Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kindergarten Counts Money...

We have been learning all about coins. We know that pennies are worth one cent, nickels are worth 5 cents, dimes are worth 10 cents and quarters are worth 25 cents. Everyday we combine coins to match the number of days we have been in school. Some of us are still at the beginning stages of counting money; but others are quite good at it. We have little center of COINS in our class. We have books about money, coin stamps and REAL coins. We can sort the coins, compare them, look at them under a magnifying glass and of course, COUNT them. Take a look at how well Alex and Michael can count coins. We are constantly impressed by how well they count coins. GREAT job Alex and Michael. Keep up the good work!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Dice Game Fun...

We have been busy learning about Farm animals and preparing for Thanksgiving at the same time. We found a fun dice game to play called "Roll A Turkey". All you need to play is a partner (makes it more fun), pencils, dice, papers and the "Roll A Turkey" drawing guide. We found our drawing guide at the "Little Giraffes" website. We are learning that it takes careful thought and planning to roll the die and get all the parts of your turkey drawn in just the right places. Click on the turkey below to get a copy of the drawing guide. Grab a friend and give it a try!
Thanks to the folks at Little Giraffes!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dancing In Kindergarten...

Every now and then, we take a break from our normal routine for a little extra fun. Last Friday we invited our Kindergarten neighbors over to join us for "DANCE FRIDAY". We had a blast! We danced to about 3 different tunes. We have some really good dance moves. If you haven't tried it, don't be shy, give it a try, you'll be surprised at how much fun it can be!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kindergarten Votes...

Kindergarten joined the rest of our school (and Country) in voting for President of the United States. We got our voter's registration cards and went up to the library to vote. We put an "X" by the photo of the candidate of our choice. The voting was overwhelmingly for Barack  Obama. Our kindergarten totals were 31 votes for Obama and 4 for McCain. After the actual election results across the U.S., as votes Kindergarten, so votes the country! ;-) We were so excited to participate in our own small way, in this history making event!
We extend our congratulations to Mr. Obama!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Patterns Repeat...

We continue working on patterns. We are having fun creating them with our materials as well as clapping, singing, dancing and marching in patterns. We found this video that helps clarify our understanding of patterns:
Thanks to Mrs. Tricia Fuglestad for allowing us to post her video on our blog! Mrs. Fuglestad is an Art teacher in the suburban Chicago-land area. Visit her website to see some of the FANTASTIC things she has created and shared: Dryden Art
Thanks again Mrs. Fuglestad!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back at The Dogfather's...

On Tuesday we returned to The Dogfather's for our No Cook Night! As always the company and food were GREAT! Thanks again to Tony and the crew for your continued support to our school!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun...

We had fun at our Kindergarten Halloween parties. There were all sorts of fantastic costumes, witches, movie characters, cats and more. One fun costume was Jack as "Dr. McCutie", heart specialist. Job Description: to fix broken hearts! How clever! ;-)
We got to parade around the school. Then back to our classrooms for party fun! Thanks to all the parents for your help with our parties. Take a look at some of the fun we had:

Monday, October 27, 2008

We Make Patterns...

We are using our Tub Time to work on "Patterns". We use all the materials. We make patterns with tiles, unifix-cubes, blocks, stamps, and other things too. Patterns help us understand how numbers work and help prepare us for more complex math ideas and concepts. Check out the NCTM's page on Patterns (Algebra). We are really enjoying working with patterns. Take a look at just a few of the interesting patterns we have made:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kindergarten Rock Climbers...

In gym class Ms. Forsberg showed us how to do rock climbing. Because we are new at this, we stay on the green pieces on the wall. We need to keep our bellys away from the wall or we might get hurt. We have to be careful. We have mats on the floor in case we fall. It's a lot of fun! We're lucky to have our own wall at school.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Numeral Writing...

Ready to learn along with us as we work on improving our numeral writing skills? This time we're working on the numerals 6, 7, 8, and 9. Grab a pencil or marker and paper and try it along with our video:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Numeral Dice Toss Game...

Our friends at Manaia Kindergarten wanted to know how we play "Numeral Dice Toss". It's a fun game from the folks at The Center for Innovation in Education...famous for Math Their Way. We played while Mrs. Blakely took pictures.
Shannon explained the game this way:
  • Get a dice with a zero
  • Get a paper with 0,1,2,3,4 & 5
  • Get a pencil and a partner
  • You roll the die and whatever number you get, you write it on your paper in the box
  • Then it's your partner's turn; he or she gets the die and does the same thing (roll the die and write the number)
  • Then he or she gives it back to his or her partner
  • Keep going until a person gets a row with numbers up to the top
  • Then they win!
Watch our video to see how we play.

