Our chicks have grown bigger and stronger everyday.
We said "good-bye" to our chicks on Friday. After school I delivered our feathery friends to "Farmer Rachael" who took them back to her farm in Chase. The children helped me write a letter to her.
We had a "good-bye" celebration on Friday. Mrs. Mount, our school C.E.A - and Parker's Grandma, made us some yummy chick cupcakes to celebrate all our learning. What a treat!
We went on a Flashlight Search for alphabet letters around the room. It was lots of fun! Some of those letters were hard to find.
We have been waiting patiently - for 21 days - for our chicks to hatch. We had our eggs divided between two different incubators.
Finally on Tuesday when we arrived at school our first three new 'class members' were waiting for us in the incubator.
It didn't take them long to dry off and fluff up and then we could put them in the brooding tank.
On Wednesday, two other chicks joined our class! Our original three chicks were getting quite large!
The children all got to hold a chick. Super exciting!!
We agreed that Chirpie needed a house, so I set them to work. I put the students into groups to come up with an idea and design for his house. We needed to set some criteria of what would be necessary for his home. I gave them a few things that they had to have in Chirpie's house. They also came up with a long list of fun things to put in his home!
I put the students in groups and, as a part of our Applied Design, Skills & Technology curriculum, they spent time designing and creating “Chirpie’s House”.
At first they just met in their groups to discuss possible ideas for the house.
Then they used the white boards to draw up any plan ideas that they had.
During this ideate and design process, the children were very focused on the Core Competency of Communication - and not just communicating their ideas! We've talked a lot about the Communication Competency as also being about 'listening'. For some, listening and validating others' ideas can be a hard one!
So we moved from the idea and design stage to the building stage on Thursday. We invited Mr. Wielgoz, our District Coordinator and the teacher who loaned us the 'Makedo' supplies, to come and watch us during this stage of the process.
As you can imagine our room was very messy at the end of all this creating. So, we quickly got to work and had a huge clean-up. The children were awesome helpers!! Cleaning up is an important part of being a class member. The children showed great responsibility!
We talked about how during the design and building processes the children were very focused on the 'Thinking' Core Competencies - both Critical and Creative. Although they had many good ideas, sometimes when they tried building their idea it didn't always work out the way that they wanted. So, they had to try different ways to make it work. Definitely showing a "growth mind-set".
The students requested more time to complete their project. Although they had already met the "must have" criteria, they all wanted to add some "fun extras" to make Chirpie's house special!
Ta da - Presentation Time!!
It was time to invite Chirpie to walk through each of the houses. The groups had to explain all about their homes and Chirpie got to try them all out! Every member of the group had to do some of the explaining.
Now it was time to present their creations to a bigger audience! We invited Ms. Mabee, Mrs. Connolly's Kindergarten class, Mrs. Zirnhelt's Kindergarten/Grade One class, Mrs. Ruddick's Grade Four class, and Mrs. Connelly to come and walk through and check things out. We did it "museum style" where the children stayed with their projects and people walked around the room and visited each table. It was a little more intimidating explaining their homes to people who they didn't know but they were very brave and did a great job! Congratulations Kindergarten!!
The children have become authors lately - writing their own stories in their I Am An Author books. They draw pictures and then practice sounding out the words phonetically. It's a very difficult job stretching out all of the sounds, hearing them in words, and then putting them down in print. They have done very well for their early attempts at 'kidwriting'.
The first part is to partner talk. During partner talk the students have a chance to discuss what they are going to draw and 'kidwrite' about. For students this collaboration is an important step to plan out their thinking so that they don't get to the table and not have any idea what they are going to write about. If they are stuck, then their partner can help them think up some ideas.
After the children have had a chance to plan their thinking by partner talking, they head to the tables with their books. They draw their pictures and then "kidwrite" by stretching out the sounds as best as they can. We have been practicing letters and sounds together with a number of activities, songs, big books, and smaller booklets.
The children are all at different stages and abilities when it comes to trying to write. For those students who have already made the connection between alphabet letter symbols and their sounds, writing what they hear is a little bit easier - but can still be tricky. They can often get the first letter (especially if it's a consonant) and sometimes some of the other consonants in a word. Vowels are a lot harder! For those students who still don't know most of the alphabet sounds, this is a much tougher job. They are encouraged to look around the room and copy letters or words that they know to represent their stories. Every attempt is encouraged and celebrated! With more practice with letters and sounds as well as lots of opportunities to write, they will continue to improve. It is exciting to watch their development!
After "kidwriting", it is important to celebrate their attempts by sharing their work with me and also with their peers. They read back their finished stories to their partner (or to me) using their finger to track their printing. Listening to their partner is also an important skill. When done, the listener must then give a compliment to their partner. It can be about their writing, their reading, their illustrations, their story, etc. Positive comments are "bucket fillers"!
It's always easier to do things when we know what the criteria and expectations are. Below is our story criteria that we use when the children draw pictures as well as when they write.
It's hard to believe but we celebrated our 100th day of Kindergarten. Time flies!! We were involved in a variety of activities throughout the day (and also the rest of the week!).
We walked through the door...100 days smarter!
We created our 100th Day Banner. We counted 10 groups or 10 hearts to get 100 hearts. It was a lot of cutting!!
We made 100 Day Crowns
Working on our 100-loop chain. We used 10 loops of 10 different colours to get 100.
When we measured it, it ended up being 4 1/2 children long!
We had fun building with our 100 cups! They fell down a lot!!
100 Day Glasses
Our 100 number search. We had to find all 100 numbers and then put them in our 100s chart.
100 gumballs - 10 different coloured bingo daubers
We ended our week of 100 by thinking about: "When I'm 100 years old..."
I "aged" them and then the children wrote about what they thought they'd be doing when they were 100 years old!
We've been talking a lot about the qualities of being a good friend. We created a Y-chart with some of our ideas:
Our Friendship Chains:
Pink Shirt Day
On Pink Shirt Day we played 'Love Bug Toss'. We talked about giving and getting compliments and how that makes us feel. We had to toss our Love Bug to someone in the class and give a compliment about them - and it couldn't be about how they looked! Afterwards we talked about how those compliments made us feel. We agreed - they made us feel good inside! We discussed how name calling and bully behaviour would make us feel.
We agreed that it was much better to be a buddy and not a bully!
I'm Mrs. MacDonald. Welcome to a window into our kindergarten classroom. My goal of this blog is to give you an opportunity to see some of the things that we are doing at school. Enjoy!