Friday, May 1, 2015

Grimm 05/01/2015

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

With the school days coming to a close and summer just around the corner, many families are preparing for the transition from school to summer break. A common challenge for parents is finding ways to keep their children occupied in a fun, safe, and productive way. Whether you will be working through the summer or spending the days with your children, consider the following tips when preparing for summer break.
What You Can Do To Keep Them Busy: Put together a varied schedule in order to keep them moving and interested. The schedule may consist of daily chores, academic projects/lessons, day camps, activities with friends, etc.  Another option is to encourage your children to identify some careers that they would be interested in learning more about and help them find opportunities within that career, such as volunteering at an animal shelter or doing odd jobs at a fire station.
Be Accessible: Your children should always be able to reach you. However, having them call every 5 minutes while you are racing against a deadline at work isn’t necessarily ideal for anyone. You may want to think about devising a system with your children about calling. For example: 1. The first phone call (and non-emergency), they can leave a message if you are unavailable. 2. If it is urgent, instruct them to call again immediately following the first call, and you will know to answer it. It is also a good idea to have another person available, such as a neighbor or relative, to be ‘on-call’ in case a situation does arise when your children cannot reach you or vice versa.
Set Ground Rules: Work out a set of rules and safety measures that the entire family understands. For example, no friends over when an adult is not there, don’t answer the door or phone, call before leaving the house, don’t use the stove or oven, and so forth. Also, make sure your children know exactly what steps to take when faced with an emergency and practice role-playing those steps. Depending on their age, you may want to consider enrolling them in a babysitting safety course, which usually covers potential safety and emergency scenarios and will better equip them when situations arise. Finally, when children think of summer, they usually think of fun. Try to gauge their response to their activities and be flexible, if possible, yet provide them with enough safety and structure to help them occupy their days in a fun and productive way.

Preschoolers concluded their recycling study by recycling their milk cartons into planting pots. They are going to start learning about growing/planting during the month of May. After they recycled their milk carton, they worked to create a “Mr./Mrs. Grass-head” by decorating the milk carton with silly faces and planting grass-seed inside. They will be sending them home in a few weeks and the preschoolers will be in charge of giving their grass-head a hair cut each time their family mows the lawn this summer!

Officer Godman came back to visit the preschoolers and brought Eddie Eagle with him!  Chief of Police, Tim Ruroden, was dressed as Eddie Eagle. He helped them review the gun safety motto that they learned last time during Officer Godman’s visit (Stop, don’t touch, leave the area, tell an adult). The children also played a picture game to review SAFE and UNSAFE objects.  Anytime one of the pictures was a gun, they reviewed what to do… “Stop!” “Don’t Touch” “Leave the Area” “Tell an Adult.”

Planting grass seed in recycled milk cartons.
Adding Dirt
Adding Seeds

Adding Water
Place in Sun
In another Preschool class the students planted some different vegetable and flower seeds. The cucumbers, tomatoes, and sunflowers are doing really well. The students are enjoying seeing the seeds they planted grow. They also wrapped up with their STEM Weather kit. They explored with Rainbow Peepholes, which have a special lens that allows you to see the colors of the rainbow when you look towards light. Then the students did an experiment to see why we wear sunscreen. Using a piece of black paper they put sunscreen on half the paper and then left the other half as is. They stuck the papers in the window in the sun and checked them in the afternoon. The half with the sunscreen was the same color it started as, but the half without sunscreen had faded a little. They also did an experiment about heat rising and cold sinking. The students put ice cubes in warm water to see what would happen to them. They have also been reading different versions of The Little Red Hen, and they read The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza. Then for snack they made their own pizza dough and the students got to make their own little pizzas.

Preschoolers making recycled paper

Transitional Kindergarten
Officer Godman returned for the second half of the Eddie the Eagle safety program. Students reviewed the safety steps to follow if they find a gun or other unsafe item: Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area! Tell an adult! He brought Eddie the Eagle with him to visit and teach the rules.

The classroom hosted crickets recently. Students observed their bodies and habits. They had hoped to get outdoors and look for insects, but most of the insects that they are learning about prefer warm weather. (Mrs. Marr does, too!)  To explore compound eyes students looked through fly eye prisms. It gave students the opportunity to see like a fly!

May 5th- Parent Meeting for next year Kindergarten families, Elementary School, 5:00 p.m.
May 7th- Preschool/Transition Kindergarten Family Night, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

In science, students began their "Seed to Plant" unit.  Students closely examined seeds and other small objects, describing and sorting them according to their properties.  Then, the students made predictions as to which of the objects were seeds and which were not.

During guided writing students have been busy responding to stories that they have read.  Many of the students are writing detailed stories, using many of the mechanics of writing.

Plant inspection--Our marigolds are up    

Some students from second grade came to read to Mrs. Leifeld’s students.

One class made seed shakers that the children could shake, rattled and roll.  They
decorated two small paper plates and sealed an assortment of seeds inside. The
children used their shakers to add a little rhythm to the song below.

We Need Seeds
(sung to the tune of “The Muffin Man”
Oh, do you know that seeds need soil.
Seeds need soil, seeds need soil?
Oh, do you know that seeds need soil.
To grow and grow and grow?
Oh, do you know that seeds need rain….
Oh, do you know that seeds need sun…
Oh, do you know that we need seeds…

The children also made plant spikes to help hold up the various seeds they planted in cups.  They add a lot of color to their garden area! The classroom garden has really taken off and is growing taller every day.  The children planted a penny in hopes that a money tree would sprout.  Everyone was disappointed to discover that the penny never changed.  The children made an important discovery that only the seeds planted grew in our garden.  Pennies aren’t living things.

First Grade
Did you know that we have less than 20 days of school before summer break? Students are getting excited to relax and enjoy some well-deserved time off... But we're not done learning yet!  First grade students in 1D are working hard on making their own Daily 5 choices to get ready for second grade! It has been a challenging week with a lot of review of Daily 5 rules but they will be ready for second grade in no time!

In math students are working on fundamental lessons of fractions creating the framework for further understanding. First grade students did a wonderful job identifying and coloring parts of a fraction.  Also in math they are spending a significant amount of time working with money. Students worked together to create story problems while "shopping" at the "school store". First graders used math strategies to solve problems, add the cost of multiple items, and make change when too much money was given!

They have put Cadet Time on hold for the week as they are busy with spring testing! Students worked hard to prepare themselves and their peers as they practiced test taking skills and strategies. Here students are practicing their sight words for their FAST test!

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