Tuesday, February 28, 2012

pink shirt week

The last Wednesday of February marks Anti-bullying Day - also known as Pink Shirt Day.
It started in 2007 when a high school student in Nova Scotia, Canada was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.  Two grade 12 students decided that was not okay.  They went to a Dollar store and bought 50 pink shirt and used social media to spread the word to other students to wear pink to school the next day.  Apparently there was a "tsunami" of pink at the school the following day. And Pink Shirt Day was born.  CBC report of Pink Shirt Day

We will be rocking our pick shirts on Wednesday.  (I think Pete the Cat needs to add a new verse to his song - I love my pink shirt, I love my  pink shirt.)

But, I digress.  Instead of talking about Anti-Bullying with k-kids (the litany of don'ts that they will list: don't push, don't hit, don't budge, don't call names. don't use bad words), I want to read about and discuss feeling happy and secure in who they are, and living and learning as part of a community.

And tattling.  My class - possibly, the whole school - seems to be in a tattle-fest right now.  We definitely need a refresher on tattling vs. reporting - into trouble or out of trouble.

Carolyn Nash made a tattling flow chart.  I like it.


Harry Kindergarten posted this tattling song to YouTube.  I just wish he had not included the word "brat".

Think I might need to order this book.

No Time for Flashcards has posted a list of 75 books that build character. These are some of the books  on Allison's list that I will pull  off  my shelves for reading aloud this week.

I have heard fabulous things about this book.  Need to check it out.

Finally, we all need a reminder to THINK before we speak.  Shannon from technology rocks. seriously created this poster as a free printable.  She says that she is blessed - she is a blessing herself.


Monday, February 27, 2012

jelly bean seeds

Jelly beans - who doesn't love jelly beans? 
Last week we graphed (and ate) 100 jelly beans. Twenty kids in the class works well for graphing 100 items; each kid ate and graphed 5 jelly beans.  My favourite flavour had the most jelly beans.

The kids enjoyed the story of Picasso, a tree frog who falls into a jar of jelly beans and turns the colours of the rainbow - until he wants to return to his original green.
The Jelly Bean Fun Book is filled with puzzles and games created with jelly beans. The favourite was words created backwards in jelly beans; you had to hold the book up to a mirror to read the words the right way round.

You just have to move to the song One Green Jelly Bean.  It puts you in  a good mood just singing it.  We sing it faster than they do in this video with actions through the song. 
                    

Many years ago I came across this jelly bean poem (when I kept my poems on recipe cards in a box!). I have googled it to see if I can find a source - no luck yet.  If anyone knows who wrote it, I would love to acknowledge the author.

This poem inspired planting jelly bean seeds.  As everyone knows, jelly bean seeds are magical, so you never know what a jelly bean plant will look like.  Sometimes there is a single stem, sometimes multiple stems; it can grow jelly beans of one colour, or all the colours of the rainbow.  Each plant is unique. 

The kids were given the raw materials for jelly bean plants.
 jelly bean seeds and stems
leaves
 circles - just because a jelly bean plant might need them
jelly beans

The jelly bean plants are as individual as the kids who grew them.

Need to plant some real seeds soon ...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

100 Museum

As part of our Day 100 celebrations, we transform the classroom into a 100 Museum.  



When the children bring their 100 collections to school, they present them to the class, have their official picture taken for the Museum tour guide book, and then the collection gets placed in the museum. 

This year, almost all the "exhibits" (not the 100 rocks) could be displayed on our back wall bulletin board.


I love showing off the kids' work and creativity!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

why rubber boots - the real reason

Yes, I love my rubber boots.  My newest pair is black with white polka dots  - which is not really all that exciting - but they have 3 bows on the back.  That's what sold me.  

But that is not the real reason that my blog has "rubber boots" in it's name.

Rubber boots stand for one of the things that I believe is important for young children's learning and my kindergarten program - playing outside.   

