We’ve learned that writing is much more than just putting sounds down on paper to make words. It is an organized and thoughtful process. We start each week by gathering our ideas on a specific topic. The class has learned to make lists and use graphic organizers. There are usually a few students that have no idea what to write about but brainstorming lets them see that they have a lot to say. After they have a few ideas about their topic the students start to put their ideas on paper in sentence format. While I offer plenty of support in kindergarten the class is becoming quite confident at sounding out the words they want to write. Editing is the next step. I love watching the students pair up to offer constructive criticism of their partner’s work. For the most part the students are kind and give thoughtful feedback on how their partner can make his work clearer for his audience. Finally, we get to present our finished work at the end of the week! At this stage most of the papers look similar but the students are always proud of their achievements and quick to praise the work of their classmates.
We’ve made it through 100 days of kindergarten! The last 100 days have flown by with my students gaining so many skills. Our 100 Days of School party was a celebration of all that we have learned so far. The class worked hard on their 100 Days shirts at home and were able to wear them to school that day. I loved seeing all of their personalities shine in those shirts. We started off the day by doing 100 exercises Jack Hartman style. The kids love these videos and beg for them every day. But that’s okay because that also means they are moving and counting EVERY DAY! We also searched high and low for 100 kisses hidden around the room. After finding their kisses the students had to read the number on the bottom and put it in the correct spot on a 100 number chart. We had eight fun “100” stations that the class worked through. They stacked 100 cups, built with 100 Legos, put 100 numbers in order, made a special 100 snack, found out how many licks it took to finish a sucker, and so much more! Lots of practice made these stations pretty independent. The students didn’t feel frustrated and I wasn’t trying to help everyone at once. Win for everyone. Now that we have 100 days behind us I can’t wait to see what these kinders learn in the next half of the year.
Kindergarten is back from the break and already working hard. We are gearing up for our 100th Day of School Celebration in 15 days! Over half of the students have already mastered counting to 100 and understand that 100 is made up of 10 groups of 10. Now we are working on recognizing those numbers and being able to write them as well. This week we figured out the numbers up to 20. Working with a partner the students put number cards in order. They then tried to guess a missing number when their partner took one away. Finally, we played a few rounds of BINGO to make sure the students were able to recognize each number randomly. The best part was using marshmallows as BINGO counters! Of course we ate them after our game was complete.