Thanks Shannon for the GREAT description!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Numeral Writing 1-5...

We have been working on learning to write numerals. We practiced writing numerals in the air, on our hands, and on the backs of our friends. That was funny! We also practiced writing numerals on whiteboards. We have a fun game we play called "Numeral Dice Toss". We are getting quite good at these numerals.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun With Buttons & Corduroy...

We've spent several days working with buttons. Yes, buttons! We've sorted them, counted them and even made a little book about them. We listened to a story called Corduroy, by Don Freeman. We also watched a video based on the book. We compared the book with the video version. We all agreed both were excellent. Some things we liked about the video include, Corduroy riding on a train, when Lisa came back to the store to get Corduroy, and how she decided to name him.
We finished up our Button Books and took them home to add to our reading libraries.
Maybe you can get some paper and crayons and make your own book about buttons!
You can see a sample of our little book here:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Kindergarten Safety Adventure...

Last week we had a special chance to learn about keeping safe at home. A big trailer came to our school filled will all sorts of reminders of how to keep safe. The trailer was sponsored by the Home Safety Council and Lowes. We had fun learning about common household safety hazards and what to do should we find them in our own homes. Rover was the mascot that helped us learn about safety. He has a web site where we can go to experience more safety adventures. Visit Rover at Code Red Rover. Check your home for safety hazards too, be sure to point out hazards to a grown-up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McDonald's Night...

We had our first No-Cook night of the '08-'09 school year at McDonald's on Tuesday night. The weather was perfect for kids to enjoy the playground area. Thanks to all the families and staff who came out to support our fund-raising efforts. As always, I brought my camera along to capture as many smiling faces as possible!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Learning Letters and Sounds...

In class we are learning the letters and sounds. We are learning a song that helps us too. We have all kinds of books that teach letters and sounds. We have puzzles and games to teach us too. We are also looking for more websites to help us.
We already visit the Alphabet Antics wiki, Inkless Tales, Star Fall and our own ABC Page.
This video makes use of environmental print to help with letter recognition. Enjoy:

Check back later for more alphabet fun!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back-to-School Picnic...

We had our first family gathering at school on Wednesday. The P.T.O. planned an evening for families to come to school and have dinner, picnic style. Unfortunately, the threat of rain forced us into the gym. But that didn't stop folks from having a good time. Even our new superintendent, Dr. Torres, stopped in for a visit. We look forward to many other family events this school year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Starting New...

Today was the first day of the '08-'09 school year. It was an exciting day! We're off to a great start! We learned where to deliver the attendance sheet and took a nice tour of the school. We got to see where the music room, computer lab, library, art room and gym are. We worked on our Bubble Gum books and had time to play as well. We're still waiting on all the permission notes before we post any pictures of our new class. We'll tell you that we have a lot more girls than boys this year. (Last year it was way more boys than girls.) We're going to have so much fun learning all sorts of interesting and fun things this year. We can't wait to share what we do!

First day flowers courtesy of Floraltique

Sunday, August 17, 2008

20,000 Visitors...

Wow! We started our Kindergarten Blog a little less than a year ago and we have had 20,000 visitors locally and from all over the world. It's almost hard to believe that anyone, outside of our classroom, would be interested in what we do in class. 
Thanks to the many folks who have visited and continue to return to see what is going on with us. Thanks to the parents who have allowed their children to visit and explore our blog on a regular basis. Thanks also to the parents of my students for your trust and allowing me to share your child with the world. Thanks to the many other students across the globe that have visited as well. Thanks to instructors/professors who use our blog as a model for how to blog with young learners and the potential that lies within using Web 2.0 tools with such young students. Thanks to our "Blog Buddies" in New Zealand as well as other classrooms we have come to know through the wonders of blogging. The Kindergarten Tales blog audience has far exceeded anything I could have every imagined in such a short time! I am practically at a loss for words!

In a little over a week, we'll be starting a new school year with two new sets of Kindergartners. Only a few of them know of the blog; but if things go like they did our first year... the students will quickly become excited and involved! I am very excited to see where we will go with it this year as well.
We certainly hope you will continue to check in on us as we share our learning with the world. We look forward to reading your comments and giving you insights to what we do in Kindergarten.
Thanks again!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

National Geographic Kids....

