Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fun with Vocabulary Words...

As part of our Language Arts Curriculum, we are reviewing "positional words". We thought it might be fun to use a few of our classroom "Foster pets" to help us with our learning:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cards for Our Soliders...

A few days ago we went to the Library and made cards for the U.S. soliders who will be away from home for the holidays. We had lots of winter and holiday paper shapes to choose from. We got to pick a few to use to decorate our cards. Each class in our school made cards for the soliders. All the cards will be mailed to them in time for the holidays! We hope the cards will let them know we appreciate what they do, and that we wish them all the best for the Holidays and most of all our wishes for a safe trip home soon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Halloween Party '09...

We had a lot of fun at our Halloween Parties. It was fun to dress up and parade around the school in our coustumes. Can you guess who we are?:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meet Some of our "Pets"...

We have been working to help the Almost Home Foundation which rescues and fosters pets who need a home. We thought it might help us gain some appreciation for fostering pets if we could try it out in some way. We have several pets to chose from, 3 cats and 3 dogs. Between our AM & PM classes 4 children get to "Foster" a pet for a few days each week. We have a little pet carrier to help the pet travel safely. We also have a journal to help record events that happen while away from school. Take a look at a few kids from our class and the pets they chose to take home for a few days:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fostering Jade...

One of the "pets" we have for Fostering is "Jade". She is a cute little (stuffed) black kitten that loves to go home with Kindergartners. Take a look at some of the fun she had when Jade went home with JonLuca:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Foster Pet Parents....

After our experience with Freddy the Cat, we thought it would be both fun and interesting to try fostering pets in our homes. Obviously, we can't take REAL pets home, but we have several stuffed dogs and cats that would LOVE to go home with a Kindergartner for a few days. We have several pets. Our cats are Maggie, Jade and Tiger. Our dogs are Mocha, Onyx and Mr. Maxx. We all wrote our names on a little paper "doggie bone" and every few days Mrs. Blakely pulls a name from the can. That child can choose a pet to take home for a few days. They can journal about their adventures and take photos to share. Take a look at the adventures Onyx had when she went home with a couple of our friends.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Helping Pets in Need...

This year we decided to reach out to our community in a new and fun way. We thought it would be nice to help pets in need. We contacted the folks at the Almost Home Foundation and are joining with them to do what we can to help pets that have been rescued and are living in "Foster Homes". We think of it as taking time to help, or pausing to help pets.
Thus we say: PAWS to Help Pets! :-)
Each month we plan to collect items to donate to the Almost Home Foundation. Our first collection was "Pennies for Pets". We sent out notes and asked families to send in pennies. We think it was a huge success. Our school collected $394.07!!! Then Mrs. Rose, of the Almost Home Foundation came to visit with her special friend Freddy! We were so excited. First she talked with us about what a "rescue" does to help pets. She also used a puppet to show us the proper way to greet a dog we don't know. She said always ask the owner if you can pet the dog. Then let it sniff your hand and rub gently from under the chin. Then she brought out Freddy to meet us. He was very patient as each child got a chance to come up and pet him. We hope that we will inspire some of our blog visitors to see what you might be able to do to help pets in your area! Our local PetsMart hosts pet adoptions each week. Maybe yours does too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Same and Different...

In Kindergarten, part of becoming good readers and writers is being able to notice how things are the same and how they are different. One day in class, quite by accident, a few friends came dressed almost the same. Take a look at our little video to see what is the SAME about them; and what is DIFFERENT. What do you notice? Take a second look to be sure! ;-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Learning Letter Sounds...

We are working hard to learn all the letter sounds. We have several games and songs to help us with this. Sometimes pictures help us learn. Videos like this help too....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Poetry in Motion...

As part of our "Being a Writer" curriculum, we are exploring writing about things we can do. We read a poem called "Just Watch" by Myra Cohn Livingston. We thought it would be fun to act out the poem. Take a look at how some of our kids interpreted the poem. (Note: Michael, I am still working on getting your part to work...sorry!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bubble Gum in Class...

We made a book about bubble gum. It took a few days to finish, but we got it done! Each child made their own book to take home to begin a nice collection of books that we'll make and that they can read at home. On the last day of bookmaking, we got to have bubble gum. We tried to blow a bubble. Most kids are still learning how to do it. We had a little poem we were chanting... BUBBLE GUM BUBBLE GUM JUICY AND WET, CAN YOU BLOW A BUBBLE YET? Take a look at our video to see who can blow a bubble, and who can't just yet:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We're Here...

