Wednesday, March 30, 2016

We Are Working on a Bird Book!

We have been working on our very own published bird book!  The size of book that we can afford is twenty pages.  It is quite a lot of work, but very educational as the students worked together to find details of each bird, write about the bird they chose and draw the bird remembering the important field marks.

First we chose which twenty backyard birds we wanted to have in our book.  Then we researched each bird at the smart board and came up with a few facts about each one.   I typed up the facts for each child to copy onto their page.  They drew the bird, but the first draft of the drawn birds seemed a little rushed, so the second time some of them met with me first to discuss which field marks are important to show.  Then some of them had step-by-step drawing lesson.  I don't draw on their paper at all, but I show them how to draw it.  They loved it and they kept begging me to show them how to draw more birds!  Here are a few of the finished pages.  They will be available for sale online in a few weeks!  Their bird book will cost less than $10.  I will let you know when they are ready for purchase.  It will be a nice keepsake from their year in kindergarten.

Easter Egg Art

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Leprechaun Alert!

The leprechauns came to our classroom and made a huge mess!  They left a note saying that they were looking for treasure in our room, but they couldn't find any gold.  Instead they sent us on a treasure hunt to find a different treasure.  We followed the clues throughout the school.  Teachers said they saw something green that flew through like the March wind!  At the end of the hunt, the last clue told us to look somewhere where we like to play.  We searched the toy area and finally found a treasure of gold-wrapped candy!  It was a lot of fun!  Those silly leprechauns!

When the kids came in from recess the discovered 
that someone had messed up the classroom!

They couldn't understand what happened!

They were blaming me, but I told them I'd 
never make a mess like this.

Then we discovered this note lying on the floor.

The kids were off on a treasure hunt reading clues 
that took them throughout the school.

They raced down the hall to follow the clues.

The principal wanted to know what was going on.  
They had lots of questions for him, but then they 
saw the green note lying on his desk.

The librarian said that the leprechaun freaked 
her out as it flew in the room and dropped this green note.

The P.E. teacher saw the leprechaun briefly too.  
These older kids remember this day from 
kindergarten as it has been a tradition in my 
classroom for the last 23 years!

 After following 17 clues around the school and classroom, 
they finally found a treasure of gold-wrapped candy 
in the classroom!  Sean was the lucky guy to find it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Nature Hike

It was a beautiful day, so we went to the lake in town for a nature hike.  On the way we saw American Goldfinches, American Robins, Eurasian Collared-Doves and Common Grackles. 

At the lake we saw a cute little Bufflehead swimming and we saw it fly to the other side.  Then we noticed two Canada Geese swimming together.  Then Mrs. Preheim said that there should be Song Sparrows in the cattails, so she played the song and one popped out right in front of us, so everyone got a life bird, which means its the first time they've seen it in their life.  Then we saw the Bufflehead again, but this time he had a buddy and that was a Ring-necked Duck. Levi pointed out some Ring-necked Pheasants flying low.  We also heard Killdeer, a Northern Flicker and Blue Jays.

Next we hiked through the "Spooky Forest", but it didn't seem spooky this time.  There were not any leaves yet, but we could see the leaf buds.  We also saw plants sprouting up from the ground.  Then we saw a huge log, so the big, tough kindergartners lifted it up and then Sean and Daylin fell down and scared the teacher to death, but they were fine!

We couldn't leave the lake without going on the bridge, so they ran over and that is where they saw the turtles sunning.on the shoreline.  We even saw on itty, bitty turtle.

Except for complaining about what order they were standing or walking in, we had a really great time!  Today they learned the rules of sneaking up on animals:  1} move slowly 2} be quiet and talk softly.  We had a lot of fun looking for signs of spring!
We saw this American Goldfinch on someone's bird feeder.

The American Robins were nearly everywhere.
Here they are sneaking up the hill to quietly look for ducks.
The first one we saw was this cute Bufflehead {female}.
This Ring-necked Duck was hanging out with the Ruddy Duck.

These young ones have good eyes.

We heard this Song Sparrow singing.
We decided that these little prints were from a raccoon.  
Was Rascal out here last night?

I did ask them to share the binoculars. 

These perma focus binoculars are great for kids, so 
that they don't have to mess with trying to focus them.

The kids loved seeing the Canada Geese.

Here is another way to share the binoculars, but it 
doesn't work as well.
The Painted Turtles are a very popular animal at this lake.

The kids are watching the turtles' heads pop out of the water.
These good kindergartners even volunteered to 
pick up trash when they saw it without me asking them to.
They were showing me how strong they were.

Wow!  They are strong!
The kids love the bridge!
One more look at the ducks and geese before 
we head back. It was a beautiful day for a nature hike!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Clean-up Day

This afternoon the kindergartners did a good deed 
by picking up trash around the playground and down 
the street.  It was such a beautiful day that they enjoyed 
being outside in the warm weather!

Kite Art

The kids painted these kites using their watercolor paints.  
It looks a bit more spring-like in the classroom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

January Journal Pages

The Sharp-shinned Hawk, Merlin, American Kestrel 
and Cooper's Hawk are the predators of the birds.
Penguins are the best in the whole wide 
world and they can not fly.
I like trucks!
I like to play outside with my friends.

I like you mom.  You are a good cook!
I like penguins.  They are black and orange.
I love my family.
Rapunzel was trapped in the tower.
I like to play in the house.
Levi and Blythe are in the tree house.
Baltimore Orioles are cool!
I hope that Kinley's dad comes back some day real soon.
The Red-eyed Vireo is cool.  You should see it. 
 It is cool and pretty.
My family turned into snowmen.  They are pretty snowmen.
I like my cats.  They like to play with me.
Harvesting is good!