Today I came upon a web site that has lots of interesting videos and other fun stuff. It's National Geographic Kids. One of the videos I watched was on swarms of locusts that used to be in America and suddenly disappeared. Check out the video "Lots of Locusts" to learn why! Personally, I am not a big fan of bugs, but I found this bug page to have some fascinating photos of bugs.
Another interesting spot on their website offers Green Tips. Remember this past school year we made a list of things we can do to "Go Green". I have really cut down on the number of plastic/paper shopping bags I get when I am out and about. Hopefully you have too! Several stores now sell re-usable shopping bags like the ones we got from Jewel, one of our local grocery stores. I continue to replace my regular light bulbs with CFL bulbs, like the ones donated from Home Depot. We have to keep in mind that even a small step toward being green is still a positive step. Back to National Geographic Kids...they have a craft section where they show you how to make your own Re-Usable Grocery Bag. Maybe you can give it a try.
Go to the site and see what other fun things are waiting for you at National Geographic Kids! Maybe you can leave a comment to share your favorite parts of the site too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Counting Book...

I love sharing books with you! Nothing beats curling up in a comfy spot and reading a good book, but books online can be fun too. I like the fact that some books can be shared online. There is a site called Big Universe that shares books online with you. If you really like the book, you can choose to buy it for your own library. If you want to share the book, you can also email a link to your friend. If you find a book you think I might like, send me the link in email or include it in a comment below. I would love to see what you like to read.
At Big Universe, I came across another online book that encourages you to use your math skills by counting things you may see in the city or wherever you live! You'll need to click on the link, I am not able to place the book directly on the page.
This book is called: Counting in the City. Another interesting book at this site is called: Counting at the Zoo.
 Again, think of ways you can use your counting skills when you are out and about town. Maybe you can find things that you can count by 2's, 3's, 5's or 10's.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dog Tricks...

If you know me, you know I love dogs! My own dog, Coal is pretty good at doing all sorts of tricks. He can fetch specific toys by name, bring me my house-shoes,  hold a treat on his nose until he gets the command to eat, he even understands a few commands in Spanish, and more. While he's a good boy when it comes to tricks, he can't take commands over the Internet like this little guy.... 
Check out the I DO TRICKS DOG! How do you think that little dog knows the tricks you want him to do? Do you know a dog that can do fun tricks?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Opposites: A Fun Book

Here's another fun book from LOOKY BOOK. The author, Pamela Harris, uses lots of faces to show the concept of opposites. After reading the book, see how many opposites you can make in the mirror with your own face! ;-)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Math Challenge...

As part of our math curriculum, we learned how to tally, graph and use pictures to represent numbers in a graph. The activity below gives you a chance to practice your skills. You may need a grown-up close by to help you with the words. I am confident you can do the math. The tallies and bar graph should be very familiar activities. The pictograph presents a challenge. Be sure to pay attention to the details in the instructions. Have fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cool Book...

A big Thank you for Katlin her sister, Addison and mom, Sue for meeting me for dinner at the Dogfather  tonight! MMm love those chili cheese dogs! ;-)

 This is a really cool ABC Book from LookyBook. (I LOVE that site) Every time you think you've seen every kind of ABC book there is, another great one comes along. This one is called ABC3D. Be sure to turn up the volume on your computer for this one. It's a video of the book. Wait until you see how they move from "V" to "W"... pretty cool! What a fun way to review letters!  What is your favorite letter in the book? I think the "U" is pretty neat!                                  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun in the city...

Hopefully you're all having a great summer. I came across this book at Looky Book and thought it might inspire you to think about numbers when you are out and about. 
This book counts 1-10, but I bet you could find even more numbers. You could take pictures and make your own book!

If you go into Chicago, you might consider going to the Chicago Children's Museum. Pssssst...just so you know... the first Monday of every month is FREE! Take the train, then a boat taxi and head over to the Children's Museum!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Easy Tech for Summer...

Hello Kindergarten Friends...As promised in my year-end letter to you all, we are ready to begin our summer Easy Tech lessons. Back in October we had a post here on how to log into Easy Tech. You can look it over again by clicking here: October post on Easy Tech. As outlined in my letter, these are a review of the lessons covered during the school year. Keep in mind you will start the year in First Grade with a computerized assessment. Repeating these lessons will keep your computer skills sharp and allow you to focus more on the assessment and not so much on how to use the computer. Watch the video to remind you how to log in. Your user name and passwords have stayed the same. Email me if you have forgotten either. Have fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...