Well, we're off and running into a new school year. We started last week, but it took a few days before we were ready to post! This year we have very full classes, which means we'll have a lot of interesting things to add to our blog.
We began our first day working with TUBS for TubTime (math) and working on our Bubble Gum book. Take a look at our very first day in Kindergarten! There were a few tears (from both kids and parents), lots of smiles, and tons of anticipation!
We hope you will come back often to see what's happening in our classroom. Feel free to leave your comments too!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Same and Different...

Aren't these two pets adorable? Our friends over at Manaia Kindergarten have been sharing their pets at school. (We are going to do something similar when school starts up again in a few weeks). Some of their students have cats and others have dogs. They are welcoming comments from others that will help kids (and big people too) know the similarities and differences between the two pets.
Click on over to their site and share a thought or two:

Dog& Cat image borrowed from Manaia Kindergarten's blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Before is After...

Here are pictures of our Kindergarten Patio BEFORE the work began with Lowe's and our Volunteers. I searched for the pictures and just found them! (They were on a different disk).
You can see what a mess our patio area was before the project began. Thanks again to everyone who helped create such a wonderful place for us to play and work.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lowe's & Spring Trail Work Together....

During the school year Mr. & Mrs. Mazzei secured a Heroes grant from Lowe's. This grant was used in conjunction with funds from our P.T.O. to fulfill a long time dream to landscape the Kindergarten Courtyard.
On the last weekend in May several volunteers from our school, Lowe's and SOS Landscaping worked together to turn the area just outside of our Kindergarten classroom from a patch of dirt and old very old mulch to a wonderful brick patio. We spent several hours raking out the mulch and dirt. We relocated it to other spots on our school grounds. Then we smoothed the surface, covered it with gravel and sand, and smoothed it some more. After a few hours we realized we were short on gravel. Just when it seemed our backs were to the wall, Jeff of SOS Landscaping showed up. He made a few phone calls and a few trips with his truck and brought loads of gravel for us. He also allowed a couple of his workers to spend the day helping us. It was as if an angel had been sent to us in the form of Jeff!
We worked for 3 days placing the paver bricks. It was hard work and could not have been completed without the generous support of the volunteers from Spring Trail, Lowe's and SOS Landscaping. To name a few.... Mr. & Mrs. Borczak, Mr. & Mrs. Baughman, Mr. & Mrs. Garner, Mr. & Mrs. Mazzei, Mrs. Butler, Mr. Gennuardi, Mr. Schoewe, Mr. & Mrs. Matticks, Mr. & Mrs. O'Connor, Mrs. Shields-Zars, Mr. & Mrs. McGee, Mrs. Jablonski and Mrs. Mangoni.
In addition to our Spring Trail volunteers, we had volunteers from Lowe's (thanks Josh for helping organizing everyone) and SOS Landscaping to guide and help us.
Tony, of The Dogfather donated lunch for us on Saturday. Pietanza's Pizza delivered dinner.
Hot Off the Press Promotions made our T-shirts.
It has been a long time dream to have this space transformed into a useable space for kids. With the finished space, we can extend the Kindergarten classroom space. Take a look at some of the many photos taken of us working and then enjoying the space.
Thanks again to EVERYONE for all your help! It was a great showing of community and support!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Duck or Rabbit?...

At a course I took a few weeks ago, my friend, Mrs. Partyka shared the book, DUCK! RABBIT! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I really like the book and thought you might like it too. I found a video promoting the book at YouTube.
Tell me, which do you see, the DUCK or the RABBIT? ;-)

Thanks for sharing this great book Mrs. Partyka!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

4th of July...

This video was posted here last year to celebrate the 4th of's well worth celebrating again:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Interactive ABC Book....

We spend a lot of time learning letters and letter sounds in Kindergarten. We play all sorts of games to help build our skills. Here's a fun interactive ABC book created by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich. All the animals in the book have been created using the letters of the animals name in Bembo font  and punctuation marks only! Amazing! I hope you enjoy it:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

50,000 Visitors...

WE DID IT!! The kids of "Kindergarten Tales" have anxiously awaited the day we would hit 50,000 visitors. I will say, I had my doubts that we would make it before the school year was over. The kids were promised a "GAME DAY" at school if we made it. Looks like Monday will be Game Day for us. Thanks to all our visitors for you interest in what we do in Kindergarten. We hope you haven't been disappointed. We hope you will continue to visit us here! THANKS!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Octopus Come to Kindergarten...

