Dec., 2017

We have been working on our ramps and pathways physics unit. This page isn't updated very often since I am teaching 12 different classes and approximately 28% of the students in our school. Early in each unit, a note is sent home to let parents know what we are working on.

I am looking forward to a terrific year of learning with my kindergarten WIN group. We will start a few weeks into the school year.

We are studying what plants need and why people need plants. We will grow our own lima bean seed and learn from the established plants in the classroom. We will be incorporating several Iowa Core-Science and several Iowa Core-English Language Arts skills.

Our current unit of study focuses on what animals need and how they adapt for winter. We have learned that animals need food, water, oxygen, and shelter. We will be reading some short booklets about animals. The students will be coloring in them and they may keep those booklets to read at home.
We will generally be starting class by watching a live animal cam for a few minutes. Every day we will be looking at different types of animals and determining how their four needs are met. So far we have watched polar bears in northern Canada, penguins in Antarctica, hippos, and the favorite was the camera showing various animals visiting a pond in Kenya.
There are many live animal web cams available on the internet and they are a wonderful way for children to see animals in the wild or in zoos.
We have been learning a song about the 4 needs of animals. You may want your child to sing it for you.

We have been working on brainstorming and divergent thinking. Such a creative crew of learners!

Sept., 2016
We are learning about animals and what they need in a habitat. We are looking at insects since insects are something we see a lot of in the late summer and early fall. We are becoming quite knowledgeable about bees. Ask us about the parts of an insect.

March 25, 2016
I am sending home notes at the begininng of each unit.

Nov. 28
We have been learning about analogies. We read some stories and created our own. Analogies are a wonderful way to further develop logical reasoning and to work on increasing our vocabulary.

Nov. 5
We had a great experience learning to program special robots which are called Bee-bots. The robots can go forward, backward, and turn. The students can program the robots to go those directions and how many steps in each of those directions. We had teacher created mats and purchased mats for the bee-bots to operate upon.

A student would tell their group members what square they were aiming for and then the student would program the robot to drive to that specific square. Our mats included a farm scene, letters of the alphabet, numbers, and sight words. Once the square was reached, it was the next person's turn to program the robot.

The students used clipboards to write down the squares they drove to.
This set of robots was borrowed from the Area Education Agency in Bettendorf. We appreciate their generosity. This set of 6 bee-bots cost approximately $600.


Oct. 20
We are finished with our version of Q is for Duck. I made one copy of our class book for each member of the class. Your child should be bringing home his/her copy later this week. The kids did a good job. Some students joined us near the end of the book writing portion so they didn't contribute any ideas to our book but they were able to bring an idea to life by creating a page in our book. Some students really understood the concept well so they contributed several ideas that were used in the final copy of our book. We had multiple ideas for many pages but we could only use one idea for each letter in our final version. I am pleased that everyone contributed something to our book.

The students also enjoyed presenting a page or two to the other kindergarten classrooms. We shared our book 3 times last week. The other students listened and clapped for us.

Next we will be learning basic programming skills using Bee-bots.

Oct. 2


Our class generally has 20 students who have done well on a common kindergarten assessment such as the FAST test.
We studied brainstorming and being creative thinkers in our first unit
Then we learned about Insects. We learned how many body parts they have (3), names of those parts, and characteristics of those parts. Ask your kindergartener about that. We used my digital microscope to study various insects. I borrowed some insect samples from IowaSTEM. We even tried to gather some pollen (sticky note paper) wearing bee lenses so we could see how the world looks through the eyes of a bee. Please ask your favorite kindergartener about that. It was fun.
Now we are putting our creativity to use by creating a class book based on the book Q is for Duck.