To all the Dads.. For all you do to let us know we are special to you.....wishing you a fun day of doing whatever you like to do best! ;-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sea Life: Coral Reefs...

Even though school is out for us, the learning never stops! We ended the school year learning about all sorts of Sea Life. We learned a little about Coral Reefs. This book by Gail Gibbons teaches us a bit more about fascinating coral reefs:
(Be sure to click on the "eyeballs" for a larger version of the book)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What a year...

Wow, it's hard to believe that our school year has come to an end. It seems we just got started! On Monday, June 2nd said good-bye to all our classmates. The morning class went to the office to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance. We gave "Center Time" one last go round. We cleaned the room a bit and said good-bye to our friends. Mrs. Blakely gave us all a hug and a DVD of Kindergarten Memories. It was a sad day, we really like school so saying good-bye was difficult! We hope everyone has a fun summer. Please check back here often because there will be summer updates; including a summer review for Easy Tech.

WOW!! This is also our 100th post on our blog!! ;-)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dance Friday...

We declared this past Friday, "Dance Friday" in our class. Of course we did our regular work (minus visiting the computer lab...we're making up a snow day). But then Mrs. Blakely brought out her iPod and we danced to the tunes. We thought this might be a different sort of way to burn off a little extra energy. It was fun. Everyone participated. We have some very good dancers in Kindergarten. And despite what some kids thought, you could do it without actually bringing your "dancing shoes" to class ;-).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Junior Achievement Day in Kindergarten...

Today we had a day of fun with a representative from Junior Achievement. Mrs. Boggs came to talk with us about how to earn and save money. She read several stories to us that helped us understand what it means to be a "volunteer" and what it means to "trade". We learned about "earning" and "saving" money. She brought along several activities to help as well. We ended our session by getting a certificate that lets everyone know we did a great job! Mrs. Boggs shared that by earning our certificate, we might be able to get a college scholarship from Junior Achievement. Isn't that great? Thank you Mrs. Boggs for taking the time to help us learn.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Special Visitor: Senator Carole Pankau...

Our class was invited to Springfield, IL (our state capital) to participate in the Illinois Tech 2008 Conference. We were to share with our senators and state representatives some of the fun and exciting things we do with technology in our classroom. Unfortunately, the conference was canceled due to construction at the capital building. Senator Carole Pankau, didn't let the cancellation stop her from finding out how we use technology. On Friday, May 16th she came to our school for a visit. Mrs. Blakely explained some of the many things we do while several children shared with her what they know about using EasyTech, Microsoft Paint , our New Zealand Blog buddies at Manaia Kindergarten , Nutkin's Blog and other programs and web sites. . We think she was impressed and we were very proud to share what we know.
Thank you Senator Pankau, you're welcome back anytime!

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Grills for sharing your photos with us for our blog! Thank you Dr. Shelley for stopping in to share what we do in our district. Thanks to Miss Kelly and Mrs. Kajpust for your help as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Field Day '08...

Last Thursday we participated in Spring Trail's 12th Annual Field Day events. We jogged, jumped, tossed, tugged and more. Everyone tried hard to do their very best! We had a great time:

Thanks to all the parents for helping out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Octopus in Kindergarten...

Today we had a chance to see, touch and hold a real octopus. In fact there were three of them. Mrs. Blakely surprised us by bringing them to school today. You can see how excited we were:

Thanks Mrs. Moeller for your help with the photos.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Octopus is Amazing....

We learned some very interesting things about the octopus. Here are a few things that we know about these amazing animals:
  • An Octopus can squirt black ink because they are afraid and they want to escape their enemies

  • They have 8 legs

  • They have 240 suction cups on their legs

  • Their legs are called tentacles

  • They have big heads

  • They can change color for protection

  • They are really smart, they can take the top off a jar to get at food

  • They like to eat crabs

  • Their bodies are squishy because they don't have any bones

  • They can live in small spaces

  • They use their siphons to go fast to get away from enemies

  • They use their siphons to clean out their dens

We watched some really cool videos about how smart an octopus can be. Check them out:

Visit Enchanted Learning to find out more about the octopus.

Check back soon to see what other wonders we are learning about.

(flickr photo courtesy of: Sabinche)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Extra Time in the Gym...

