Who are the cutest chicks on the block? My kinder-chickies of course! The peeping in the classroom will be ending soon as sending them all off to be adopted by kindergarten families by the end of the week.
It is that time of year again in kindergarten! This year we are proving to have a very successful spring hatch. Yesterday I was able to say good morning to these 5 chicks that had hatched over night, another one hatched right at the end of the day and I am guessing a few more hatched overnight. (I will be making my way into school later today when weather improves to check things out as school was canceled today due to freezing rain.)
I got a new learning tool this year and was able to learn and share more about candling eggs with an OvaScope, confirming fertile eggs and watching the embryos grow.
This is always such a fun and exciting process. I truly enjoy sharing this experience with my kindergarten students!
Here are a few snapshots from short, busy and fun week in kindergarten.
In the lesson plans were: pumpkin investigations!
Monday: Pumpkin seeds (My garden was generous this year I grew 16 pie pumpkins - and I had a couple donations - so each student was able to investigate their own pumpkin. I brought home one 5 gallon bucket of pumpkin "guts" for the chickens - and two 5 gallon buckets of cut and seeded pumpkins.
Monday night: The kindergarten teacher (and husband) roasted pumpkin seeds, the kindergarten teacher also bandaged the blisters that she got from slicing and cutting the tops off of 18 pumpkins.
Tuesday: Roasting pumpkins. In class we roasted a crockpot full of sliced and seeded pumpkins throughout the day, sharing with the kiddos one way pumpkins can be cooked.
Tuesday night: Roasting pumpkins - I had two crock pots going at home roasting pumpkins overnight and during the daytime to make the most of our harvest.
Wednesday: Pumpkin puree and pumpkin smoothies. In class I showed the kids what part of the pumpkin that we make into pumpkin puree and we celebrated our efforts by making (and enjoying) pumpkin smoothies.
Wednesday night: Before we went out and celebrated our anniversary, I finished up making pumpkin puree from all of the baked pumpkins. I was able to put up over 26 cups of fresh pumpkin. (I freeze it in 2 cup servings in quart freezer bags.)
Another successful year of pumpkining at home and school - done!
Now I just need to make it through a Halloween on a Monday night.
If you are looking for some pumpkin inspired ideas, check out my recent post on mothering.com:
I thought it would be fun to take a minute and share a sneak peek into my kindergarten classroom with you. This year will mark my 16th year as an educator, and I still get caught up in the anticipation and excitement of a new school year!
It is so nice to have a fresh start each year: shiny floors, sharp pencils, new books (and, of course, seasonal favorites),
Tomorrow I am officially back at work, and students will start school after Labor Day.
Each day that I step through these classroom doors, I pray for patience, wisdom and knowledge with my words, choices and actions. I look forward to the year ahead and I hope I will touch the lives of each and every one of my young learners in a positive and meaningful way!
The August issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now. My School Days Column in this month is "Not Ready for All Day Every Day K" where I share my own experience and perspective as a parent and teacher on our decision about kindergarten entry with our son. You can find the article through THIS LINK. If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated.
Be sure to check out all of the other great content in the full issue as well - including a feature article on the same topic "The K Question" written by Camie Christensen, the program director of the Early Childhood Education Program at St. David's Center in Minnetonka.
As always - thanks for reading!
School is out for students for the summer in my neck of the woods! Teachers will be going back for a bit next week to wrap things up, but as we have been celebrating high school graduations, washing backpacks and lunch boxes, filing away special projects and learning portfolios - the feeling of a new season is here: SUMMER BREAK!
I wanted to share these images of successful project I completed with my kindergarten students the last week of school -as a reminder to myself -so I remember to do it next year- and for you - some inspiration for a purposeful project for your home or classroom using the bits and pieces of worn crayons.
Making recycled crayons is so easy! 1)peel off the wrappers 2) fill molds 3) melt in the oven
The most time consuming part is peeling off the wrappers. When that is done the creativity begins. I purchased these molds, which worked great. When the crayons were finished I had a classroom full of excited and pleased a classroom 5, 6, & 7 year-olds.
Its the last week of school!!! It is the time to be creative to keep children engaged in learning. Earlier in the week we took our learning outdoors to make some nature mandalas. I have been partnering my class with a third grade classroom and we have been trying to explore the outdoors each week together as "nature buddies." This was a great project to round out our classroom partnership for the year. Our students were so creative and cooperative! My hope is that they will take a little of this lesson with them and explore and play with natural objects and design over the summer months.
What we did:
- We collected buckets full of rocks, pine cones, blossoms and other interesting found objects from nature.
- We found an undisturbed background (smooth sidewalk)
- To define the shape of a circle we placed a large hula hoop down. The kids started working together, from the center out creating and expanding their design.
- After a set amount of time we removed the hula hoop, gave each group and opportunity to check out all of the designs and took pictures before we cleaned up the walkway.
This post might not exactly fit with the homesteading theme of this blog, but it fits with the culture of the north woods environment in which I live, and one of my deep rooted interests from a time period earlier in my life -aviation! I love to keep just a spark of this interest alive by visiting our local airport each Spring when there are large, contracted aircraft stationed and ready to aid in wildland fire suppression.
At our small airport outside of town there is an U.S. Forest Service Tanker Base. Every Spring some (pretty awesome) aircraft make their way to our neck of the woods and I work to coordinate a kindergarten field trip to tour the airport to check out the airplanes, and to get some hands-on instruction by some wild land fire fighters and Smokey the Bear.
Last Friday was our field trip, and the weather and activity cooperated so we got to see some impressive airplanes and helicopters! To scope things out my daughter and I went out to the airport Thursday after school and we were lucky enough to have a chance to talk to some of the pilots and crew from Neptune Aviation. We even got a chance to go aboard and sit in the cockpit of one of the planes. The Neptune BAe 146 aircraft have been stationed in Ely and have been flying and dropping fire retardant on local fires and fires in Canada.
So I got a little fix of the aviation bug this past week - and got to pass that on a bit to a bunch of young little dreamers and doers in my life.
It sure feels like Spring in my kindergarten class! We are reading Charlotte's Web, we have a windowsill full of plants, we have a bunny running around the classroom - and - we have chicks hatching! So far four chicks have hatched -Lola, Chirp, Paul and Fluffers. I posted some videos to my instagram account if you want to see them in action. I LOVE sharing these fun experiences with the children in my life!
On Friday I put 12 eggs in the incubator with the kindergarten students. I had them name the eggs. They came up with:
Peep, Fluffers, Chirp, Luke, Lola, Daisy, Chicky, Harry, Susie, Paul, Diamond, Charlie and Hanna.
I got a brand new top-of -the-line incubator as a donation this year and I am happy to start my first hatch.
This year I am trying something new, I ordered a clutch of eggs Hatching Eggs For Education from mypetchicken.com. In the assortment I received a combination of Bantam Birchen Cochins, Easter Eggers, New Hampshire Reds, Silver Laced Wyandote, Salmon Faverolles and maybe a wildcard or two.
We are looking forward to an early May hatch. I will keep you posted!