I am very fortunate to teach at  a school that has a raised bed veggie garden and a  forested area on school property, and is a (longish) walk from the beach and a 52 acre forest with a variety of ecosystems. We have a lot of "outside" to enjoy. 
  



Jenny from let the children play states the many benefits to playing outside simply and eloquently from the child's point of view, and kindly gave me permission to share her writing. 

When I play outside:


I take risks

I face challenges

I solve problems

I make choices

I belong

I learn about my world

I discover and explore

I experiment

I imagine

I create

I take responsibility

I collaborate, communicate and co-operate

I lead

I can be noisy, messy and adventurous

I am independent

I am resilient

My body is strong

I learn about the natural world

I invent

I build

I am calmer and less anxious

I have a strong immune system

I wonder

I feel good about myself

I can be wild

I can be still

I find out what my body can do

I observe, I smell, I listen, I touch, I taste

I focus and concentrate

I feel connected to the natural world

I watch things grow

I explore mathematical and scientific concepts

I solve conflicts

I pretend

I am motivated

I am curious

I am master of my universe

I am healthy

I make up stories

I master physical skills

I have fun

Outdoor Play is NOT a waste of time



Give me long stretches of time for unhurried, unstructured play outdoors.

It makes me happier, healthier, stronger and smarter.



That covers a pretty good chunk of my curriculum!  Take some notebooks and pencils outside with us, and I think we can cover everything!

One of my goals - seemingly every year - is to spend more time playing and learning outside. 
(me with sea lettuce at the beach in my
you-can-see-me-anywhere-on-the beach-shirt and my kindergarten sunhat)
Grab those rubber boots ...

Friday, February 24, 2012

day 100 - it's finally here

The 100th day of kindergarten has come and gone.  Lots of fun.  Lots of work.  Good thing it's Friday!

To set the celebration mood, 

I set up a "party door"
 (thanks to Growing Kinders for the inspiration)

and wore my party clothes 
(inspiration from Simply Modern Mom).

We made 100 (small) cookies.

We looked for the 100 pennies that Zero the Hero hid while the kids were at Music.

(sorry this picture is upside down - the front side of the penny chart was crowded with children).

The children threaded the 100 fruit loops that they had counted the day before.



My wonderful partner in fun (the other k teacher at our school) made a snack for all the children to enjoy. I did not get a chance to take a picture; this is from Crazy for Kindergarten who inspired us to make them for our kids.  A total hit and super yummy.


We read my favourite 100 book.

Finally, we put together baggies of 100 snacks  - ten items from each of 10 trays 
(to take home and enjoy).




Next year, I think that I might do it differently - build in a bit more accountability.  I really like the grid that  Kathleen from Growing Kinders uses with her students.



It was a fun first 100 days ...


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

100 day caterpillar

Today was day 98.

One of my favourite 100 day books is One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes.



100 ants are heading to a picnic, and the littlest ant  suggests dividing into two lines of fifty, five lines of twenty, then four lines of twenty-five, and finally ten lines of ten.  We're going to a picnic, a hey and a hi dee ho! A great visual representation of dividing 100 into groups.

We didn't make 100 ants - this year.

So, we made a 100 circle caterpillar.  





We figured out that with 20 children, each child would have to trace and cut out 5 circles.  As I was taping the circles to the wall, the kids predicted where the one hundredth circle would end up.  Fine estimation skills!




Monday, February 20, 2012

numbers I Spy sensory table

Since we are celebrating Day 100 this week, the sand table was transformed from an antarctic penguin habitat to a numbers I Spy search and discover zone.



I put in a set of numbers 1 through 10, removable number wall clings,  and then added various items.
1 - egg cup
2 - wok utensils (great for pouring sand through)
3 - purple spiders
4 - clear plastic containers
5 - jacks
6 - toy frogs
7 - unifix cubes
8 - dominoes
9 - large  flat glass marbles
10 - sparkly shapes that link together





It's still a work in progress - I would like some coloured cups or containers instead of the clear plastic ones, and something with more "scope for the imagination" than the unifix cubes.  I am sure that the kids will have some better ideas than I did.








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