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.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The 100th Day of School...

Today we celebrated 100 days of school! We have been counting all the days since the very beginning of Kindergarten. We couldn't count any days that school was closed, only the days we were actually here. Along the way we have learned to count by 1's, 5's and 10's. We've learned about place value; the ones place, the tens place and now the hundreds place. We've talked about the importance of putting the digits in the right place to show the correct value of a number; for example 17 and 71 do not have the same value. We have been anxiously awaiting our celebration. Our room was decorated and we made 100 day glasses. We did 100 exercises. Each child was to bring in 100 snacks to put in the big bowl to make a "trail mix" treat. We sorted our treats by size, color, crunchiness, etc. It was delicious! Take a look at some of the fun we had!
(Please note I am using a new video format, you may need to pause one show to view the other. I am still working out the 'kinks". Thanks!)
A.M Class Video:

PM Class Video:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Dogfather, Part III...

Well, we had another fun "No-Cook Night" at The Dogfather's in Bartlett. Despite the threat of bad weather, many families came out to support our efforts. As always we had loads of laughs and DELICIOUS food! Tony and the crew took very good care of us again. I would like to send a very special "SHOUT" out to Zack, my new Kindergarten friend from Liberty. It was nice to meet you and your parents and to find out our classes have lots in common. Thanks for the lovely picture you drew Zack.
Thanks again to our friends & families and to Tony and his crew (who are becoming like family to us). ;-)
Until the next time.....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Punxsutawney Phil Says...

Well, looks like we'll have to keep our winter coats, mittens and hats close by for another 6 weeks! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and went back in his hole. If you predicted "YES" in class on Thursday, you were right! You can read the official proclimation at Greetings From Punxsutawney. You can read more details at the Tri-City Herald.

(photo: AP)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Groundhog's Day Predictions...

On Thursday we learned a bit about Groundhog's Day. Here are a few pictures of groundhogs in case you don't know what one looks like:

We all predicted whether we thought the groundhog would see his shadow on Saturday. We had to consider the weather we had this week (mostly cloudy) and also take into account that it might be time for the sun to shine again. Here are the results of our predictions in a bar graph. The yellow lines represent the A.M. Class and the blue lines are the predictions of the P.M. Class.
As you can see, more kids think he will not see his shadow tomorrow. Or is it just WISHFUL THINKING? We'll just have to wait and see.

(note: Flickr images courtesy of: VickyTH, Jamuudsen, new1mproved, and Matt Barger)