Monthly Archives: May 2012

Magnets

During our last full week of school (last week) I got out the magnets for us to explore.  The first day, I gave the children a pile of things on their table to explore with.  That’s all we did!  We just experimented with how things stuck to the magnets and what things around our classroom were magnetic.  The kids LOVED it!  I can tell when they are into something because it either gets really loud due to all the conversation going on or it gets really quiet due to their intense concentration.  During this time it was REALLY loud! 🙂  The kids were shouting out all the things they were finding that were magnetic and letting each other know what wasn’t magnetic.

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We experimented until someone asked the “magic question” I’d been hoping for!  “Mrs. Poindexter, why doesn’t my magnet stick to this metal thing?” Aha!  Inquiry at it’s finest!

That moved us on to finding out what metal objects will “stick” to a magnet and which ones won’t.

I quickly made up this sheet (I’ll share a cleaner version below) so that my students could write down their predictions.  We predicted as a whole class first about what we thought would happen and then I sent the children off to write their own predictions down next to each picture on this sheet.  I also created bags of materials I had at home and in my class room for them to test.  In their baggies I had a square of aluminum foil, a silver cupcake liner, a roofing nail, a paper clip, and a screw or nut.  I think it might of cost me $5 if I had to go buy everything–which I didn’t because I had everything already! 🙂

Wednesday, we got out the objects and tried out our magnet wands to test our predictions.  We drew either a happy face or a sad face next to indicate whether or not it was magnetic or not.

Here is the sheet I’m going to share with you:

isitmagnetic

We also read a book about magnets:

What Magnets Can do by Allan Fowler

Kristen 🙂

Another Morning Message

Please tell me if you’re getting tired of seeing my Morning Message posts! 🙂  I’m trying to post them so you can get ideas and also so I don’t forget what I can use next year! 🙂

I introduced simple Sudoku puzzles this week and I put an easy one in the MM to see if the kiddos were picking up on it:

We also worked with some measurement and punctuation.

Kristen 🙂

Clocks

Check out these clocks I got at IKEA for $2.99 each.  We chose China because we have a sister school there.  Ireland because one of my students’ family lives there and India because our principal is from there. 🙂

I know they are out of order time wise, but I wanted to get them up there! 🙂  They are great for conversation, the only problem is when the kids have gone home for the day, I have to listen to four clocks ticking! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

LEGO minifigure crayons

My 7 year old is having his birthday on Saturday and it’s LEGO themed (his favorite!).  When I was searching for some ideas about games we could play at his party, I came across this idea to make LEGO minifigure crayons.  They can be done the old way–in the oven, but I had a silicone mold and I didn’t find any marks that indicated it was oven safe.  I started researching ways to melt crayons in the microwave and came across these sites:

Making Microwave crayons in three steps

Homemade crayons

LEGO minifigure crayons

We got out J’s old crayons:

Then we cut them up into 1/4 slices and placed them into the LEGO minifigure mold:

This is what they look like after about 6-one minute intervals.  I put them in for one minute then stirred with a toothpick and then repeated until they were completely melted.

After 20 minutes in the freezer, they were ready!  I was really gentle with them when I was removing them, but some of them lost their heads.  I put those back in the molds and microwaved them again to remelt the parts together.  After another trip to the freezer, they are as good as new.

The mold makes 8 men at a time, so this takes a little while, but so fun!  I even made some pink minifigures!

Some of the sites I saw suggested using the flexible ice cube molds that are available at IKEA for $1 or $2 each.  They had some cute designs the last time I was there.  We almost got them and then found out they weren’t oven safe, but now I need to go back and get them because I can use them in the microwave!! 🙂

Does anyone else have some ideas about other ways to make crayons?

We are going to make these in my toaster oven (using metal pans) next week with the old crayons we have been using all year–a great way to use them up and not throw them away! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Jack and the Beanstalk

I found this great website that has an awesome version of Jack and the Beanstalk available for my K kids to watch.  They love it (and love the accent too!) and have watched it many times.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/misc/stories/misc-jackandthebeanstalk/

There are also other stories on this site that your children can watch! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Promethian Boards

I’m soooooo excited!  I just found out that all the classrooms in my building will be getting Promethian Boards next school year!  So my question is…for those of you who have them, what are your favorite things to use them for?  I know about the Promethian Planet site, but where else do you look for lessons?  I’m familiar with the functions of a Promethian Board and have played around with one the past, but I want to know a few things…

1) Did you cry when you lost some wall space?

2) What things do you do on your Promethian Board that you used to use wall space for?

3) Is it everything you hoped it would be?

4) Do you use your visual presenter/ELMO with the PB?

 

I would love some ideas! 🙂  And I promise…when I get a good handle on how to create my own lessons, I’ll share them! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Centers

At the end of each Kindergarten day, my students have the opportunity to go to our Discovery Centers–where they can discover new things.  Here is a picture showing each of my centers and how the children know which centers to go to.  My assistant and I stand by these cabinets everyday for the first 2-3 weeks of school and help the children understand what the pictures mean.  Now, most of the time, they just take a quick glance at them and are off to their center.  The sticks rotate clockwise, leaving one center open each day (or open for someone who might need to work alone).

Kristen 🙂

Bird feeder Visitors

We have four bird feeders right outside our classroom window and we’ve had some fun visitors in the past few days:

This crazy squirrel hung there forever and the kids were so excited to see him!

This red cardinal stayed for a few minutes, but caught the attention of everyone!

Kristen 🙂

More Morning Messages

Here are a few more of our “new” style Morning Messages…again, sometimes all you have to do is ask!  I was running out of new ideas to introduce or practice (mainly because it’s the end of the school year) and so I asked the kids what they would like to practice…

Image

Here is another of their creative requests! 🙂

Image

I wanted to mention that one of the things we are doing is editing as we go along.  If one of my students find something that they know is an error, they can erase it and fix-it-up instead of writing in a different answer.  I usually have many more blank lines than I have children and I review each message and help to fill them in as a whole group.  I want each child to have a chance to fill something in.  It’s been interesting to see that some of my struggling students will stand at the board and wait until they find the answer to some of the more complex problems (as complex as they can be in Kindergarten!) and some of my higher students find a quick answer, fill it in, and move on.

They really have been looking forward to these new Morning Messages each day! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

The Quails have arrived!

Our quails have hatched and are “cute as a button” thus their name, “Button Quail”!  🙂  They are adorable and it will be sad to see them go tomorrow.  Here are some pictures of the fearless first being born (his name is Indy because he was born in Indianapolis, is fast like an Indy Car driver and is “Indy”pendent!).  You will see that he/she (we don’t know the gender yet) is quite the ring leader!  We have a total of 18 healthy quails that have hatched…these are some pictures of the first batch/litter/group to hatch:

This is what happens after a long night of partying in your egg!  The shell gets stuck on your cute little head and you run around with it on!  YES–it did happen!! 🙂  Indy figured it out after a little while, but we got a great laugh out of it! 🙂

What a cutie!!

Freshly hatched! 🙂

The gang/brood/litter/group.  See how “Indy-pendent” little Indy is?  I’ll take some more pictures of the whole bunch tomorrow and get those posted so you can see all of them.

Kristen 🙂

 

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