We have not been able to have our time in the Computer Lab for several weeks (the "big kids" are testing). One day we decided to use that down time to go into the gym. Miss Frandsen's class joined us in the gym. We ran laps around the gym, stretched and did "warm-ups". Then we had "Center Time" in the gym. We gave each other rides on the scooters at the "Scooter Center". We shot hoops at the "Basketball Center". And we jumped rope at the "Jump Rope" center. We rotated through all the centers. Then we played a game called "Sharks & Fish". We got to run all over the gym as little "fish" and try not to get caught by the "sharks". We had so much fun!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lunch in the Lunchroom...

In preparation for part of what we will do in First Grade, we got to try out eating lunch in the lunch room last Wednesday. We had the choice to have a school lunch... hot dogs, beans and applesauce; or to bring a cold lunch from home. The lunch mom came to our room and picked us up, just like she will when we are in First Grade. Then we went into the lunchroom to eat. It was fun!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Field Trip Video...

We had so much fun on our trip to the Shedd Aquarium. Mrs. Blakely took lots and lots of pictures. Some of the photos are in this video...it's a tad long, but there were so many wonderful underwater wonders to see there. ;-)
If you have never been to the Shedd, it's a "Must See" if you are ever in Chicago, IL.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Shedd Aquarium...

As part of our Sea Life unit, we took a trip into Chicago to the Shedd Aquarium. Both classes met early in the morning to spend the entire school day at the Shedd. We had plenty of parents on board to help chaperon. Miss Frandsen's Kindergarten classes went too. We arrived on time, no traffic delays, and went right in to see the Dolphin Show. It was so exciting to see all the great tricks the dolphins have been trained to do. We got to explore the Shedd and then got to eat lunch in the "Munch Room". We had time for more exploring. We saw a diver feeding fish, including parrot fish, rays and sharks. The Shedd also has an area with fish from lakes and rivers. We got to see snakes that like to live in the water. We also saw seahorses, otters, and one of the newest members to the Shedd family, the baby beluga whale. It was a baby boy and his name is Miki. Learn more facts about the Shedd's Beluga whales.
There were so many wonderful and fascinating animals to see there. We have lots of photos to share. The video of our trip will follow soon....so check back.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Dogfather pays us a visit...

A few weeks ago, The Dogfather made an unprecedented visit to Spring Trail to help us with our fundraising. He brought along with him his delicious beef, hot dogs and sausage! As always everyone enjoyed the food and fun times with Spring Trail families. We know this was a lot of work and we really appreciate your willingness to help us Tony!

Thanks Mrs. Borczak for taking the photos while I was busy slicing buns! ;-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sea Life: Sharks...

We are learning about all kinds of sea animals. This week we are learning about Sharks. Sharks are fascinating creatures Here is some of what we have been learning:

Our teacher made this video, but you can try making one of your own at Discovery Channel's: Shark Week Video Mixer. Give it a try, it's fun. You will need a grown up to help you. If you make a video that you want to share, be sure to send us the link.
Here are a few more interesting sites: Sharks, Shark Facts, Shark Information. If you find a site you think we might enjoy in Kindergarten, we hope you will share it with us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is a fish?....

We have been learning about fish. We know the things that make a fish a fish! These are the things we know:
  • All fish have gills.

  • Fish are cold-blooded.

  • They have a back bone or skeleton.
  • Most fish have fins.
  • Most fish have scales, but some don't
  • Fish live in water. Some fish live in salt water, other fish live in fresh water. Salmon and eels can live in both types of water. Salmon have their babies in fresh water, but live in salt water. Eels have their babies in the salt water, but they live in fresh water.

Here are some fish we like:

Visit our Sea Life Page

Friday, April 18, 2008

Telling Time...

We are learning about clocks and how to tell time. We know about the face of the clock, the hour , minute and second hands. We are pretty good at telling time on the hour. We are trying to get the notion of how long seconds and minutes are. To count a second, we stick the word "Mississippi" in between each number. In other words we count, "One-Mississippi, Two-Mississippi, Three-Mississippi, etc. We know that it takes 60 seconds to make a minute and 60 minutes to make one hour. We have a "teaching clock" in our classroom. We watched this video to help us with our learning too:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sea Life...

We are so excited! We began our Sea Life unit on Monday. We brainstormed things we think we know about the animals that live in the sea or ocean, the things you can see there, and the things you can do there. We used Kidspiration to keep track of our thoughts.

AM thoughts:
PM thoughts:

Check back with us often to see what we have learned about Sea Life!

Friday, April 11, 2008

At Home Movies...