We learned about the octopus a few weeks ago. Today, Mrs. Blakely surprised us by bringing three of them to school. They were not alive but they were REAL! There were two babies and one REALLY BIG one. We were all thrilled, and a little scared. We paired up with a friend and took turns looking at, touching and holding the octopus! Mrs. Varava came in to take pictures for us. You can see the excitement on all of our faces:

Thanks to Mrs. Varava for taking all these wonderful photos!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Know Fish....

We have been learning about FISH! We know that...
  • fish breathe out of gills
  • they are cold-blooded animals
  • fish are all different colors and sizes
  • some fish have fake eyes
  • fish don't have eyelids
  • they sleep with their eyes open
  • fish that live deep in the bottom of the sea can sometimes light up
  • clown fish live in sea anemones
  • most fish have a skeleton or backbone
  • lung fish can breathe out of the water
  • swordfish have a nose that looks like a sword
  • fish must live in water
  • Mom sea horse give the eggs to dad to hold onto
  • some fish have weapons
  • some fish make nests
  • some fish hold their eggs in their mouths
  • some fish eat other fish
  • if a fish has sharp teeth then you know they eat other fish
  • sharks have rows and rows of teeth
  • the biggest fish of all is the whale shark
  • the archer fish can spit water to catch his food
  • salmon can go in salt water or fresh water
  • you can get a cut from shark skin
  • some fish go to cleaning stations
  • big fish let little go in their mouths to clean their teeth
  • some fish live in fresh water and some live in salt water
  • sharks are fish
  • some fish use camouflage
  • some fish are blind
  • if sharks and rays stop moving they will sink

We know LOTS more about fish. Take a look at the pictures we made of fish using the Paint program. We drew the fish and labeled the parts....gills, eye, mouth, fin, & tail.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Hermit Crab Visits....

We have been learning about all sorts of interesting sea animals. We learned about hermit crabs. We know they live in shells and as they grow, they will move out of one shell and into another.
A few days ago, Jake (a former Kindergartner, now in 5th grade) shared his pet hermit crab with us. He showed us what it eats and the tank he brought it to school in. His crab's shell is painted to look like Lisa on the T.V. show "The Simpson's". We thought that was pretty funny. We  recently read the book A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB by Eric Carle so having a real hermit crab visit us was a treat! Jake passed it around and many of the kids were brave enough to hold it. Others chose to just look. Either way, it was neat to see it up close! Thanks Jake for sharing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Sing '09...

On May 6th, we had our Spring Sing. We got to go on the stage at Bartlett High School to perform for our families and friends. We were both nervous and excited! Miss Byker taught us songs to sing. We did a GREAT job!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kindergarten Chicago Cubs & Sox Fans...

Recently, one of our classmates asked if we were Chicago Cubs or Sox fans. We thought this was something worth graphing. Each child signed a "baseball" and placed it on either the Cubs or Sox side. There were some who didn't have a preference at all, they added their names to a separate graph. Take a look at the results for yourself:

Do you have a favorite baseball team?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day & Recycling Dead Batteries...

Today we celebrated Earth Day. We watched the video THE LORAX and talked more about doing our part to help reduce the amount of waste we add to our Earth. After our recent visit from SCARCE; we started wondering what changes we could make in our lifestyles to help the Planet. One thing we decided was to start recycling dead batteries. We sent a note home letting our families know about our decision. The response was overwhelming! We got a LOT of batteries. Grace brought in two very large bags of them. The PM class worked hard to count them all. We had 248 AA batteries alone. In all we had more than 425 batteries in less than one week! That's AMAZING! We are hoping to inspire others in our school to bring them to us as well. We will give them to a local fire department to dispose of properly for us. This will keep them out of the landfills and ultimately help the planet! If we can do can you! Won't you join us in our efforts. Remember, together we can do so much!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...

