Monday, April 14, 2014

Kinder'garden' Day 2014!

So Long Winter...these Kinder'garden'ers are ready for Spring!
Today was a snow make-up day...a day cut into our Spring Break...so we made it a day full of spring learning and fun!

Our kids were greeted by this huge banner and paper flower as they came in today!  Although my room is the furthest down the hall I was so excited to hear the little shrills and 'WOWs' as they got their first peek!



We are leaving it up until Monday April 21st- National Kindergarten Day!

My students came to find our door all decorated too!

So what did Kinder'garden' Day consist of?
The students rotated between 3 classrooms to learn about spring and signs of spring, that were also aligned with a curricula and/or current topic we were working on!

Room 1: Paint a Mural
The students listened to Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
They studies the different kinds of flowers in the book and looked at the different ways the flowers were made, colors, shapes, etc.
They then went to work to 'plant a rainbow'!
Each class made their own mural- the halls were lined with paper (we have 7 classes!) and it was amazing to watch as the 'rainbows' appeared down the hall!

Room 2: Study Birds
The children explored several books about birds and 'studied' their features, colors, patterns etc.
They then each made a bird- being sure to include a beak, wings, feet, feathers, etc.
The wings slid into the body, so they were able to make their birds fly!
Feathers were added for a fun effect!

Room 3: Decomposing Number Butterflies
This was my 'station!'  I had so much fun with the kids that came to my room today!

We started with a blank butterfly:
(get your own copy by clicking here)

I had numbers copied and put them in a flower pot (you get the numbers in the butterfly file above too!)

The kids picked a number out of the flower pot and then counted that many counters from the middle of the table.  They started by coloring their butterfly
(as you can see I put a thick dotted line around my butterfly before copying- I suggest you do the same!)

They then placed the counters on the butterfly in different configurations to show how their number could be broken into different parts

From there I had them 'pick it (counter) up, dot, put it (counter) to the side'



Until all the counters had been replaced by dots.

They then had to write their number sentence/show how their number was decomposed on the butterfly's body!


All the butterflies were unique and beautiful!

Once I had my class back, we worked on putting our mural together!
We talked about other items we see/hear in spring and I opened up the paper cabinet and let them take whatever they needed!  They had to tell me what they were making in order to get the paper!
I also gave them sentence strips to write the name of what they created!

And then this is when the magic really began!
We added the birds and butterflies we had made during the rotations..as well as our new creations and labels and our Kinder'garden' magically came to life!
I folded the wings of the butterflies up before gluing them to give it a more realistic/3D effect!

I LOVE this happy sun, adorable ladybug and look at the 'rane'- that particular students was very proud- she said, 'A is saying its name so I put magic e on there!'  

Some chose to have their birds be 'in flight' while others wanted it down on the ground- or eating the worm!

We had rainbows, clouds, spiders, etc!

This was another favorite- we are working on digraphs- this friend said 'I hear /w/- its a digraph!'

Our butterflies looked beautiful fluttering about the 'garden!'

Once everything was on, we hung them up...

And as wonderful as these pictures look, it doesn't even begin to capture how amazing the whole 'Kinder'garden'' hallway looks right now!

But our day was not complete!
Time to incorporate a bit of our 'How To' topic with a fun spring food craft!

The plates are all ready for assembly!
Today we'll be building and eating a bird's nest-complete with eggs and a bird!

We talked about what we could use for the different components and then I modeled how to make the craft.  In order for them to 'give it a try' they had to first help me write the steps!
Step 5 was an add-on...they said 'But Mrs. Drake- we can't eat it unless its in the steps!'  How true!

So...how did we make them...

Step 1:
I had pre-baked the 'nests'- super easy!
Simply purchase sugar cookie 'break and bake'- pop a square into each section of a muffin tin.  Bake according to directions and- wallah- you have a nest!  If you want a more 'pronounced' side- use a mini muffin pan or 2 'breaks' per muffin section, but these worked out just fine!

Step 2: Add the grass (toasted coconut)

Step 3: Add the eggs (jelly beans)

Step 4: Put the bird on the eggs (Peep on the jellybeans!)

And here is a picture of the directions and finished product for those that love to pin ideas!

I can't pick one favorite part of the day- but I do know that Mother Nature kind of gave us this day as a gift.  Had we not had this snow make-up day, we probably would not have planned this day- and now I think it may become an annual event!  
Today was 'real kindergarten' at its finest!
And I know they had fun...a lot said 'this was the best day ever' (which they always seem to say at the end of a fun theme day!) and many said 'you are the best teacher Mrs. Drake' but the real kicker was when one said 'Mrs. Drake, do they have first grade day?' to which I replied 'I don't know if they do, but I do know they have a lot of fun in first grade' to which she said 'Well, if they don't I think I want to stay in kindergarten forever!'

Guess what....so do I!

I'd love to hear about your fun themed days in kindergarten!
We are off the rest of the week for Spring Break- and then its onto the planetarium and Farm Day to round out April!
Until next post,
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