From time to time we will be able to watch school related videos right from our own computers. The same folks that bring us the Discovery Channel, have made videos available to teachers and students. You must have the pass code to view the movies at home. You should have received a paper from me with the pass code on it. Look for the icon on the right side of our blog to access the Discovery Student Center. You will see a screen like this:

Enter the pass code and your name. Be sure to hit the submit button when you're done watching the movie. It will send me an Email telling me that you watched the video. Have fun and look for more videos on other topics soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We Know Birds...

We have learned a lot of interesting facts about birds. Watch our voicethread and you can find out some of what we know about birds...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bird Watching...

Over the past few days we have been learning all about the birds we might see in our neighborhood. We made binoculars out of paper tubes and went for a nice long bird watching walk. We spotted a lot of birds we know and a few we didn't know. We worked with a partner. We had a pair of binoculars, a sheet for tallies, and a clipboard. We went all around the school yard looking for robins, sparrows, blue-jays, cardinals, hummingbirds, other (mystery) birds and nests. We found a lot of robins, sparrows and "mystery" birds. We didn't see any cardinals, blue-jays or hummingbirds. It was a very windy day, but we had fun!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Annual Fun Fair...

On Friday, April 4th, we had our 12th Annual Fun Fair. This year our theme was "Rock and Roll". As always, our community pulled together to help make our event a great success. We had volunteers from our families, staff and many local vendors to donate time and prizes and food. Thanks to everyone for helping to make Spring Trail School a great place to be!

Monday, March 31, 2008

More about Robins...

Today we returned from "Spring Break". It was so good to see everyone and know that we missed one another. We began making a book about BIRDS. Can you guess which bird we put first in our books? Yes, the robin! Many of us have spotted them all over the neighborhood. We visited a web site by a lady named Julie Corsi. It's called The Robin's Nest. Ms. Corsi had the exciting honor of having a pair of robins build their nest right below her bedroom window. She could watch each day as the robins built their nest. Even more exciting was the fact that she was able to watch, day-by-day, the growth and development of baby robins, from egg to wings! Take a few minutes to enjoy all the photos and details she provides at "The Robin's Nest". Cornell Lab of Orinthology has a recording of the "song of the robin". It's pretty cool!
For our book we used images of robins to help us get the colors and backgrounds just "right". We followed a step-by-step method for drawing. Look for our images to appear here later in the week. In the meantime, you can learn to draw a robin (or similar birds) by following the directions in the video. You can choose to draw your bird on the computer using a program like Paint, or grab a paper and markers. Either way give it a go and have fun:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Young Artists...

We continue learning to work with the Paint program. We are learning to control the mouse to create more detailed drawings and works of art. We welcome any contributions to showcase in our "Art Gallery". Feel free to use whatever drawing program you have availble to create your works of art. Save your work as a "JPG" file and send it to us. If you don't have access to a computer or prefer to draw with markers on paper, you can take a digital photo of your work and send it. We already have a contribution from Issac of Oregon. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Music Makers: Tappin' Tunes with Tubes...

Last week in Music Class, Miss Ellis gave us plastic tubes to tap out rhythms. She had us follow her movements to familiar tunes. Take a peek at what fun we had:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Writing in Kindergarten...

We are becoming such good writers. We are learning to use what we know about letters and sounds to help us write. At this point, our goal is not to spell every, single, word correctly. It is to get our ideas down on paper. To some, our writing may be hard to read. When you read our writing you may find it helpful to think of "Vanity Plates" on cars. Not every letter is included, but you can begin to make out the words. We also know our pictures need to match our words. We are also learning that good writers add details to their work. Writing is fun! Take a look at some writers from our P.M. Class:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring is Here at Last....

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! We couldn't be more ready for it too! This has been a long, cold, ...very cold, Winter. In our area of Illinois, one of the first signs of Spring is the return of the robins. They have been away all Winter long and are coming back to build nests and start new families. We are all on the lookout for robins and other signs that Spring is here at last! If you haven't seen a robin in a while, here's a quick reminder of how they look. Their eggs are a beautiful shade of blue. The male robins have the beautiful orange chest, the females are more dull in color. What are some of the "Signs of Spring" where you live?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Counting 10 to 20...

We have been working on counting; not just saying the numbers in order, but also understanding and representing them. Some numbers are easier than others to read, count and understand. Just like some parents with teenagers, for some of us, the "teens" are a challenge. The numbers don't really seem to make sense. For instance, if we see the number 34, we can easily read it as thirty-four. Numbers like 17 or 13 are not as easy to read, count and remember.
We worked with partners to choose a "teen" number to count out. We included 10, 11, 12, and 20 because they help show the pattern for counting the teens. We gathered things from our room to show the numbers we picked. We grouped our things by tens and ones to help see the place value of the numbers. Maybe this video will help if you too find the "teens" a bit challenging. ;-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Counting Books...