As we get closer to EARTH DAY (April 22, 2009) We are learning about all kinds of ways that we can take small steps and have a BIG impact on the environment. Recently, our P.T.O. sponsored a visit from SCARCE, an organization dedicated to educating us on the values of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. Miss Linda shared with us so many interesting facts about the amount of waste there is in communities all across America. We were fascinated by some of the information she shared. We learned it's important to REDUCE the amount of waste we create. One way to REDUCE is to find ways to REUSE old things. Other ways include RECYCLING some of our old things. She showed us that clothing can be made from plastic bottles and corn! AMAZING!! We learned that Nike has a special program where you can drop off old gym shoes and they are making playground surfaces, playground equipment and new shoes from the old gym shoes. Their program is called REUSE A SHOE. You might consider gathering and donating old shoes from kids at your school. We are planning to do it too. Miss Linda really got us inspired and thinking about ways to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. How about you? What can you do? Maybe our video will spark some thoughts:

Lowe's Helps Us Go Green...

Today we got a wonderful surprise from the folks at our local Lowe's Store. Josh Janovsky, the General Manager at the Lowe's in Bloomingdale, IL donated reusable shopping bags to our Kindergarten classes! We were so excited!

We are learning there are many things we can do to help the environment. One thing we can do is carry reusable bags when we shop. In doing a little research on plastic & paper bags vs. reusable we thought you might be interested to know:
  • A plastic bag takes about 450 years to biodegrade (That's just ONE bag! How many does your family use in a year?)
  • To make paper bags creates 70% more pollution than it does to make plastic bags.
  • Reusable bags save water. (The recipe for paper bags uses 1 part pulp and 400 parts water...WOW!! That's a LOT of water!)
  • Reusable bags saves sea animals (Plastic bags often end up in the oceans & lakes and many sea creatures mistake the plastic for food)
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic bags a year. It takes about 12 million barrels of oil to make that many plastic bags.
You can find many more reasons to go with Reusables over plastic & paper bags at
We hope you will consider the option of the Reusable Bags when you shop at Lowe's or any other store you choose to do your shopping. Thanks again to the folks at Lowe's for their generous donation! Thanks to Annette's parents for helping make this happen for us!
For more information on Resuable bags, visit:
Go Reusable Bags!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Handling The Gym Balls...

Every now and then there are no classes scheduled to use the gym. Sometimes Mrs. Blakely will take us to the gym for extra workouts. One day we got to play with the gym balls. We tried bouncing, catching and throwing them. We even had fun doing fancy tricks with the balls. We got to pass the ball from one teammate to the other. First we passed the ball over our heads, then we passed it forward between our legs. It was fun! We ended our gym time with relays. Ella proved once again that she was the fastest runner in the AM class and Alex took the honors in the PM class. Take a look at what fun we had. Be sure to note how well Trinity  can handle the ball! Fancy ball handling Trinity!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fun Books About Birds...

I received an email from today. It seems their site has shut down. What a shame to see such a lovely site close. I am revising this post to include two books from

What are some fun books about birds that you enjoy?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kindergarten Draws Birds...

As we prepare to say "Goodbye" to winter and "HELLO" to spring, we've been learning all about some of the birds we can see in our neighborhood. We learned about the robin, cardinal, blue-jay, sparrow and hummingbird. There are many other types of birds we could see as well. In the computer lab we drew birds using the PAINT program. We had fun taking what we learned to do with pen and paper and transfer it to the computer. Take a look at what nice birds we drew:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Non-Standard Measuring...

As part of our mini-unit on "BIRDS" we practiced measuring with non-standard units. We had a paper with different sized bird houses drawn on it. We had fun using either pennies or unifix cubes to measure the height of each house.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leprechaun's Gold...

Today was St. Patrick's Day! We all remembered to wear something green! Yesterday in class we wrote letters to the Leprechaun asking him to SHARE his gold with us. We were careful to use our manners and not insist he turn over the whole pot. We thought maybe he would be willing to share it with us, especially if we told him one thing we would buy with the gold. Some friends asked for the "DS" game system, others wanted computers and one person wanted to buy a desk! 
Today we found a note on the chalkboard that read..."No gold...But look for treats"! We began searching the room and lo' and behold we found lots of green candies scattered about! They were tasty! It's not the same as gold, but it was nice he left something for us.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Symmetrical Art Work...

We have been learning about LINE SYMMETRY. We used some of our best drawing talents to create a picture with a felt tipped marker. Mrs. Blakely used the copy machine to create a mirror image of our drawings. We VERY carefully colored both pictures with crayons and colored pencils to emphasize more of the details. Take a look at our hard work:
(click on the speaker icon in the box to turn the music on/off)

We have a few more drawings to add, so check back later for more interesting artwork.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

35,000 Visitors...

