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Kindergarten Monthly News

February 28, 2012

Theme: How the World Works An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Title: We are all Scientists Central Idea: People can learn about things around them by using the scientific method Lines of Inquiry: How inquiry is used to discover and invent, how to connect with and find science in the world around us, and how we share discoveries. Concepts: Function, Form, Connection, and Reflection Learner Profiles: Risk-taker, Inquirer, and Communicator Attitudes: Curiosity, Commitment, and Responsibility Look out! The Kindergarten students have turned into “mad� scientists and inventors! We are exploring and inquiring into inventions of the past and present. We have learned that inventors are creative and many times have to work together with others, cooperating in bringing together a new invention that could possibly change the world! The inventions that we have built and shared include: a super powered kitchen that makes all meals and snacks, picks up trash, cleans your home, and will transport you over land and water. We have also invented a large boat that would carry food for people around the world in one day, and a deep water machine that recovers lost ships at the bottom of the ocean! We have shared and discussed the function of our inventions with our classmates by using our communication skills. As we develop and expand our research skills and understanding of the scientific method, the pencil sharpener is being used continually as we keep our writing tools ready to collect data, record questions, state our hypothesis, draw and explain our results and materials, and then reflect on our experiments. Thus far, our experiments have been with things we can eat or drink. Our first experiment was making root beer. As a class we discussed matter and how some matter can transform from one state to another, like the yeast in our root beer recipe transformed from a solid to a liquid, which then created a gas. The smell of root beer filled the room while we mixed our ingredients, which lead to our discussion of how gas expands to fill every corner of a room. The anticipation mounted as we waited for three days as the root beer fermented. On tasting day our first bottle literally exploded as root beer rushed to exit the bottle! After a good laugh and a quick clean-up, the kids enjoyed a taste of their home brewed root beer. Our next experiment expanded on our

Having fun with slime

Collecting our data


discussion about gasses. We reviewed how the yeast in our root beer helped make gas, and that gas is something that we can’t see. So, we took our yeast, sugar, and a few other ingredients and made bread. Following the scientific method we created a hypothesis about what would happen to the bread after it sets for a while. After baking the bread, the kids opened their rolls and were able to see the air bubbles captured inside, which confirmed our hypothesis that the yeast would make the bread rise by making air inside it. Our most recent experiment was making paint out of food. Again, following the scientific method, we questioned how food could be used to make paint. The kids and teachers were very excited to paint with our paint make from blackberries, blueberries, cocoa, paprika, and curry. We are so pleased with the enthusiasm the scientists are expressing with their weekly experiments they have been doing in the classroom and at home with their families as they inquiry into the scientific method! Math Inquiry: The students continue to inquire into the function of subtraction and word story problems. We explored this concept through using manipulatives as we looked at multiple relationships among two-digit numbers. Independently the students have been working on subtraction problems using pictures and the abacus as we strengthen our skills of counting backwards. In our next unit of Trailblazers the class will begin to investigate the relationship between area and space. Together we will reinforce three skills that are fundamental to measuring; picking a unit of measurement, finding the number of times the unit is contained in an object or figure, and reporting a measurement using a number and a unit. We will be using the common unit of measure of square inches. The students will discover through several activities that the area of an object is dependent on its length in two dimensions, and will also explore the idea that two different shapes can have the same area. We have also started to inquire into money; learning about coins and notes. The students love math and are proving to be wonderful mathematicians. Daily Five/CafÊ Inquiry: We are excited to announce that the Kindergarteners have shown appreciation and commitment in continuing to meet the Letterland characters and learn new concepts/rules. We have now met all five robots that reside in Letterland, finishing up with the 3 brothers er, ir, and ur! In our daily 5 cafÊ the students have been working on their goals of fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and accuracy while reading together in their reading groups as well as reading with a partner using strategies that have been introduced in our mini lessons. The students have proven to be creative authors as they completed two books; the first book was a group effort based on the tale of The Three Little Pigs, entitled The Three Mule Deer and the Fearless Mountain Lion, and a second book which held a collection of individual tales that the students wrote independently. We ask that the students continue to read each night for 20 minutes at home with their family! Geography Inquiry: In geography we have been using direction and symbols to read maps. As we read about inventions from around the world and in the United States we have been discussing where on the map the invention was made, noting the continent, country and or state. We are continuing to inquire into the major oceans, hemispheres, the equator, and the imaginary lines of longitude and latitude. Additional Inquiry: The students have been exploring the skies through maps and reading a variety of informational books about the

Eating a healthy snack with friends

Sharing our stories


consultations. We have learned about stars and their distance from our earth, the temperature of different stars that are in the universe, and the life of stars. Together we have been reflecting on our past unit of tales as we explore ancient myths about gods, heroes and creative animal creatures that make up the canvas of the night sky. The students have been working on a creative writing project in which they have discovered a new constellation, naming their constellation and explaining the story behind its “picture.� Updates and Announcements: March 1 In House Spanish Field Trip March 5 Bemis Library March 9 Half-Day for Teacher In-Service (Early Dismissal) End of 2nd trimester March 16 Field Trip to Museum of Nature and Science March 22 PK, Kindergarten, and Grade 1-2 Student Body Presentation of Theatrical Production, 10:00 March 23 PK, Kindergarten, and Grade 1-2 Parent Presentation of Theatrical Production, 10:00 March 26-30 No school- Spring Break Being an inventor A young mad scientist

A fun way to practice our reading


Mackintosh Academy Kindergarten Newsletter