We are learning to count in different languages, but this is a fun book on how to count in English. Read and enjoy:
(note: for a larger version of the book, click on the eyeballs)

Here's a book on counting backwards:

You can visit the LookyBook web site for more fun books to read online or purchase. What's your favorite counting book?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning to Count in Polish...

We have such wonderful diversity in our Kindergarten class. After seeing projects created at "Voices of the World" and at "Brain Waves we were inspired to create! There are several children who are Bi-lingual. We love to learn new things and to learn from each other. Our friends who speak Polish have helped put together a video to teach us how to count from 1 to 10 in Polish. Alexandra did a fantastic job of saying each word, first in English then in Polish. Adrian and Kamil helped gather the pictures we needed. Together we created this teaching video. Watch it and learn along with us:

Please check back soon for more Bi-Lingual lessons!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Fun with Symmetry...

We watched a video from United Streaming about "Line Symmetry". The man in the video showed us how we can use our hands to make symmetrical designs. We thought it would be fun to give it a try. Cristina, Sunny, David and Giuliana, went around the class and took pictures of kids making designs with their hands. Some of us are pretty good at it, some of us still need a little practice. ;-) See what you can do with your hands. Maybe someone can take a picture and you can send it to us. We would love to add it to our show. Or maybe you can find other ways to show us what you know about symmetry.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We're Back..at the Mac....

We had a great turn out for the McDonald's No-Cook Night. It was nice to see so many Spring Trail families come out to support our school. Despite the cold weather, the Shamrock shakes seemed to be a BIG hit!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Symmetrical Artwork...

We continue to learn about line symmetry. We drew pictures with black marker pens. Mrs. Blakely took our drawing and used the copy machine to make the reverse image. We used colored pencils to color both pages so they would be symmetrical. Don't our pictures look nice?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10,000 Visitors....

We can hardly believe it...on Monday, February 25, 2008, we had our 10,000th visitor to our blog! We have anxiously awaited the turning of the counter to 10,000! It's such a big number for us. We are glad so many people have taken the time to visit our blog.
Today we celebrated in style. We invited parents to join us for a "Game Day". Several kids brought games in from home, Mrs. Blakely dug out her labyrinth game for us to play with too. Everyone had a great time!
We also had our lunch catered by our favorite... The Dogfather. We had hotdogs, chips, cookies and juice. Mmm mmm good! Thanks Tony! We never have lunch at school so this was an extra special treat!
Thanks also to everyone who has ever visited our site. We couldn't have done it without you! ;-) Keep visiting! We'll keep you posted on all the fun things we are learning and doing in Kindergarten. Thanks again!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Symmetry Partners...

We worked with partners in class the other day to create designs that were symmetrical. It was fun. Mrs. Blakely took pictures of the partners and through the wonders of technology, created these fun photos. We think the pictures are so interesting. Take a look at what we look like in symmetry!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Line Symmetry...

We have been learning about symmetry. We learned about "Line Symmetry". We learned that an object that has line symmetry can be folded in half and the two sides match each other. We could see vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines of symmetry. We visited a fun site that helped us learn more about "Line Symmetry". You can visit the Links Learning site to watch and play the games too. We worked with a partner to create the designs you see here. Each partner added one piece at a time to create a symmetrical design. Take a look and see if you can see the line of symmetry.

Friday, February 22, 2008

George Washington...

We learned about George Washington. He was the first President of the United States of America. We made portraits of him from paper. You can watch our video to see some of our art work and learn a bit about George Washington.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Doing Our Part for the Environment...

Back in October we celebrated "Blog Action Day". As part of our commitment to "Going Green", we talked about many things that we can do to help save our environment. One of the things we felt we could do was reduce the number of plastic bags we carry away from the stores. To help us with this effort, Mr. Cygan, the manager at Jewel grocery store (located in Carol Stream, on Army Trail & County Farm Roads) generously donated one reusable shopping bag to every Spring Trail Kindergartner. We will encourage our parents to get more of these bags and use them regularly. Thanks so much!
Note: Sharon & Blake helped with the photos

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nutkin's Blog...