It seems we had a lot to celebrate in February! Among the things we celebrated was the fact that we reached 35,000 visitors to our blog! Anyway we look at it, that's a big number for Kindergarteners! :-)
We celebrated by doing something we haven't done in class this year... we had lunch at school!We had lunch delivered by our good friend Tony, (AKA The Dogfather). We had hotdogs, chips, cookies and juice. YUMMY!
We couldn't have reached this milestone without the help of friends, family and other curious folks that visit our blog.
THANKS everyone for taking an interest in what we do in class!
Thanks also to Tony for his continued support!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Double Celebration...

We are trying to get caught up here on our blog. Back on Feb. 13th we had a "Double Celebration". Due to several snow days, we ended up celebrating the 100th Day of School, along with Valentine's Day! Talk about a FULL day! If you're wondering what the 100th Day is all about we'll try to explain. Since our very first day of school, back in August of '08, we have been counting the days we have been in school. We can only count the days we are actually in class so having snow days can't be included. We were not so sure about celebrating two special events in the same day, but what else could we do? We couldn't celebrate the 100th Day on the 99th day, nor could we wait until the 101st day of school. It just didn't seem right. We agreed that a double party was both well deserved and the right thing to do! ;-)
Take a look at a quick video of our 100th Day Celebration and then take a peek at our Valentine's Day Party. As always, the mom's made our parties so special. We even got a special treat of cotton candy from the "Cotton Candy Ladies" ;-).
What a fun day!

Here's a peek at our Valentine's Day Party:

Monday, February 9, 2009


After listening to the book "Grandfather Tang's Story"; we got to work with our own set of tangrams. The challenge was to use all 7 pieces to make a square. It was not as easy as it sounded. We really had to think hard. Our brains were tingling! But no one gave up. Everyone gave their best efforts. Mrs. Blakely used the overhead projector and her tangrams to give a few helpful hints. Gracia and Annette were the first to make the square. Once someone could do it two times on their own, they were able to go out and help a friend. The rule for helping was you couldn't touch their pieces, you could only use words. That too was a challenge. Take a look at some of the fun we had today:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six More Weeks...

Today we heard that the groundhog saw his shadow. That means we'll have SIX MORE weeks of COLD weather! There are a lot of us that are sad about that. Especially Mrs. Blakely because she doesn't like the snow! When we look at our predictions from Friday, most kids guessed wrong. Maybe more kids guessed wrong because they were wishing for Spring! Well, we will just have to bundle up and bear it!

Photo courtesy of AP

Friday, January 30, 2009

Groundhog Predictions 2009...

Today we read a book called "Groundhog Day" by Betsy Lewin. In the book, people were waiting to see the groundhog come out of his burrow (hole). When he came out, they picked him up and said "Horray" because he didn't see his shadow. Then somebody took a picture of him and the flash made him see his shadow and he went back into his burrow. We guessed if the groundhog will see his shadow this year. Most kids thought the weather will be cloudy and he would NOT see his shadow on Monday. Take a look at our graph results:

What do you think will happen on Groundhog's Day? Feel free to post your comments here...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stuffed Animals and Hot Chocolate...

We've had an unplanned winter break. The weather turned wickedly cold and school has been closed for several days. The wind chills were near minus 20 degrees. OUCH! Before our little "break" we had our "Stuffed Animal Day". This was actually postponed from just before Christmas when we had yet another bad winter day. Anyway, we all brought one of our favorite stuffed animals to school. We drank hot chocolate and watched a movie. It was fun. Take a look at the animals we brought to school:
note: we are missing a few photos in this show. The missing photos will be added soon so check back soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

How Can You Refuse?...

Our friend and staunch supporter, The Dogfather (aka: Tony) is having the 2nd Annual Customer Appreciation Days this coming weekend (Jan. 10th &11th). The restaurant is located at 957 Route 59 in Bartlett. There'll be Give-Aways and a raffle. Check out some of the ways The Dogfather has supported our school. They're great examples of school and community working together! The Dogfather Links. Don't  miss out on this opportunity...with the prices of the hotdogs and fries so low, it's an offer that is hard to refuse. ;-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holiday '08...

Here's hoping everyone had a great Holiday Break and that your New Year is off to a great start. My apologies for not posting much lately. We're back in session tomorrow and will be back on track on our blog as well.
Before the break we had our Holiday Party. Thanks to all the parents who helped out. We were due for a special day on Friday, but ended up with a snow day instead. We've postponed our special day 'til a little later in this week. Here's a few images from our Holiday Parties.