Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An Early Earth Day

Yesterday I walked the kindergartners to the local lake to pick up trash on a beautiful 70 degree day.  The kids did a great job of cleaning up the area and they were very happy to help out the town and the earth!  We also looked around for signs of winter - even though it felt like spring on February 21st!

Some of the kids were looking for birds, 
but we were a bit too noisy for them.

It looks as if that tree is falling on them, but it isn't!
These little ones were hard workers!
Their bags were pretty full and some had emptied 
them halfway through.
The kids love the bridge!

Junk Production Assembly

The day before parent-teacher conferences we had participated in an educational STEM assembly.  All K-12 students were put into multi-grade groups.  Each group took turns choosing a piece of junk from the central pile.  Then they had 20 minutes to create a product using at least 10 of their items.  Each group was given the same amount of duct tape and wire.  Then they had 10 minutes to create a commercial.  Then we all went back to the bleachers to watch the "commercials" for each product.  The kids were so creative!  It was very interesting watching them work together and make their plans.  I think that the kids thought it was interesting and fun!  They also made some new friends along the way!
The 12 teams were at their table waiting to choose their objects.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Party

We had a great Valentine's Day party today!  The kids were all smiles and they sure enjoyed it!  A big "Thank you!" to all of you that contributed to it in anyway!
First they made towers with 
conversation hearts.

They had fun building!
Then they tried to put them in the cup using chopsticks.
It took a lot of concentration.
They had a really yummy lunch!
They couldn't wait to open their Valentine's Day sacks!

We were surprised when Ironman and Captain America showed up.

Here they are in their cool glasses!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Birding in the Bald Eagle Zone

Today is the day we had been waiting for. I had been working on a project to teach the kindergartners about how to read a basic map, and how to identify our winter birds with a focus on Bald Eagles.

It was a beautiful morning for a winter field trip!  Mrs. W. was kind enough to come along and assist us.  We rode on the school bus 30 miles to the Ft. Randall Dam.  A few of us watched for birds on the way and we saw Rock Pigeons, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Rough-legged Hawk.  For some students riding the bus was pretty exciting!

When we arrived at the dam, we drove down the big hill and we saw five Bald Eagles sitting in a tree right by the road.  Soon we piled out of the bus and met two workers from the refuge and the local birder from town.  I had asked them to join us for an hour or so.  We hiked down a bit closer to the water and then we saw more Bald Eagles.  They were sitting in the trees and flying over the water. The tree across the river had 16 Bald Eagles in it.  We could hear and see American Crows all around us.  The Canada Geese flocks kept flying over us.  We also saw Buffleheads, Common Goldeneye, Long-tailed Ducks, Common Mergansers and Herring Gulls.  The guy from the refuge set up his spotting scope on a tripod and the kids got to look through it to see distant birds. Then the guys had to leave and we headed back to the bus.  Then we saw one of the dads walking down the road to join our group.

The bus drove us to the end of the road and dropped us off.  We watched the workers using a backhoe to put the dock back in the water.  Then we hiked down the road going towards the powerhouse and it was a long hike.  We stopped to look over the 2-D map that we had been studying to compare it to the area.  We saw Bald Eagles really close and we watched their behavior.  One was catching fish, eating fish and one was wiping its bill on a branch.  We saw many Bald Eagles and I estimated 60, but there may have been more.  We tried to find little birds and at the end of the trail we finally heard Blue Jays, American Goldfinches, American Robins, and Black-capped Chickadees. 

When we finished the hike we were really warm, so we shed our coats, sat in a snowbank and ate cookies and drank some water.  That really hit the spot!  Next, we headed back to school for lunch.  It was fun day birding with the kids!  I think it was a great experience for the them and it was a great conclusion for our lessons for the month.  I hope it helped the kids to love nature as much as I do!

This was the best way to get a good look!
This was their first time to use a spotting scope.
This was their first time to use a spotting 
scope to see birds.
Mike asked the kids questions about Bald Eagles.

Birding on the Path
An immature Bald Eagle in a tree.
Many people confuse the young brown 
Bald Eagles for Golden Eagles.


Bald Eagles were hanging around in the trees.

The Bald Eagle Nest
Here they are having a cookie break.

Cookies never tasted so good!  
The water hit the spot too!

The kids were pretty excited to see all of the 
birds!  It was a great day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Center Time

During center time I split the kids into groups to move through five different activities.  They love center time and they learn so much from it.  They have to get along, be responsible, take turns, and get their work done correctly and neatly.  They are doing a great job!  I am most excited about their reading and writing!  I will add more about that later.
Here they are creating and writing sentences using the word wall.
They are being illustrators and illustrating a penguin book.

Using Alpha-tiles they match the picture tile to the letter sound.
Lego time is a time to relax a bit and make a creation.  This is where sharing becomes difficult.
Using Q-tips they are painting a picture to decorate an area of the room.  It can be any winter scene.  Of course, birds won out!

Valentine's Day Sacks

These sacks will hang in the room and will be 
used for their valentines as they start rolling in next week.

Journal Pages

I have more that I will add on later.