You may recall several months ago we sent a package to our blog buddies at Manaia Kindergarten. One of the items in the package was a furry toy squirrel. They shared his first day at school: Mr. Squirrel's First Day. They setteled on the name "Nutkin." Since then Nutkin has had many adventures with the kids. In fact, he has had so many wonderful outings and visits that they have given him his own blog! Yes, Nutkin has a blog all about him. Isn't that wild? ;-)There are photos and videos of him as he travels out and about New Zealand. It is fantastic to see him having such a grand time in New Zealand. He even went to visit Beverly at her home as she recovers from her surgery. Nutkin is so thoughtful! You can see the video of his visit: Nutkin at Bev's Place. We've added his link to our list of blog buddies. Please be sure to visit it often to find out what he's been up to. We love that with a quick click of the mouse, we can check in on Nutkin and see how he's getting along. Thanks Manaia Kindergarten for keeping us posted! ;-)

Nutkin's First Day in New Zealand

Monday, February 18, 2008

Center Time...

One of our favorite times of the day is "Center Time". We get to choose where we work & play. Some of the centers are: Housekeeping, Computers, Books, Blocks, Rice Table, Writing Center and more. Some of our centers have tags or clips; that lets you know when the center is full. Other centers can have more kids. You can change centers whenever you are ready. But you have to clean up the center before you leave.
We are taking turns being the "photographers". Mrs. Blakely has a list of who still needs a turn. Usually, two kids work together. They take the pictures and then tell Mrs. Blakely about the photos. Carefully using a real digital camera, Katlin, Matthew, Daniel and Kamil took all the photos for this video. Aren't they learning to take great pictures?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Using The Paint Program...

In the Computer Lab we all worked in the "Paint" program. It's a basic drawing or beginning graphics program that is standard on most PC's. The kids really enjoyed working with it! The way they opened the program and worked with the tools was very impressive! I was most pleased with the way they were willing to share knowledge with one another. Many of the kids weren't sure they could find the program on their home computers; so I promised them I would make a little tutorial to help them find it. We haven't really worked on saving our drawing just yet; so far we have just been learning how to work the program. The kids know that when they want to start a new drawing, they go to "file", then press "new" and when asked if they want to "save" choose "no". If you have any questions, feel free to Email me. I hope this video helps:
Remember, go to start, programs, accessories, then paint!

Be sure to check back later for drawings created using Paint!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day '08...

We had a great time at our parties today. Thanks so much to all the parents for always stepping up to the plate and providing such fun times for the classes. We really appreciate all that you do!
AM Party:

PM Party:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Abe Lincoln...

Today we had a short history lesson. We learned about Abraham Lincoln. He was the 16th president of the United States of America. Illinois is called the "Land of Lincoln". Many people think he was born here, but we learned he was not! We drew portraits of Lincoln wearing his famous black hat. Watch our video to find out some brief facts about Abe Lincoln.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Morning China...

Here is a cute book that you can read right here online. It is called Good Morning China, and was written & illustrated by, Hu Yong Yi. This is a lovely picture book that depicts the start of a day in China. Children are playing, an artist is painting, people are meditating, exericising, and otherwise enjoying a morning in the park. I hope you enjoy it.

Click on the "eyes" for a larger look at the book.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Working With Tangrams...

Mrs. Blakely read the book Grandfather Tang's Story, by Ann Tompert. It was an interesting story using Tangrams. In the book, Grandfather Tang tells his grandaughter a story using tangrams to describe the different characters. In the story, the foxes have magical powers and can tranform into different animals. We learned that a tangram puzzle set has seven pieces: two large triangles, two small triangles, one medium triangle, a square and a parallelogram. (We love saying parallelogram!) ;-) The rule for working with the pieces is you must use all seven pieces to make your puzzle design. Our first challenge was to use all seven pieces to make a square. Completing this task requires we tap into a different part of our brain for problem- solving. It was a challenge, but no one gave up! With a few hints, Spencer and Alyssa were the first to complete the square. The kids who could complete the square with ease, got to help the other children. Their challenge was to help their friends without touching the pieces....they could only use words. That was not as easy as it sounds, finding just the right way to describe how to move the pieces was quite the challenge as well. After working with the tangrams for several days, nearly everyone could make the square like a pro! We made our version of the animals from the story, then, using the overhead projector, we got to see how Grandfather Tang made the animals. Then we copied his way. It was fun. Later we made lots of different things using our tangram puzzles. Here are some pictures from our first day using the tangrams.
After watching our video, you can try working with tangrams online.